10 Best Star Wars Movies

Written by Dylan Deppe. Media by Hengyi Chi.

The trailer for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” has finally dropped. Original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s firing, gigantic reshoots, on-set rumors, a less-than-stellar premise, and almost non-existent marketing have a lot of people worried about the film. In the meantime, let’s remember what we love about Star Wars, by counting down the 10 best movies so far.

The Phantom Menace. Source: Aminoapps.
  1. The Phantom Menace

This is a no-brainer. Terribly-dated CGI, racially-stereotyped characters, performances that’ll put you to sleep, a miserable attempt at the political intrigue from Star Trek, a convoluted narrative, and Jar Jar Binks never made this movie very good. Darth Maul, a couple action scenes, the practical effects, the musical score, and sound design are the only highlights.

Attack of the Clones. Source: Amazon.
  1. Attack of the Clones

We all knew this would be the next one. On paper, this movie should’ve worked. It’s got a pretty cool murder-mystery/political-thriller narrative with colorful characters, probably the best overall sound design from maestro Ben Burtt, and decently-staged action beats, but George Lucas’s stale direction and awful dialogue make watching this a real bog.

Rogue One. Source: Star Wars official site.
  1. Rogue One

I’d call this the “worst good” Star Wars film. Hectic and unfocused reshoots, bad editing, and already paper-thin characters didn’t help this movie very much. Despite its shortcomings, the first theatrical Star Wars spinoff is a visually-gorgeous adventure that superbly shows the underbelly of our favorite galactic saga.  Oh, and the Darth Vader scene is incredible.

Return of the Jedi. Source: Wikipedia.
  1. Return of the Jedi

I love the theme of redemption in this swashbuckling adventure, but it’s far from great. That being said, I still find the movie to be quite enjoyable. Despite a weak script, Episode VI is a satisfying end to a classic trilogy, featuring top-notch conceptual designs, SFX, VFX, and a keen eye.

The Last Jedi. Source: Star Wars.
  1. The Last Jedi

Not the Star Wars movie we wanted, but probably the one we deserved. My main gripe with this flick is the lackluster second act. While it may not be the best Star War film, the beautiful aesthetics, fantastic performances, and powerful themes show that Episode IIX is probably the single most interesting one.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Source: IMDb.
  1. Clone Wars

No, not the terrible CG one Lucas made in 2008. I’m talking about the Genndy Tartakovsky one from 2005. Okay, so it’s not actually a movie, but when you combine the episodes of this micro-series, you get a 2-hour-and-13-minute-long thing that is basically a movie. The film’s varying shades of drama, humor, suspense, terror, and pure catharsis are so powerful & elegantly-executed that you probably won’t notice the narrative jumbles. But it more than does the galaxy a long time ago justice.

Revenge of the Sith. Source: Wikipedia.
  1. Revenge of the Sith

Maybe I’m biased since this was one of my first theater experiences, but it’s also quite good. The only real problems it has are that it doesn’t connect some of the plot lines that were hinted at in the original trilogy very well, but the tone and aesthetics are great. Perfecting the other prequel’s attempts at CG artistry, bridging the saga together epically, despite some narrative missteps, Episode III is a viscerally-cinematic hallmark in the Star Wars galaxy.

The Force Awakens. Source: Wikipedia.
  1. The Force Awakens

Groan all day, but this is one of the most expertly crafted and solidly-paced Star Wars movies. Playing less like “A New Hope: Part Two,” and more like the ultimate Star Wars fan fiction, “Force Awakens” lit up the box office and was one of the few blockbusters in 2015 that wasn’t just “not garbage,” but actually good. Despite its, perhaps, overbearing nostalgia, Episode VII uses cinematically-kinetic energy to propel its mediocre script.

A New Hope. Source: iTunes.
  1. A New Hope

The one that started it all. Not only did it start the Star Wars craze, it and Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” started the blockbuster craze. While some of the acting and overall direction may not be the best, George Lucas’s script and his wife Marcia’s editing (also done by Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew)

The Empire Strikes Back. Source: Wikipedia.
  1. The Empire Strikes Back

We all knew “Empire” was going to top this list. But what can you say about this movie that hasn’t already been said before? Top-notch directing, conceptual designs, music, dialogue, effects, editing/pacing, & cinematography, along with solid writing and acting make Episode V iconic in every way.

Star Wars. Source: Hengyi Chi.

Star Wars means a lot to many people. “Solo: A Star Wars Story” won’t be the last movie we get, and it won’t even be the last spinoff film we get. With as many Star Wars movies Disney and Lucasfilm plan on creating and releasing, the chances go up of at least a few not being the greatest. Whether “Solo” is good or bad, it will probably add a slew of interesting new characters, planets, creatures, technology, and ideas in general that help make the galaxy far, far away even more loveable and interesting.





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