When it comes to the Star Wars franchise, there’s no shortage of opinions on which movie is the best. With nine main saga films and several spin-offs, the debate has been ongoing for decades.
Some fans believe that the original trilogy is unbeatable, while others argue that the newer movies are just as good or even better. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at each film and explore what makes it stand out.
The Original Trilogy
The original trilogy consists of three films: “Star Wars” (later renamed “A New Hope”), “The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Return of the Jedi.” These movies were released between 1977 and 1983 and have since become classics in their own right.
“Star Wars”, released in 1977, introduced us to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. It was a groundbreaking film that revolutionized special effects and captivated audiences around the world. The story follows Luke as he discovers his destiny to become a Jedi Knight and defeat Darth Vader.
“The Empire Strikes Back”, released in 1980, is often considered the best film in the franchise by fans. It’s darker and more complex than its predecessor and features one of the most iconic plot twists in cinematic history. Luke continues his training with Jedi Master Yoda while Han Solo is captured by Darth Vader.
“Return of the Jedi”, released in 1983, concludes the original trilogy with an epic battle between the Rebels and the Empire on Endor. Luke confronts Darth Vader once again, this time hoping to turn him back to the light side of the Force.
The Prequel Trilogy
The prequel trilogy consists of three films: “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” and “Revenge of the Sith.” These movies were released between 1999 and 2005 and are set before the events of the original trilogy.
“The Phantom Menace”, released in 1999, introduced us to a young Anakin Skywalker and his mentor Qui-Gon Jinn. The movie was criticized for its pacing and overreliance on CGI, but it did feature some memorable moments (such as the podrace scene).
“Attack of the Clones”, released in 2002, sees Anakin as a young adult and a Padawan learner to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The movie focuses on the growing tension between the Republic and the Separatists, culminating in a massive battle on Geonosis.
“Revenge of the Sith”, released in 2005, finally shows us how Anakin became Darth Vader. The movie is much darker than its predecessors and features some truly heartbreaking moments (such as Order 66).
The Sequel Trilogy
The sequel trilogy consists of three films: “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi,” and “The Rise of Skywalker.” These movies were released between 2015 and 2019 and continue the story from where “Return of the Jedi” left off.
“The Force Awakens”, released in 2015, introduces us to new characters such as Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron. The movie was criticized by some for being too similar to “A New Hope” in terms of plot structure, but it did reignite fans’ love for the franchise.
“The Last Jedi”, released in 2017, is perhaps the most controversial film in the franchise. It subverts expectations at every turn and features some truly stunning visuals. However, some fans were unhappy with certain character choices (such as Luke Skywalker’s arc).
“The Rise of Skywalker”, released in 2019, concludes the sequel trilogy with a massive battle between the Resistance and the First Order. The movie attempts to tie up loose ends from the previous two films but was criticized by some for feeling rushed and disjointed.
In addition to the main saga films, there have been several spin-offs set within the Star Wars universe. These include “Rogue One” and “Solo.”
“Rogue One”, released in 2016, tells the story of a group of Rebels who steal the plans for the Death Star. The movie is praised for its gritty tone and excellent action sequences.
“Solo”, released in 2018, is a prequel to the original trilogy that explores Han Solo’s backstory. The movie was not as well-received as other entries in the franchise and struggled at the box office.
So, what Star Wars movie is the best? As with most things in life, it depends on who you ask.
Some fans will argue that nothing can top the original trilogy, while others might prefer the newer movies or even one of the spin-offs. Ultimately, each film has its own strengths and weaknesses and offers something unique to fans of all ages.