Considering the incredible history and popularity of Star Wars franchise, it can be difficult to choose the best film. There are some obvious favorites and some that longtime fans know less than but the ratings everyone has usually differ from top to bottom.
Fortunately, these fans have gone to Ranker to choose which one Star Wars films they believe are truly the best. While this isn’t a definitive rating of the franchise, it’s a good way to gauge how thousands of passionate fans feel about the live-action film, whether you agree or disagree.
11 Episode IX: Rise of the Skywalker (2019)
After the divisive Episode VIII, it looks like JJ Abrams and the team behind the sequel trilogy are trying to change too much. Because fans weren’t happy with the previous film, Rise of Skywalker go in the exact opposite direction.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work because it meant the sequel trilogy made no sense. It’s always an uphill task to complete the Skywalker Saga and while it brings the iconic Jedi voice in the final confrontation, fans clearly still have a big problem with it.
10 Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
As noted, The Last Jedi dividing audiences everywhere. It has a great Rotten Tomatoes rating but the audience doesn’t care. The main issue mentioned is that it doesn’t fully line up with the previous film and it distracts from beloved characters like Poe and Finn with lackluster side stories.
On the other hand, most agree that the storyline between Rey and Kylo is well done, giving fans a new connection between the Jedi that hasn’t been explored yet. Despite his low ratings among franchises, there’s no doubting the gorgeous visuals that Rian Johnson brings to things.
9 Episode II: Clone Attack (2002)
Long before the sequel trilogy was opposed by fans, it was the prequel that drew a lot of attention. Clone Attack sort of doubles down on some of the issues fans had with Episode I including things like focusing too much on the political side of the story.
While the love story between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala is central to the franchise, many agree that it doesn’t work in this film. This is also Star Wars a film that didn’t hold up well considering the CGI of the time.
8 Episode I: The Ghost Threat (1999)
It’s hard to think of a movie that has more excitement behind it than Phantom Threat. Fans have been waiting over two decades for more Star Wars but when it finally happened, it couldn’t live up to the high expectations.
There is a strong aspect here with the most notable being the spectacular lightsaber fight between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Darth Maul. Unfortunately, the audience couldn’t keep up with things like the midi-chlorian concept, young Anakin’s writing/acting, and his political side.
7 Solo: The Star Wars Story (2018)
After Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, they made the non-canon Legends book and released a trilogy of sequels along with several films alongside it. The second one is Solowhich tells the origin story of the iconic Han Solo.
The film was met with positive reviews and worked as a delightful Western space led by a strong cast, with Donald Glover and Emilia Clarke prominent. The problem is Han Solo is a character that doesn’t need to be told because it’s better to be mysterious. It also didn’t help that the film ended up being a massive box office failure.
6 Episode VII: Awakening Power (2015)
The sequel trilogy will always be a big hit in terms of box office numbers but it will be difficult to pull off. It’s almost impossible to bring the original film to life and it’s also hard to erase what fans of the Legends timeline loved and try to do something better.
For most of the, The Power of Awakening successful and widely seen as the best entry in the sequel trilogy. It touches on familiar aspects of the original 1977 but provides a great introduction to Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo while also paying homage to Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and Luke.
5 Episode III: Sith’s Revenge (2005)
Whatever problems people have with the prequel trilogy, most agree that the third installment is the best. In many ways, Episodes I and II could be one film, while Sith’s Revenge has enough story to fill two films, with most being very important.
It features the execution of Order 66, the story of Darth Plageius, and Anakin’s final fall to the dark side of the Force. It all culminated with the emotionally driven and engaging lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin that fans are still talking about today.
4 Rogue One: The Star Wars Story (2016)
While the sequel and prequel trilogy had their detractors, the majority Star Wars fans agree that Villain One is the best film in the Disney era franchise. On paper, this seems unnecessary as it tells the story of the group that stole the previous Death Star plans. A new hope.
However, it ends up making for a fantastic adventure story led by a talented player. Some of the combat sequences feel fresh to the series, the characters are fun and tragic, and there’s an emotional pull to everything that captivates audiences. Plus, it features incredible Darth Vader scenes.
3 Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Of course, longtime fans of the franchise ended up picking the original trilogy as the best of the bunch. Return of the Jedi should close the storylines spread across two of the most iconic and well-received films of all time.
With a lot of weight on his shoulders, it mostly worked. Some fans didn’t like the scenes in Endor with the Ewoks but the Vader/Luke/Sidious stories are some of the best Star Wars story in history.
2 Episode IV: New Hope (1977)
It can be very difficult to beat the original. In 1977, Star Wars game-changing with innovative special effects, a gripping story, and characters that quickly become lovable. For many fans, this is still considered the best and they don’t even need a sequel.
From the acceptable introduction of Luke Skywalker to the hottest man in Han Solo to the badass woman in Princess Leia to the menacing villain in Darth Vader, this film sets the tone for the future. Without it, the entire pop culture landscape would look very different.
1 Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
It takes a lot to fix a debut which is a pivotal moment in cinema history but Kingdom strikes back somehow do that. It keeps things that worked in the first film but builds on top of that to perfect a galaxy that will only get much deeper over the decades.
Knowledge is expanded and legendary characters such as Yoda, Lando Calrissian, and Boba Fett are introduced. The revelation that Darth Vader is Luke’s father remains one of the best plot twists in history and the fact that it ended in the bad guy’s victory was an incredible decision and somewhat unheard of at the time.
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