I don’t confess to be, “that guy,” when it comes to Star Wars. I don’t know the name of the moons around Hoth or exactly how Stormtroopers died on the Death Star. But I have grown up watching the movies. I, like many many people, have been in engrossed in the films with the release of the Prequels and the newer canon in the last two years. It is just a great world to explore! The characters are timeless yet approachable. This past year I ramped up my geek cred by reading a couple of the Star Wars novels (Dark Disciple & Bloodline). I was reminded how great the storytelling of the first films that caught my attention as a kid some 40 years ago!
So here is my ranking of my Favorite Star Wars Films:
- The Empire Strikes Back (V) – This film is just about perfect. It transforms the story that we thought we knew so well in A New Hope (IV), and puts it on its ear. It has more action and suspense that we felt when the Death Star blew up for the first or second time!
- The Force Awakens (VII) – I know. It was just “A New Hope remake.” I don’t care, and I don’t totally agree. It was a party on a roller coaster and I loved every moment of it. Ok…I didn’t love every moment. I almost cried when I realized that HE was going to die. But Rey, Finn, and Poe! It was just fantastic.
- A New Hope (IV) – The film that started it all. I’m not going to try and argue about when Lucas wrote what, but this IS the beginning of the story and it does it marvelously.
- Return of the Jedi (VI) – As a kid, this film was the best! As I have rewatched it I am still moved but some of the campy-er moments rob it of the film it could have been. It was a fitting ending both when we thought it was THE ending and now that the story has continued. This might have edged out Rogue One because of the happy ending, I can admit that.
- Rogue One – I have wrestled with this film. I was able to watch it twice in the theaters, so I have been able to see it from both a “wow, first time!” and an “um…do I really like that” perspective. And I think I do really like it. So much that it could be #3 on this list. I wish they had done more to develop some of the characters and gotten rid of that mind reading monster (what was that about!?!). It was a long movie running at 2 hours and 13 minutes. But couldn’t they have added 5-10 minutes and let me care more about Jyn and Cassian? I wish they had. It was sad watching the ending unfold, but I didn’t feel like it was sad enough if that makes any sense.
- Mandatory Space for the gap that is between #5 and #6
- Revenge of the Sith (III) – We have gone from greatness to good. I’m sorry to say that Anakin is unbearable. I’m not trying to specific blame to the actor or the writers, but someone blew it. It is just painful to watch…and this is the “good” one of the Prequels. Of the Prequels this was not a return, but at least facing the right direction of action and adventure that we once believed about the Star Wars universe. Having rewatched these in the Fall, I was reminded how great Ewan McGregor did as Obi-Wan, he really salvaged the films.
- The Phantom Menace (I) – We had hopes, but then Jar-Jar. It was just Jar-Jar. It was all of the parts of the Galaxy that we didn’t know that we didn’t care about. It happened. Forgive and forget.
- Attack of the Clones (II) – As I mentioned I watched the films again in the fall in preparation for Rogue One release. I had to force myself to finish this movie. It is just so, so, bad. Anakin is at his worst. It literally feels like it belongs to a different movie franchise. It is closer to Fifth Element than it is a Star Wars film…an no. That isn’t a compliment.
Thanks for reading. Do you agree? I would love to hear!