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  • Writer's pictureGonzalo Munoz

Star Wars Films Ranked

Star Wars is one of my favorite series’ of all time. I was originally brought into the Star Wars Universe via the Attack of the Clones film. Looking back I realize that this is not the peak of Star Wars Lore and other films surpass it in story telling, cinematography, and filmmaking. Below is my Ranking of Every Star Wars Film up until Solo: A Star Wars Movie.

The Last Jedi

I had a difficult time selecting this one, as there are films I dislike more than others. The last three are almost interchangeable and although each film has moments that are iconic and great, as a film as a whole the film is significantly flawed. The good about this film is that similar to The Force Awakens, it feels like the original Star Wars films. The Technology in the Star Wars world at this point is similar to that that existed in the Original Trilogy, people dress very similarly to our heroes in Episode IV, V, and VI. I did enjoy the updated CGI that did not go too far as to question how it was possible that better technology existed Pre Clone wars as opposed to Post Clone wars. However, my issue with this film is the lack of continuity in Star Wars lore. The film portrays Rey as a all powerful force user, more powerful than even Luke or Anakin. This makes little sense as it is often mention and implied that the Skywalkers are the most powerful force users in the galaxy. It took Luke training to even get half decent at being a Jedi, and it took Anakin his entire youth and young adulthood life to be as powerful as he was. Yet Rey is capable of going toe to toe with Kylo Ren, a force user trained since his youth. Then of course there is Canto Bight, nuff said. This film uses flashbacks, something that is never done in any major star wars film, again going against the lore. Not to mention flying Leia, I have no problem with Leia being a powerful force user, it makes sense, but the scene was laughable. I would have wished to have seen more training and struggle from Rey, what makes a great character is character development. Rey starts off as a powerful force user, she ends up a powerful force user at the end of the film. Unlike Luke who significantly changes in Episode IV and V. This film has too many flaws to mention, but has redeemable moments like the final fight with Kylo and Rey. There is just too much potential in this movie that was lost, like how DJ explains how the First Order and the Resistance are the same because they both fight a war buying weapons and causing chaos. But this is not further explored! There is just too much that was not executed as to how it could have, having to directors film two different stories was a major mistake on behalf of Disney. The stories feel too different and they lack any continuity that the audience is expected to just go “I guess we are doing this now”. Like freaking force holograms, or force video calling, it seems like the force got an I phone ios upgrade from Empire Strikes back with phone calling and now we can video call. WTF!

Solo: A Star Wars story

Similar to most Disney era films, this movie does a good job at making the world feel like star wars without questioning the advancement in technology in the universe despite there being a advancement in technology in our world. The story itself is ok and it seems like even though I enjoyed watching Han go through Kessel in under 14 parsecs and win the Millennium Falcon from Lando (Donald Glover who I think did a phenomenal job bringing the character back). My issue with this film is that Star Wars is about the force, not just the future space opera. There are barely any force users, no light saber duels, and no Jedi. The only glimpse we get is Darth Maul at the end of the movie. As a story the film does decently, there is little character development and we are left questioning why Han became the scoundrel scruffy looking nerf herder since by the end of the film he is a young optimistic hero.

A phantom menace

I believe this film similar to The last Jedi is a film that with a few tweaks had a lot of potential to be truly great. It has in my opinion, one of the best light saber duels in the series. As a story, I think it does well, however, I believe it needed to focus on a protagonist and the film seems confused as per who to choose, Qui-gon, Obi-wan- or Anakin. The Antagonist is one of my favorite throughout Star Wars. A man who would make you run the other way if you came across him anywhere across the galaxy, Darth Maul is great because of his mysterious demeanor, acrobatics, and intimidating looks. There is no wonder why he was brought back for the Clone Wars television series and Solo. Jar Jar really kills this movie however, he is the Kanto Bights multiplied times 1,000,0000 of the film. He does little for the plot and is only there for comic relief. Jar Jar is annoying and a stupid character who does nothing for Star Wars or the Phantom menace. Anakin is another character who gets a lot of hate, frankly I don’t think he is as bad as they make him out to be. He isn’t great, but think about having to see Adolf Hitler’s youth, it wont be as interesting as his rise to power and his conquest across Europe. The final battle scene, as previously mentioned, is one of my favorite, it is quick and entertaining, it is force users at their best, young and well trained.

Attack of the Clones

This was the film that introduced me to the series. Back in 2004, so there is a bit of nostalgia when remising this film. I do think it gets a bad rep but watching it is an adult it is clear that this one is not as good I remembered. Luckily Jar Jar is barely in the film, Obi-Wan is as charming as ever with his mullet but Anakin is perhaps the Jar-Jar of the film. Beaurocracy on film is not exactly the funest film to watch, and the romance dialogue is of course laughable at most time. I do not blame Hayden Christensen for his performance, but seeing the mighty Darth Vader reduced to a whinny kid is disappointing. There is not much redeemable from this movie or anything that you can say was stellar. It is only ahead of Phantom menace because of less Jar Jar. Barely any character development took place, Anakin is annoying in the beginning of the film and at the end. The only difference is that he is married by the end. Should Lucas have decided to make this Anakin like the Clone Wars series Anakin then it would have much more to redeem.

Rogue one

The first anthology film in the Disney Era is not bad. There are parts that are quiet stellar and other that could be improved on. There is often a hate towards Jyn Erso for being a forgettable heroin who lacks motivation and a sound story. Her Dad’s death is forgettable as well, we barely see him throughout the film and then he dies. We are therefore left to believe that Jyn is so distraught as to no changing her ways to serve the rebellion. We never see what Jyn Erso did, we are just told. This could have been powerful to see such a great character developed from a Han Solo type outlaw into a savior of the rebellion. But no, we never get the satisfaction to seeing Jyn develop. The graphics are phenomenal, we feel as if we are in a Star Wars movie unlike the prequal trilogy, feeling more like Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. And of course we get to see the malevolent Darth Vader once more, causing havoc to the rebels and force chocking and slashing them like swiss cheese. This movie was good, but it could have been great.

The Force Awakens

The first movie in the Disney Era, the force awakens had a lot of expectation. I really enjoyed this film and it had a lot of potential for a sequel. It had a good hero, Rey, who mirrors Luke’s journey in the original film. We are also introduced to Finn, a Storm Trooper who rejects the ways of the First Order and tries to live a life outside of the only thing he knows. I think Finn could have been further developed or at least the other Storm Troopers. We could have been shown how the soldiers of a regime aren’t as bad though, they are only on the other side of a similar coin, similar to how WWI soldiers found their counterparts almost identical. My only beef in this movie is the lack and future lack of explanation as per Rey’s abilities, is she the new chosen one, why did Anakin and Luke have to go rigorous training to become good Jedi but Rey blinks and she is an amazing Jedi. This doesn’t make sense and is not explained in its Sequel. But the CGI is outstanding, it feels like Star Wars and we get to see our favorite trio back, aged.

Revenge of the Sith

The best out of the Prequel trilogy. It is perhaps its darker tone and the films lack of concern to appeal to younger audiences that actually make this movie good. This movie is a tragedy that ends with a glimmer of hope. One of my only concerns with this movie is that it does not feel exactly like star wars. The sequel trilogy do this much better. The CGI doesn’t exactly age very well, predominately for the CGI creatures, not to mention Padme’s illogical heartbreak death. But the fall of Anakin Skywalker is a entertaining story to watch. It’s sad to see how the Jedi order crumbles due to their own arrogance, but also interesting to note that the Jedi and Sith are not that much different. Mace Windu is willing to kill the Chancellor without due process, he is becoming what he fought against. Something often overlooked by fans. I do with they showed and not tell when we are introduced in a conversation between Obi-Wan and Anakin about the many adventures they have had and how great friends they are. What is truly amazing in this film is the final battle between the two friends, it is heartbreaking to see Obi-Wan having to fight against his brother and closest friend. This film is a Greek tragedy in disgust and is a great conclusion to the trilogy.

A New Hope

The one that started it all, the movie has aged surprisingly well. This movie created a CGI frenzy that is still going on today. It pioneered visual effects and brought a new type of genre into popularity to a new generation, sci-fi. The story is that of the classic hero, someone who finds a elder teacher to help and guide him along his journey. Luke is a optimistic young individual wanting more for himself, he is talented but not overly powerful. He struggles to accomplish his goals and is able to save the day despite all the hardship he and his friends endure. What is also great of this movie is the sense of mystery the film portrays of the past events that shaped this universe. We are introduced to the jedi and event get to meet one of its former members. If you don’t pay attention you will miss the mentioning of the Clone Wars, and we are told that Obi-Wan was great friends with Luke’s father who was destroyed by Darth Vader who consequently also destroyed the Jedi Order. The film perfectly portrays to us a 3 act story that gives us a sense of adventure and desire to be like Luke and want more in our life.

Return of the Jedi

I must admit, as a film, I can see how A New Hope was more impactful that episode VI. It was groundbreaking in the film industry, it spurred off the Computer graphics industry, like industrial light and magic, Pixar, and competitors such as Dream works. But, return of the Jedi as a Star Wars film was a bit more enjoyable than A New hope, the one thing that would solidify for me but more often than not cause this movie and a New Hope to switch positions in my scale, are the Ewoks. If somehow we can get some Wookies or other creatures to defeat the army of the Empire, then it would definitely be my solid #2. The Ewoks defeating a trained military that is thousands of years ahead of its time makes no sense. Ewoks are a primitive bear like creature with no clue as per what technology even is. Them defeating the greatest military force in the galaxy’s history makes no sense. I also did not enjoy Leia’s regression from a sporadic lead character that took no order from any one to the mother character we get on Endor. I did enjoy watching a more fully fledged out Luke Skywalker pull out his green lightsaber and use his questionable force powers as he entered Jabba’s palace. I really enjoyed the main story arch, the redemption of Darth Vader and Luke’s journey to save his father. This for me is what makes this story truly great.

Empire Strikes Back

Frankly, I find it difficult to find anyone who would disagree with me. Empire strikes back is the reason why sequels have a second title. It is the pinnacle of story making in film, along with other films such as The Godfather, Shawshank redemption, the dark knight, etc. It is everything you would expect and more from a great films follow up. Better fighting sequences, better usage of CGI, and a story arch of a young ambitious man seeking to prove himself capable like his father. Only to discover that his attempts to be like his father might lead him to a darker path. Luke’s arrogance is a important factor in this film, his hero’s journey is often halted by his ambitious youth. His dialogue with Yoda is some of the best in film, something that still resonates with todays or any youth of any time period. How we often see older individuals as less competent and we often forget about their wisdom and knowledge of having lived more. Empire Strikes back is a master piece that went farther beyond an already great film. There's no wonder why this film is often in the top films of all time lists.

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