In case you missed it, The Force Awakens opened up a few weekends ago. The film is now the highest opening weekend grossing film of all time(along with numerous other records). The impressive feats will continue, as The Force Awakens dominates the box office (over a billion worldwide already). That all being said, where does it land in a franchise full of great and awful films? We sit down and rank them!
7. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Like: Duel of the Fates and the lightsaber duel between Obi Wan, Qui Gon and Darth Maul. Sure, it was awfully close to being a dance number, than a duel but still, worthy of mention. Beyond that, uhhh….
Dislike: Trade commissions. Taxes. Jar Jar Binks. Midichlorians. Wooden acting. Terrible direction. Horribly written script. Boring and long winded. This list is actually being generous too. Not a whole lot of good came from this film and is easily one of the biggest disappointments ever released.
6. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Like: Attack of the Clones at least added mythology to the Star Wars universe. The clones, despite being entirely CGI (really, Lucas?) became the center-point for a galactic war. Not only that, but they went on to be part of the incredible Clone Wars television series. Ewan McGregor, despite a lowsy script, still turned in a note worthy performance.
Dislike: George Lucas’ inability to write, well, anything. The man makes romance into an uneven, over played melodrama. “I don’t like sand, it’s coarse and gets everywhere.” Really? His reliance on special effects feels like characters moving along a Scooby Doo background, than actually acting.
5. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Like: Revenge of the Sith further added to the mythology of Star Wars, with some actually clever scenes. Hearing Sidious explain Plagues and his powers over life and death was incredible. A fair bit of emotion played out here, which surprisingly, Lucas let. Again, Ewan McGregor stole the acting show with the most note worthy performance out of all the actors. One could easily see him growing into Alec Guiness’ portrayal of Obi Wan(Ben) Kenobi.
Dislike: Again, over-reliance on special effects, uneven dialogue scenes, and choreographed light saber duels were a no go for this film. Anakin’s lead to the dark side was all too quick, even over something relatively minor. Not only that but seeing all these Master Jedi’s betrayed, without much fight, was largely confusing.
4. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Like: The father and son duel, both on a thematic and actionary level, were the leading points in this film. Seeing Luke Skywalker embrace the force, both the good and the bad, was an enriching feeling that made his arc feel complete. Some of the special effects were quite good and some shots, especially in the actual Death Star, were well filmed and quite gorgeous. Another great performance by Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor.
Dislike: The movie follows all too closely to A New Hope. Main characters are sidelined, with not much to do. It is clear Han Solo didn’t have much of a role to play, and his time here just doesn’t feel justified. Also, how does the Empire, stocked with Stormtroopers that have ruled the galaxy, lose to freakin’ teddy bears? It didn’t really make sense, like, at all.
3. The Force Awakens
Like: The magic burned out for the franchise with the prequels. They became more of an obligation, than enjoyment. Not here. Not anymore. The Force Awakens was energetic, eye popping and quite incredible. Shots are breathtaking. Action set pieces are well shot. Hell, the acting here, for a Star Wars film, might be the best it has ever been. Kylo Ren has become a note worthy bad guy and some quality performances from returning characters has made this the second best film in the franchise.
Dislike: Shot for shot might follow too closely to A New Hope. Sometimes the call-backs to the originals might be a tad too nostalgic for its own good. Captain Phasma had a lot of media hype, ultimately, she was more Captain Sells Toys, than anything else. The film is also at break neck speed, sometimes going too fast to let some moments, important moments, soak in.
2. A New Hope
Like: The magic. A New Hope set up the world we all know, the world of Star Wars. Adding bits and pieces of the world, left to discover in other films, it became a large world that was worth exploring. Darth Vader had become a noted villain, his presence both intimidating and eye catching. It broke ground and became a pop cultural icon.
Dislike: The film, in a lot of ways, has dated. Some of the special effects are magnificent and hold up quite well under scrutiny. One often has to remind themselves that this movie came out in 1977, before special effects were really what they are today. Regardless, some might find the movie too slow or a bit uneven in terms of pacing.
Empire Strikes Back
Like: The quintessential Star Wars film experience. This unparalleled sequel did the impossible, best an incredible first film. Twists. Turns. Epic action set pieces and character arcs that were fully engaged. The ultimate twist at the end is still an incredible, unforeseen cinematic gem. Not enough can be said about the film’s excellent pacing, wonderful direction and great writing. This is the best Star Wars film.
Dislike: The cliffhanger, at the time, left fans absolutely stunned. You also might be blind or deaf to not appreciate the fine details of this film.
The Force Awakens will be under much scrutiny in the coming weeks (if not for quite a while). The film is receiving insane amounts of hype, followed by even bigger amounts of cash. We here at GNG understand that the film will not be appreciated to the extent that we do. For that matter, as with everything posted here, our opinions will always reflect slightly different from the public. If you agree? Great! If you don’t? Feel free to post why!
We hope you enjoyed the list! See something you don’t agree with? Post why! Want to make your own list? Post it!