I Rank All 9 Star Wars Movies

So you may or may not know this about me, but I am a big Star Wars fan. I know I don’t publicize it that much. But Star Wars has a very special place in my heart. When I was a kid, me and my brother and sister and our friends would play Star Wars and I was always R2D2. Do I have credibility now? Yes? Fantastic.

So now that there are a bajillion Star Wars movies out, and they have a wide range in tone and style, I am going to rank them from least favorite to favorite…because I can. I recognize my decisions might cause some of you much joy, or much agony. But I promise to be respectful and considerate, so hopefully war will not break out in the universe. (I’m sorry if we don’t agree on a few…hopefully we can still be friends!!!!)

Disclaimer: I did not overthink this. I rated them all by gut instinct in about 2 minutes. And yes, some of the reasons are arbitrary and wildly subjective. But this is MY blog, so I have the right to do things like that.

9. Rogue One

Sorry guys. I had to do it. I really wanted to like this movie. But the themes were confusing to me and the characters underdeveloped.

What I loved: The beach battle scene with the AT-ATs was AMAZING

What I did not love so much: The good guys acting like bad guys (I’m looking at you, Cassian Andor. Why’d you kill that guy at the beginning? Grrr)

What I wanted more of: Backstory and character development of the blind guy. He was like the most interesting character in the movie. Jyn’s father. He was like the most compelling character and he got no screen time.

8. Revenge of the Sith 

I didn’t hate this one. I actually really enjoyed it in theaters. It just isn’t one that I rewatch, like ever, and you can read why below.

What I loved: Lots of heavy emotion. They made me really care about Anakin. And the scene where Obi Wan says, “You were the chosen one!” was heartbreaking.

What I did not love so much: I just don’t want to watch a character descend into darkness and a republic fall apart, over and over again. They didn’t give it much reason to stand on its own.

What I wanted more of: Maybe an intriguing side plot, or remarkable insight, something to make the movie worth watching again.

7. Attack of the Clones

What I loved: The politics were actually super interesting. I loved the rainy planet of Kamino. And what I love most is that this movie spawned the animated TV series: The Clone Wars. It’s fantastic! If you haven’t seen it, you have to check it out.

What I did not love so much: Hadyn Christenson and Natalie Portman’s acting/the script. It wasn’t so bad the first time, but some of those lines get worse the more I rewatch the movie.

What I wanted more of: Obi Wan Kenobi. And the musical score.

6. The Last Jedi 

I enjoyed this one a lot. There was a lot to like. But it did not blow me away. And it ranks just below The Force Awakens for reasons that shall soon become clear.

What I loved:  The opening battle was incredible. Kylo Ren. The porgs were fun. The crystal critters were beautiful. Rey and Kylo versus the red guard was great. I didn’t expect to, but I actually really enjoyed Vice Admiral Holdo and her understated leadership style and how she sacrificed herself without a show. Rose was adorable.

What I did not love so much: It just did not have a “wow” factor for me. Although it wasn’t awful, I did not LOVE the way they handled Luke’s character. Yes, the scene where he faced down the First Order all by himself was pretty iconic…but then I felt a little cheated because he was projecting himself. Don’t get me wrong, it was a cool twist. But then he died. So that was it. I just would’ve wanted his last moments to be a little more…

What I wanted more of: I wanted a bit more of a character arc for Rey. I wanted so much more from Luke. I wanted Finn and Rose’s trip to not be a complete waste. I wanted something fresh and personally moving.

5. The Force Awakens 

I liked that it stayed traditional and paid homage to the original movies, while establishing new characters. Really, the presence of Han Solo is what gives this movie the edge over The Last Jedi in the rankings.

What I loved: Han Solo magic. He really adds so much to the film. The subtleties of Rey’s character: she is strong and brave, but a bit naive. She is just refreshingly different from a lot of female characters out there, especially in action movies. There were some great one-liners. And the X-Wings flying across the water was a pretty iconic scene. Kylo Ren showed some new powers with the force which were quite cool. And his voice through the mask was creepy cool.

What I did not love so much: Almost too predictable: mentor figure Han dying in front of Rey’s eyes, a planet-destroying weapon, a Jedi orphan raised in the desert etc. But that was really my only complaint with this one.

What I wanted more of: Originality. Han Solo.

4. The Phantom Menace

I know some of you may be throwing a fit that I ranked this one above The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. But I do what I want. Keep reading.

What I loved: The lightsaber fight between Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wann Kenobi, and Darth Maul, set to the musical number known as “Duel of the Fates” is one of the most iconic scenes to ever come out of the Star Wars franchise. Seriously, go watch it now. Aside from that, the worldbuilding of this movie was really quite breathtaking, from Coruscant to Naboo, to the underwater Gungan cities, to the pod racing on Tatooine. This movie also set up Obi-Wan Kenobi as the dry, sarcastic Jedi Knight we all know and love today (older Obi-Wan was less snarky).

What I did not love so much: Jar Jar Binks. Some of the acting. A focus more on politics and worldbuilding than character development.

What I wanted more of: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Characters I could relate to (I think these were supposed to be Anakin and Padme Amidala but they fell short). Maybe some real emotions of fear and vulnerability.

Incidentally, people have this whole theory of how George Lucas used the three prequels to mirror the original Star Wars trilogy. It is called the ring theory. If it is true, it is pretty darn impressive and not to be discounted. But sometimes with these things, I suspect the fans are seeing things that aren’t there. If you are a Star Wars fan, you should definitely go read about it.

3. A New Hope

A lighthearted adventure, with real emotional undertones, which had believable danger and stakes, but was still safe enough for a seven-year-old to watch (me).

What I loved: The characters: Han, Luke, Leia. The wonder. The sarcasm. The stakes. The impossible odds. The good guys winning. The soundtrack. Snarky little R2D2 paired up with pessimistic C-3PO. A princess who was a leader and fought her own battles.

What I did not love so much: If I was evaluating this as a seven-year-old, I would say the scene in the Cantina scared me. But I will try to evaluate this objectively as an adult. There isn’t a lot of backstory on the characters, aside from Luke, and he seems to get over his aunt and uncle’s death quicker than Obi-Wan’s. I’m sure I could find other flaws with it, but I don’t wanna. People may call it simplistic in its betrayal of good and evil, or unrealistic because it doesn’t delve into character’s reactions and feelings too much. But I love it. I think it hits all the perfect notes for a family-friendly scifi adventure.

What I wanted more of: I always wanted Obi-Wan to live a little longer.

2. The Empire Strikes Back

So I know a lot of people say this was the best movie of the original trilogy. It was good and I do love it, but for some reason, I will always rank those first three movies by the order I saw them in. To me they just got better and better. And it is hard for me to think of The Empire Strikes Back without immediately thinking of The Last Jedi and how the story ends. Really these two could probably be tied for first place.

What I loved: The battle on Hoth in the snow. Leia and Han bickering. Cloud city. Luke’s journey. Luke fighting Darth Vader in cloud city. That iconic scene where Darth Vader admits: “I am your father.” How it ends bittersweet, but with hope.

What I did not love so much: Don’t make me do this. You KNOW this is one of my favorites cause it’s rated in the top two. Umm…I guess I always wished Luke spent more time with Leia and Han in this one. He’s off by himself a lot (but I guess that is seven-year-old me talking again).

What I wanted more of: EVERYTHING. Because it was amazing.

1. The Return of the Jedi

Why is this first, you ask? Well, as I admitted before, it holds weight simply because it was the last chapter in an epic story. But I also have a confession to make: Luke is my favorite character. Maybe you figured that out already.

What I loved: The escape from Jabba the Hut with all the dynamics. The more mature, Jedi-Knight Luke. The multi-piece climax is still one of my all-time favorites in cinematic history: Han and Leia are in the battle on Endor, WHILE Lando is leading one of the most epic space battles in the franchise, WHILE Luke is confronting Vader and the Emperor. The timing between switching back and forth was masterful. And did I mention that “Into the Trap” is another one of my all time favorite pieces by John Williams? Go listen to it and just wait until you get to the 1:00 minute mark. OMG it still gives me feels.

What I did not love so much: I loved the Ewoks when I was little and I am still fond of them. But I can see why people might be annoyed with them. And I will concede there are some scenes with some less-than-stellar acting.

What I wanted more of: I love it, I love it, I love it. Yes, I am biased because I grew up with these movies. But I don’t care.

If I didn’t do justice to one of your favs, please defend it in the comments below! When I hear people talk about why they love a movie so much, it actually makes me rethink about it with another perspective! So change my mind. 

11 Replies to “I Rank All 9 Star Wars Movies”

  1. Ooh, interesting! I actually have a fairly different rankings list from yours (Though I do agree with you on Rogue One. The characters were rather flat and forgettable) but I can definitely understand your perspective 😀
    Personally, I’d say that Attack of the Clones would have to be my least favorite and The Empire Strikes Back+ The Last Jedi are tied for my favorite. The Attack of the Clones had a lot going for it, but I just couldn’t get past the romance between Padme and Anakin it felt like a disgusting bad boy and weak girl romance *hurls*
    And the reasons I like The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back so much is because I just feel like they were the best crafted. ESB had some phenonmenal character development as well as a very cleanly executed story and possibly the most iconic fight scene I’ve ever seen. Plus I thought it did a great job of expanding the galaxy and juggling all the different subplots without feeling overwhelming.
    As for The Last Jedi, I just really loved it because of how gutsy it was. I think the problem with a lot of spinoff series is that in the midst of creating a new story arc with new characters, most of the original people are an afterthought and just develop into a whole lot of flatness. Which is why I’m so pleased with what they’ve done with the original trio! I appreciate how they’ve made them change a little and given them completely new dillemas and conflicts. It made them feel more deep and realistic in a way, and kept them from being overlooked and pushed into the background. I also really love how they gave the new characters more full arcs in this one. Finn was able to stand on his own and become a bit more of a leader in this one, Poe was able to look beyond his own recklessness and learn a bit more about wisdom, and I especially loved Rey’s arc, because while her parentage reveal was a little disappointing, I thought it worked well as it finally allowed her to look beyond her heritage and become her own person (Sorry, I’m not trying to be condescending and explain their arcs to you. I’m just thinking out loud XD.

    And I totally agree with you about Clone Wars! It’s a fantastic show! Honestly, I think I actually might favor Clone Wars and Rebels over the movies!

    Sorry about the huge thread. I just had a lot of thoughts on it XD.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing! I love hearing your thoughts and they are not condescending at all. Poe definitely did learn a lot in “The Last Jedi” and I’m actually really curious to see what they do with him in the next one.

      I have to admit though, that I’m suspicious about Rey’s “parent reveal.” Please note that we never saw their faces. Kylo pried Rey to admit that she knew all along that “They were nobody.” But…do we trust Kylo? I still have suspicions…

      1. Hmm, that’s very true too! I tend to believe that Kylo was telling the truth though, simply because it seemed to me like Rey had known it a long time. Then again though, I could have just misinterpreted it or Kylo might have done some force mind trick thing too *shrugs* I guess we won’t know for sure till episode 9 😀

  2. So cool!!! I love seeing other people rate the Star Wars movies. Empire Strikes Back is hands down my favorite. I have never heard of the ring theory before, so I clicked the link and read it and OH MY GOODNESS. I am in love. 😀 I have so much more appreciation for the six movies now, particularly the prequels, and the intricate storytelling is really fueling my inspiration now. 😀 New favorite theory, right here! And it makes so much sense!

    1. I’m so glad you checked it out! My brother showed it to me and it BLEW MY MIND. You have to go and rewatch them all now and think about the INTRICACY!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Yes! Star Wars!! I’m always happy to defend my faves 🙂
    I loved Rogue one. I liked how they took a risk to make it not ‘feel’ like a Star Wars movie, what with the slower pace, the lack of Jedi and lightsabers, and the more ‘gray’ characters. Plus, I loved the visuals and seeing star wars tech mixed with more natural scenery, like the star destroyer in the sky over the desert planet, or the beach fight. Finally, I LOVED the relationship between Jyn and Cassian, and the almost-romance-but-wrong-time. That was actually what I focused on in my review of Rogue One on my blog, if you’re interested: https://justiceandwriteousness.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/rogue-one-writing-relationships-no-not-that-kind/.

    I agree with what you said about the prequels, especially Revenge of the Sith. It’s so hopeless. There’s little point in rewatching it. Also, I hate how the prequels twisted a lot of what was implied in the original trilogy, from how the force works to Anakin’s backstory.

    I really liked the main theme of the last jedi and the balance between Rey and Kylo Ren (they were the focus of /that/ review on my blog, again, if you’re interested: https://justiceandwriteousness.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/star-wars-episode-viii-the-last-jedi-complementary-characters/ ). But it was too much of a mixed bag overall to place much higher on my list (though I’d still put it over Phantom Menace).

    Return of the Jedi is my favorite, too! It doesn’t get as much love as the other two originals, so I’m happy to see someone else likes it best 🙂 I love Vader’s redemption in it. I’m a sucker for redemption arcs.

    Wow, that was a long reply. Thank you for the fun post (and the invite to debate. Always appreciated)!

    1. Love your thoughts!!!! Rogue One did have some great aesthetics. And I do agree I was fascinated by the Rey and Kylo dynamics in the Last Jedi. So glad to find another fan of “Return of the Jedi!” High five!!!

  4. My rankings:

    9) Attack of the Clones–Hate this movie. The romance (which is pretty the central plot of the movie) makes my stomach curl. At least it has a few cool action scenes. 2/10.
    8) Phantom Menace–Quigon’s awesome. Otherwise, the film just feels kind of bland. 4/10
    7) Rogue One–Stellar concept and a fantastically daring ending. Horrendous characterization. 6/10
    6) A New Hope–It’s a good movie. I just don’t find it particularly engaging for some reason. *shrugs* 7/10
    5) Force Awakens–I love the new set-up and the new characters. While it feels like a smoother movie than A New Hope to me, it mirrors the former’s plot too much to really be an all-time great. 8.5/10
    4) Return of the Jedi–It’s pretty great. My only real gripe is that I don’t understand what’s going through Darth Vader’s head when he kills the Emporer. I don’t really understand or relate to his redemption story. 8.5/10
    3) Revenge of the Sith–I really dig the dark undertones and the characterization of Obi-Wan and Akina in this movie. The Emporer’s scheming is fascinating. I think the film’s underrated because its predecessors were so disappointing. 8.5/10
    2) Empire Strikes Back–One of the greatest sequels of all-time! 9/10
    1) The Last Jedi–I thought all the characters (except Rose) were astoundingly well developed and relatable. I loved how no one was fully good or bad. I was fascinated by the dynamics between Poe and the purple-haired lady. There was a lot going on without being overbearing. I pretty much lost my mind when Kylo killed Snoke, and he and Rey started fighting the guards. And, sorry, but I personally thought Luke was way, way more interesting in TLJ than the original trilogy. The only thing I hated was the love triangle set-up. If Finn ends up with Rose, I might have to knock this film down a few pegs! xD 9/10

    1. Haha! I also really enjoyed the dynamics between Poe and Vice Admiral Haldo (the purple haired lady). And I loved how she appeared “weak” at first, but then we found out how strong and brave she is!

      Thanks for chiming in!!

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