The release of the next chapter in the Star Wars franchise is coming ever closer. On Dec. 18, 2015 (this fucking Fri!) we will finally see it. Perhaps no film in the history of mankind, since the first prequel The Phantom Menace, itself, has had movie fans dying from and filled with excitement. To coincide with this, I am ranking all 6 films, from worst to best. Enjoy and let me know if you agree or disagree.
6. The Phantom Menace- Man, I remember how pumped everyone was for this film, and then how that turned into disappointment. It's marred by terrible pacing issues as in waaaay too much boring, political shit, some really stilted acting (despite having a great cast), an annoying kid in Anakin Skywalker (who knew Vader was such a brat?), terrible CGI that has not aged well at all on HD/ blu-ray (seriously it's like the cast are in a really shitty looking cartoon). and then there is the biggest sin of all: Jar Jar Binks. He is not just the worst character in the franchise, but one of the worst in cinema history.
But... there a couple of rousing action scenes including the lightsaber duel, which is one of the best in the series, if not the best. Darth Maul is a badass villain, but in keeping with the Boba Fett tradition of not knowing who the fuck your audience likes, Lucas decides to bisect him, Ugh. Thank God, then that in the takes place in cannon Clone Wars series he was bought back to life. In all, I don't think this is really THAT bad film, but it is without a shadow of a doubt the worst in the series.
5. Attack of the Clones- A definite improvement over the proceeding movie, it still has its' issues, beginning with a bit uneven pace. But this is saved by some really exciting action scenes that give the series a real kick in the ass. The battle between Obi-Wan and Jango Fett as well as the arena/ Geonosis battle, and lightsaber action are awesome. The later really hits a high point when fucking Yoda battles Count Dooku/ Darth Tyranus. Dooku is a great villain, especially as played by horror legend Christopher Lee. It should also be noted that Natalie Portman in her torn, tight outfit looks hot as fuck. And, she's likeable in her role. Too bad, then, that she has zero chemistry with Hayden Christensen as Anankin. His character goes from being a brat to being a whiny bitch. He is pretty terrible for most of the film, but there are glimpses of talent. Mainly when he butchers Tusken Raiders after his mom, held by them, dies in his arms.
Uneven as it is AOTC is still a solid and entertaining, if a bit overlong film.
4. Revenge of the Sith- Without question the best of the prequels, Revenge is not without its' own faults. Among them is the still groan inducing dialogue and the on-going romance between Anakin and Padme, which still doesn't work, at all. But, its' strong points far out weigh the low.
It has the best opening of all the prequels and, by far, the best pacing of them. The action scenes are rousing and exciting. Three of the lightsaber battles in the film rank among the best in the entire series. Also, the CGI are much better, than the previous films. Villains General Grievous and Senator Palpatine make for excellent villains. And, the PG-13 rating, a then first for the franchise, means a steady dark feel and higher level of violence, in which the series' hard-on for amputations reaches its' zenith. What happens to Anakin is particularly gruesome.
3. Return of the Jedi- ROTJ is an interesting film, for me. It was the first SW movie I saw and in the movies, no less. It began my life long love for the franchise. It's faults became apparent to me, as I got older. But, at the same time the prequels, would go to make me appreciate the movie more than I had for a long time.
It's the first film, where Lucas' interest in being cute and selling merch was becoming more blatant. The Ewoks, perhaps, being the best and most clear definition of this. As a child, I loved them, later on, as a college student, I hated them. But, then came Jar-Jar, and I was like, well they ain't that bad after all! Return also suffers from a bit of a schizophrenic feel going between feeling very light and dark, sometimes from one scene to the next. But, for the most part it makes it work. The action is exciting, Jabba's palace is a monster lover's heaven, Leia looks hot as fuck as a slave, the climatic lightsaber battle is emotional and exciting, and the Emperor is an excellent villain. A suitable cinematic ending (at that point in time) to the original SW series.
2. A New Hope (Star Wars)- The first SW film is a film classic. One cannot begin to mention just how inflectional and important this movie is. A cultural and cinematic juggernaut, it's helped shaped science fiction and blockbusters made since then. Studios are always chasing after the next Star Wars, but yet fail to capture what made this film great. It is wonderfully imaginative, action packed, and fun filled with solid acting, great characters, memorable dialogue and scenes, and a sense of awe and adventure that most of the shit it inspired will never get. The practical FX still hold up no matter what Lucas or his SE would like you to believe. It is ultimately a near perfect if not, in fact, perfect movie.
And, Han shot first. Fuck you if you disagree!
1. The Empire Strikes Back- Let's not mince words here, Empire is without question the best in the series. A darker, more brutal movie than SW, Empire is a movie to worship and adore. From the Wampa attack and the spectacular AT-AT battle on Hoth to the climatic and now classic battle and revelation ("I am your father!") in the lightsaber duel between Darth Vader and Luke, every single second of this movie is a masterpiece. Shit, the imperial march, alone, is worth loving this movie for all time.
Think about how this movie must have shaken those who saw it back in its' release! With it franchise proved it was more than just a supposed kids' flick and became a mammoth of true, quailty sci-fi. It's rare that a sequel tops its' great original, and it is even rarer that a movie is perfect. But, Empire is both, in fact, not only is it one of the greatest science fiction movies ever made, but one of the greatest movies in the history of the world!
So, now I would love it you told me how you would rank the SW movies. And, in case you are curious, my friends and I are watching The Force Awakens this Sat (so not opening day, but opening weekend).