Star Wars: all seven films ranked


    As it stands today, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” is currently breaking box office records across the globe and soon will most likely dethrone “Avatar” as the highest grossing film of all-time worldwide. I myself have seen the film three times already and can definitely say without hesitation that it is fantastic. With that said, I think that it is time to rank all seven of the live action Star Wars films in order from my least favorite to favorite. N0te: grades are based on how much I enjoyed the films, not necessarily on how good the films are.


    1. “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” (2002)


    Exciting! Riveting! Amazing! All of those words perfectly describe…. the opposite of what this movie is. “Attack of the Clones” is about as boring as a film about knights with laser swords can possibly get. The love story is garbage and the backstory of fan favorite character Boba Fett is ruined. Not only is this the worst “Star Wars” film, but it is also proof that “The Phantom Menace” was no accident. The lightsaber sequences are easily some of the worst in the franchise, the CGI dull and lifeless, and the story is completely useless. Maybe the worst thing about this film, however, is that there are a few really good moments such as Anakin’s psychotic murder spree against the Tusken Raiders and the battle of Geonosis. It definitely feels like a Star Wars film, but it doesn’t feel like a good Star Wars film.


    Grade: C-


    1. “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (1999)


    Now let’s talk about “The Phantom Menace,” the one which started the Prequels and is slightly better than “Attack of the Clones.” Ewan McGregor is quite good as Obi Wan Kenobi and the lightsaber fight between him, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Darth Maul was pretty cool. Other than that, well, it’s all downhill. The entire cast is wasted, most notably Liam Neeson, who would have been a great choice to play a Jedi. If only director George Lucas didn’t write the film. The CGI is pretty bad here as well, Jake Lloyd sucks as young Darth Vader, and Jar Jar Binks is in this. It’s pretty hard to get any worse than Jar Jar. Scarily enough, something does. They explain in the film that the Force, a complete allegory for Christianity, is now no longer mystical. You see, it’s actually microorganisms in your blood! That one line is all it took to ruin this mess of a film.


    Grade: C


    1. “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (2005)


    The one good prequel. After the crap fests of “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones,” Lucas finally got his act together with “Revenge of the Sith”. This one is pretty good. The action is the best in the franchise and definitely feels more in line with the quality of the Original Trilogy than the Prequels. Some of the highlights include Execute Order 66, the birth of Darth Vader, the film’s opening 20 minutes, Yoda’s fight with the Emperor, and the film’s conclusion that leads into the original Star Wars film “A New Hope”. The film still suffers from some poorly written dialogue and a pace far too fast for its own good, but these are the only two issues I really have with the film. Not to mention, the music from legendary composer John Williams is nothing short of genius. The film still has many problems and is far from perfect, however from an enjoyment level, “Revenge of the Sith” really is extremely entertaining. If you can get past the wooden dialogue and Anakin’s odd sudden turn to the dark side, than this is the prequel to watch.


    Grade: A-


    1. “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (1983)


    Finally we get into the Original Trilogy a.k.a. the holy grails of the Star Wars legacy. All three are fantastic, but the weakest is definitely “Return of the Jedi,” all because of one thing and one thing only. Worse than the microorganisms, worse than Jar Jar Binks, and worse than Vader shouting “NOOOOO!!!!” at the end of “Revenge of the Sith”. This issue is, or I should say are, the Ewoks. I hate these fuzzy little bears from hell. Thank God they don’t come into play until late in the film. Had it not been for the Ewoks, this would be my favorite of the entire franchise. The speed bike chase, the invasion of Jabba’s palace, the end celebration, and Yoda’s death are great scenes. Three scenes stick out among those as some of my favorite scenes from the entire Saga: Darth Vader’s unmasking, Luke v. Vader on the second Death Star, and Vader’s redemption by killing the Emperor are very powerful scenes. No other word describes these scenes but powerful. Oh had it not been for the Ewoks.


    Grade: A


    1. “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015)


    I cannot believe that I am saying this, but “The Force Awakens” is better than one of the original “Star Wars” films. The action in this film is some of the best we have seen from the franchise, mainly due to the beautiful cinematography by Daniel Mindel. Also, the new cast of characters were great, from John Boyega’s immensely likable Finn to Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, who is already one of the better villains in the franchise. From when “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” first popped on screen, I was completely immersed in the film. John Williams’ musical score is great once again, and when some of his original music started playing in the film, I could feel a shiver down my spine. It was also great to see the original cast back again, but none quite as welcome as Harrison Ford. Ford once again played Han Solo, but this time, he’s the center of attention. It was great to see his time in the sun come, as he was always my favorite character other than Darth Vader. This movie exceeded all of my expectations, and I am super excited for the upcoming “Episode VIII” next year, as well as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” this December. The force was quite strong with this one.


    Grade: A+


    1. “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (1977)


    The one that started it all: the original “Star Wars”. From the epic Death Star trench run to the infamous Cantina scene, “A New Hope” is classic in every means of the word and rightfully deserves that title. John Williams’ score is beautiful, the cast is fantastic, and the greatest movie villain of all-time was introduced in this movie in Darth Vader, the dark lord of the Sith himself. Some of my favorite movie scenes of all time are in this one, scenes that have captivated my imagination and attention since I was a kid. I love everything about this film and still don’t understand how this lost Best Picture to the self-absorbed hipsterishly obnoxious  “Annie Hall”. The joke’s on “Annie,” though because “Star Wars” transcends being a great movie; it’s a cultural phenomenon. Take that Star Trek!


    Grade A+



    • “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)



    “The Empire Strikes Back” is not only the best Star Wars film; it is one of the best films ever made. All the classic characters return in addition to some new exciting ones such as Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett, and, of course, Yoda. The music here is even better, the effects are grander, and the story is about as perfect as you can get. One of the most beautiful films ever made with some of the most memorable movie moments of all time, from Vader’s reveal to Han Solo’s imprisonment in carbonite to the Battle of Hoth. This truly is “The Godfather” of the Star Wars films, and it’s not like it didn’t have stiff competition in the first place. “Empire” is the perfect example of how to not only make a great sequel, but to make the sequel better than the original. The film is so good, that it is easily one of my top five favorite films of all time.


    Grade: A+


    Through all its ups and downs and high and lows, Star Wars is easily one of the most mystical, beautiful, and celebrated movie franchises of all time. Growing up a Star Wars fan, I am obviously super excited for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” this December as well as future installments in the franchise that reinvented movies forever. May the force be with you all, always.