Using the science of magic and occult mathematics I have designed a definitive listing of the 11 Star Wars feature films. I grew up in a Star Trek household so was a late convert to the cult of Lucasfilm. I remember watching the original trilogy when they were on television in the ’90s and enjoyed the world that these films build. Star Wars to me feels more in-depth than other franchises with a depth of lore that can engage. The greatest tragedy of the Disney acquisition was the invalidation of the Expanded Universe content, and purge of this world that had been building for decades. That being said let us look at the rankings of the Star Wars films.
11. Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
By far the worst of all the Star Wars films. Much like the new Star Trek films, the cast is excellent, but the scripts fail them. This film is just a series of fetch quests to get to an uninspired ending. Bringing back Palpatine with a fleet of mini-Death Stars shows how broken this sequel trilogy ended up being.
10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I went to this film with friends dressed up in Star Wars costumes and was disappointed. The film works and does a good job attempting to introduce the series to a new audience, but it is just a rehash of A New Hope. Rather than plot out a new course using existing canon, it just does its thing and lets the cannon catch up.
9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
This film was almost ranked above Episode I as I appreciated the bold vision and subverting expectations. However, this film has a middle third of pointless plot, that goes nowhere. Also, the slow-speed starship chase was very dumb.
8. Episode I – The Phantom Menace
What Lucas did with this film is amazing from a production standpoint, as it laid the groundwork for all the heavy effects-driven films we see today. That being said, it has problems in pacing, and the inclusion of the pod racing scene was a bit much.
7. Solo: A Star Wars Story
I enjoyed Solo despite its many flaws, and that may be just a function of the change of directors. If Disney had committed to the vision of the original directors this film could have ended up higher on the list. This film did a great job visually conveying the feel of the other films and continued to expand on the canon. The acting in the film is excellent, and I would have been interested in continuing to see both Alden Ehrenreich, and Donald Glover continue to portray Solo and Clarissina in further films.
6. Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
I am not in the camp of shitting on the movie due to the inclusion of Ewoks. I think it is just a bit slow, and the repeat of another Death Star was quite derivative. Otherwise, this film is great, with standout special effects for the time. While I did not like the use of a second attack on the Death Star, it was a much visualization of this battle.
5. Episode II – Attack of the Clones
While other lists might denigrate this film, I think is a lot better than any of the sequel trilogy. The love story is necessary but shoehorned into the film. It would of better be served by including into the time jump from the previous film. Otherwise, this film is solid as can be, showing us more of the universe, and giving action and adventure that makes it rewatchable.
4. Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
The highest-rated of the prequel trilogy, this film only suffers from much of the development that happened between it and the previous film. I remember coming out of watching this movie finding that it redeemed the trilogy as a whole. The opening scenes of the battle above Coruscant are amazing as the third films in the original and prequel trilogies are the best in special effects.
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Of the new films, this one stands out. Tonally this film encapsulated the lived-in feeling of the original trilogy. It also perfectly balanced the demands of the expansive canon while telling its own story. If more films are made with this balance the Star Wars franchise might be in better health.
2. Episode IV – A New Hope
Every story has to start somewhere, and this film launched the franchise. It is very barebones relative to the other films, but it still built out a lived-in world. The first time you see the Death Star it is amazing and is legendary in cinema history.
1. Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
At the top of the list is The Empire Strikes Back. This film deviated from the first film and forged its path while expanding on the world. The scenes on Hoth do not require heavily special effects to make this strange world and make an engaging section of the movie. Cloud City parts of the film also expand on the Star Wars universe while not being distracting.