I’ve been a Star Wars fan almost since I can remember. I’m pretty sure I was five years old when I first saw the original film, and I was absolutely mesmerized. Over the course of a few more years, I saw the rest of the original trilogy, followed by the prequels.
I think all of the films are worth seeing at least once, but of course some of them are better than others (in some cases, much better). I thought it might be fun to make a post with my personal ranking of the current six films, from worst to best. Let’s begin!
6. The Phantom Menace (1999)
By far the most widely disliked Star Wars film, The Phantom Menace is definitely the weakest of the saga. Just as a few examples: the film as a whole needed a rewrite, it suffers from a significant amount of stale acting, and it tried too hard at times to be funny (I’m looking at you, Jar-Jar). It’s not without its merits, though. It has several exciting sequences, not the least of which is the thrilling duel with Darth Maul toward the end. If only they hadn’t killed him (and Qui-Gon, for that matter) off so quickly.
5. Attack of the Clones (2002)
The second prequel is definitely better than the first, though it still suffers from many of the same problems, along with the added one of the cheesy romance between Anakin and Padme.
On the plus side, though, it’s got a more interesting plotline than its predecessor, has better humor, and a pretty sweet lightsaber duel between Yoda and Count Dooku.
4. Return of the Jedi (1983)
This film was overall a very satisfying conclusion to the series, mostly due to Darth Vader’s moving conversion before his death. On the other hand, it has its issues — it’s probably the cheesiest of the original trilogy, mostly due to the Ewoks (I’m sorry, but they were just a little over the top for me), and I have to admit that the whole “second Death Star” thing just felt like lazy writing to me. Oh, and they killed off Boba Fett way too soon. Just sayin’.
3. Revenge of the Sith (2005)
This one is the best of the prequel trilogy. The cheesiness, clumsy writing, and so-so acting are not as prevalent this time, so they don’t detract as much from an enjoyable film experience. In addition, this film tells the tragic story of Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader and the birth of the Galactic Empire very well overall.2. Star Wars (A New Hope) (1977) The original film is still one of the very best. Sure, it has issues — Leia’s on-and-off British accent along with some other so-so acting, some cheesy writing, and dated visual effects. But it tells a very exciting story of a small group of rebels having their first major victory against the Empire, and the beginning of a new era for the characters. 1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) This is it — the best current Star Wars film. It improved on its predecessor in pretty much every way — overall filmmaking quality, acting, story, etc. It’s the funniest of the films, thanks mostly to Han and Leia’s banter and C-3PO. At the same time, it’s a darker story in which Luke must figure out who his worst enemy is: Darth Vader… or himself? And while it ends on a seemingly hopeless note, with Han in carbonite and Luke agonizing over Vader’s true identity, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
Well, there you have it! That’s my list of my opinions. So what are your opinions? How would you rank the films? Also, what are your hopes/expectations for Episode VII?