Ranking the Star Wars films
December 23, 2015

1 - The Empire Strikes Back
2 - The Force Awakens
3 - A New Hope
4 - Return of the Jedi
5 - Revenge of the Sith
6 - The Phantom Menace
7 - Attack of the Clones

Attack of the Clones is my least favourite - for numerous reasons, but mainly due to the abuse of CGI, the horrific "romance" scenes and the casting of Christopher Lee. It's ridiculous that he's older than his master and it's just too distracting having a guy who's been Saruman, a Bond villain and Count Dracula playing a major Star Wars villain as well. Star Wars works best when nobodies are cast in main roles (apart from Alec Guiness because it made sense that he was a wise old forgotten Jedi).

Phantom Menace I enjoyed more than I remember. The lightsaber fight at the end is one of the more engaging scenes in the prequel trilogy, although Darth Maul is an uninspired and uninteresting villain. Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor aren't too bad, but there isn't really any spark. It feels like the actors and Lucas were mainly just interested in making money from lunchboxes and action figures, hence Jar Jar Binks.

Revenge of the Sith is my favourite of the prequel films because of the ending, which links neatly with the original trilogy, and the performance of Ian Mcdiarmid. He's the only actor in the prequel trilogy who seems like he's actually having a good time. His manipulative evil genius routine is great to watch, and even leads to some good scenes with Hayden Christiansen, who is otherwise awful. I wouldn't go as far to say it's a good film, but it is the best of a bad trilogy.

Return of the Jedi is probably the only film outside of the prequels to convey the idea of Star Wars as a massive universe full of diverse planets, characters and alien creatures, but I think it lacks the focus and style of Episodes IV, V and VII. The Ewok/Storm trooper fight is silly and the big ending is weakened by the amount of stuff going on. It would have been better if they sorted the shield generator/Death Star and then focused on Luke, Vader and the Emperor. It's also a little disappointing that Leia's role was reduced to wearing a bikini and then helping out Han Solo.

I'm torn between whether A New Hope or The Force Awakens is my second favourite. Obviously, TFA steals the entire plot of A New Hope, but I wasn't actually too bothered by this because it's a pretty good plot and enough is changed for it to feel like a different film. I liked Kylo Ren; I found him more believable than any other villain aside from the Emperor and Vader and I think they handled his character well. Rey only beats him because her force abilities took him by surprise and then he was seriously wounded. TFA paves the way for his reappearance as a less childish and more evil badass in Episode VIII. For me, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega deliver the best acting performances in the entire saga - I feel like I want to see them play these characters again.

The Empire Strikes Back is my favourite. I don't think that needs any explaining.

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zigfried zigfried - December 23, 2015 (07:27 PM)
1. Return of the Jedi
2. Empire Strikes Back
3. Star Wars
4. Revenge of the Sith
5. Attack of the Clones (by far the worst name, but not the worst film)
6. Phantom Menace

Empire has the game-changing revelations and cinematic surprises, but Return of the Jedi is my favorite because it shows off so much outlandish imagination while tying up the story in such a powerful way. The original Star Wars is great in a lot of ways, but the performances are distractingly stilted and the movie feels like a bunch of disjointed scenes -- very little flow.

The other three are barely worth mentioning, let alone ranking. I enjoyed two of them well enough in the theater, but don't want to waste time ever seeing them again. Too many other things to do in life. I'm not ready to rank The Force Awakens, but I've already seen it twice (and enjoyed it more the second time), so it'll end up on the upper half of the totem pole for sure.
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - December 23, 2015 (11:00 PM)
1. Star Wars
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. Return of the Jedi
4. The Phantom Menace
5. Revenge of the Sith
6. Attack of the Clones
7. The Force Awakens

I feel the original Star Wars is the most complete movie out of all of them. Between Empire and Jedi, Empire wins in my book based on the sheer imagination on display. While Revenge of the Sith is no doubt the cooler movie, The Phantom Menace is arguably more entertaining and creative. (RoTS sort of codified the "more is better" approach used in a lot of modern CGI action movies.) Attack of the Clones feels very perfunctory, but it has some good moments. The prequels are not as good as the original three Star Wars, but as time passes they've grown on me.
Never3ndr Never3ndr - December 25, 2015 (08:33 AM)
I watched the original Star Wars trilogy almost religiously as a child, so they undoubtedly have that nostalgia kick that makes them unrealistically great for me.

A New Hope - It not only introduces the world to Star Wars, but introduces some of the most memorable characters we have ever known (Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia...wut?). If you consider that it not only does introductions, but tells a great tale working as both a stand alone movie and an introduction to the rest of the trilogy...well, there is a reason why this movie is a landmark in cinema history.

Return of the Jedi - Honestly, the Ewoks taking out the best legion of Stormtroopers is ridiculous...but I'd be lying if I didn't say that the little teddy bears were some of my favorite characters as a child...and they still are today. Added to that is the fact that the trilogy is wrapped up pretty nicely and I think you have a great film.

The Empire Strikes Back - Most people see this as the greatest movie in the trilogy. It introduces you to the most information and you get Yoda and the great reveal between Luke and Vader. Watching it as an adult I'd have to say it really is a great movie...but I do remember hating it as a kid because it has a darker, more depressing sort of overtone and leaves the heroes in somewhat of a desperate situation. I'm not saying it is a bad movie, and I absolutely love it now, but I do think that my distaste for it as a kid does carry over a bit for how I "feel" about it.

The Force Awakens - I love this movie, but I don't think it can break through the nostalgia I have associated to the original trilogy...added to that is the fact that they basically ripped the plot from "A New Hope" and I don't think I could rank it higher as a somewhat unoriginal film. With that said, I do love this movie and REALLY love Rey as a character. The fact alone that it didn't disappoint when you consider the hype behind this should say volumes for just how damn good it is.

Revenge of the Sith - Some of the moments here are just painful...like anything with Anakin (NOOOOOOOO!!!)...but there are some great moments here too. The battle between Obi Wan and Anakin may not be perfect (too choreographed...somewhat ridiculous...maybe too long) but you can't deny that it is epic. The Emperor is super well acted and you see him the most in this movie...even the flat dialogue scene between him and Anakin when he tells Anakin of Darth Plagueis is still super engaging because of how well delivered it is. Add to that is the fact that you get the really memorable "Order 66" and you don't have a great movie...but not a bad one by any means.

The Phantom Menace - There is one thing it has going for it...Darth Maul. Everything else...Jar Jar, especially, sucks.

Attack of the Clones - Let me tell you about sand. I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating...and it gets everywhere. #trueromance
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - December 25, 2015 (11:55 AM)
Never understood the Ewok hate. Those little things were pretty badass when they wanted to be.

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