Having completed my review of all of the live action Star Wars films, I finally had an opportunity to sit down and figure out where I would rank them all in my own personal favorites list. Ranking the Star Wars movies is always controversial because of course everyone has their own version of this list. It’s especially controversial for many if you don’t automatically put the original trilogy above everything else. While I respect that those are the highest regarded films in the series, this is my own personal list of how they affect me. This is my way of looking at how much I enjoyed each one compared to the others. Now you may look at my reviews and say “well this one has a better grade than this other one so why is it ranked lower?” Simply put, my reviews are more of an attention to quality rather than attention to enjoyment so some may be ranked higher or lower. Regardless, I’m here to close out these Star Wars reviews with my ranking of all 11 live action movies in this galaxy far far away.
11. The Phantom Menace
This movie as I said in my review was the least necessary movie in the whole series of the Skywalker saga. It gives us the origin of Anakin but takes place several years before the next two movies making it something that just doesn’t really connect or feel needed. It’s more a movie about Qui-Gon with nothing in it really having an overall effect on the movies that followed. It has its highlight moments like the pod race and the final lightsaber duel, but for the most part this movie is just a forgettable entry that you can pretty much skip over when rewatching the series. It’s also my least favorite of the prequel movies not only from an enjoyment factor but also from a perspective of quality. Everything that was wrong with this movie seemed to have been corrected in the next ones. I’m not saying that everything was corrected with great execution but it felt like even George knew that he made many mistakes with it. There’s a good movie in here somewhere but again it’s a good movie that sets up an entirely different trilogy. If you had kept Qui-Gon and Darth Maul you almost could of had this be a prequel to the prequels. That may be getting in to deep with what could have been but either way, this is my least favorite of all of the movies.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/11/star-wars-episode-i-the-phantom-menace-1999-review/
10. Attack of the Clones
There’s a lot more fan service moments in Attack of the Clones that makes it a more enjoyable time than The Phantom Menace. Although it fails on delivering on its title and has some of the worst dialogue moments, it still has some moments that are absolutely a delight to see on screen. It has an interesting story for Obi-Wan that scratches the surface of being a great investigative story, but loses its way by not focusing on it enough. It’s jumps back and forth between this investigation and an absolutely boring and meaningless story for who our trilogy is supposed to be about. There are points in this movie where you realize that maybe the focus of the whole trilogy should have been on Obi-Wan but of course the creative control George had really sent it off into a disappointing direction. What makes up for it’s failures are the awesome Jedi moments like the coliseum fight. In the end it’s more of a disappointing entry as it fails to live up to all of the moments that could have been. This is the second worst movie on a quality standpoint also so it lines up pretty well with my initial reviews.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/12/star-wars-episode-ii-attack-of-the-clones-2002-review/
9. Return of the Jedi
This will probably be the most controversy I will receive for my list. I may be one of the few people that puts this movie as low as I do and I know some people consider it to be their favorite of all of them, but the majority of the movie is some of the least enjoyable Star Wars for me personally. Everything that happens up until Luke going back to Yoda and the final fight between him and Vader and the space battle is all just a dropped ball. Coming off of Empire you would think the momentum would keep going but instead it gives us a convoluted plan that really just doesn’t work for me. It all seems like a poorly paced movie that tries to continue the story we were left off with before and it drops the ball. I know I’m in the minority but every time I watch this movie I find myself just waiting for things to get interesting. I won’t lie though, there are some good moments and details that take place through this but I just can’t find myself to enjoy it as a whole like I do with some of these other movies. On a quality standpoint I have many issues with it, but I do recognize that it has an upper hand against some of the other entries higher on my list and I recognize that for the most part it’s beloved, but ultimately it may be my least favorite in the whole series to rewatch.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/17/star-wars-episode-vi-return-of-the-jedi-1983-review/
8. Solo: A Star Wars Story
I really wanted to put this movie up higher on the list because I really did have a blast with it. The best thing about it is that it’s the least consequential movie in the series. It really does just feel like a one off story in a serialized Star Wars show giving us a great adventure with a character we all know and love. What brings it down for me though is that there were a lot of moments that I didn’t think were necessary and we could have done without and the ending really sets up something a bigger story that should never have been brought in. That ending really turns this movie into something that it’s not and takes the overall focus away from it and pushes it towards something else entirely. Aside from those issues, it really had some great characters and some great performances. Even though Alden wasn’t exactly the same Han Solo as Harrison Ford, he really does give us a version of the character that is entertaining and fun to watch on screen. I think this movie gets way too much crap, but it sits this low for being a movie that’s just a good movie. It makes me wonder if it would’ve been better to give us this adventure with just a new character set in the Star Wars universe or maybe just make this as a TV series instead. Regardless, it has technical issues but is definitely a fun adventure and worth a rewatch if you weren’t sure how you felt about it the first time.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/13/solo-a-star-wars-story-2018-review/
7. Revenge of the Sith
The best of the prequel movies is also a favorite among younger fans of the series. For the generation that grew up with the prequels in theatres, this tends to be the most liked of the prequels and one of their favorites. Not everyone sees it from this point of view but I know so many that love this movie. For me it was the first Star Wars movie that I saw in theatres and was one of my best experiences as a kid. While it does have some issues like the actual handling of the fall of Anakin, it does make up for a lot of issues that the first two movies had. It gives us one of the best opening scenes in all of Star Wars and has some of the best lightsaber moments. The absolute highlight is the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin on the lava planet Mustafar. While it is very much an obvious choreographed fight sequence. The raw emotion and meaning behind the fight holds enough weight to make it an engaging fight that serves more purpose than any other duel in the prequels. It is one of the most rewatchable movies in the series for myself, but again on a technical aspect it’s not the best movie made. The biggest issue I have is the handling of Anakin’s fall and how I just wish it was executed so much better. It may not be as high on other lists but overall it’s an enjoyable film.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/12/star-wars-episode-iii-revenge-of-the-sith-2005-review/
6. The Rise of Skywalker
This was the toughest movie to rank for my list. Honestly I think this and Revenge of the Sith are tied for the same spot. The reason I put this one a little bit higher is that it has more moments that had me invested because of the quality of the movies that preceded it. This is a movie that hurts from its execution and is overall a disappointment for me. It doesn’t give itself time to actually breathe, and that’s because of how much action is in this movie. The redeeming part that keeps it placed where it is despite these issues is that the action is incredibly entertaining. While I don’t agree with some of the decisions that were made, it certainly kept my attention glued to the screen and on the edge of my seat for what was going to happen next. It has one of the coolest shot fuels of all of the movies being Rey vs Kylo on the Death Star in the ocean and gives us a turn in Kylo that I like but don’t necessarily agree with the execution of how they went about doing it. In time this may move higher or lower but only time will tell. For now I feel comfortable placing it here for how exciting and action packed it is.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/21/star-wars-episode-ix-the-rise-of-skywalker-2019-review/
5. A New Hope
One could argue that this is the best crafted movie and the highest quality one on a technical standpoint. I do give it props for what it was able to achieve and the world it created. With that said, it isn’t the easiest movie to rewatch and suffers from the time it was made. It does a fantastic job of setting up this incredible universe and giving us some of the most iconic characters of all time but really lacks in being able to rewatch as much as some others. I know many people that don’t like it because of how much slower it seems in comparison to the others, but that could be from lack of respecting the time it was made. I love everything about this movie and on a quality perspective it would be near the top of the list but for my personal list it lands here for not giving me the same exciting feeling that the next ones on the list do. We wouldn’t have what we do now if it weren’t for this movie.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/15/star-wars-episode-iv-a-new-hope-1977-review/
4. The Force Awakens
This was the first movie in the new Disney owned Lucasfilm and was one of the most hyped movies for fans in history. It was well received and gave us plenty of new characters and setup along with bringing back some old favorites. This movie is one of the most rewatchable ones for me and is also what I believe the best entry point for anyone new coming into the franchise. That may be a bit controversial but seeing as how it plays it safe with the story it tells while introducing new characters, it still manages to tell a story that keeps just about anyone on board and excited to see more of what this world has to offer. It introduces a fantastic new protagonist in Rey and give us what may be my favorite character in all of the movies with Kylo Ren. It gives us characters with different arcs and origins than any of the other characters in the series and keeps the fun and exciting adventure feel that the original movies had. It isn’t my favorite but it definitely is one of the most enjoyable ones for me to go back to and watch over and over again. It has its issues but for the most part there’s nothing that really stands out as tarnishing how much fun this movie really is at its core.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/18/star-wars-episode-vii-the-force-awakens-2015-review/
3. Rogue One
This stands to me as being the most underrated movie in the whole franchise and depending on when you ask me will change from 3 to 2 as being my favorite Star Wars movie. This is a movie that leads into the original film that started it all and gives us a story that we maybe didn’t want or think could work but it does. While it is a prequel to A New Hope, it does stand on its own and separate itself by being a completely different movie than the saga films. It has some issues of course like every movie does, but for me it tells a compelling story that is engaging and emotional. It has by far some of the best perspective visuals of any movie in the franchise and an ending that is a non stop blast. I think what I like most about this is that it gives us a group of characters that come together to do one thing despite the consequences. It’s a movie that actually has severe consequences for the mission at hand and doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not. I think I’ve rewatched this movie the most because of how standalone it feels even while also being very much connected. I won’t argue with anyone that has issues with it but I really do just absolutely love this movie.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/14/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-2016-review/
2. The Last Jedi
As I said in my review, this is the most divisive movie in all of Star Wars and one of the most divisive movies ever. For many people it’ll either be near the top or near the bottom and for me it’s right up here in second place. Despite having some truly prequel-like issues like the whole Finn and Rose plot, something that seems to be the biggest complaint among fans, it also has some of the best moments in all of Star Wars. When I talked about The Rise of Skywalker I said that it didn’t give itself time to breathe. That was a reaction to the fact that this movie really gives itself all the time in the world to breathe and flesh out character arcs and moments. It’s a very different movie that subverts our expectations in a way that ultimately divided fans. Rian Johnson wanted to test the audience and give us something that we weren’t expecting and what was going to actually challenge us as viewers. For me, that’s exactly what I want. I don’t want a movie that’s going to veer too far off the path of what a Star Wars movie should, but I want one that’s going to give me something new and The Last Jedi did just that. It fleshes out our hero and villain and uses a new concept in the movies to give them time to grow with each other while also giving us some of the best Jedi and lightsaber moments in the whole series. Despite the issues it has, this is easily my favorite movie since The Empire Strikes Back.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/19/star-wars-episode-viii-the-last-jedi-2017-review/
- The Empire Strikes Back
This has been my favorite movie in the whole series for the longest time and my second favorite movie of all time. This movie tops many lists for fans and rightfully so. For many of the other movies there’s been a bit of a difference between enjoying the movies vs the actual quality of the movies and this one hits the top spot for both of those factors. It takes everything that was given to us in A New Hope and builds on that in such a way that makes it the best story and most compelling story in the whole franchise. We get moments where the lore of the Jedi and force are built on, we get fantastic character development that ends with totally different and fleshed out versions of the characters we started with, and it gives us what is my favorite lightsaber duel of the whole series between Luke and Vader. While it doesn’t have the same exciting punch that some of the newer movies have throughout the whole film, it does feel very similar to The Last Jedi where it actually takes the time to let itself breathe and give us moments of perfection. While I don’t watch this movie as much as some of the other films, it is and will probably be for a long time my favorite Star Wars film.
Check out my full review: https://towercitymedia.com/2019/12/17/star-wars-episode-v-the-empire-strikes-back-1980-review/
In the end, this is my official and personal ranking of all of the Star Wars films. It’s a list that will not agree with everyone of course and will spark some sort of debate because you can never please everyone, but it’s a list that comes from my personal viewing of all the films. There’s no better way to go about ending a review of a series than to rank them all as far as pure enjoyment goes. Some of the movies on the list could potentially change their placement as we move ahead and receive new movies in the franchise. The point of a list like this is really to just highlight a franchise that I love and to share with other fans how I feel towards each of the movies. I hope that it sparks a friendly discussion among readers that allows us to talk about and compare all of our lists. Star Wars is probably my favorite franchise of all time and I like all of the movies in it despite the rankings. Feel free to comment and discuss your own lists, I’m always excited to see how everyone feels about each movie.