Figured to celebrate Solo: A Star Wars Story I’d do a random ranking of which I reckon, in order, the Star Wars films go from best to worst:
The Empire Strikes Back – I mean come on, what did you think was going to come first? Seriously though haha, it’s first for me because it’s still the best Star Wars film to be challenging, while also pure. And the Darth Vader twist still holds up with the Prequel Trilogy meaning it’s no longer a spoiler! Characters like C-3PO can be a bit annoying at times but otherwise the film holds up (5 out of 5).
Revenge Of The Sith – Yes, it’s a prequel film. But to me you can’t necessarily criticise the prequels for cheesy dialogue and plot holes when the Original Trilogy had those too. All said though, ROTS, with seemingly about 70% action, it fixes those complaints of the prequels the best, also with being quite operatic at the same time (the final duels work almost perfectly, funnily largely being without dialogue). A 5 out of 5 for this.
A New Hope – You have to give the first-released one some due because of how successfully the film launched a whole galaxy, and the purity it has in which it did that. Even though yeah you’ve got moments like where Luke complains about his “power converters” that don’t feel real enough, the world-building, the characters, the action, etc., all have a fresh vibe pulling you in so much. No wonder the doors for success blew open (5 out of 5).
The Force Awakens – Some people thought this was a bit too samey. I find that kind of funny given Star Wars is rooted in familiarity. However, at times it feels like it mirrors maybe just too many tropes and doesn’t always give the goods visually. But the new characters, at least, definitely make this film work. And the only part I don’t really like is Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher as Han Solo and General Leia Organa are still brilliant, but their on-screen relationship feels a bit weak. Still, J.J Abrams revitalised this as well as you could have done, and I’m curious what he’ll do with Episode Nine (4 out of 5).
The Last Jedi – If The Force Awakens felt safe to a few, this time they’re complaining about The Last Jedi being too different!! And it loses momentum by the third act for a bit in how much it tries to expand things beyond just the Skywalker saga, for example. It’s very cool though what Rian Johnson seems to get right, Carrie Fisher’s brilliant playing Leia for a last time, I could go on.. (4 out of 5).
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Before this, Gareth Edwards, the director, did Monsters and Godzilla. I say that because with scale I can’t stress enough how well those films gave a sense of that, even with the latter’s flaws. So here, taking place just before A New Hope, about a collective of people led by the feisty (a brilliant Felicity Jones) Jyn Erso trying to steal the Death Star plans, that epic, gritty, and operatic, tone, fits perfectly. Although, the characters could have been given more depth. But for a film about, as I said, a collective at the end of the day, this doesn’t go too wrong, and for the first Disney Star Wars spin-off, does right (4 out of 5).
Return Of The Jedi – To me though there’s much to like in how this wraps things up and fulfils the last of Lucas’s intentions for the Original Trilogy overall, there’s two things that stick out. Harrison Ford infamously wanted him to die in this one, and to be honest that coulda been meaningful, especially as, and this is my second point, there’s something anti-climatic about the third act (still can’t figure out what it is lol). Plus, the Ewoks are annoying. Concept of them’s fine, but the execution isn’t! All in all though a fairly likeable film, and Darth Vader’s redemption’s heartbreaking (3 out of 5)
The Phantom Menace – Darth Maul’s beyond badass (even a friend I know who doesn’t like Star Wars likes him!), the Podrace rocks (bit of trivia for you, Lucas paid homage to Ben Hur‘s chariot race through the Podrace, compare the sequences side-by-side and you’ll see what I mean), and, well, the world-building again seems interesting. But Lucas has said this is a kid’s film. True, Jar Jar might prove as much (too annoying for my taste). Yet, why would you do that and make it about tax routes and whatnot from the start. Having a nine year-old Anakin doesn’t quite work either as his and Padme’s relationship begins here and she’s old enough to be his babysitter! Not an 100% disappointing film though (3 out of 5).
Attack Of The Clones – A big problem with this is despite Lucas meaning well by putting Anakin and Padme front-and-centre with a courtly relationship, the execution just can’t work well enough. So, the film loses a lot of steam. On the plus side, there’s more energy and more ambition than the last one. And boy, the Yoda-vs-Dooku duel, I’m not trying to agree with everyone else. That kicked so much ass (3 out of 5).