As part of getting myself hooked on the Movie Trivia Schmoedown, I have also found myself starting to watch the podcast of the greatest team in the league: Top 10.
On each week of the Top 10 Show, John Rocha and Matt Knost pick a topic and assemble their combined top 10 list. This week, in honour of the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, they were looking at their top 10 Star Wars movies. If you want to have a listen, you can find it on YouTube here.
Listening this show got me thinking about what my top 10 rankings would be, so I have decided to put my order out there. At time of writing, I have not seen Solo, so have not included it, whereas it does appear on Top 10’s list due to Rocha having seen it. Now some of these are very close in my rankings could easily change positions as I watch them again, that is the beauty of Star Wars, your opinions on a film can easily change even simply by watching them again. So without further ado, my top 10 Star Wars movies as of now are:
10: The Clone Wars
Yes it is a theatrically released film, so it does count. The Clone Wars TV show was wonderful, especially a couple of seasons into its run, but the movie itself left a lot to be desired. The film was quite disjoined due to it being a handful of episodes crammed into 1 feature-length film. Watching that film I would never have thought Ahsoka Tano would become one of my favourite characters in canon. Thank god the series improved from here.
9: Attack of the Clones
Episode 2 has some wonderful moments like Obi-Wan’s fight with Jango Fett and finally gave us the introduction to the legendary Clone Wars that fans had been hearing about for years. Across the Stars is also one of my favourite musical pieces in the entire saga! Unfortunately, the heavy CGI makes it difficult to feel as realistic as the Prequel/Sequel Trilogy and the romance between Anakin and Padmé was hard to watch at times (“I don’t like sand…” Seriously dude!). I would not consider myself a Prequel-basher but sometimes it is hard for them to live up to the other live action films.
8: The Phantom Menace
Sometimes I would swap this and Attack of the Clones around, but that fight with Darth Maul, complete with the Duel of the Fates music just gives The Phantom Menace the advantage. The Podrace is also one of the best sequences in the Prequel Trilogy. Unfortunately Jake Lloyd as Anakin can get grating after a while and Jar Jar Binks is possibly the worst thing to happen to the movies. It’s also not helped by the sheer amount of politics involved in the movie, I understand that it is key to the rise of Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine but that doesn’t make it good for film.
7: Revenge of the Sith
7th and 6th were very difficult to separate, but unfortunately, Revenge of the Sith just lost out when I finalised my list. I did enjoy the darker tones to this film and there were some wonderful sequences like Order 66 and the attack on the Jedi Temple. However, the scenes between Anakin and Padmé still didn’t feel great and there were also a number of instances where the plot felt forced to tie into the Original Trilogy, while again the heavy CGI input made the battles seem less believable than in the other trilogies.
6: Return of the Jedi
There are certainly days where this would have been placed a spot lower, but when I thought things through I had to select Jedi above it. Now let me get this out the way now: I am not a fan of Ewoks and would have loved it so much more if they had been Wookiees. Jedi Rocks is definitely not a highlight of the movie, but the scenes between Luke and Vader make a brilliant finale to the story of Anakin’s redemption, while I can’t help but be impressed at how well the space battle holds up given the age of the film. In my eyes it’s certainly the weakest of the Original Trilogy, it is still a very good movie in its own right.
5: The Force Awakens
The first of the Disney-era movies to appear on the list, there is a lot I love about The Force Awakens. I do enjoy the new characters, with the main 4 (Kylo, Finn, Poe and Rey) all interesting me. Han’s death still feels like a gut punch a couple of years on and the way CGI and live action blends for things like the Battle of Takodana. What hurts The Force Awakens in these rankings is its similarity to A New Hope and also the quality of the films above it
4: The Last Jedi
This is probably the film most likely to switch positions on the list as I have currently only watched it 3 or 4 times. I have already given my thoughts on the film in more detail here so feel free to have a read of that. I think it looks stunning visually especially Holdo’s sacrifice and I really like some of the decisions that Rian Johnson made with the plot as they caught me out. However, there were some moments that I felt did not feel quite right for the film like some of the humour, while the sequences on Canto Bight and Leia’s “Mary Poppins” sequence will take some getting used to. I don’t see this dropping below Jedi, but it could very easily drop a spot or go up one on more viewings.
3: Rogue One
Deciding whether to place Rogue One at 2 or 3 was probably the hardest decision on here. I really enjoy the film. I love the gritty realism of a war film and the fact that the creators were willing to kill off all the main characters. Some of the characters may not get as much development as we would like, but that can often be the case in action-heavy war films. The battles look wonderful and each is different, from the inner-city guerrilla warfare in Jedha to the attack on Scarif, via an X-Wing and Y-Wing bombing run on Eadu. And then, there’s that hallway scene! With this still being a relatively new movie, I would not be surprised if this and the next film swap places in the next couple of years.
2: A New Hope
The film that started it all. Pretty much everything iconic about Star Wars was created in this film. We were introduced to 3 of the greatest heroes in the saga (Luke, Leia and Han), while Sir Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing put in great supporting performances. John Williams created a score that is almost instantly recognisable. The Battle of Yavin still looks wonderful for a film made in the late 70s and though not all the effects have aged as well (Luke’s lightsaber is definitely not at its best in this film) they don’t ruin the enjoyment of the movie. That said, the film was better when Han shot first!
1: The Empire Strikes Back
No shock here as I know this is one of the most popular choices for the best Star Wars film. Empire takes everything that worked well in the original film and expands on it with the ground assault on Hoth, Vader’s revelation to Luke and the introduction of characters like Yoda and Lando. John Williams also continues his wonderful scoring with the addition of the Imperial March which has become so iconic it’s easy to forget that it was not in A New Hope. Empire will be a hard film to beat moving forward, will anyone ever do it? I think we will be very lucky to have that happen.
What do you think of my ranking? How would your top 10 look? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you…