Star Wars films and tv shows ranked from worst to best

May 4 was Star Wars Day, and both the complete Skywalker Saga and the final episode of the Clone Wars were aired on Disney+ for fans to enjoy.

Star Wars Logo / Global Panorama / https://flic.kr/p/nxgh7M / CC BY-SA 2.0

May 4 was Star Wars Day, and both the complete Skywalker Saga and the final episode of the Clone Wars were aired on Disney+ for fans to enjoy.

The Star Wars universe has made up a significant part of the lives of many, spanning nearly 50 years, starting with A New Hope back in 1977. Star Wars has made such an impact that most of the world recognizes May 4 as Star Wars Day (due to the famous quote “May the force be with you”), which, according to Lucasfilm legend, was first recorded in 1979.

While every Star Wars day is fun for fans everywhere, May 4, 2020, held an extreme level of significance, as the finale of the Clone Wars 12-year journey was released, completing a chapter of Star Wars that fans had long waited for.

In honor of the Clone Wars finale, as well as The Rise of Skywalker’s debut on Disney’s streaming service Disney+, I’ve decided to rank each of the nine movies in the Skywalker Saga, as well as a few of the shows and movies that fall in between the main episodes.

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The Last Jedi debuted on Dec. 15, 2017, and is the worst Star Wars film, in my opinion.

14 – The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi was the second of Disney’s sequel movies to the original trilogy, and in my opinion, this movie had no reason to be made at all. When you look closely, the plotline to this movie was almost a direct rip-off of The Empire Strikes Back. Just like in Empire, the rebel group is faced with its base being invaded and destroyed by a sinister force, forcing the “good guys” to flee. At the same time, the Jedi main character goes to train with an older Jedi Master who exiled themselves after feeling guilty for failing a Jedi Order and is also reluctant to teach them. The Jedi’s friends are relentlessly pursued by the sinister force and eventually escape on the Millenium Falcon, but not before the Jedi faces something from their past and comes to a shocking revelation, unsuccessfully taking on the dark side head-on. Besides ripping off The Empire Strikes Back, the side story of Rose Tico and Finn was mostly irrelevant as they accomplished nothing. Rose’s character also delivered one of the cheesiest lines in cinematic history as she saved Finn from sacrificing himself to save the Resistance. This line directly contradicted an action that newly introduced Holdo (who has about 6 minutes of screen time) took, sacrificing herself to destroy the First Order’s fleet. Let’s not forget, too, that this was the first of the Star Wars movies to break from the tradition of using the line “I have a bad feeling about this.”

A Phantom Menace began the journey of Anakin Skywalker, although his origin story left much to be desired.

13 – A Phantom Menace 

There’s not much to say about the first episode in the prequels to the original trilogy, other than it was boring. While it marked the beginning of the journey of Anakin Skywalker, A Phantom Menace lacked significant action until the very end of the movie with a duel between fan-favorite character Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Star Wars Rebels Premiere Movie to Re-air on ABC with New Scene / BagoGames / https://flic.kr/p/pAYxnm / CC BY 2.0
Star Wars Rebels did not have great animation and is better left a children’s show.

12 – Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars Rebels was an animated series that followed the journey of a young Jedi, incorporating elements from the Clone Wars. However, creators designed Rebels to be more of a children’s show, and much of the violent saber killings were shown offscreen. The animation of this show was also subpar, and the main character, Ezra Bridger, undermined the show’s good character developments.

Solo Star Wars Movie Poster Millennium Falcon Cockpit 1781 / Brecht Bug / https://flic.kr/p/262BBCC / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Solo: A Star Wars Story attempted to force too much into it.

11 – Solo: A Star Wars Story

Offering an origin story to one of the heroes of the original trilogy, Solo: A Star Wars Story has plenty of action. However, much of the humor seemed forced and out of character for the Han Solo that we all know. Along with that, the twists at the end of the movie were unnecessary and a bit much.

rise of skywalker / Hideya Hamano / https://flic.kr/p/2i4rUL4 / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The Rise of Skywalker provided an epic conclusion to the series but didn’t hit all the marks.

10 – The Rise of Skywalker 

The epic conclusion to the Skywalker Saga certainly lived up to the part, although it was heavily flawed. Although there was plenty of nostalgia from the original movies with the remains of the Death Star, the return of Emperor Palpatine and a fantastic film score by John Williams, The Rise of Skywalker contained too much action for just one movie. Because of this, the movie felt rushed. There were also many questions raised, such as how Palpatine suddenly was revealed to be behind everything and how Rey used force lightning with no training on the matter. Surprisingly, there wasn’t even a massive celebration after defeating the evil once and for all, which is insane considering that this was the conclusion of the story of the Skywalkers. It’s confusing that Return of the Jedi had an end celebration, but not this movie. Worst of all, however, was the ending, which saw Rey bury Luke and Leia’s lightsabers on Tattoine while their force ghosts looked on in the distance, and Rey tells a passerby that her name is Rey Skywalker. First off, she ultimately tarnished what the movies were about by assuming the name of the Skywalkers simply because she couldn’t accept her own family when Luke and Leia kept their own despite being the children of Darth Vader. Second, this felt way more like a beginning than it did an ending, which was a bit offsetting. However, it was fitting that the story ended in the same place where it all began.

Faceless Stormtroopers of the Empire / Dickson Phua / https://flic.kr/p/Btidvt / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The Force Awakens rejuvenated the Skywalker Saga with new stories but had much to improve on.

9 – The Force Awakens

 The beginning of a new story in Disney’s sequel movies, The Force Awakens, introduced several new characters along with bringing back old ones. Just like The Last Jedi, this movie recycled a plot from the original trilogy, using many details from A New Hope. The main character is on a desert planet where they are thrust onto the knowledge of an ancient force, leaving the planet to join a resistance and finding a mentor figure. This mentor is then was killed by a familial figure before the good guys destroy the enemy base that has the capability of destroying planets. However, my main problem with this movie was how powerful Disney made Rey. Rey was able to defeat a well-trained Sith easily and injured him more than he hurt her in combat, despite having no training with a lightsaber nor knowledge in the force. Both Luke and Anakin were defeated by a Sith, each losing a hand, in their first battle, despite having more training than Rey did. This is also including that Anakin was the most powerful Jedi ever in terms of midi-chlorian count, making Rey’s immense power illogical and unreasonable.

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Attack of the Clones was the second episode of the prequels and made up for its average acting with an interesting plot and lots of action.

8 – Attack of the Clones 

The second movie in the prequel series was not the best in terms of acting. What made it better than any of the sequels, however, was that it did have an original plot that had both action and romance to suit the audience’s desires. The story writing is not bad as well, as it sets the stage for the Clone Wars to take place.

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Rogue One saw the story of how the Rebels acquired the death star secret plans come to life.

7 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The standalone film did a great job of explaining the story behind how the rebels were able to acquire the secret death star plans they used in A New Hope and were able to do so with plenty of action. It made sense that all of the main characters completed the mission at the cost of their lives, as they were not a part of the original trilogy due to how long ago it came out, and since the mission itself was dangerous. The best part of this movie, however, was one scene in which Darth Vader ruthlessly tore through rebel fighters in a hallway as they tried to hand off the plans to Princess Leia.

The Mandalorian (2019), “Chapter One”, episode art 04 / Tom Simpson / https://flic.kr/p/2hPmjqQ / CC BY-NC 2.0
The Mandalorian became an instant fan-favorite following the story of a Mandalorian bounty hunter.

6 – The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian may only have one season with eight episodes, but it instantly made its mark on Star Wars lore. Thanks to the Clone Wars, the Mandalorian people have been of interest to fans for some time. With this series, Star Wars fans dreams are brought to life as they truly see what it’s like to be a Mandalorian, and get to see a closeup of their lifestyle.

Return of the Jedi (1983), poster by Josh Kirby / Tom Simpson / https://flic.kr/p/2hasx79 / CC BY-NC 2.0
Return of the Jedi may have been the worst of the three originals, but it is a satisfying and incredible conclusion to the hero’s first story.

5 – Return of the Jedi

Of the original three, Return of the Jedi was probably the worst of the three, simply because it was the conclusion. This movie was excellent in terms of action and left fans leaving satisfied with the ending, and although I am younger than most fans, it carried a lot of nostalgia with it. Return of the Jedi was exciting in every way as Luke progressed into becoming a Jedi Knight by completing his training, rescuing Han, and showing his father the light side. It also brought a surprise/confirming fan theories when revealing that Leia was Luke’s sister. 

Star Wars – Episode III / Hutson Hayward / https://flic.kr/p/fRVCwG / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Revenge of the Sith was one of the most entertaining films and had plenty of humor.

4 – Revenge of the Sith 

The final movie in the prequels not only created a fitting transition from old times to the original trilogy but was also an incredible template for loads of memes. From Obi-Wan’s “Hello there” to “I have the high ground,” Revenge of the Sith did not fail to make fans laugh and have fun with its content. The movie also brought sadness to fans as they watched Jedi Anakin Skywalker complete his transformation to the dark side and kill his friends and fellow Jedi, and his anguish when his beloved wife Padme dies. 

Cartel de Star Wars: The Clone Wars / yotambientengosuperpoder / https://flic.kr/p/4MdpEg / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The Clone Wars is one of the greatest works in Star Wars history and is definitely a fan-favorite show.

3 – Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Thanks to mastermind Dave Filoni, Star Wars: The Clone Wars will go down as one of the greatest works in Star Wars history. Starting slowly in seasons 1-2, the Clone Wars quickly picked up into a fan-favorite show, showing the war from the perspectives of clone troopers, politicians, droids, and Jedi alike. Through it, fans got a more profound sense of Anakin’s progression from good to evil, as well as getting to see the clones develop feelings and attachments of their own, which was a stark difference from the mindless soldiers they as in the movies portrayed them. After season 6, Disney canceled Clone Wars, and it seemed as if fans would never get the conclusion they wished for until Disney announced that they were releasing a season 7 on Disney+ nearly 12 years after the story began. Season 7 offered everything fans could’ve hoped for in its four-episode conclusion, showing the long-awaited Seige of Mandalore, and seeing Order 66 occur from the perspective of the clones as it tied in with scenes from Revenge of the Sith. The grand finale brought tears to fans’ eyes in two minutes of silence, watching former Jedi Ahsoka Tano and Clone Captain Rex bury the bodies of the clones who tried to kill them, as Ahsoka drops her lightsaber which is later picked up by her former master Anakin Skywalker. From the pain in his eyes, his transformation to Darth Vader is finally complete.

LEGO Star Wars poster / dilettantiquity / https://flic.kr/p/Mdiu6S / CC BY-SA 2.0
A New Hope was the first-ever Star Wars movie and kickstarted a generation that would impact many lives.

2 – A New Hope

A New Hope was the beginning of it all, introducing the heroes Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C3P0, and R2D2, as well as villain Darth Vader to the world. At the time, this movie was revolutionary in its digital effects, and even now, it’s clear how ahead of its time Star Wars was. The music score created by John Williams for this movie was fantastic and fitting for the space adventure, as George Lucas first brought to life the story we’ve all come to love today.

Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Coca Cola Promo_2 by Boris Vallejo / Rene Walter / https://flic.kr/p/ncR5NL / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The Empire Strikes Back is the greatest Star Wars film of all time and is filled with action, surprises, and even romance.

1 – The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars film to make it to theatres. Empire doesn’t fail to keep fans on their toes throughout the entire movie, with its continuous action and adventure throughout. It is this movie that introduces fans to the famous Yoda on the Dagobah system, where Luke travels to begin his training. Through his lessons, we see his internal struggles as he believes that he will not be strong enough to defeat Vader. The Empire Strikes Back also dropped a bomb on everyone after Darth Vader cuts off Luke’s hand and delivers the famous line: “No, I am your father,” revealing that he was Anakin Skywalker all along. The movie also ended on a high note with Han Solo being taken to Jabba the Hutt while frozen in carbonite, setting up the plot for Return of the Jedi.