Man, I really wish Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens came out in May. Every other Star Wars film did. It was tradition! I understand, though, why it didn’t. Disney owns the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars franchise. Since Avengers: Age of Ultron came out in May, Disney did not want to compete with itself by making Ep. 7 come out in May as well. That would be a bad business strategy.
Anyway, I recently rewatched the teasers for Ep. 7, so I’ve currently got this in my mind. I am going to list the Star Wars movies in order from my least favorite to my most favorite. Notice my careful wording here: I did not say from worst to best because sometimes I like terrible movies, and sometimes I don’t like good movies. So here goes:
Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith: I hate this movie. I absolutely hate it. I cannot be in the same room as people watching it. When my dad and I watch this film, we pause it every ten minutes to complain about what they did wrong. I admit that this is a technically good film. As far as writing, choreography, effects, and directing go, it is the best out of the prequels. If I had never seen/read/played Star Wars movies/books/games before seeing this film, I would have liked it. But I already have the Star Wars history, and thus I hate it. The worst part of this movie is Padme. In the other prequels, she had very clear characterization. She was a strong leader, not afraid to stand up for herself and her beliefs. In this film, she was weak. The only thing defining her character was her relationship with Anakin. Also terrible was Yoda losing to the Emperor, Aaylla Secura’s death (getting shot in the back, while all the other Jedi were at least shown trying to fight back!), and Mace Windu’s death (and the deaths of the three other masters who had bee with him). A lot of things wrong with this film as far as continuity and universe rules go.
Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace: I actually consider this to be the worst film in the franchise. The main reason for this is Jar Jar Binks. The next reason for this is all the boring politics. The final reason is “midi-chlorians.” If I’m feeling bored and lazy, I will watch it. But otherwise, I skip it.
Star Wars: Episode 2: Attack of the Clones: Anakin is annoying and whiny in this movie. I know people hate on Jake Lloyd’s young Anakin in Ep. 1, but really how did he go from an optimistic, chipper, adventurous young boy to a pessimistic, moody, whiny, annoying young man? You can’t blame it all on puberty. There is definitely something missing between Ep. 1 and this one. With the exception of a few scenes, Anakin’s dialogue and acting suck. But on the bright side, we have Padme, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, and Yoda being awesome. Sir Christopher Lee (may he rest in peace) was a pretty good villain as Count Dooku, and the whole clone army was neat. Aside from the in-your-face romance (in which I totally understood why Anakin fell for Padme- she hot and she kicks butt! – but I have no idea why she fell for him), I enjoy this movie more than the other prequels.
Okay, I have to mention here that there is a BIG gap between my enjoyment (or lack thereof) of the prequel films and my enjoyment of the next three films. In fact, on my list of my top 25 Favorite Films, I specifically place Star Wars: The Original Trilogy at spot 4; the prequel trilogy doesn’t even make the list. Not even close.
Next is Star Wars: Episode 6: Return of the Jedi: This is a feel good movie. There is action, a little romance, inner conflict. I like this movie. People tend to hate on it because of the Ewoks. Yes, the Ewok thing was dumb. But that is just one part of the film! The beginning on Tatooine, at Jabba’s palace, is exciting. Sure, Luke’s plan is pretty convoluted, but it works! We see Luke do some cool Jedi stuff, thanks to his training with Master Yoda, and we also see him do some dark stuff (foreshadowing, hello!). We see Leia is that ridiculous, yet iconic, gold bikini (yes, she looked hot. But it was still kinda dumb). Hey, she kills Jabba! (After seeing Padme in Ep. 1 and Ep. 2, we know where she gets this from). And then they end up on the Forest Moon of Endor. The scenery is fantastic! (It was filmed in the Redwoods of California. I have been there and can honestly say that they are amazing!) At first, the Ewoks weren’t bad. I read somewhere that they were originally supposed to be Wookiees, but the film couldn’t afford it so they changed into little teddy bear things. Anyway, the Ewok situation doesn’t really get dumb until they get attacked by stormtroopers. During the climactic battle scene, that part was dumb (it would have been much less dumb if they were Wookiees). The space battle was cool (specifically Wedge and Lando were cool; Akbar was ridiculous). But my favorite part of this film is the confrontation in the Emperor’s Throne Room. The conflict between Luke and Darth Vader, between Luke and the Emperor, the Darth Vader’s and Luke’s own internal conflicts, these scenes were tense and fantastic. It brought the culmination of what Star Wars was about: the battle between good and evil as not just a physical battle, but also a battle within us all!
Now I know I’ve said some controversial things already (what with ranking Ep. 1 &2 above Ep. 3) but here I am going to do something even more controversial Next up
Star Wars: Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back: This is critically the best film, and I understand why. It is so well done! The thrill of watching this movie never ceases! I can honestly think of nothing technically wrong with this movie. So why is it not my number 1 favorite? Well, I really like full and complete stories – as in, no cliffhangers. I understand the ending of this movie as a stylistic choice, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I like feeling satisfied at the end of a movie. And this list is in the order of my enjoyment, not in order of greatness.
So that makes my favorite Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope. This was the one that started it all. I love it. I love the introductions of the characters; I love the confrontation between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan. I love everything about this movie. And the ending is, for the most part, full and complete. Sure, there are some questions left unanswered and some plotlines left untied (which are dealt with in the later films) but still. If this was the only Star Wars film ever made, I would still be satisfied with it.
So my ranking from least favorite to most favorite is as follows: 3, 1, 2, 6, 5, and 4. Just for comparison, here is my ranking from worst to best: 1, 2, 3, 6, 4, and 5. I can willingly acknowledge that something that isn’t my favorite is better than something that is!
So there you have it. May the Force be with you, always.