All seven numbered Star Wars movies from worst to best…
It’s been a couple weeks since The Force Awakens came out, and the general consensus is that it’s good. Really good. But how does it compare to the other six movies in the Star Wars saga? Is it the very best in the saga, or somehwere in the middle of the pack? Read on to find out.
Oh, and we’re only counting the numbered entries here. Sorry, Clone Wars.
#7 – The Phantom Menace
The Phantom Menace has gotten a lot of hate over the years, and much of that is deserved. Almost every scene involving Jar Jar Binks or Jake Lloyd as young Anakin Skywalker is cringe-inducing to watch. That being said, it’s not the worst movie ever. It’s not even a bad movie necessarily, just a really disappointing Star Wars movie. And being the first Star Wars movie released after a 16 year hiatus, fan expectations in up in the stratosphere didn’t help matters.
But once you get over the bad parts of the movie, you’ll find that Liam Neeson does a great job as Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn, and Darth Maul is still one of the coolest characters to appear in a Star Wars movie. It’s just a shame that they both die in the film’s climax and Maul only shows up for about five minutes. At least the three-way lightsaber fight between Qui-Gon, Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi was one of the better duels (some might say the best) in the series.
#6 – Attack of the Clones
Attack of the Clones fixed a lot of the problems with The Phantom Menace. There’s much less emphasis on the boring Trade Federation storyline, and Jar Jar’s screen time is cut down to two scenes (although he impressively manages to destroy the entire Republic in that time).
But Episode II introduced a whole host of new issues. The Anakin and Padme scenes that try to establish their relationship come off as awkward at best and creepy at worst. And while it’s really cool to see Jango Fett in action, making all of the clone troopers into Jango clones just felt like pandering to Boba Fett fans in a really bad, nonsensical way. It just raises a lot of questions about why clone/stormtroopers are mostly terrible at their jobs if they’re all clones of the greatest bounty hunter in the galaxy.
Beyond that though, the last half-hour is a fantastic example of big action scenes done right on the big screen. There still hasn’t been another movie that’s matched the spectacle of the Battle of Geonosis and the clash between thousands of Trade Federation droids, Jedi, and clone troopers. And it all culminates in a couple of extremely memorable lightsaber duels, including the first time we get to see Yoda’s real Jedi skills on-screen.
#5 – Revenge of the Sith
Revenge of the Sith is almost a good Star Wars movie. So many of the pieces are on point, like Anakin’s growing frustration with the Jedi Council, the discovery of Palpatine’s years of manipulation, and a final fight on the planet Mustafar between Obi-Wan and Anakin that actually delivers on two decades of expectations.
But then there’s Anakin’s general whininess throughout the whole film and the baffling decision to have Padme die of a broken heart, which still makes no sense ten years later. Finally, there’s Darth Vader infamous “Nooooo!” a silly and unnecessary addition to the script that almost ruins one of the best villains in cinematic history by making him look weak. With just a few tweaks, this could have rivaled the movies in the original trilogy. As it is, it’s just the best of the underwhelming prequel movies.