The Star Wars franchise has become a worldwide phenomenon in pop culture ever since the first film was released in 1977. What started as three successful movies, Episodes IV through VI, turned into the second-highest grossing film series of all time. Star Wars spinoffs such as Rogue One (2016) and Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) have only boosted the series ratings and have expanded their stories to the newer generations. Currently, Star Wars is the fifth-highest grossing media franchise. And although people have different opinions on which of the trilogies are the best, everyone can agree that Star Wars will go down in history as one of the most remarkable film series of all time. Here is my personal ranking of the Star Wars episodes from best to worst:
1. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Although Rotten Tomatoes scored this movie an 81%, I believe this movie deserved at last a 90%. Episode VI deserves the #1 spot for its tear-jerking portrayal of friendship, family, love and redemption. The best Star Wars film showcased the unforgettable battle between Luke Skywalker and the Emperor, in which Luke’s father, the infamous Darth Vader, has a moment of redemption and saves his son.
2. Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Given a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, Episode VII almost gives Episode VI a run for its money, featuring a diverse ensemble creating a new story with Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren. This episode ranks so high in my book because of the nostalgia it brings with Han Solo’s death and Luke Skywalker’s return, but also the welcoming freshness it brings to see a new journey begin in the galaxy.
3. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Personally, the best movie from the prequel trilogy is Episode III, which is the completion of Anakin Skywalker’s journey to the dark side. Despite the death of Padme Amidala, we got to witness the birth of Luke and Leia, which is the most bittersweet moment of the film (because Amidala died giving birth to the twins.) This film was rightfully given a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes.
4. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
I do believe that giving this movie a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes is a bit of a stretch, but I cannot deny that this film has the most iconic, climactic scene in film history. The scene where Luke accuses Darth Vader of murdering his father, then Darth Vader drops the biggest plot twist ever: he is Luke’s father. With that being said, that one scene alone does not make up for the film’s lack of Luke beginning to embrace being a Jedi. He does eventually accept it, but I felt disappointed when Luke abandons his training with Yoda to help Han and Leia. I thought there was a better way to handle that part of the plot.
5. Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Episode II is the most intense Star Wars film of the prequel trilogy, and maybe even from the entire series. This well-done episode gave us a glimpse of the beginning of Anakin’s journey to the dark side of the Force. Although I do not personally like Anakin Skywalker, I cannot deny that this episode portrays the small darkness in him incredibly well. Anakin massacring an entire village after a few raiders killed his mother was just the tip of the iceberg. This deserved a little higher that a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
For nostalgic reasons, I shouldn’t argue with the critics on Rotten Tomatoes for giving Episode IV a 93%, however I do consider this the “worse” of the original trilogy. Luke should have had a bit more rage, or sadness when he found the bodies of his murdered aunt and uncle by the hands of Imperials. Instead, he was more determined to accompany Obi-Wan on his trip to Alderaan and learn about the Force. I think Luke should have showed more emotion after seeing his guardians’ bodies and watching Obi-Wan die.
7. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
I will forever be confused as to why Episode VIII has a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, when there was very little action in the whole film. When I first watched this movie, I was very excited since I had just became a Star Wars fan, and I was disappointed when there wasn’t enough intensity in the film. Also, this episode confused me. Luke refuses to help Rey train to become a Jedi and want the Jedi to go extinct because of an incident that happened with his nephew, Kylo Ren. This is puzzling because in Episode IV, death and destruction made Luke even more determined to learn the ways of the Force and stop the Galactic Empire. The whole film was anti-climactic and not written well.
8. Episode I: A Phantom Menace (1999)
I agree 100% with the Rotten Tomatoes‘ score of 54% for Episode I. The movie was ultimately boring and slow. The two most interesting scenes from the entire film, were the race car scene and Obi-Wan killing a Sith lord scene. But this film was supposed to show us the start of Anakin’s journey into the force, but he was sometimes overshadowed by the background politics in the film.
Featured Image via Time Magazine