Ranking the Star Wars movies: No. 4


Sam Dunham


The holiday season is upon us and that means only one thing. No, not presents or sledding or chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Star Wars returns to the big screen yet again, and promises to be bigger and better than ever.

But before we look to see what Disney puts under our tree this year, it is only appropriate that we reflect on the Star Wars of Christmas (and Summers) Past. This science-fiction franchise has been a centerpiece of Hollywood since the 70s, and to this day is perhaps the most quotable and recognizable brand in all of America. Whether it’s the iconic lines, beloved protagonists, or infamous villains, everyone remembers Star Wars for something. Through its ups and downs, this timeless story has been just that: timeless. So without further ado, here is every Star Wars film ranked from worst to best.

Note: Not included in these rankings are the two animated films “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars: Clone Wars” (yes, there’s a difference) since they are not a part of the complete saga. Also excluded is the 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special”, a movie so horrendous that it should never be associated with any Star Wars list.

4) “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

This 2015 reboot/sequel had A LOT to live up to. Perhaps no other movie in history had as much pressure to be good than this new Disney property. And for the most part, this movie lived up to the expectations and ended up being a ton of fun.

The new heroes and villains were immediately more interesting and emotionally investing than pretty much any character from the prequels. The return to more practical effects was refreshing and a long-awaited factor of Star Wars that fans had missed. And of course, seeing the old characters was fantastic, no matter how bored Harrison Ford looked.

If there is a commonly-noted issue with “The Force Awakens”, it is how much it resembles “A New Hope”. While there are undoubtedly some parallels that can take one out of the movie, it certainly seems like a better alternative than yet another bizarre and frustrating departure like the Jar-Jar and midichlorian-infested prequels.

This is what J.J. Abrams most likely was going for. He, as well as Disney, wanted to prove that they could actually make a good Star Wars movie before branching out to establish their own creative ideas. To do this, they adhered strictly to the successful formula of the original trilogy in order to show the world that there would be no cheesy romances or overblown fights on hovercrafts over oceans of lava.

To read Dunham’s previous rankings:

No. 5:  “Revenge of the Sith”

No. 6:  “Attack of the Clones”

No. 7:  “The Phantom Menace”