STAR WARS: Celebrate May The Fourth With This Ranking Of Every Movie In The Iconic Franchise

Everyone has their favourite, and least favourite, Star Wars movie, and with May The Fourth (Star Wars Day!) in full swing, we're ranking each film from worst to best. Check that out after the jump...

Between the Skywalker Saga and Disney's spinoffs, there have now been a total of eleven movies in the iconic Star Wars franchise. That number is bound to increase over the coming years, but Lucasfilm's plans remain unclear as they instead shift their focus to Disney+ and stories that are playing out on the small screen (there's still no word on what the plan is for Rogue Squadron, for example).

That's no great surprise when The Rise of Skywalker divided critics and fans alike, as did quite a lot of what we saw in the sequels. It's clearly time to go back to the drawing board, and with "Star Wars Day" now here, we're ranking each of the movies from worst to best, taking a look at what does and doesn't work about them. In some cases, there are a lot of times Lucasfilm failed to stick the landing!

If you're a fan of the series, you'll no doubt already have your own ranking, but we're confident you'll be surprised by how this list plays out, especially now Disney has released five Star Wars movies massively different to what came before (specifically when George Lucas was still in charge).

So, to check out the ranking in its entirety, simply click on the "Next" button down below!

11. The Rise Of Skywalker


There are a handful of great moments in The Rise of Skywalker, and it's easy enough to see why there are some Star Wars fans out there who believe this to be the perfect ending to the Skywalker Saga. When you look beyond those, though, you're left with a rushed and convoluted story that delivers the weakest final chapter of the three Star Wars trilogies. 

The Emperor's return definitely failed to live up to expectations, and a cheesy ending combined with a lot of daft decisions hurt a movie that could and should have been so much better.

J.J. Abrams' direction is solid, but it can't hold things together to make this latest effort from Lucasfilm anything more than a crushing disappointment. Simply put, it doesn't end this story in the manner it deserved.

10. Attack Of The Clones


Attack of the Clones certainly had its moments, but far too many of them fall into the "WTF?" category to remember this sequel with anything other than disdain.

Despite the awful subplot revolving around Anakin and Padme to Yoda's almost comically over-the-top duel with Count Dooku, this movie did still do some good with the introduction of the Clone Troopers (which led to The Clone Wars!) and some decent character beats. 

However, for every plus point, there were moments like Jango Fett being the basis for those clones (and Boba being one of them) to detract from them. Attack of the Clones was simply one of those sequels that tried to go bigger and better but ultimately failed in nearly every respect despite some impressive action scenes.

9. Revenge Of The Sith


In the final chapter of Lucas' prequel trilogy, expectations were high for the Star Wars franchise to finally reveal how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader.

The answer was mostly satisfying, but plot points like the Clone army being turned against the Jedis and making Palpatine's horrible appearance the result of deflected force lightning felt forced and downright stupid at times (it's like Lucas gave those pivotal moments almost no thought).

On the plus side, an amazing opening battle, the fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin, and those final few minutes managed to save Revenge of the Sith from complete mediocrity. It's a shame about that damn "Nooooo!" from Vader, but this certainly did its job and answered a lot of lingering questions. The same can't be said about The Rise of Skywalker!

8. The Phantom Menace


The Phantom Menace is often cited as the worst of the Star Wars prequels, but that's simply not fair. While it's true that George Lucas' ambitions got the better of him and resulted in a bloated and oftentimes boring movie, there was some good in here which goes some way towards redeeming the first of these divisive prequels.

The podrace is undeniably thrilling and that final duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui Gon Jinn and Darth Maul was downright amazing, even if the latter was an underwritten villain who is mostly remembered solely because of his appearance and a cool lightsaber.

Look past the things some fans still haven't shut up about and this was a mostly entertaining adventure that pleased its target audience (kids). We're not saying Lucas was right to take things in this direction, but there's fun to be had here - arguably more than in its two sequels. 

7. Solo: A Star Wars  Story


The latest (final?) Star Wars spinoff may have flopped at the box office, but it was a good time and there were heaps of memorable scenes to add to the canon, including that surprise Darth Maul cameo and Han's first meeting with Chewie.

Honestly, it's just unfortunate that the movie didn't really have a lasting impact despite how undeniably fun it often was to watch this story play out (not to mention the way it teased an eventual sequel).

Donald Glover's performance still stands out (we've very excited to see him take on a lead role in that Disney+ series and hopeful it will provide some closure), but the same can't really be said for much of the supporting cast. Ultimately, it was an enjoyable but forgettable entry in the Star Wars franchise which, despite its flaws, still manages to stand above George Lucas' prequel trilogy.

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


The first of Disney's Star Wars spinoffs, Rogue One may have ultimately failed as the dark and gritty war movie we were promised, but a strong female lead along with heaps of great characters and action scenes ensured that the prequel to A New Hope was definitely memorable.

It's actually a miracle that this movie was as good as it ended up being, especially as extensive reshoots and various other issues plagued the production.

Some dodgy looking CGI characters aside, Rogue One did a spectacular job of providing us with an old school Star Wars feel while delivering one of the franchise's best sequences when Darth Vader slaughtered all those Rebels! That's something every fan of this Galaxy Far, Far Away should appreciate.

5. The Last Jedi


The Last Jedi remains an extremely divisive movie, but so was The Empire Strikes Back when it was first released! Yes, there was a lot of humour and the answers Rian Johnson provided to some long-standing questions were underwhelming, but he deserves to be praised for helping the franchise move on from what's come before and setting the stage for what should have been an amazing finale.

Things may not have panned out exactly as some fans wanted, but this was an incredible addition to the series from a visual standpoint and one which blew us all away with a plethora of breathtaking sequences and memorable character moments.

Unfortunately, some creative decisions still don't sit right, including Luke Skywalker's new attitude. Undoing what came before to such a large extent also felt like a mistake, and is largely why the sequel trilogy feels like the competing visions of two filmmakers with very different ideas for Star Wars. Still, we'll never not love the Porgs!

4. The Force Awakens


While J.J. Abrams has been criticised for following a similar story template to A New Hope with The Force Awakens, that did nothing to change just how special this return to form for the franchise felt.

We're not sure what went wrong a few years later, but the filmmaker did a superb job of introducing new characters and embarking on what appeared to be a bold new direction for the series. Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren were all excellent as were returning cast members like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

Sure, it was a shame that Mark Hamill was relegated to a cameo and that Starkiller Base was a Death Star ripoff, but the movie tried to make up for that with a stunning lightsaber battle in the snow and some scenes that still stand out as being special. Mistakes were definitely made, though. 

3. Return Of The Jedi


Return of the Jedi was by no means a bad way to wrap up the original Star Wars trilogy, but it was always going to struggle following what came before and the inclusion of both a second Death Star and all those silly shenanigans on Endor with the Ewoks felt like a failed attempt to go bigger and better than Empire.

On the plus side, we got all that good stuff on Tatooine (slave Leia included, fellas) and an awesome final battle that pulled back the curtain on the Emperor who, just like Supreme Leader Snoke, had no backstory at the time. 

Lucas gave us a happy ending with this movie, and while it may not have been the perfect way to wrap things up, it was still pretty damn satisfying. With that in mind, it's easily still the best final chapter of a trilogy from this franchise. 

2. A New Hope


A New Hope is a great film, but the fact that it's the first Star Wars movie has made it a masterpiece in the eyes of some despite it actually being a relatively straightforward affair in terms of the story. Then again, there's no denying what an impact it had at the time, and it's a hard one to fault for the most part.

Sure, Luke Skywalker is a bit of a whiner and that battle between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan is tame by today's standards (and arguably even a little dull), but there's enough greatness here to justify the love fans have for this movie.

This was where it all began for Star Wars, and the movie inspired a generation of filmmakers who are making an impact today. That aside, and it's an absolute joy to watch, with action beats it's hard to believe were created practically so many decades ago. A New Hope is a very special movie, that's for sure.

1. The Empire Strikes Back


A true masterpiece, The Empire Strikes Back is almost flawless and it's leaps and bounds ahead of the other two instalments of the original trilogy (both of which were helmed by George Lucas).

From that opening battle on Hoth to literally everything in between and that climactic face-off between Luke and Vader, this is perhaps the greatest sequel in history, and a movie packed full of truly iconic moments.

Of all the older Star Wars movies, this one holds up the best in terms of both special effects and the quality of storytelling on display. Like The Last Jedi, this release took the franchise in some bold and exciting new directions none of us could have seen coming at the time. 

Do you agree with this ranking of the Star Wars movies? Would you list them any differently? As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts on that in the comments section down below. 

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