May the 4th Be With You: All Star Wars Films Ranked!
OK, here’s the Bowie connection: “Star Wars actor Mark Hamill revealed a connection between the original 1977 movie and David Bowie. Hamill related a ‘fun fact’ tweet, noting that he’d gone inside a papier-mache creature on the set in 1976, and discovered that one of the newspapers from which the prop had been built carried a review of a Bowie concert.” This is from an April 2, 2018 article from UCR, which I’ll link to here.
So with that as an excuse, and with this being “Star Wars Day” (see the title of this blog entry), here’s my ranking of every live action, theatrical Star Wars movie!!!!
1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The best sequel ever — Godfather II included! The first movie I ever remember in which the bad guys win! Plus, Boba Fett!
2. Star Wars (1977). Could there have been a better year to be an eight-year-old boy than 1977? Before this movie, Godzilla was where it was at. There’s a reason this makes all lists of best movies of all time.
3. Rogue One (2016). Someone decided to make a quasi-serious Star Wars movie— good call. The movie demonstrates that we could become emotionally invested in new characters. Plus this one has the best scene in the history of cinema, of all time, ever. And also, CGI Tarkin!
4. Revenge of the Sith (2005). Succeeded in provoking multiple emotional reactions. Truly serves as a morality tale. Also succeeded in working in timely political issues (“If you are not with me, then you are my enemy!”)
5. Return of the Jedi (1983). As a 14-year old, this seemed better than the first two movies combined. But, sadly, it has not aged well. Ewoks. Unsatisfying death of Boba Fett. More overacting than usual.
6. Attack of the Clones (2002). Inoffensive action movie. Christopher Lee’s presence is a plus. The movie gets a bad rap on the heels of The Phantom Menace. It’s not in the same category of bad, but also wasn’t strong enough to redeem the franchise.
7. Solo (2018). The worst thing about this movie was the casting of Alden Ehrenreich (and I had to look that up) as Han Solo. The idea of casting a different actor as a beloved character is as valid as James Bond. But it’s hard not to think about how much more Harrison Ford brought to the role. As a space action movie, while not life-changing, again it’s not bad.
8. The Last Jedi (2017). I do not like the J.J Abrams trilogy, but this one, to the extent I even remember it, was the least offensive. That’s the best I can do here…
9. The Rise of Skywalker (2019). A stinker. It was Palpatine all along. Something about yet another Death Star.
10. The Force Awakens (2015). What distinguishes the Abrams trilogy to me was the extent to which he essentially presented remakes as sequels. Far we have come since Empire (as Yoda might have put it). Unlike the final movie on this list, I felt appalled by this movie while watching it for the first (and to date, only) time. It’s a paint-by-numbers movie and an utter waste of Harrison Ford.
11. The Phantom Menace (1999). I was waiting years for this movie and wanted to like it. In part because of high hopes and in part because of admittedly great special effects, I actually enjoyed the experience in the theater for the first time. But that didn’t last. Jar Jar Binks is so annoying that he obscures the young Anakin, who on his own is far more annoying than the Ewoks. Legitimately one of the worst movies of all time.