Every Star Wars Movie: Ranked (a totally factual opinion article)

Every Star Wars Movie: Ranked (a totally factual opinion article)

Matthew Hilliard, Author

Time for a totally original idea that no one has ever covered before, ranking the Star Wars movies, episodes I-IX . This list is not just an opinion, but it is fact, and if you do not agree with this list then you are wrong. Also, if there are some parts in the writing that don’t make much comprehensible sense, I’m trying my best and I may not have fully fleshed out my ideas well. Regardless, here are all of the nine Star Wars movies ranked, from worst to best. 

*Note: What you have just read is purely sarcasm. Enjoy this article.

Spoiler Warning: If you somehow haven’t seen the Star Wars movies, this clearly has spoilers for them. You have been warned.

Number Nine: The Last Jedi

This one is just… I don’t even know where to begin with this movie. Coming off the back of The Force Awakens, an alright movie with too much hype, this entry in the Star Wars series just flops on everything. The end of The Force Awakens left somewhat of an interesting cliff hanger, with Rey returning Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber to its rightful owner. Cut to The Last Jedi, it completely ruins that cliffhanger with Luke throwing the lightsaber away.

This movie completely takes a dump on Luke Skywalker’s entire character. Instead of being the hero who saved the galaxy from the Empire, or the one person who still saw hope in Darth Vader, he is turned into a grump hermit. It is also revealed that Luke tried to murder Ben Solo, a Jedi in training, all because he had a bad dream. This makes no sense, because Luke still held out hopes for Darth Vader, a Sith Lord.

Sure, characters can go through changes in how they act, but Luke is an entirely different person in this film, and it’s awful. Not to mention how Luke goes out in this movie. The most powerful Jedi to ever live, Luke Skywalker himself, dies sitting on a rock. His last stand is so anticlimactic that it’s honestly sad to watch.

Aside from this movie disgracing Luke, what else does it do wrong? Literally everything else. Let’s start off first with the action. At first glance, the action scenes in this movie look fine, but if you actually pay attention to them, they are trash. 

For the first example, let’s talk about when Rey learns how to use a lightsaber. Her technique in this movie is so awful. Notice how she swings her body around? This technique would definitely leave her vulnerable, and poorly equipped for battle. The scene is almost laughable. Here is a video clip that shows her first learning how to use a lightsaber (the clip is at 0:53):

And don’t get me started on the throne room fight scene. Yes, this battle is very high action and colorful, but it makes no sense whatsoever. There are moments in it where some of the royal guards are just standing around, moments in the fight where Rey should have definitely been stabbed. Here is the clip of the fight scene, try and see how many things you can find wrong with it:

Overall, this movie just isn’t what Star Wars is supposed to be. It’s just a mess, and a way for Disney to make a quick cash grab.

Number Eight: The Rise Of Skywalker

This movie… This movie makes me incredibly angry. The existence of this movie literally ruins Star Wars as a whole, and that is not an exaggeration. Let’s break it down.

The plot of this movie really comes out of nowhere. All of a sudden Palpatine is back, and now he has a fleet with a flock of planet destroying ships (totally original, right?). The fact that Palpatine was brought back completely destroys the prequels and the original trilogy. The entire story of episodes one through six is Anakin Skywalker’s journey, from a young boy to a mentally anguished and twisted Sith, manipulated by Palpatine. Then in The Last Jedi, Anakin redeems himself, by sacrificing his life to kill Palpatine and bring down the Empire. But since Palpatine is back in the sequels, Anakin’s story has no meaning. The fact that they brought Palpatine back completely renders Anakin’s final sacrifice null and void. But besides this awful misstep in directing, what else does this movie do wrong?

A big chunk of the movie is devoted to Rey and the gang trying to find Palpatine to stop him. In order to do that, they have to find a Sith wayfinder. But the only way to find the Sith Wayfinder is with… another Way-finder? How does this make sense? Why would they have to find an object, that leads them to an object, that THEN leads them to the villain? I also don’t even want to go into the pure nonsense that is obtaining these items, because it makes absolutely no sense.

This last critique is less of a big problem, but a really dumb mistake. In the movie, Rey and her friends come across the ruins of the Death Star II. You may be wondering, how is this a problem? Well, if you look at the explosion of the second Death Star, there is clearly no way that there would be any debris left over. It was all blown up.

Overall, this movie successfully ruins the entire plot of Star Wars. Great job Disney!

Number Seven: The Phantom Menace

Don’t get me wrong, I love the prequels. I know they get a lot of hate, but I hold them higher than most, and try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately for this movie, I simply just can’t. Let’s break it down.

Jar. Jar. Binks. Why? Why was he added into the movie? He is intended to be used as some sort of comic relief, but he turns into the character that you want to fall down a reactor shaft. I’m glad that in later movies, he makes less of an appearance, and his character is altered a bit to be less… him. Regardless, this is one of the lesser problems with this movie. 

One of the other glaring issues with The Phantom Menace, and with the entire prequels in general, is the CGI. This movie came out in a time where CGI did exist, but it wasn’t that great. There are CGI scenes that are almost laughable to watch because of the poor quality, and it really brings this movie down in the gutter.

The last, and most important thing to note, is the plot of The Phantom Menace is not the best. The first two thirds of this movie are really slow, and after an hour or so, you will become tired. This is most likely a product of the uninspired dialogue and lack-luster character interactions. It’s honestly painful and sad, because this movie deserves more. The last third of the movie is very fulfilling though, with the fight between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul being one of the best in the entire Star Wars franchise. I really wish this movie did better, but it just fails in too many categories to succeed. 

Number Six: The Force Awakens

This is definitely the best movie out of the sequel trilogy, but it still doesn’t work that well. The beginning of this movie, and the promise of three more Star Wars movies, were really exciting, and the hype around it’s release was spectacular. Regardless, this movie just doesn’t make the cut.

Once again, the plot of this movie makes less sense as you go along. It’s interesting at first, with emphasis on the development of Finn’s character; but over time, it grows more confusing and stale. I also want to note that Finn has a great character arc in this movie, and he’s set up really well for later entries in the series, though his character is thrown to the side. 

Anyway, the story of this movie makes sense if you don’t think about it. If you really try and understand what’s happening you start to realize, “This movie doesn’t make much sense.” It’s a shame, because everyone was really excited about this movie, and it was a little disappointing. Overall, this movie is good on a surface level, but not much better than that.

Number Five: Attack of the Clones

Most people believe that this is the worst Star Wars movie, and while it has its faults, I think it’s better than most people believe. They fixed a few problems in this movie from The Phantom Menace, like Jar Jar Binks and some of the CGI issues (key: not some). Still, this movie is nowhere near close to perfect, and there are parts of it that are sad to watch.

Starting off immediately is the plot of this movie. Like The Phantom Menace, it’s a bore and a little slow until the last third of the movie. The plot is improved in quality though, as it introduces a mystery element with Obi-Wan and his investigation on Kamino. One downside of the plot is Anakin’s love interest with Padmé. It makes perfect sense, if you disregard the fact that in the previous movie Anakin looks significantly younger than Padmé. Now they look closer in age, but the image of the last movie still stands, and makes them look like a very illegal couple.

There are a few things I do like about this movie. Despite many people’s opinions, I like the political aspect of this film. Most people don’t like it, because they say, “It doesn’t fit into Star Wars,” but I think it makes perfect sense. The entire prequel trilogy as a whole is mainly about how the Empire came to be, and showing one of the main aspects that allowed the Empire to rise, a game of political gain, is almost necessary to show. It is executed very well in this movie, and I think it works.

Now the saving grace for this movie is the Battle of Geonosis. This scene- this battle- is epic. With the two armies now prepared, the droids and the clones, full galactic war ensues, with the Battle of Geonosis its beginning. It is truly a masterpiece of cinema, and will always be a thrill to watch. Overall, this movie is just an “eh” in the Star Wars franchise, with some alright parts and a few very good ones. 

Number Four: The Empire Strikes Back

I know what you’re probably thinking. “How is the Empire Strikes Back so low!” Though it is still in the number four spot, it’s usually at the top of most people’s lists. Though I still think this is a fantastic movie, there are some that are just better. Let’s see what makes this movie great.

This movie contains one of, if not the, biggest movie twist ever. Darth Vader announcing that he is in fact Luke Skywalker’s father. This revelation is not a twist that comes out of nowhere for no reason, it’s not one that makes little sense. It’s a twist that works- a twist that embodies true emotion. It’s one of the best movie scenes ever produced and it will always live up to today’s standards.

Secondly, the plot. They get the plot right in this movie (and all the movies here on out in the list). It makes sense, there are no stale parts where you pull out your phone to pass the time. It is engaging, unique, and purely wonderful. The battle scenes were revolutionary for their time, the different settings that and planets that are traveled are beautiful and unique. Instead of using awkward CGI they use puppets to give a more life-like experience. This movie gets everything right that previous entries got wrong. 

The only reason why this isn’t higher is because: 1. Though the movie quality was fantastic for the time, some parts have become a little cheesy to watch and 2. The other three movies I have yet to rank take everything this movie does right and makes it better.

Number Three: A New Hope

Every time I start up this movie I, smile. It is such a journey, from the beginning to the end, and it has everything that a Star Wars movie should. A New Hope is well deserving of the number three slot, and here’s why.

The pacing of this movie may seem slower than some other Star Wars movies, but in A New Hope’s case, the slower parts are interesting to watch. It helps set up the world that is the Star Wars universe and it gives nthe audience a taste of what this incredible series has to offer. This movie has everything from lightsaber battles to blue milk. Not to mention, the beautiful shots in this movie, that really hit hard every time. 

Everything about this movies screams iconic, with the first ever Darth Vader scene and the explosion of the Death Star. It was the perfect first movie for Star Wars, and it will forever be one of the greatest pieces of cinema out there. If you have not seen this movie, or Star Wars at all, watch this. It is the perfect movie to introduce you to this wonderful world, and it always a great movie to come back to. This movie is a classic.

Number Two: Return of the Jedi

I don’t even know where to begin. This being the final movie in the Original trilogy, it wraps the conflicts up perfectly. Everyone’s character is complete in a convincing manner, every loose end is tied up, and after the movie is over, the audience is left sitting there, wanting more. Let me try and describe what I love about this movie.

First of all, let me discuss Luke Skywalker. After the Empire Strikes Back, his character is almost a whole new person, and it works. They got him right in this movie, and it gives me joy to see how well he was written. There are also other characters that undergo a transformation; Han Solo, Princess Leia, and even Chewbacca seem to have changed, and all for the better. Not to mention how the characters interact so well with each other, making a fluent, comprehensible, and enjoyable story. 

All of the anticipation and all of the tension building up from episodes I and II lead into this movie. A truly epic climax to one of the best movie franchises ever produced. There are so many things this movie does well. The final lightsaber fight between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker is thrilling and unique. When Darth Sidious is hurting Vader’s son, and he turns on his master. The ewoks (what a second). 

Let me pick back up on Darth Vader’s redemption. The entire Star Wars saga is a story about the life of Anakin Skywaler, from when he first became a Jedi, through when he turned Sith, and then to his final redemption. Everything building up to this moment is finally relieved with an epic finale that will go down as one of the best movie ending ever. It is absolutely perfect.

Number One: Revenge of the Sith

This may not only be the best Star Wars movie, but possibly the best movie of all time. How many other movies have Yoda and Samuel Jackson? I have watched this movie more times than any other, and every time I watch it it is a treat. This rightfully deserves to be ranked number one.

One of the main things that I love about this movie is that it takes the semi-stale plot of the other two prequel movies, and makes them work. It makes a fantastic success off of the back of two dull movies. I applaud Lucasfilm for pulling off something this great. 

General Grievous on Utapau

Also, the new character, General Grievous. Revenge of the Sith is the only movie that General Grievous is in, and even though he doesn’t have much screen time he is such a cool character. Not only is his design fantastic, his character is as well. He is a part-cyborg part-warlord warrior who hunts down Jedi and steals their lightsabers for him to use. How does it get cooler than that? Speaking of good design, the shots in this movie are so beautiful. It has spaceship battle scenes, lava worlds, and city complexes, and every one of them is better than the last.

Anakin and Obi-Wan dueling on Mustafar

Back on the plot of this movie, it comes together so well. Darth Sidious’ plan to take control of the galaxy is genius. Watching it all unfold is like watching an orchestra come to the climax of the symphony. It’s so frustrating to watch because you know that Sidious will eventually win but you still want to see him fail. 

Now the jewel of this movie, the thing that puts it above all other, is the lightsaber fights. In this movie there are not one, not two, not three, but four lightsaber battles. They are all fast paced and expertly choreographed, making for a unique experience like no other. I urge you to watch this movie. It is utterly fantastic.

Regardless of the movies that I… don’t like so much, Star Wars is still a fantastic series. If you have not seen any of the movies, please watch them. They are unlike anything you will ever see. 

Student Thoughts

I asked some students here at Sheridan, “What is your favorite Star Wars movie and why?” Here’s what they had to say:

Brandt Bailey: “Revenge of the Sith, because it’s the best.” 

Will Black: “Revenge of the Sith, because it has Obi-Wan Kenobi”

Aiden Duke: “A New Hope, because it’s the only one I’ve seen.”

Jack Nichols: “The Empire Strikes back, because the original trilogy movies are the only good movies, and The Empire Strikes back is the best one.”