Star Wars: From the Best to the Worst

Updated on February 28, 2018
Alec Zander profile image

Alec is a film critic with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his reviews and articles will help launch his career.

Star Wars has been around since 1977, dazzling one and all and gathering a huge fanbase in the process. Some are great, some not so great. So which one's the best? Which is the worst? Below I have arranged all the Star Wars films, including the animated The Clone Wars film, from best to worst. At the bottom, I have listed all the films in chronological order with my ratings of each film.

#1: The Empire Strikes Back

I consider The Empire Strikes Back as the best film of the series. Not only was the story intriguing, but it was more of a thriller because you never knew who to trust. The film was full of surprises and a rather intense face off between Luke and Vader that ended with the most shocking twist of all. I give the film a 4 out of 4.

#2: A New Hope

A New Hope was the film that started it all, thrusting us into a space battle first thing. This film had some revolutionary camera work and incredible effects for its time, making each moment feel real. There was a lot of humor and a lot of tense moments, but the best scene was also the most emotional one which set Luke on his path to greatness. I give the film a 4 out of 4.

#3: The Force Awakens

The last we saw of Luke Skywalker was in Return of the Jedi in 1983. 32 years later, we are given a new film and teased with Luke's grand return. We also meet a young woman who is about to find out just how special her destiny really is. Even though there were some similarities to A New Hope, this film stood on its own very well and helped usher in a new generation of people to the Star Wars franchise. I give the film a 4 out of 4.

#4: Rogue One

Rogue One was just so much fun. It didn't focus on the Jedi, but rather on the small team of normal men and women that defied all the odds and stole the plans to the Death Star. The film had humor, tons of incredible action, lots of fun nods to A New Hope, and gave us our once-a-year fix of Star Wars to tide us over until next year when the highly anticipated Episode VIII releases. I give the film a 3.5 out of 4.

#5: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi is the 8th "episode" and 10th entry in the epic Star Wars saga. The film follows three storylines: 1) Rey on her journey to become a Jedi, 2) The Resistance as they face seemingly insurmountable odds, and 3) Kylo as he continues to try to overcome the conflict inside of him. The three stories eventually merge for one fantastic conflict that literally blows the mind and satisfies new and old fans alike.

Wow, I really don't even know where to start. I was so blown away by this film that I almost have no words to describe how fantastic this film is. Because this is a major series and everyone already has their own opinions about the franchise, I'm just going to jump right into the positives and negatives.

Let's go ahead and get the negatives out of the way. There were very few issues with the film and the issues are only minor. First of all, there were a few moments where you could tell that the Porgs were puppets. It could take away from the scene at times but thankfully those moments were limited to just two times. The other issue was a lack of information relating to Snoke and a slight letdown involving Rey's heritage.. I don't really hold this against the film because there still may be a big reveal in Episode IX in 2019. I won't go into details because that would be major spoilers but you'll see what I mean when you watch the film. Yep, those were the only two negatives.

Now we move to the best part of the review: the positives. The CGI was top-notch, the acting has improved greatly from Force Awakens and seeing Luke and Leia together again was heartwarming. There's a moment in the film between Luke and Leia that is already tearjerking enough but knowing that Carrie Fisher actually passed away made that moment truly heartbreaking. What stood out most of all was the surprises in the storyline. There's tons of twists which make me wonder just how Episode IX will unfold. Writer and director Rian Johnson showed his brilliance with this film. Sure, Looper displayed Rian's talents but this film exceeded all expectations and breathed a new life into not only the Star Wars saga but the sci-fi genre as a whole. Despite the minor flaws, I give The Last Jedi a 3.5 out of 4 just for the fact that it was the most fun I had at the theater in a long, long time.

#6: Return of the Jedi

The film that wrapped up the initial trilogy had its silly moments, but it was good fun and ended on a high note. The final face off between Luke and Vader was emotional and intense, giving us one last twist before we said goodbye to the galaxy far far away for a few years. I give the film a 3.5 out of 4.

#7: Revenge of the Sith

This was the film where we finally got to see Anakin's transition from good to evil, ultimately turning into Darth Vader. The biggest emotional hit is when Anakin succumbs to the Emperor's will and fully commits himself to the Dark Side. The fight scenes are all fantastic, but what really kills the film is the length. There are moments that could have been shortened or cut out but mostly this is a solid entry and a necessity to the saga. I give the film a 3 out of 4.

#8: The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace had its share of problems such as Jar Jar Binks, Boss Nass, and a badly acted Anakin Skywalker. The emotional moments weren't as impactful as they should have been and Darth Maul was barely seen before being sliced in half, but I do have to acknowledge that the lightsaber duels and the space battle was amazingly choreographed and well directed. I give the film a 2.5 out of 4.

#9: The Clone Wars

Okay, yes, I know this isn't an "official" entry but it is a part of the series. It was released theatrically and served as the midpoint between seasons 2 and 3 of The Clone Wars TV series. The film itself was sloppy and not very well made. The animation was a new-gen type thing and I understand that. I may not be a fan of that particular style but it has become rather popular. What I'm deducing from this film was the fact that it seemed to drag along as if the writers made it up as they went rather than planning it out. The voice work was done by mostly different people, which also affected the film in a poor way. All in all, I give the film a 1.5 out of 4.

#10: Attack of the Clones

The biggest problem with this film was the fact that Anakin went from a confident, hopeful, big-dreamer to a whiny young adult. It absolutely killed the film. No one wants to listen to the hero of the film whine and complain and act like the universe will end if what they want isn't given to them. Several scenes were entirely too long or even unnecessary and the only good parts were the arena battle and the final saber duel. Overall, this was a poorly written and poorly acted film. I give it a 1 out of 4.

What is your favorite Star Wars film?

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Complete Film List

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace - 2.5 out of 4
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones - 1 out of 4
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars - 1.5 out of 4
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - 3 out of 4
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - 3.5 out of 4
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope - 4 out of 4
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - 4 out of 4
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - 3.5 out of 4
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens - 4 out of 4
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi - 3.5 out of 4

Conclusion

Star Wars is an epic journey, no doubt about it. Once you start and fall in love with the characters, you just can't stop reliving the journey. As we anxiously await Episode VIII, let us all enjoy the films we have and welcome new generations into the fold.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Alec Zander

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