Gavin’s Star Wars Movie Rankings (Star Wars Day)
It's Star Wars Day which means it time to revisit my Star Wars movie rankings!
In a galaxy far, far away... Those are words that resonate with everyone (except for The Rob who has never seen Star Wars and refuses to watch them). I grew up watching the Star Wars movies on a near constant loop so they all have a special place in my heart. However, some have a special-er place in my heart so here is my ranking of the Star Wars films!
8. Attack of the Clones
Episode I: The Phantom Menace was not what Star Wars fans waited almost 20 years for which meant Episode II had a lot to live up to. And it didn't do that. This movie is just bad. When it came out, I thought it was great, but I was 15 and thought everything was great. Upon re-watching, the movie is so slow and tries to cram in too much lore that ultimately leads up to nothing. Also, who could forget Anakin at his most emo? I hear he still doesn't like sand.
7. The Phantom Menace
Most people put this as the worst Star Wars movie, and while it isn't good, it does have some redeeming qualities. For instance, DARTH ****ING MAUL. This dude was a badass and is still a fan-favorite character. I still think the prequel trilogy would have gone much different had they built up Darth Maul throughout the films and not kill him off immediately. The Pod Race scene was pretty fun, too. And yeah, I know Jar Jar is still the worst.
6: A New Hope
Yes, I know that this is the film that started it all. And I am forever grateful for that. A New Hope just doesn't do it for me like the other films do. I love this movie, I truly do. The pacing of the film is damn near perfect and it's totally creative in its introduction of characters. I just can't place it higher because that lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan and Vader is just so clunky. Is that a petty reason? Probably, but that doesn't make that fight any less awkward.
5: Revenge of the Sith
This was the prequel we all wanted to see: the fall of the Jedi, Anakin truly turning to the Dark Side, and the birth of the twins. This movie delivered on all fronts. It was the first Star Wars movie to be rated PG-13 so we knew going in how dark it was going to be. Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader was far from perfect (dude was talked into killing everyone after a conversation at a weird space opera), but it still happened and showed how evil Anakin could be. RIP adorable younglings.
4: Return of the Jedi
Most people consider this the weakest of the original trilogy and that is certainly a valid argument. The adorable teddy bear-like Ewoks were off-putting to many who felt the movie was more aimed at kids. Personally, I love the Ewoks because they are adorable and huggable, and dammit, I want one. Luke Skywalker is the most interesting in this movie and you truly believe he might go to the Dark Side. In another lightsaber related note, Luke's lightsaber in ROTJ is my favorite color (and favorite hilt design) which means ROTJ gets a high ranking.
3: Rogue One
Last years Star Wars spin-off Rogue One was everything a spin-off movie should be. Not only did it tell a compelling story (and fix one of the most questionable plot holes of the entire series) but it also showed the horror of the war that goes into Star Wars. Even though you already knew most of the outcome, there was still a sense of shock on how it all went down. Rogue One is definitely the darkest entry into Star Wars series since Empire Strikes Back. If you haven't had a chance to see this yet, please do yourself a favor and check it out. It's great.
2. The Force Awakens
Star Wars fans thought that the movie universe of Star Wars ended with Revenge of the Sith back in 2005. It wasn't until Disney's acquisition of Star Wars in 2012 that fans realized that HOLY **** THEY ARE GONNA MAKE MORE MOVIES! On ongoing theme of these rankings is that fans didn't love the prequels. There was justified skepticism on whether or not any new Disney-produced Star Wars films would be able to succeed. When The Force Awakens was finally released, fans were thrilled that director J.J. Abrams managed to infuse fun back into the series. And while it may seem like sacrilege to rank The Force Awakens higher than A New Hope (a film that followed the same structure as Awakens), I feel that Force Awakens is overall a better film.
1. The Empire Strikes Back
I know it's cliche to put Empire Strikes Back at number 1 (as everyone seems to do), but this movie is perfect. It demonstrated that a sequel can be better than the original and that you can make creatively darker choices without alienating your audience. Empire is where many of Star Wars' most iconic characters debuted. We are forever in debt to this film for giving us Boba Fett (even if his first appearance was technically in that garbage Holiday Special) and Lando Calrissian. This movie also has one of the all-time great twists. This movie is wonderful and it will take a lot to top it.
Those are my rankings. Are they 100% correct? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless of which movie is ranked over which movie, I love Star Wars and will continue to love Star Wars. I cannot wait until Episode VIII is released later this year and we'll see if Empire can finally be topped! Happy Star Wars Day everyone!