Ranking the existing Star Wars films

The latest "Star Wars" film, 'Rogue One," opened on Friday. It becomes the eighth entry in the franchise. Its place in the cannon will become clear after a little time, but until then let's review the existing "Star Wars" films.

1. "Star Wars: Episode V, the Empire Strikes Back" (1980)
About: This is the best "Star Wars" film and has been since it was released. It's got so many iconic moments and lines. This is peak "Star Wars"

2. "Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope" (1977)
About: This is a change for me. Typically I've had this lower, but I've re-evaluated over the past few years. This film is iconic because it's the first, it sets the template and because it's a great stand alone film. This film has plenty of iconic moments.

3. "Star Wars: Episode VII, The Force Awakens" (2015)
About: This was the re-boot that jumpstarted the franchise all over. It's not a perfect film, in fact it feels very much like the 1977 original, but it is a fun and satisfying film. It's great to see these new characters building a future world.

4. "Star Wars: Episode VI, Return of the Jedi" (1983)
About: I have always had a soft spot for "Jedi," though I acknowledge its flaws. For a long time it was my second favorite. But I think this is a more appropriate spot on the list.

5. "Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith" (2005)
About: The prequels are a huge "what if?" in the "Star Wars" world, and this might be the biggest one. It's nearly a good film despite the casting and directorial decisions. It features the creation of Darth Vader, and is the best of the prequels. But it's still a flawed film.

6. "Star Wars: Episode II, Attack of the Clones" (2002)
About: Another flawed film, but still a cut above the last entry on this list. There are elements I like, and it fills in plenty of the history of the iconic first films.

7. "Star Wars: Episode I, The Phantom Menace" (1999)
About: This has the coolest title and the coolest villain (Darth Maul), but it's easily the worst film. And it's not just Jar-Jar Binks, though that certainly doesn't help. This is just bad. But it sort of reminds me of "Harry Potter," where the first film was a true kids movie but the franchise just got better moving forward. If you think of "Star Wars" in the same sense, this movie almost has its place.


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