ScreenAge Wasteland Ranks the ‘Star Wars’ Films

As part of our Star Wars theme month, ScreenAge Wasteland is proud to present our community’s ranking of the Star Wars theatrical movies.

Eleven people (whether it was staff, commenters, or social media followers) took part in sending us their personal rankings of the twelve theatrical films set in the Star Wars galaxy. We then assigned them points (top spot got 12, last spot got 1) and tallied the scores. In the event that someone hadn’t seen a film, a multiplier was added to bump that film’s score up to what it would have been if all seven people had seen it.

So get blasting and see where each Star Wars film placed. And feel free to agree or disagree with where a film ranked in the comments below!

12. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) | 22 points

  • One of the worst (and dumbest) movies I have ever seen. – Jetpack Jesus
  • The biggest and saddest part of this final trilogy is the lack of planning. How did they not have all three movies figured out from the start? The “they will see it and like it no matter what” approach was a swing and a miss. Both The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker are pure trash, not even good action movies. – Derek Fremming
  • This is simply one of the most horrendous displays of filmmaking I’ve ever witnessed. – Raf Stitt
  • Lots of my friends hate this most recent trilogy, but I guess I didn’t expect much going in. This was a reset I didn’t care for, but the action was great and it was pretty to look at and that was all I really wanted. – Bob Cram
  • Rise of Skywalker is basically Abrams saying to Rian Johnson “Hold my beer.” This is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in a theater. – Billy Dhalgren

11. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) | 28 points

  • Meh. Don’t remember much. The show is much better. – MichaelAndTheArgonauts
  • I don’t remember much about this movie. I know I saw it in the theater. – Billy Dhalgren

10. Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) | 37 points

  • Sand is to Anakin as Attack of the Clones is to JetpackJesus. – Jetpack Jesus
  • It’s bad. It’s really bad. But I kind of love it. Everyone needs a guilty pleasure movie, right? – Raf Stitt
  • They had Christopher Lee and named him Dooku. Yoda kicked ass. Hayden Christensen is a decent actor, but you’d never know from this movie. – Bob Cram
  • The worst prequel and a strong contender for the worst official Star Wars film period. Attack of the Clones is a gigantic fucking mess. The plot is terrible, Anakin is at his most whiny, there’s barely any action and the new characters are okay at best. It’s a vomitorium of ugly CGI and loud noises. I’ve encountered emergency sirens that were less abrasive. It’s just a wall of noise frequently punctuated with groan-worthy exposition and cheeseball dialogue. It’s the worst Star Wars film I’ve seen and I’ve watched the Holiday Special. – Sailor Monsoon

9. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) | 43 points

  • Duel of the Fates. Naboo starfighter. Liam and Obi-Wan. Darth effing Maul. I like starting the movie from right after the pod-racing. You get that sweet Darth Maul mini-fight then it moves to the final battle pretty quick. – MichaelAndTheArgonauts
  • Duel of the Fates and that Darth Maul fight sequence are badass enough to forgive this movie for many of its sins. – Raf Stitt
  • Everything I hated about the “new” additions that Lucas made to the classic trilogy were magnified in this film. It was loud, it was crass and it was dumb as a bag of hammers. I know people who love it and I keep thinking I need to revisit, but my experience so far has been to feel like I wasted my time, every time. – Bob Cram
  • There’s been a rewriting of history that’s not quite right. Yes, The Phantom Menace is generally accepted to be mediocre now but that hasn’t always been the case. For the first six months, fans really dug it. I remember my fellow classmates hyped about the duel of the fates scene or the podracing. I remember trading theories back and forth and I distinctly remember being excited about a sequel. And then the tide changed. It suddenly went from a point of excitement to a punching bag, right in front of my eyes. Now, I’m not saying it’s an underrated gem that was unjustly shit on and that it deserves a critical reevaluation but I do find it interesting that people turned against it that fast. It has major problems but there’s a lot to like or even love about this film. The majority of the cast is crazy good, the score is one of the best in the series, the action is stellar and the movie moves at a decent clip. It’s one of those sequels that would be improved tenfold by some slight edits. – Sailor Monsoon
  • It’s hard to admit because I love Liam Neeson in this and Darth Maul is a super cool character (if completely wasted), but this movie is so boring. The pod race scene makes me want to poke my eyes out. I found out recently that George Lucas admitted to having stretched two hours of a story across three films and “riffing” like a jazz band to fill up the rest. Now it all makes sense. – Billy Dhalgren

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) | 51 points

  • I really wish Disney made a sequel to The Last Jedi. – Jetpack Jesus
  • I’ll always consider the Sequel Trilogy “my trilogy” despite its obvious flaws. And while I can agree with some of the criticisms thrown at The Last Jedi, I don’t agree with the biggest one: that the film bastardized Luke Skywalker’s journey post-Return of the Jedi. In fact, “Old Man Luke” (as I’ve come to call him) is my favorite part of the controversial sequel. I like the idea that someone considered the “Chosen One” would choose to turn his back on the Jedi and live in solitude. I’ll admit the “how” behind Old Man Luke coming into existence could have been better written, but Old Man Luke is still my favorite thing about the Star Wars films. His force fight against Kylo Ren is one of the best fights in the whole franchise. I’d have loved a proper sequel to The Last Jedi and it’s a shame we didn’t get it because Rian Johnson’s script for The Rise of Skywalker sounded 100x better than what we actually got from Abrams. – Marmaduke Karlston
  • The Last Jedi is a well-made, poorly written movie, and I hate it. – Billy Dhalgren

7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) | 52 points

  • This was pretty close to actually being a decent movie. That it’s about Han Solo is why it doesn’t work. Make it just a heist movie, but Star Wars, and I think they could’ve had something here. Donald Glover is an amazing Lando, though. – Jetpack Jesus
  • Fun but forgettable. Felt like they really missed the opportunity to have Han be an Imperial Pilot trainee but always getting into trouble and thrown in the brig. Then when Wookie prisoners are brought aboard the training ship he’s had enough and breaks Chewie out and goes AWOL. They steal a ship and then start the adventure. The scene where he gets his name is dumb! The Lando scenes are fun though and I don’t mind Alden in the role of Han. – MichaelAndTheArgonauts
  • This was fun and… inoffensive? I dunno, whenever I talk about Star Wars films and list the top five someone inevitably says “and Solo!” And I dutifully say “and Solo.” But I forget every damn time. – Bob Cram
  • It’s not really shocking that a movie that doesn’t need to exist and that no one wanted ended up being completely forgettable but it didn’t need to be. We’ll never know what movie Lord and Miller would’ve made but based on their previous work, it’s safe to assume it would’ve at least been weird or interesting. Ron Howard made a by-the-numbers space adventure that desperately wants to be Guardians of the Galaxy but lacks that film’s memorable characters and fun plot. The single redeeming element is Donald Glover as Lando. It should have just been a show on D+. – Sailor Monsoon
  • I don’t hate this. But I hate a lot of stuff that’s in it. It basically ended up being the thing I worried it would be: a list of boxes to check. – Billy Dhalgren

6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) | 58 points

  • It was a huge mistake just creating a galactic status quo that makes no sense in the context of Episode VI without (a lot of) explanation. But I had fun as I watched it in the theater, which is something, I guess. I’d rather just watch Episode IV again instead of this version of it. – Jetpack Jesus
  • Once the nostalgia high wears off, it’s abundantly clear that this is a wildly mediocre copy/paste of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. – Raf Stitt
  • Yeah, it’s a retread of existing plots, and makes no damn sense, but I still enjoyed the new characters – particularly Finn, who really deserved more. It had plenty of action and fun moments and some great set pieces. I wish it had led to something I found more interesting, but I did have fun watching it. – Bob Cram
  • After refusing to watch the Star Wars movies for most of my life, I finally surrendered and saw The Force Awakens in theaters with my now ex-girlfriend. I dug it from the mystery surrounding Luke Skywalker to Poe Dameron being way cooler than Han Solo (don’t @ me). Sure, having watched the rest of the Skywalker Saga after seeing The Force Awakens I’m now aware of the film’s similarities to the Original Trilogy, but I don’t mind that. The Force Awakens had one purpose and that was to create new Star Wars fans. I’m proof Lucasfilm succeeded. Sidenote: Of course, I can now confidently say that I would have rather had a proper Sequel Trilogy that told one overarching story (instead of three basically standalone films), but that’s a discussion for another day. – Marmaduke Karlston
  • Yes, I enjoyed this when I saw it in the theater. Then I bought it on Blu-ray and put it on one day and promptly fell asleep. I don’t think I’ve seen it since. No plans to either. – Billy Dhalgren

5. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) | 61 points

  • All the good parts of the Prequel Trilogy could be condensed into a 30-to-40-minute YouTube video. Maybe even shorter than that. And how do you lose the will to live after just giving birth to twins? JFC, George. – Jetpack Jesus
  • The emotional stakes here are as high as they ever have been across any Star Wars film. The final battle between Obi Wan and Anakin is the heartbreaking anchor of the entire prequel trilogy. – Raf Stitt
  • I still didn’t like it much and can only remember the parts that became memes. Someone needed the high ground on Lucas when he was making these. – Bob Cram
  • Winning the title of the best Star Wars prequel is kinda like being awarded the prettiest hooker in all of Kazakhstan — the only competition are donkeys and a muddy hole in the ground. Being the best by default isn’t exactly praise worthy but Revenge of the Sith does do enough right to actually earn (albeit slightly) the title. Obi-Wan and Anakin’s storyline wraps up nicely, there are some memorably dark moments sprinkled throughout and General Grievous is a cool-looking villain. It’s not the best movie in the world but it’s competent and in Star Wars land, that goes a long way. – Sailor Monsoon

T3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) | 84 points

  • A pretty decent ‘men on a mission’ film set in the Star Wars universe. This should have been the template for the A Star Wars Story movies. Do a different genre each time, but, you know, Star Wars. – Jetpack Jesus
  • Tarkin and how the film underused Forest Whitaker were the only things that I don’t like about the movie. The CGI looks fake compared to what they can do today but still looks okay for the time. The movie is everything Star Wars represents and doesn’t ruin any of the other Star Wars movies by itself, just adds the how and they why to Star Wars – how did they get the plans, why was there a hole that could blow up the whole thing? – Derek Fremming
  • Troubled as hell production and half the trailer was left on the floor but damn this is one hell of a good Star Wars movie. The film has the second greatest Star Wars space battle and just the right amount, but almost too much, established character cameos. Wish they would actually special edition this one and fix those deepfakes. Mon Mothma re-casting was a triumph. – MichaelAndTheArgonauts
  • Maybe it’s the proximity it has to the original trilogy, but this is my favorite of the “new” Star Wars films. I love the action, the plot, and the general feel of the whole thing. I love that they had the guts to leave no one standing. I love that it made me remember how freakin’ terrifying Darth Vader was to me as a kid. – Bob Cram
  • Rogue One might be my favorite Star Wars movie. There’s no Luke Skywalker. There’s no Han Solo. In fact, I don’t think there’s a single Jedi anywhere in the film. It’s a brand new group of characters that are admittedly nothing but archetypes but since they’re all perfectly cast, I don’t give a shit. I like these characters and I’m actually invested in their mission. It also has Darth Vader at his most badass. If only the lead was less wooden and there were 25% fewer callbacks, then it would be perfect. – Sailor Monsoon

T3. Return of the Jedi (1983) | 84 points

  • Some of it is really good. Some of it isn’t so good. There’s a clear drop-off between this film and the rest of the original trilogy. It’s just okay. – Jetpack Jesus
  • The greatest space battle ever shot and those father/son feels. Jabba’s palace scenes pre-special editions are moody and atmospheric AF. So cool. The speeder bike chase is still intense. Ewoks are…maybe the only problem but come on. They’re cute as hell. – MichaelAndTheArgonauts
  • Rancor. Luke kicking ass. Giant space battles. Light saber/force battles. The Ewoks drag it down for me, otherwise, it might place higher, but it was still a great sendoff for the original series. – Bob Cram
  • I love it. It’s one of the first movies I remember seeing at the movie theater, and it just hit me at the right time. For my money, it has some of the best scenes in a Star Wars movie. – Billy Dhalgren

2. Star Wars (1977) | 99 points

  • It’s clunky at times and the actors haven’t really come into their roles yet, but the things it does well, it does really well. And, of course, there’s no denying its cultural importance. – Jetpack Jesus
  • The greatest space adventure ever made. The hero’s journey is executed to perfection with insane worldbuilding and atmosphere. The special effects, the characters, the propelling storyline. The music. My god the music. – MichaelAndTheArgonauts
  • Putting it second kills the little kid in me – it was my first Star Wars film and is still the one I think of most fondly. I’m a sucker for “hero discovered” stories, and this is one of the best of all time. It’s the foundation stone for the whole franchise and generally holds up better than almost anything that came after. – Bob Cram
  • It was hard to put this in my personal number three spot, to be honest. Star Wars is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time, and on another day it might occupy spot two or one. But it does stand apart from the other two, and I think it has to do with the changing times. Star Wars looks very much like a ’70s movie, while the other two seem more at home in the ’80s. That’s not a bad thing, but I appreciate how the set design matured as the series went on. – Billy Dhalgren

1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) | 107 points

  • Still an absolute classic. – Jetpack Jesus
    The greatest sequel ever made, Godfather II can suck it. The greatest space opera ever made. The greatest on-screen romance. Watching this movie is like being encased in cinematic perfection from beginning to end. – MichaelAndTheArgonauts
  • It’s hard to believe now, but I was disappointed in this when it came out. Its downbeat ending and more serious tone was not what I was expecting, and it took a while for me to come around to it. Now it’s my favorite and has some of the best scenes in the whole series. I still love that Han just opens up on Vader the first time he sees him. – Bob Cram
  • Almost universally considered the best Star Wars film to date, Empire did what few sequels manage to do: it took something that was already great and made it better. There’s not a scene, moment, bit of dialogue, snippet of music, or wonky bit of special effects that I don’t love in this movie. – Billy Dhalgren

The Original Trilogy took the top spots, which probably surprised no one. However, Rogue One tying Return of the Jedi for third place might lead to more than one suspiciously raised eyebrow. Was anyone shocked to see The Rise of Skywalker in dead last? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Thank you to everyone who participated in SAW’s ninth community ranking!

How does your ranking of the Star Wars franchise look? Share your ranking in the comments below!