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Ranking all of the ‘Star Wars’ films from worst to best 

The 'Star Wars' saga (Image via Lucasfilm/Disney)
The 'Star Wars' saga (Image via Lucasfilm/Disney)

Disney+ is set to release its new series, The Book of Boba Fett, on December 29, 2021. The Star Wars franchise is growing bigger and bigger with each piece of content being dropped.

Star Wars has been a big topic in pop culture since the late 1970s and has raised the ire of anyone discussing it. It has been so popular that it's been discussed by many celebrities that they would want to star in the franchise because they are die-hard fans.

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It’s only fair to look back at some of the highs and lows of the saga and evaluate which films are worth another watch and which are best left in a galaxy far, far away.

Here is a comprehensive ranking of all eleven live-action Star Wars films.

(Disclaimer: The article reflects the viewpoints of the author)


How do the ‘Star Wars’ films stack up against each other in the overall ranking of the franchise's installments?

11) The Rise of Skywalker

Kylo Ren and Rey battling it out in 'The Rise of Skywalker' (Image via Disney)
Kylo Ren and Rey battling it out in 'The Rise of Skywalker' (Image via Disney)

How does a film set such a high bar only to ruin every fans’ expectations? The Rise of Skywalker was able to do it and still make a profit. The film follows Rey as she continues her Jedi training and tries to take down Palpatine, who has apparently returned.

This is a perfect example of what happens when creators try to do too much in a film and end up missing key things. Palpatine returns only to be destroyed by some little girl, the main characters from the original trilogy are back and contribute nothing to the plot.

Additionally, the film adds more plot holes rather than answering fans’ burning questions. It, more or less, recycles material from older films and tries to make up for it with spectacle. However, in this case, bigger is definitely not better and the ending when Rey changes her name to Skywalker will make fans roll their eyes.


10) Solo

The cast of 'Solo' (Image via Disney)
The cast of 'Solo' (Image via Disney)

This is a Star Wars movie that flew under the radar for many fans because it bombed so badly at the box office. The film follows a young Han Solo and the origins of how he and Chewbacca met, and where his smuggler identity came from.

On paper, this would have been a great addition to Star Wars but it failed to resonate with most moviegoers and ended up being a disappointment in the canon. What’s more disappointing is the fact that the majority of the film was overshadowed by Darth Maul's cameo.

The cameo could have been seen as a plus, but it was so jaw-dropping that it made the rest of the film incredibly mediocre.


9) The Last Jedi

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in 'The Last Jedi' (Image via Disney)
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in 'The Last Jedi' (Image via Disney)

Much like The Rise of Skywalker, this installment of Star Wars had a lot riding on it and it could have been a really great film, if it wasn’t bogged down by mediocre writing.

For example, Leia using the force to magically levitate her body to the ship, or its obvious derivative take on Empire Strikes Back. Or maybe it could be something worse. It’s probably so divided among critics and fans because it takes classic characters and disposes of their personalities and what they learned in the original trilogy to let these young ones take their place.

Letting someone like Rey take the place of someone like Luke Skywalker is something that viewers will take note of. Fans will not be pleased and they weren’t.

At least Jar-Jar Binks wasn’t the star of the movie [insert laugh track].


8) Attack of the Clones

Padme and Anakin in 'Attack of the Clones' (Image via Lucasfilm)
Padme and Anakin in 'Attack of the Clones' (Image via Lucasfilm)

Some time ago, many fans deemed this the worst Star Wars film and it isn’t great. However, after Disney made its fair share of films, that spot was taken by a few others. That doesn't mean this film is without error.

The writing and dialogue deserves another article by itself and the whole sand bit still lives in fans' heads rent-free, but only as an annoying reminder of the subpar writing.

There are a lot of things the film gets wrong but it still has moments of heart and awe. John Williams' romantic score is unparalleled and the scene where Anakin cradles his dead mother in his arms will always leave fans teary-eyed.

To its credit, the creators did give the battle sequences a much-needed upgrade.


7) The Force Awakens

BB-8, Fin and Rey in 'The Force Awakens' (Image via Disney)
BB-8, Fin and Rey in 'The Force Awakens' (Image via Disney)

This was a solid entry during the beginning of Disney's Star Wars empire. It might have worked as a good base if Disney had had a cohesive plan with the following films. Things sort of fell apart when fans realized that the film was almost a copy-and-paste of A New Hope.

It nevertheless had compelling action scenes, and sequences of genuine heart and wit. It did work as a decent step-off point in the Disney canon, but it’s still haunted by the ghosts of its inferior sequels.

And while Adam Driver gives a strong performance as Kylo Ren, he is still seen as a Darth Vader who succumbs to temper tantrums too often. Ren praying to Vader even seems like Star Wars' sequel trilogy has already come to terms with the fact that they are inferior to most other movies.


6) The Phantom Menace

Darth Maul as he appeared in 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' (Image via Lucasfilm)
Darth Maul as he appeared in 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace' (Image via Lucasfilm)

Admittedly, like Attack of the Clones, this film suffered from a somewhat hampered script. Luckily, the film is partially saved by its sense of adventure, Liam Neeson's star power and charisma, and Ewan McGregor’s performance as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi.

This film in the Star Wars franchise initially received mixed reviews when it premiered in theaters. However, public opinion has softened over time and the fanbase has decided to cut The Phantom Menace some slack. Who could forget that this is the same movie that gave fans the epic "Duel of the Fates" soundtrack/sequence?

Technically speaking, this movie is a classic and it would have been higher up on the list if it weren’t for that pesky Jar-Jar Binks and his antics.


5) A New Hope

The cast of 'A New Hope' (Image via Lucasfilm)
The cast of 'A New Hope' (Image via Lucasfilm)

This is the movie that really started it all for the Star Wars franchise. It was beautifully shot and remains a staple in science-fiction. It introduced fans to Luke Skywalker, Ben Kenobi, Han Solo, and the big villain of the 20th century, Darth Vader.

This is an example of a classic film doing little to overcomplicate things in the process. The old 'less-is-more' saying resonates strongly with this film. The only downside to the film is, with the demand for louder, faster, and edgier films, it gets a little slow to rewatch in some places. That isn’t to say that it’s a bad film.

It’s a simple film that made fans fall in love with Star Wars.


4) Rogue One

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in the first standalone 'Star Wars' film 'Rogue One' (Image via Disney)
Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in the first standalone 'Star Wars' film 'Rogue One' (Image via Disney)

This is one of Disney’s creations that actually has some merit to its name and worked incredibly well as a standalone Star Wars creation. In this iteration, fans find out how the plans for the Galactic Empire were stolen by the Rebellion.

This is a Star Wars film by Disney that worked well because it felt as if there was very little studio interference that could have fouled up the writing. It’s straightforward, has its own dark sense of adventure, and CG Tarkin is magnificent to behold.

It might seem out of place for Felicity Jones to star in this franchise, but it makes for some entertaining cinema. Also who could forget Vader slicing through Rebel soldiers like butter?


3) Return of the Jedi

The Skywalker family reunion of Star Wars (Image via Lucasfilm)
The Skywalker family reunion of Star Wars (Image via Lucasfilm)

This film was seen as the weaker of the three in Star Wars' original trilogy. However, it’s better than people give it credit. The thrills have improved from A New Hope and it is darker than most films in the franchise.

More than that, with some re-evaluation, it proves to be a film about second chances, family, and redeeming yourself in the darkest of times. The audience is first introduced to Vader maskless, showing his deformity that he had previously incurred on Mustafar.

Not only that, but fans see Vader’s sensitive side and furthering the argument that the man behind the mask and armor is still a man.


2) The Empire Strikes Back

Vader as he looked in "The Empire Strikes Back" (Image via Lucasfilm)
Vader as he looked in "The Empire Strikes Back" (Image via Lucasfilm)

Understandably, this film is seen as the definitive Star Wars movie and with very good reason to believe so. This entry brought about the themes of light and dark, and did it with heartbreaking themes and wondrous splendor that very few science-fiction films have been able to achieve.

Fans also had their mouths agape when they found out that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father. The film has been ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and deservedly so.

However, all of that recognition doesn't mean that it is the best Star Wars film.


1) Revenge of the sith

Hayden Christiansen as Anakin Skywalker (Image via Lucasfilm)
Hayden Christiansen as Anakin Skywalker (Image via Lucasfilm)

A movie that had everything a Star Wars fan could ask for. It was fast-paced, action-packed and compelling. It detailed the tragic downfall of Anakin Skywalker and his descent into the dark side. Moreover, it explains hidden lore that was never explored before in the Star Wars universe.

This film works as an assessment of forbidden love that was never meant to be. It’s a Greek tragedy that never gets old to watch and rewatch.

Fans can debate all day on which film is the best, but when it comes to impactful storytelling, explosive action, heartfelt themes, and resonating duels, Revenge of the Sith stands among the others as the greatest, and is the true star of the Star Wars franchise.

Poll : Which film is the best in 'Star Wars'?

Revenge of the Sith

The Empire Strikes Back

69 votes

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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