Disney announced a few years ago that the fans would get a new Star Wars movie each year for the foreseeable future. Of the main trilogy, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have already been released, as has the Rogue One spin-off. And while some of the projects that are waiting to be released have encountered some production problems (Han Solo lost its directors in the middle of production, and the Star Wars: Episode IX director was fired), the future still looks bright.
It looks especially bright when you consider that a new trilogy that reportedly isn’t about the Skywalkers has already been announced.
So far, eight main-saga Star Wars movies have been released, along with a couple of spin-offs. Looking back, which of the films in release have made us even more hopeful for the future? In other words, which Star Wars movies were actually great, and which disappointed?
Honorable Mention: The Ewok Movies
George Lucas may be a genius for creating the Star Wars universe, but he did make some missteps, beginning with The Return of the Jedi. There was really no reason for the Ewok movies to exist, especially since the furry bipeds had no business being the focus of the last film in the original trilogy.
Plus, their very existence made the Stormtroopers look even more incompetent.
Nonetheless, two Ewok movies followed The Last Jedi. Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor both took place before the events of The Return of the Jedi and focus on the character Wicket W. Warrick.
As expected, critical reviews were less than effusive. However, we should note that these movies were children’s fantasies.
As they aren't canon – meaning they’re not included in the Star Wars Legends – they only qualify as a mention on this list.
Attack of the Clones
Obviously, we don’t expect you to believe that any of the other Star Wars movies could be as bad as 2002’s Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. At that point, people already had an idea of what direction the prequels would take. Nonetheless, even with less-than-great expectations, Attack of the Clones still managed to disappoint.
The movie is infamous for its extremely dodgy dialogue, which includes Anakin's hateful speech about sand.
Attack of the Clones also suffered from bad special effects. Lucas didn't have to worry about fully animating a unique character, but the movie was extremely CGI-heavy. And most of the time, that CGI didn't look great.
But the film’s subplots were its biggest problem. And some of the acting, even Ewan McGregor’s, left a bit to be desired.
Nonetheless, the movie introduced the Clones, who were actually great antagonists. So there’s at least that"¦
Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was the final installment of the prequel trilogy. When it came out, everyone knew what to expect. It didn't enjoy the same level of success as, for example, The Phantom Menace, but it had some really great moments.
Those moments included the opening space battle scene, which kept us glued to our seats, and even Anakin and Obi Wan’s final fight.
Like Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith was plagued with numerous moments that could be termed debatable. Hayden Christensen's acting wasn't on the same dismal level as before, but he was still the weakest link. But blame it on George Lucas; he was the director.
Ultimately, Lucas may have been the prequels’ worst problem. Maybe selling Star Wars to Disney will actually save the franchise.
The Phantom Menace
Of course, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace signaled that the franchise was headed in the wrong direction. And while some of its problems (bad acting, poor CGI) will continue in the sequels, The Phantom Menace is actually the best of the lot.
Although it introduced the Midi-chlorians, destroyed one of the Universe’s best myths, and introduced Jar Jar Binks, it also featured the prequel’s most amazing fight. In that scene, Darth Maul literally toyed with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
It was a great fight with a stupid conclusion. And Duel of the Fates still sounds as epic as it did the first time we heard it.
The Phantom Menace also featured the pod race, another great extended scene.
Was The Phantom Menace the best of the Prequels? We believe it was, although it marked the beginning of the end of George Lucas.
The Last Jedi
Even before Star Wars: Episode VII - The Last Jedi was released, it was announced that Rian Johnson would write and direct a new Star Wars trilogy after Episode IX. So, everyone was excited about last year's release.
Surprisingly, The Last Jedi was even more divisive than the first J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars movie, mainly because of the way it handled the character Luke Skywalker (even Mark Hamill said that he didn't recognize the The Last Jedi’s Luke).
Despite some mind-boggling scenes, Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi answered some burning questions and moved the franchise a bit further ahead toward an apparently explosive conclusion. Rey is now almost complete as a character, and Kylo Ren is the best antagonist this new trilogy could have had. J.J. Abrams will conclude the trilogy in 2019.
Return of the Jedi
The last installment of the original trilogy is also its most underwhelming. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi failed to live up to expectations. To some degree, after what came before it, that’s understandable (so we can almost forgive it for introducing the Ewoks).
Despite its flaws, it’s still a highly satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. In addition to the evolution of its characters, Return of the Jedi included some exciting action scenes (the speeder chase), offered plenty of quotable moments (Admiral Ackbar's It's a trap), and featured the original trilogy’s best special effects.
George Lucas "improved" it later using dodgy CGI, but ultimately, he didn't ruin it completely.
Surprised to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story so high on the list? Well, don't be, because Rogue One had what few other Star Wars movies had: courage. Nobody needed it in a movie that was made to explain a plot hole. Nonetheless, it surprised both critics and audiences. Unlike many other Disney movies, it actually went the distance and left no loose ends.
In the end, director Gareth Edwards made the right decision in killing off all of the main cast characters. It also expanded the Star Wars mythology by introducing the Guardians of the Whills through the amazing Chirrut ÃŽmwe.
Remember that feeling you had when you the original trilogy? Well, Rogue One also gave us that.
Almost everything went right with this movie, and we can’t help but wonder how it would have been if the battles teased in the trailers had actually made it to the big screen.
The Force Awakens
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens blew everybody's expectations right out of the water. It was more than just a monster box office hit; it was also a hit with the critics. Apparently, J.J. Abrams is great at resurrecting sci-fi/fantasy franchises.
Despite what many have said about plot points that were "borrowed" from the original trilogy, The Force Awakens is still one of the most entertaining movies of the last several years. Some things just didn’t work (Rey stands her ground against Kylo Ren), but we’re sure that Episode IX will clear everything up for us us.
The cast was excellent. Abrams united the old with the new, and provided us with one of the wildest twists we've seen in years (Han’s death). The special effects were top notch and a perfect complement to the action scenes.
The Force Awakens is so entertaining that it most definitely ranks among the Top Three Star Wars movies!
A New Hope
This is where everything began. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope marked the beginning of the saga, the movie that introduced us to the Skywalkers, and revealed that a long time ago, in a galaxy far away"¦Everything about it worked, and what didn't work was resolved later.
Of course, judging the movie’s special effects or action scenes today, A New Hope is less than tame (compare Darth Vader's Rogue One appearance with his battle with Obi Wan in A New Hope). But movies and entertainment are about more than just visuals; they’re also about the stories and emotions they convey.
Star Wars is about the fight between good and evil. Using fantasy elements, George Lucas made history and brought us new hope. Star Wars (as it was initially titled) changed the landscape of the industry forever.
But there’s one movie in the franchise that we feel is better"¦
The Empire Strikes Back
We’ve reached the point where we can tell you which Star Wars movie is our favorite.
We assume that it’s no great surprise that Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back is at the top of our list. If A New Hope marked the beginning, The Empire Strikes Back changed everything completely. It was a blockbuster in which the hero was defeated and lost a hand in the process!
This sequel also treated us to one of the biggest movie twists of all time when it revealed that the villain was the hero’s father! By the time the final credits rolled, we were all looking forward to seeing what would happen in the next episode.
StarWars was that era’s version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It all began with The Empire Strikes Back, or better yet, with the episode titled The Empire Strikes Back.
So what do you think? Is a different Star Wars movie your favorite?