Star Wars Films Ranked

Cayden Johnson, Rampage Editor-in-Chief

You can access [almost] all of the Star Wars content listed on Disney+. Cayden Johnson photo.
For those of you who were in high school last semester, you know that I wrote an article concerning the newest Star Wars movie being released. With that, I added a list where I ranked Star Wars movies. I got a lot of backlash on my pick, and after rewatching the movies I agree with some of it, but want to amend my choices.

So here is my updated list of Star Wars movies ranked best to worst. Not saying any of them are bad in general, they are just bad compared to the other movies. If you do not agree with my list, I would love to hear your opinions and responses. I would also be willing to have an open debate (as long as it is a debate, I am not arguing with someone who states a movie sucks with no explanation). 

What authority do I have ranking Star Wars movies? It is my column and I will rank them to my liking. If you think I am wrong, write your own column or message me or Rampage on social media. You can also write a letter to Rampage staff, letting me know your opinion and why you feel that way. Letters must be signed and delivered to adviser Shannon Boshart in room N229, taken to the front office, or by mail. Without further-ado, here is my list and explanation of my ranking of the Star Wars films.

    1. A New Hope: It seems a bit corny to start this list off with the original movie, but I am doing it anyway. From the planets blowing up to the Millennium Falcon, to the death star exploding, this movie is a timeless classic. With a 92% Rotten Tomatoes score, this movie has a higher rank than Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Most movies do, since it is overrated, but that is another story. My only criticism is that Luke immediately got soldier status with the rebellion. He was just some farm kid who just got his hover car license, who does not entirely know how to use the force. For some reason the generals are like, “Yep let’s trust him on this heavily important mission.” He did not even have military experience. He is just a droid mechanic. We should know better though, Fast and Furious taught us mechanics can do anything like pull dangerous stunts, drive out of airplanes, and fight MMA fighter Ronda Rousey. So who is to say Luke can not fly a spaceship for the first time and shoot a missile to destroy a space station?
    2. The Force Awakens: This movie deserves second because it brought back the franchise and gave it a bigger audience. After Return of the Jedi, the movies were believed to be done. The war was over, that was it. Then in 1999, the prequels began and Star Wars took a nosedive. Then 10-ish years later, the movies were coming back. The creators had a lot on their plate trying to resell this franchise since the dumpster fire of episodes 1-3, but they made Star Wars again and did an excellent job. What I like best about this movie are the effects. In the first two trilogies, the lightsabers and lasers clearly looked like they were edited in. In the sequels, they look close to real. One last thing that I loved about this movie is that it brought in a wider audience. Everyone wanted to check it out. It was not a nerd movie anymore.  Now were they going to be fine with the fans they already had? Yes, they just needed to say, “May the force be with you” and the nerds would freak out and watch the movie six times. But the fact that they brought in a bigger audience is what is even better. 
    3. Rise of Skywalker: Maybe it is because this movie is still rather new, but I love this movie. I do enjoy a good final battle and this film gave it to me. Getting to see everybody fight the Final Order is one of the greatest moments in Star Wars history. On top of that, the fight of Kylo and Rey against Darth Sidious is one of the coolest things to see. I loved how all of the Jedi “stood” with Rey as she melted his skin and flesh away with his own force lightning. I loved how they show a bunch of original characters, along with uniting the Star Wars franchise. We get to see characters such as Lando and Leia, you get to see The Ghost from the Rebels series during the air battle, we also get to hear voices of some of our favorite Jedi such as Ahsoka Tano, Mace Windu, even Yoda. It was sad to see the last movie of the trilogy not to mention the last trilogy of the trilogy of trilogies. One criticism I have is that the movie is rather rushed. I loved the planet hopping and all the different aliens we get to see, but it seemed so much was smooshed together. I think if they had a part one and a part two, we would have been able to see so much more in a longer period of time.
    4. Return of the Jedi: Just like the Rise of Skywalker, I love a good final battle. This movie does not disappoint, as much. I do not know what I think about the Ewoks, I mean it does not make sense that a bunch of oversized Teddy Grams with spears can defeat a fully sized army with guns and walkers. The showdown with Jabba’s floating palace was exciting to see. I really like the transitions between the space battle, the ground attack, and the Death Star scene. I absolutely love the scene of Luke and Vader facing off and watching Vader throw Sidious into the reactor. It is overall a great movie, I just think that Rise of Skywalker beats it. There is a spy in the First Order and the sky battle was awesome! The effects in the Return of the Jedi were great for that time, I think that Rise of Skywalker gives so much more.
    5. Empire Strikes Back: While this is a classic, it is clearly my least favorite out of the originals. Yeah, it had a great lightsaber battle between Luke and Vader and Boba Fett in action, but it was not all that effective. Yeah, it was a huge thing to learn Vader was Luke’s father, but that did not really contribute to anything but Vader throwing Sidious over a railing. I do love the Hoth Base and I do love the Cloud City escape. I also really enjoy seeing Luke train with Yoda. This movie did not really do anything but add a transition from beginning to end.
    6. Rogue One: This movie is honestly my favorite Star Wars film that did not directly have to do with a Skywalker character. It kind of showed us how the Death Star and the rebellion came to be. This movie had great action sequences and a great plot line. We learned about how the Death Star plans were leaked and we got to see on-planet action when the Death Star strikes a planet. The ending alone is great. The scene on the beach was amazing and to see how it directly connects to the fourth episode. 
    7. Solo: Personally, I am a fan of the crime world of Star Wars. I am not saying I deal organs on the black market in exchange for collectibles, I mean the underworld of the Star Wars universe. When it comes to bounty hunters, gangsters, or even pirates in the franchise, I love it. In fact, The Mandalorian is one of my favorite shows. So, to see a movie directly about Han Solo and the underbelly of Star Wars is really cool. I like how this movie does not entirely involve the Empire or the Resistance. It is just a very sci-fi Oceans 11. The action sequences were really cool and captivating as well. One thing I do not like are the portrayals of some of the characters. I did find humor in L3, I just thought her political dialogue was a little too on the nose. I think this movie was a nice break from what Star Wars has been focusing on and we get to see Han Solo on screen once. 
    8. Revenge of the Sith: Though I do hate the prequel movies, this one is the best one out of the three. It had a great story that you can keep on top of. It had a mix of issues with the Senate and issues with the Jedi. What we knew at the beginning is that we were hunting down General Grievous, then all of the sudden Palpatine is actually a Sith, and all the Jedi are killed. The movie had music that was the best thing since “Numa Numa.” I think that we can all agree the best thing form this movie are the “Hello there…” memes. 
    9. Star Wars Holiday Special: This movie was basically a gimmick. It was a fun break from everything that is classified as Star Wars. It was not Rebellion or Empire. It was our favorite movie characters and celebrities. Like the Clone Wars movie, this was made to build publicity for the Star Wars franchise, but it had Bea Arthur people!
    10. The Last Jedi: The only things I really enjoyed in this movie were the “fight scene” between Kylo and Luke, and the throne room battle scene. I love how Luke was a force entity and distracted Kylo to let the Rebels escape, and how Kylo and Rey fought off the evil guys in red pajamas. But, this movie was basically made for the memes, from the ancient Jedi texts to the Porgs. This movie did not really add anything to the trilogy, it was kind of there to relieve the tension from the last seven films. The effects were better in this movie due to the time it was made, but I think they overdid it with the whole “all seems lost” idea. There was not exactly a main plot point to this movie, it was just two and a half hours of watching the Rebels lose over and over only to find out everything is okay. They had all the main characters in one spot, pretty sure we were going to assume that. 
    11. Attack of the Clones: The great thing about this movie is the different corners of Star Wars it lays out: all of the Jedi, the Clones, the Separatists, the Jedi Council. It just brings to light so many things that are mentioned in the Clone Wars series that is great. What I do not like about this movie is that the main plot point does not happen until an hour in, then all the other details are just thrown in so the movie will last a couple of hours. I like how they mention the mystery behind the Clones, but they do not explain that further. They basically just said that they were made without anyone knowing and that is it. I think if they made this the main conflict instead of giving Anakin and Padme an hour of nonsense, then we would have a great movie. The only good thing about this movie is how Anakin lost his hand and we did not need to hear him complain about sand for five minutes. 
    12. Phantom Menace: Do not get me wrong, the idea with this movie is great, but the execution of it was awful. The action was handled nicely, the scores were amazing, and most of the characters were great. If the story was summarized without any character names, it would be a great story. They just killed it though with the negotiations taking too long, the dialogue, the juvenile humor, the Midi-chlorians, and Jar Jar Binks. It had great plot points and the movie had one central conflict  urging us through like a ticking time bomb. I loved the idea of Maul and the awesome double bladed lightsaber, and the sweet podracing scene. They just watered it down with the childish humor and scenes that took too long. Not to mention that Jar Jar Binks is literally the worst Star Wars character imaginable. His only personality trait is that he is clumsy? There is nothing else there. When you see him on screen, you know somebody is going to give him responsibility for some reason and he is going to screw it up. He is honestly just a lazy attempt to explain why something did not go as planned in the story.
    13. Star Wars The Clone Wars Movie: I know that The Phantom Menace was a complete dumpster fire (minus Maul), but fans of the extended universe can agree that there is one movie worse: Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Not to be mistaken with the excellent tv series, the Clone Wars movie was made to sell the idea of the tv series. For those who do not know, at the end of Attack of the Clones, a clone army was made to fight the Separatists, hence the clone wars began. The clone wars lasted from Episode II to Episode III. So the tv series takes place between those two movies and portrays the adventures of Anakin Skywalker and his Jedi friends during these battles. Each episode is roughly 20 minutes long. Some episodes are good, like the ones that connect with the movies directly, or when a conflict runs for six episodes. The bad ones are the ones that do not pertain to anything and only take place in that one episode. This movie is basically five of those episodes lined up. Not only does this movie have nothing to do with the Clone Wars, it has nothing to do with anything. They basically took a bunch of bland episodes and taped them together. It seemed really lazy and poorly put together.