With the Last Jedi just being released it's time to look back at the rest of the Star Wars series. Here are my personal rankings of all the Star Wars films.
10. Attack of the Clones
While the Battle of Geonosis and seeing Yoda use a lightsaber for the first are some of the best spectacles in a Star Wars movie it's not enough to save it from being the worst Star Wars film. From wooden acting, cringe-worthy dialog, some boring politics, and zero chemistry between Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman are enough to put this film in last place. With that said though it's not all bad like many people like to claim. Obi-wan investigating the clone army is a lot of fun and Anakin's mother's death scene is also a strong moment in this film.
9. The Phantom Menace
In 1999 this was the greatest movie of all time! Now, 18 years later it is everyone's favorite punching bag. Like Attack of the Clones, I don't hate this movie. Liam Nesson and Ewan McGregor are great in their roles, it has one of the greatest Star Wars duels of all time, the Jedi council is fun to see, podracing is a blast, and there are actually a few emotional moments. I especially like the moment when Anakin has to leave and say goodbye to his mother. What really drags this movie down though is the lack of a central protagonist, Jar Jar Binks, and wooden acting.
8. Solo, A Star Wars Story
While it did not perform like Lucasfilm and Disney had hoped but this movie was a blast! It captures the spirit of Han Solo and takes you on a fun and exciting ride through the Star Wars universe. The cast is fantastic and this movie is simply just pure fun!
7. Rogue One
This is where my rankings get tough. I love Rogue One and it's hard for me to rank it so low. While I absolutely love it, it's not nearly as good as the other Star Wars movies above it. One thing that sets this movie back is that it's got an odd first act that takes some time to get to use to all the new characters. Once they get to Jedda this movie really gets going and doesn't let up. We get great character work, fun nods to the original trilogy, and one of the best 3rd acts in any Star Wars movie!
6. A New Hope
Many will say I'm crazy for ranking a prequel film above this and having it slow love. I absolutely love A New Hope but it's the one that I find myself revisiting the least. It's the movie that starts it all and I will always love it. We owe so much to this film. It introduced audiences to the galaxy far far away, to light sabers, the Millennium Falcon, the force, Jedi’s, the dark side, Stormtroopers, Darth Vader, and so much more! While I may enjoy watching other Star Wars movies more that doesn't mean I don't love this movie.
5. Revenge of the Sith
First let me say that I am fully aware that this movie has flaws, but it's also the most emotionally charged and action-packed Star Wars film and for that I absolutely love it. Hayden Christensen (while not perfect) is so much better here as Anakin. This is a movie that is filled with gut punch after gut punch and tells such a tragic story. Like I mentioned it has some of the best action sequences in a Star Wars film and delivers the best lightsaber duel that has still yet to be topped in a Star Wars movie. I find myself going back and rewatching this movie almost more any other Star Wars film.
4. The Force Awakens
Sure this movie's plot is a bit of a reboot of A New Hope but that really doesn't bother me. It had the difficult task of reintroducing some of the most beloved Star Wars characters and also introduce us to new characters. The reason I love the Force Awakens is that it made me care about Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren the same way that the original trilogy made me care about Luke, Han, Leia, and Darth Vader. This is probably the most fun Star Wars film to date, but it's also got some of the most impactful scenes in a Star Wars film as well.
3. Return of the Jedi
Maybe it's nostalgia that has this movie so high but I love it. It was the first Star Wars film I remember watching as a kid and one that to this day I never get sick of watching. Sure it would have been cool if instead of Ewoks we got Wookies, but regardless we got Ewoks, and you know what I really like the Ewoks. What makes this movie rank so high for me though is the final battle between Vader and Luke which ends in Luke's compassion changing Vader's heart and setting him on the path of redemption.
2. The Last Jedi
The most divisive Star Wars film to me is also one of the best. I understand why people may not enjoy the Last Jedi but for me, it was funny, exciting, unexpected, crazy, emotional, and thought-provoking. It took risks and didn't play things safe and for that I commended it. Those risks paid off for me and it delivered a film that was not only fun but also carried a lot of depth to it. The film has been out for almost 2 weeks now and I still find myself thinking about this movie almost constantly. Another reason this movie is so important to me is because of how much I loved Rey's story and journey in this film. Because of recent events in my life, it really hit me on a more personal level. I love it and cannot wait to continue watching it for years to come.
1. The Empire Strikes Back
If there was ever a perfect film out there I think this may be it. This film has action, romance, humor, confidence, emotion, excitement, and an incredible story. It furthers the story of each of our favorite characters while also introducing new ones. I love everything about this movie. The film ends in failure for each of our heroes, which is not only a bold choice creatively but also one that demonstrates that on the hero's journey failure is bound to happen.
There is my ranking of all the current Star Wars films! What does your list look like? Let me know in the comments below!