Our ranking of every theatrical Star Wars entry to date

Any time the conversation comes up about favorite movies, people seem surprised I don’t include any Star Wars film on that list. The fact of the matter is that for the legions of lifelong fans out there, expecting a mention of their holy gospel is like expecting someone to name The Bible as their favorite book.

But what if you are asked to rank every theatrical Star Wars film entry (as of Spring, 2017)?That is the question posed for the first Mad Editorial segment! FOR THE RECORD – they are all amazing because they’re still Star Wars and ANY Star Wars is better than none. With that in mind, cue the title crawl…

star-wars-saga

Ranking for The Belligerent Barnes

  1. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
    • Throughout my life I have watched this movie dozens of times and have never once tired of it. I will forever love the epic battles, whimsical worlds, lumbering machines, and dark resolution. It’s the perfect movie.
  2. ROGUE ONE
    • It might be slightly controversial having this so high on the list, but I flippin’ loved the movie! Suspecting EMPIRE finally had some competition as my favorite, I found myself in the theater four times to see trying to solidify the ranking. After four showings I never left feeling like I’d wasted my time. Gareth Edwards and company had a crapload of pressure to get the first (of hopefully many) “stand alone” movies set in the Star Wars universe. After all the scrutiny, it’s hard to view the final product as anything other than a resounding success. They established an individual identity for the film while finding a balance with required connectivity to the saga. It was dark, gripping, and gritty while maintaining the fun spectacle one would expect from anything associated with Star Wars.
  3. THE FORCE AWAKENS
    • Can you imagine the stress J.J. Abrams must have felt before this movie came out? Three theatrical views of TFA put tears in my eyes each time. Check out the review I did on my author site after the premiere here.
  4. REVENGE OF THE SITH
    • Say what you will about the prequel trilogy, but this movie was visually stunning. I could watch the battle with Obi Wan and Anakin on repeat for hours. On top of that, you get the kick ass fight with General grievous and the heart wrenching execution of Order 66.
  5. RETURN OF THE JEDI
    • Episode VI held a much higher point on this list before the newcomers showed up. Even still, it very narrowly placed behind them while always holding a very special place in my heart. Let’s pour some blue milk out for our fallen troopers on the Death Star II.
  6. A NEW HOPE
    • I know, I know…. it could be viewed as sacrilege having the movie that started it all in the bottom half. Episode IV is a forty year old cultural phenomenon. Greatness evolves from a starting point and that’s exactly what it gave us. The subsequent movies took what the original did and expanded upon it. In reality, the first film shouldn’t even be ranked because it was the sounding board for it all. HOWEVER, in my personal preference for viewing, A NEW HOPE is still number six.
  7. ATTACK OF THE CLONES
    • Plenty could have been cut out to make this entry more streamlined, however, it did have plenty of cool moments. I loved the arena fight (especially the Acklay monster) and wish the movies had spent more time exploring Coruscant. The biggest failing here was that it lacked enough “oomph” to come back from that pesky final movie on the list…
  8. PHANTOM MENACE
    • Personally, I’m sort of tired of all the Episode I bashing because it seems to be done more now because it’s trendy. the first of the prequel trilogy is still a Star Wars movie and had some very cool moments. Darth Maul got shorted (zing) but was later redeemed in Clone Wars and Rebels. I’m sure The Dull Knight will have some counterpoints here related to the Legends timeline that makes Phantom Menace a much better movie. If Disney/Lucasfilm decide to bring any aspect of that into canon down the road then I might reevaluate the placement of this one.

Ranking for The Dull Knight

*Oh god… you all are gonna hate me, but stick with me here…lol.

  1. THE FORCE AWAKENS

ο I know most people have stopped reading my review just based on my #1, but stay with me here. Remember the first time you saw a Star Wars movie? Odds are you were captivated and amazed by the lights and immersed in a new universe that was Star Wars. I was able to take a step back and see the awe in my daughter eyes when she watched her first Star Wars which was The Force Awakens.  Personally I loved this movie, but lets be honest… the movie played out like a New Hope…lol. Speaking of a New Hope….

     2.  A NEW HOPE

ο I get very nostalgic when I watch this movie. From the opening crawl, with one of the most iconic themes, to the closing vanishing effect; you get thrust into another world full of science fiction wonder. A New Hope is the film that all sci-fi movies strive to be; with original story line, outstanding music, and creative costumes, and visual effects.

3. RETURN OF THE JEDI

ο We see a confident Luke accepting and taking up his mantle of Jedi, but still struggling and hopefully that somewhere within the cold metallic shell of Darth Vader, his father still remains. Death Star, Darth Vader, the Emperor, Light Saber Battle, Space Dog Fighting, Darth Vader’s cantaloupe face being revealed, F*&KING JEDI GHOSTS… this movie has it all.

4. REVENGE OF THE SITH

ο Yes we all knew the outcome, but that takes nothing away from this movie. You know a movie is good when you sit there and very quietly root for the villain, AKA Anakin becoming Darth Vader. We witnessed the heart wrenching moment of Order 66, but most importantly… we finally stopped hearing Anakin Skywalker being called Annie from Padame.

5. ROGUE ONE

ο I have a confession. I just watched this movie yesterday (Apr 2nd) so that I was able to make my ranking for this post. Don’t worry, The Belligerent Barnes has ridiculed me since Rogue One came out to theaters for good measure. But honestly this was a great movie. There are fewer things better than a well put together prequel movie. We also got to see why Darth Vader was so feared in the galaxy and the extent the rebels had to go through to get the plans to the Death Star.

6. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

ο Don’t let the placement of this movie on my list fool you, I love The Empire Strikes Back. I loved seeing Luke’s training to become a Jedi Knight and the introduction of Yoda into the Star Wars Universe. Plus, we got the ultimate Maury Povich moment when Darth Vader revealed he was the father. (Spoiler)

7. THE PHANTOM MENACE

ο The Phantom Menace is usually an easy “last place” in everyone’s rankings. I do agree that George Lucus went a bit overboard with the “Hollywood treatment” of the film, but there is a good reason why this film is not in the #8 spot… Darth Plagueis. I know everyone is screaming at their computer right now and saying, “Hey Stupid! Plagueis wasn’t even in the movie!”. If I can recommend one book to help right the course of the proverbial shipwreck that is the Phantom Menace, I would recommend you read, Star Wars: Darth Plagueis. This book helps make sense of the jumbling storyline. It even provides background information on Darth Maul and helped me appreciate the character far more then the movie ever did. It helped give me a great insight on the “behind the scenes” that was the Sith coming into power. Star Wars: Darth Plagueis is part of the Legends story line, but I urge you to pick up this book (also on Audibles).

8. ATTACK OF THE CLONES

ο Oh where do I start? I will keep this short. If whining Anakin Skywalker isn’t enough to put this at #8, I’ll leave you with this image…

4154836-jar+jar


How do YOU rank these films that double as our religion? Which one of us got it right? Sound off in the comments of email us directly at madnerdads@gmail.com.

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