In light of the new Star Wars trailer and the on-going fan-fueled discussions I’ve had at work this week, I’ve decided to rank the original six Star War films in order from worst to best. The upcoming installment, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, slated for a Christmas release has every Star Wars fan foaming at the mouth in anticipation. The trailer not only teases the return of one of the best movie franchises of all-time, but also a return of some of our favorite characters from the previous six films. In true, Star Wars nerd honor, I’m showing my respect and excitement for the upcoming film by ranking its predecessors.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
I believe this is a unanimous pick amongst fans as the worst of all the films. The prequels or newest trilogy (however you’d like to decipher them) are viewed as the weaker set of films in comparison to the original movies. However, Episode II takes the cake as the absolute worst. We get to see the behind the scenes mastermind work of Senator Palpatine, but that’s about the only positive we get out of this one. The Yoda vs. Count Dooku fight is a kind of take or leave it thing between fans and the final battle may have been one of the lamest things I have ever seen on film, let alone a Star Wars film.
Episode IV: A New Hope
I know I’m going to get a lot of slack for this, but to me A New Hope is a rather weak film. For starters, it is a rather slowly developing film that drags on. Granted that is partial to how film making was back in the 70s, but to me unless you’re already a Star Wars fan, A New Hope can be a little brutal to watch. It does not stand the test of time as much as we all want to believe it does. I know, it is the first and yes it introduced the world to Star Wars, but sometimes the original isn’t always the best. I don’t think any one of us would ever take the original Terminator over T2 – just saying.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Darth Maul and podracing, without those two things, The Phantom Menace is falling right behind Attack of the Clones. The podracing scene is by far one of the coolest scenes in the movie and helped introduce a whole new generation to Star Wars in an extremely exciting fashion. Fans that grew up with the original trilogy expected so much from this film and it definitely fell flat at times (i.e. Jar Jar Binks), but what everyone forgets is that it also helped introduce an entirely new generation to the Star Wars franchise. Even though, I saw the original trilogy before I saw Episode I, I still consider the prequels my generation’s trilogy (after all I was in grade school when it came out) and perhaps that is also why I put it ahead of the original. And again I can’t stress it enough – Darth Maul. He was one of the most badass Sith of all-time and definitely helped propel this movie over the original on my list. To be fair, I do believe this film gets a lot of unnecessary slack from older fans because of the hype leading up to it. Let’s hope The Force Awakens does not succumb to the same ill fate.
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Easily the best out of the prequel lot; fans get to see Anakin Skywalker take that final turn and become the baddest villain in the galaxy, Darth Vader. The movie still has a little clunky dialogue and the flat acting that plagued all three of the newer films, but it still is an all around solid and entertaining movie. The final half hour – Mace Windu vs. the Emperor, Yoda’s last ditch effort, and of course Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Anakin, those scenes alone propel this movie into the top three.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Ewoks. The freakin’ ewoks. Without those little demonic furries, I may very well put Return of the Jedi at my number one spot. Unfortunately, the fact that a race that was outnumbered and at a technological disadvantage somehow managed to help the Rebel Alliance defeat the Galactic Empire is still beyond me; the whole cowboys vs. Indians theme of the movie still agitates me. Other than that, the film is epic.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
It is simply the best. The scenes, the memorable moments – The Empire Strikes Back is quite possibly the Star Wars film that sticks with everyone not just fans. Planet Hoth, Cloud City, Bobba Fett, Luke’s training with Yoda, the list goes on and on – it embodies everything we all love about Star Wars.
Let’s hope Episode VII can live up to the hype and perhaps even supplant The Empire Strikes Back as the best Star Wars film to date. What’s your favorite Star Wars film to date?