The Star Wars List


The definitive Star Wars good to bad list, as defined by me.

1. The last Jedi (2017)

An easy trap to fall into is critiquing something good or bad because of newer technology and modern trends, but this Star Wars movie was pretty bold. It divided the Star Wars fandom in two but what a lot of haters are missing here is that the Star Wars movies from their youth is not the same story we need now. A New Hope was about Good vs Evil, Black and White, right and wrong. But we’ve evolved as a society since then and we know now that most things live in the gray and extremism in any form is bad. That’s the story the Last Jedi is trying to tell, hidden in the subtext of a space drama. The Jedi and the Sith had both become extremes of the original context of the Whills and in so, arrogance and ego had permeated both. While Ryan Johnson had creative control over his movie, I seriously doubt that J.J. Abrams and Disney were all “do whatever you want to the Canon, we don’t care and have no roadmap to the trilogy”. This was all planned. Imagine how awesome you will feel when the Rise of Skywalker will put everything back in the the tropes you expected, but for a moment, in this movie, Star Wars tried to grow past the same narrative. It was bold in much like the same way The Empire Strikes Back was, but moreso. Ryan’s movie chose to evolve the story and in doing so worked that theme into the narrative of the plot: “Let the past die, even if you have to kill it.”
Honest Trailers Review | CinemaSins Review | ScreenRant Pitch Meeting

A love story …


2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

This was the definitive Star Wars movie and probably one of the greatest sequels of all time. Sure, we got to know the characters in A New Hope, but these characters were actually introduced to us in this movie past their two dimensional personas. The follow up not only gave us all of the action we loved about Star Wars, but also one of the best kept secrets in film on who Darth Vader was.

Fun Fact: During the filming of the Cloud City fight, the actor playing Darth Vader told Mark Hamill (Luke) during filming that he *Killed* his father. It was later dubbed in with James Earl Jones voice that he told him he *is* his father. No one knew at the time except Mark Hamill and George Lucas. 
Honest Trailers Review | CinemaSins Review

“Scruffy Nerf Herder? You kissed your brother.”


3. Rogue One (2016)

This movie was a love letter to Star Wars fans. It was a back story to the original film we fell in love with years ago. I would even suggest it was needed given the new movie sequels were going to steer things in a new direction so the studio though this would appease the old school fans. They were right, I loved this movie. The tragic end was perfect as it set itself apart not to be a continuation saga, just letting us see a story that meant everything, that we never got to see until now. It also conveniently plugged up a plot hole the original film always left us wondering about.
Honest Trailers Review | CinemaSins Review

It’s like Star Wars, but without Jedi and lightsabers.


4. Rise of Skywalker (2019)

The last of the Skywalker saga. 42 years in the journey and a galaxy transformed several times over. This movie is getting both praise and criticism over how it handled the journey’s end, to the surprise of no one (Thanks Internet!). The Force Awakens was criticized as being A New Hope knock off. The Last Jedi was criticized with straying away from the established lore. Fanboys will always find fault and even I had some expectations to overcome in seeing it. After watching the movie a second time, I was able to just enjoy the ride and it was everything this ending needed to be. The juxtaposition of a Palpatine and a Skywalker, a story or redemption that echoes the story of Vador, a theme of “together, not alone”, and heartwarming moments to say goodbye to the hero’s we grew up with, including Carrie Fisher. Was her scenes piecemeal inserted into the movie? Yea, it was, and I don’t care. It was a lovely tribute to the Princess and the actor both. This was never going to be perfect, but it was as good as one could expect in wrapping up the legendary story of a generation. 
ScreenRant Pitch Meeting



5. A New Hope (1978)

The film that changed everything in modern Sci-Fi movies by borrowing heavily from camp of the Flash Gordon movies of the 30’s, from the WWII movies of the 60’s, and Joseph Campbell “The Hero’s Journey” that most modern story telling now borrows from. What set this movie apart was it’s under estimated value in a movie age of realism, a realistic effects team that did a great job of making you feel a part of the story, and ground-breaking special effects that looked like the most realistic space flight of the time.
Honest Trailers Review | CinemaSins Review

“I’m really high on cocaine right now, How about you guys?”



6. The Force Awakens (2015)

The movie that reintroduced Star Wars to a new generation. It wasn’t lost on me that the first words you hear in the movie is “This will begin to make things right again”. It felt like a small dig to what Lucas did with the Prequels that came out the decade before. The movie introduced new characters for us to follow while letting us find out what’s been happening to the hero’s of the past that we once loved and cheered for. The New Order has replaced the empire and everything feels like it’s starting over again, setting up the theme for the new movies: We keep fighting the same fight.
Honest Trailers Review | CinemaSins Review

See? The universe is diverse now.



7. Revenge of the Sith (2005)

The prequels were great for nostalgia and gave us a full circle in the story of Darth Vader, but overall, they were received by the fans with a luke-warm welcome after the joy of the first trailer wore off to the bitterness of pod racing and midichlorians. That being said, some of what happens in Revenge of the Sith is some of the best Star Wars moments in the franchise.
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“You can tell I’m the bad guy by how much whining I do.”



8. Return of the Jedi (1983)

The conclusion to the original saga, the fall of Darth Vader, the temptation of Luke to the dark side, the reunion of heros that we had followed with in the journey for good, the redemption of a villian, and a battle scene that surpassed the original film that blew our minds. Unfortunaltely it had murder bears who could say “yo mamma” and muppets that took too much screen time of this film.
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“Say my name”



9. Solo (2018)

Okay, we need to talk about this. I don’t hate this movie, there’s some fun things happening in it. It just beat you over the head with nostalgia to try and prove its bonafides as a Star Wars movie. The actors were great, the story was so-so, the origin story was un-needed. Mostly I just know now how Han and Lando met, how Han and Chewbacca met, how he got his gun, where the Millennium Falcon came from and why it’s shaped the way it is.

Honest Trailers Review | CinemaSins Review

“Hey baby, I always shoot first”



10. The Phantom Menace (1999)

Jar-Jar Binks. midichlorians, CGI that’s outdated faster than the special effects used in the films before it. Jar-Jar Binks, a battle scene where Jar-Jar Binks fumbled his way though and somehow came out the victor.
Pros: It revived something we all wanted, the Duel of the Fates in the third act was satisfying, and the soundtrack was as good as the original.
Honest Trailers Review | CinemaSins Review

Nobody liked Jar-Jar. Nobody.



11. The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

None of the film actors wanted to do this, No seriously, go find it on YouTube and watch Harrison Ford, no one has ever performed a more phoned-in performance. Carrie Fisher only agreed to do it if she could sing. Mark Hamill has a Dorothy Hamill (un-related) haircut. and Fisher later wrote about how high she was on Cocaine performing this live special. It has 70’s stars littered throughout the show and George Lucas himself tried to buy up every known copy and destroy it after it was aired.
Hilariocity Review | Actual Footage w Original Commercials

I included this mostly so you could know how much I hated Attack of the Clones.

“Hi, I’m Han Solo” (exits stage left)



12. Attack of the Clones (2002)

Trilogies usually mean the entire second movie serves as a second act where much of the story arc is explained and revealed. While this movie served that purpose, it was all over the place in its storytelling, and I was never sure on what exactly was going on and why I should care. I mean, cool, Jango Fett and all, but the final battle scenes were just terrible, along with the acting and my attention being captivated. I’m pretty sure Revenge of the Sith was a much better film because Lucas was scared he killed the franchise with this dog. This entire movie was born out of a throw away line in A New Hope “You fought with my father in the clone wars” (Luke says to Obi-Wan). After the trilogy was finished, Natalie Portman revealed that after making this movie, she thought she had ended her career.
Honest Trailers Review | CinemaSins Review

Isn’t this hilarious, aren’t you laughing?



So there it is. This list is subject to change with new movies and re-examination of the content after some time has passed. The last Jedi was in some ways the best Star Wars movie to date, but the whole Star Wars Vegas scene still wears on me, so maybe my opinions will change. Leave a comment if you disagree. 

Not ranked: 

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