Since the release of the film that started it all back in 1977, Star Wars has come a long way. The original trilogy was just the beginning of the saga and a hint of all the stories that could be told in the galaxy far, far away, with still more yet to be discovered.
Since then, two more trilogies, spinoff movies, and multiple series have been released, which can now be found to stream on Disney+. Of course, fans have their own opinions about the various Star Wars properties and have voted for them on IMDb.
Updated on April 29th, 2022 by Stacie Rook: The Star Wars universe continues to grow now that it’s in Disney’s hands, and it shows no signs of stopping. Series like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor are set for release this year, while many more like Ahsoka are in production. Additionally, the franchise’s newest movie, Rogue Squadron, is scheduled for a December 2023 premiere.
19 Star Wars: Resistance (2018-2020) – 5.1
Disney Channel show Star Wars: Resistance works to fill in the gaps of the sequel trilogy, taking place before and in-between the last three Skywalker Saga movies.
Though it only ran for two seasons, it has a dedicated following of fans, who quickly grew to love the small group of rebels at its center. In spite of its low IMDb score, the show was positively received by critics, with particular attention given to its lighthearted tone, seen as a refreshing change from other Star Wars projects.
18 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Movie (2008) – 5.9
The Clone Wars 2008 film feels a lot more like a three- or four-episode arc than a movie. It works best when viewed as a lengthy introduction to the excellent show that would soon follow it, rather than as a standalone story.
One of the best things the movie does is introduce Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s padawan, whose story and character would later end up being among the most compelling in the overarching saga. In spite of its poor reception, the movie contains some of the best scenes featuring Anakin and Ahsoka together.
17 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) – 6.5
Much of the backlash that The Phantom Menace has faced is the result of what happens when audiences come in with expectations that don’t align with a filmmaker’s vision. The first installment of the prequel trilogy balances conflict over trade routes with an overtly childlike tone, which is fitting, because it’s also when fans meet nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker.
The Jedi think he’s too old to train, and (correctly) believe that his emotions will prevent him from fully conforming to their strict rules regarding feelings and attachments. Fans also see the beginnings of Darth Sidious’ sinister plan that will lead to the destruction of the Skywalker family.
16 Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise Of Skywalker (2019) – 6.5
The Rise of Skywalker had the daunting and near-impossible task of satisfactorily wrapping up the story of the Skywalker family. The filmmakers made the choice to greatly reduce Kelly Marie Tran’s role, who suffered racist online abuse from trolls who didn’t like her character.
This was only the first of a list of ways the movie tries to cater to “fans” who spend the majority of their time spouting negativity online. It retreads and retcons to make the sequel trilogy more like the original, but in the process, character arcs get lost and plots are contradicted. Even so, the film’s action sequences and performances remain memorable.
15 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones (2002) – 6.6
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, begins with a threat on Padmé’s life, which leads to Anakin being assigned to protect her. This takes them to the romantic setting of Naboo, where the two unsuccessfully try to deny their feeling for each other, as romantic attachment is forbidden for Jedi.
Meanwhile, Obi-Wan’s search for Padmé’s would-be killer leads him to Kamino, where he discovers the massive clone army that’s been secretly built for the Republic. By the end of the movie, all of the pieces are in place for the Clone Wars to begin.
14 Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) – 6.9
The spin-off Solo acts as an origin story for Han Solo. Fans see how he met Chewbacca, and how he got into a life of smuggling, though many felt that the movie’s existence was uncalled for given the character’s already-iconic status.
Nonetheless, it’s full of action and fun, with a great cast including Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover as Han Solo and Lando Calrissian respectively.
13 Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) – 6.9
If Episode VII was a series of interesting questions, The Last Jedi offered some compelling answers while taking the franchise to new places. Each character has an arc that allows them to learn and grow, with multiple lessons having been learned by the end of the film.
The Last Jedi has remained divisive among viewers, but its themes are clear: sometimes it’s better to protect what you love than to fight what you hate; that even the best can fail; and that any failure can be learned from and overcome.
12 Star Wars: Visions (2021) – 7.0
A truly new take on the franchise came about with Star Wars: Visions, a collection of short films each produced by a Japanese animation studio.
Unrestrained by the main Star Wars canon, every Visions episode has the freedom to take its characters in any direction imaginable, making for delightfully unexpected and rejuvenating takes on the setting. Its anthology style naturally means that some entries are weaker than others, but the overall project is highly successful.
11 The Book Of Boba Fett (2021) – 7.4
After his appearance in The Mandalorian, fans were overjoyed to hear that Boba Fett had been given his own show in the form of The Book of Boba Fett, but upon its release, the series received mixed reactions.
The show’s liberal use of flashbacks was seen as disruptive to Boba’s present-day story, and the abrupt turnaround in episode five to focus on Din Djarin gave the entire plot an uneven feel. On the other hand, Temuera Morrison’s performance as Boba Fett proved why the character has remained so compelling even after all these years.
10 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005) – 7.6
Episode III, Revenge of the Sith is possibly the saddest entry in Star Wars canon. Audiences can do nothing but watch as the final pieces of Sidious’ plans finally fall into place and the beloved characters suffer the consequences.
The best performances of the prequel trilogy can be found in this heartbreaking entry about the dangers of giving in to fear, and as the end of a story that had been known to viewers of the original trilogy all along, it’s an interesting look into the idea of destiny.
9 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – 7.8
The first spinoff film, Rogue One answers a question audiences have always had about the Death Star while also making the first Star Wars feel more like a war movie. It follows Jyn Erso, the daughter of the man responsible for the completion of the Death Star, as well as its eventual destruction.
The classic Star Wars themes of hope and friendship are present here, but a greater focus on the sacrifices of war are shown in this entry. The film takes a risk with its ending, but it’s a risk that pays off and makes Rogue One a standout in the saga.
8 Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – 7.8
Disney’s first foray into the franchise, The Force Awakens revived the Skywalker saga by blending the old with the new, as the vastness of the galaxy came into focus and brought new nuance to familiar factions.
Despite the similarities to A New Hope, it introduces new and original characters unlike those fans had seen before. Kylo Ren, Finn, Poe, and Rey quickly proved to be great characters despite similarities to their original trilogy counterparts.
7 Star Wars: The Bad Batch (2021-present) – 7.9
A sequel and spin-off show to the ever-popular Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Bad Batch follows a group of clone troopers, Clone Force 99.
The ongoing series has been renewed for a second season, thanks in part to the way that it upholds the legacy of its predecessor while also bringing a new set of characters to the forefront. Even with this praise, though, the show relies heavily on lore knowledge from other Star Wars animated shows, so is not the best choice for more casual viewers.
6 Star Wars: Rebels (2014-2018) – 8.0
Rebels follows a group of rebellious individuals who form an unlikely family. The show reverses the formula that made The Clone Wars so lovable by mainly following new characters and adding old favorites as the story goes on.
The show contains some of the most iconic moments of the saga, such as fights between Ahsoka and Vader, and one of Obi-Wan’s best duels against Darth Maul. Fans’ response to the series has proven once again that the strength of Star Wars‘ storytelling absolutely translates to animation.
5 Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi (1983) – 8.3
It would have been easy to conclude Luke’s original trilogy journey with the murder of the evil Darth Vader. Instead, Return of the Jedi brings an end to the war raging across the galaxy through the love of a father for his son.
In a time when happy endings seem rare, the movie offers a happy piece of childhood for adults to revisit, and for kids to experience for the first time. The story makes use of the best Return of the Jedi locations to add further intrigue and atmosphere to the tale.
4 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Series (2008-2020) – 8.3
The Clone Wars series takes place in the time between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It mainly follows well-known characters from the films, like Anakin and Obi-Wan, but it also explores characters fans only get to know within the context of the series, like the clone troopers and Ahsoka Tano.
It’s a fun show, full of action and adventure, but its greatest strength lies in its excellent character work, as well as the way the stories dive into themes of war, friendship, romance, and politics.
3 Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) – 8.6
Star Wars has gone many places since the release of A New Hope in 1977, but none of this could have been possible without the success of the original. Carrie Fisher redefined what a princess could be, and Luke Skywalker became a hero for many generations to come.
While the story is relatively straightforward, it’s the setting that makes it so iconic. George Lucas and co. created a boundary-less playground for many future movies and shows.
2 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – 8.7
A New Hope introduced audiences to a whole new galaxy, but The Empire Strikes Back took the story to new depths and greater heights. It would have been easy (and boring) to have Luke and Leia end up together and to have Darth Vader remain an uncomplicated villain.
Instead, Empire gave the heroes relationships that challenged them and made them grow into something more while still remaining thrilling with its some of Star Wars‘ most incredible major action sequences.
1 The Mandalorian (2019-present) – 8.7
Disney+’s The Mandalorian takes place after the events of Return of the Jedi. Pedro Pascal plays the mysterious bounty hunter behind the mask, but the real star of the show is Baby Yoda (also known as Grogu, or The Child).
Unexpectedly giving insight into found family and fatherhood, the show works because of its heart. For the most part, every episode is a self-contained adventure, while a larger narrative brews in the background.
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