Star Wars Movies Ranked

by Pjtaylor-96-138044 | created - 16 Sep 2015 | updated - 7 months ago | Public

This is how I rank the Star Wars films - not including any animated features, or any television shows - from best (#1) to worst.

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1. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the Rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 1,048,396 | Gross: $290.48M

To me, this is not only the most mature film in the franchise but also the best. There's never a dull moment, the story bounces between characters with ease providing development and spectacle in equal measure, and the little details I spotted enhanced the experience ten-fold.

2. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

90 Metascore

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Votes: 1,117,706 | Gross: $322.74M

The film that started it all has all the hallmarks of a classic; an age-old story effortlessly updated, endlessly quotable dialogue, a killer score by John Williams, a great villain in Darth Vader and is - most importantly - very fun.

3. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

58 Metascore

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 858,666 | Gross: $309.13M

The weakest of the original trilogy by far, this flick still has some truly great scenes - especially a blistering, emotional finale between Luke and Vader that is unfortunately constantly interrupted by walking teddy bears wielding sticks. The tone takes a hit here, with most of the picture devised to sell toys, and the middle portion really drags; still, its great fun and these new attempts make you yearn for the days that an occasionally toy-selling tone was the biggest issue.

4. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

PG-13 | 135 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

62 Metascore

During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover

Votes: 223,011 | Gross: $213.77M

It's nothing special, but it's entertaining enough.

5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

The daughter of an Imperial scientist joins the Rebel Alliance in a risky move to steal the Death Star plans.

Director: Gareth Edwards | Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen

Votes: 475,998 | Gross: $532.18M

A more serious and consistent tone helps this installment feel more like the 1977 original it serves as a prequel too and less like the happy-go-lucky, toy-selling 'Return Of The Jedi'. It is entirely devoid of surprises, however, and doesn't really develop any of the already unmemorable characters.

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

85 Metascore

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

Votes: 460,202 | Gross: $620.18M

To be fair, I'm liking this one less and less the more I think about it due to its incredibly confusing and inconsistent treatment not only of the canon it calls home but also its own internal logic; it didn't feel as though it was pandering as much as 'The Force Awakens' and it wasn't as dull as 'Rogue One', thanks mainly due to its interesting central story arc, but it's still light-years away from even the worst moments of the original trilogy.

7. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

81 Metascore

Three decades after the Empire's defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. Defected stormtrooper Finn and the scavenger Rey are caught up in the Resistance's search for the missing Luke Skywalker.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson

Votes: 782,459 | Gross: $936.66M

Better than the prequels, but still not what I'd call a 'good film'. The worst crime this installment commits is just being plain boring, plus all of the possible entertainment comes from pure nostalgia and the plot bears an insane resemblance to the 1977 original (along with it's two sequels.)

8. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)

PG-13 | 140 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

68 Metascore

Three years into the Clone Wars, the Jedi rescue Palpatine from Count Dooku. As Obi-Wan pursues a new threat, Anakin acts as a double agent between the Jedi Council and Palpatine and is lured into a sinister plan to rule the galaxy.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

Votes: 638,462 | Gross: $380.26M

While not as terrible as the other prequels, this still isn't a good film. Some scenes are almost okay, but the film has more than it's share of cringy, cheesy, overly choreographed sequences which take themselves all too seriously.

9. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

PG | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

54 Metascore

Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé Amidala, while Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates an assassination attempt on the senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lee

Votes: 573,139 | Gross: $310.68M

Another example of pure garbage, the only saving grace of this film is it's ridiculously cringy dialogue - leading to some scenes that can be pretty funny for all the wrong reasons, including the unintentional insinuation that Anakin is a dangerous pervert ready to assault Padme at any given moment.

10. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

PG | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

51 Metascore

Two Jedi escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to claim their old glory.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd

Votes: 652,339 | Gross: $474.54M

A terrible, terrible movie. It's the worst movie I've ever had the displeasure of enduring, and it makes me physically angry when I think about it. Literally the only nice thing I can say about it is that Qui Gon Jinn has a sweaty brow after fighting Darth Maul. The one decent thing about this two hour movie is that someone simply forgot to towel off Liam Neeson between takes. Pathetic.

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