On May 25th 1977 the first Star Wars movie ever – Episode IV: A New Hope – was released in America. To honour and celebrate this milestone, I made a personal ranking of all Star Wars movie that have been released so far. This is a first one for me, so please be kind.
Before I start with the ranking, I would like to say a few words about my personal history with Star Wars: I’m not exaggerating if I say, that I grew up with Star Wars. Though I wasn’t even born in 1977 and only a few days old in 1983, I heard the story of Luke, Leia and Darth Vader from my grandma when I was 5 years old. She told me the children-version of it as a bedtime story. When I was ten years old, I saw the movies for the first time and since then not even George Lucas’ fatal love for CGI or Disneys money-machines could destroy my love for this saga. So, even if I complain quite a bit, I still do it with love.
#11 Episode IX – Rise of the Skywalker
This movie, well, it was a disaster. There is no other way of saying it. Nothing in this movie made much sense and it also felt so empty. With all the other Star Wars movies no matter how cheesy the lines got or how big the plot holes, there was still this feeling of love and admiration. With this movie it just felt like the director went: „Oh well, let’s just get it over with and be done with this.“ It also completely trashed all storylines or character development: Rey is a Palpatine now? Kylo Ren is back but not really? Chewie dies but not really? And everyone else is just background noise? Even though I was expecting it, this ending still makes me really sad.
#10 Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Well, before the disaster that was Episode IX, this one was for me the worst Star Wars movie of all time, in some ways it still is. I mean seriously nothing in this movie makes any sense least of all why the sophisticated Amidala would ever fall for the man-child that is Anakin Skywalker. Seriously, all the guy does this whole movie is being bitchy, sulk or take unnecessary risks that get everyone around him either hurt or killed. The only memorable scene is the fight between Yoda and Count Dooku, and even there the CGI is so weird it’s not even that good. Also: How the hell did Obi Wan Kenobi not piece together what was going on with the clones? I mean how blind can you be?
#9 Episode I – The Phantom Menace
So…we waited 16 years for a new Star Wars movie and what did we get in 1999: A seemingly endless presentation of the newest CGI-technology. Or in other words: An extremely boring movie. Consequently, the most memorable character in this movie was a digital one: Jar Jar Bings. Honestly, I liked Jar Jar because he was at least funny and thereby the only reason why I did not fall asleep halfway through the movie.
#8 Episode VII – The Last Jedi
I was really torn between #8 and #9 because they are kind of both not that good. I actually think that The Last Jedi is slightly better than Revenge of the Sith and here is why: Yes, Episode VII had it’s flaws (plenty of them) but what I liked was that it took one some new concepts: Rey is a nobody. Luke isn’t the glorious war hero but a bitter old man, trying to forget his mistakes. Snoke is completely irrelevant, and well, Leia did after all have some Jedi training (even if the scene is SOOOO bad). Unfortunately all those interesting story arcs were ruined once The Rise of the Skywalker came out. That is the sole reason why it’s #9.
#7 Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Yeah I know what you thinking: Another one of those “old-school” fans that hates the new movies and well, you are not wrong. Honestly, none of those three movies from 1999 to 2005 can even touch the weakest movie of the original trilogy (in my opinion that is Episode VI). Why? Well I don’t get the reasons Anakin had for switching to the dark side and going from Jedi to coldblooded child murder in what feels like seconds. Also what I really don’t get is why nobody – like really nobody, not even Yoda – found those clones even the least bit suspicious. The only thing that lifts this movie from the other two, is the scene right before Yoda and Darth Sidious start to fight, when Yoda asks him: “If so powerful you are – why leave?” Because this one sentence sums up everything the dark sides stands for: Fear.
#6 Episode VII – The Force Awakens
It’s not that I disliked Episode VII. It’s just well…I have seen everything in there before. The dying mentor, the Death Star (now Death Planet) that gets blown to pieces because of one small construction flaw (seriously those engineers the empire employs are complete idiots), a mysterious Sith-lord only shown as a hologram, a small but wise alien with big eyes (only female and orange this time to make it less obvious), a cute and likeable droid who only beeps… I mean really, the best sum-up for this movie came from a guy in the cinema who said one row in front of me. After the it ended, he turned to his friend and said: “Okay actually…I feel like I just watched Episode four all over again.” Yep. Spot on.
#5 Rogue One
I have only managed to watch this movie once, and I am pretty sure it will stay that way, BUT: When I watched it in the cinema this was the first Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi that really managed to make me feel something. Yes, it has no Jedi, and honestly how did the empire manage to get so powerful with the amount of morons running it? And yes, maybe part of it is the nostalgia of Darth Vader being an actual villian, and the fact that it was also the first new movie with original characters (and a story that makes sense). But damn, that ending. I will probably never forget that ending scene.
#4 Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
When I was younger this one actually was my favourite one of the series. Why? One word: Cute Ewoks! Hey don’t judge me, I said I was only 10 years old when I watched it the first time. It wasn’t until later that I realized the flaws in this movie – like Luke being so unreasonable, some would call it stupid. Or Han who is most concerned about whether Leia does or does not love him than anything else. This also why the Ewoks are so cute – the literally fill in for a story, because up until the grand finale there isn’t much else happening.
#3 Solo – A Star Wars story
Yes, really. Even though it was not Harrison Ford who played Han. I know a lot of people really dislike this movie, but honestly: This was the first Star Wars movie that actually brought something new to the table. It told us the story of how Han met Chewbacca, that Chewbacca actually has a family and why it really isn’t that surprising after all that Han ended up joining the rebels. It also is a really fun movie, with plenty of action that doesn’t get boring.
#2 Episode IV – A New Hope
As I said before, when I first watched this movie I was 10 years old and I fell madly and deeply in love. It was such an epic story – good (Luke wearing white) battling the bad (Darth Vader in black), the music, Han Solos jokes, the giant walking Teddy Bear that is Chewbacca, the whole set-up…just everything. It still is one of my favourite movies of all time, but when I became older, I started to favour the second one over the first and here is why:
#1 Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
This Star Wars movie contains my favourite three scenes in all movies: 1) The scene in which Luke is completely dumbfounded by Yoda just pulling that ship out of the lake and says: “I don’t…I don’t believe it”. To which Yoda replies: “That is why you fail.” 2) The scene in which Luke goes into the cave to face his greatest fear. 3) The epic dialogue between Han and Leia: “I love you” – “I know”. And – apart from Rogue One – it is also the only Star Wars movie in which the empire actually seems to be powerful and scary.
So…this was it, my Star Wars ranking – what is yours?