Readers Rank the Star Wars Movies
Last week, in celebration of National Star Wars Day, I ranked the Star Wars franchise from worst to first. As much as I might like to, I don’t get the final say on this or much of anything else. So I asked you guys to share your rankings. For the most part, we agreed more than we disagreed. People generally picked the original movies as their favorites and since George Lucas apparently doesn’t read the blog (yet) no one selected one of the prequels as their favorite movie in the series. It’s time to see how readers ranked the Star Wars movies.
8. The Phantom Menace
Lebeau’s Rank: #7
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no single movie has ever disappointed so many people so thoroughly as The Phantom Menace. When it was released in 1999, it was accompanied by massive hype and sky-high expectations from fans who had been waiting 16 years for a new Star Wars movie. What they got was a CGI bunny with a speech impediment.
I argued that Episode II was actually worse, but you guys weren’t having it. Just over half of you named Menace as your least favorite movie in the series. The highest ranking it got from anyone was 5th place. Nearly 30% of readers ranked Phantom second from the bottom just below Attack of the Clones just like I did.
7. Attack of the Clones
Lebeau’s Rank: #8
Just over 94% of readers put Attack of the Clones in their bottom two. That’s actually a little worse than Phantom which received bottom two rankings from just over 82% of respondents. But only 30% of readers named Clones as their least favorite which is why it managed to stay out of the bottom slot. Almost 65% of you ranked Clones in 7th place with one reader ranking it as high as 5th.
Only a thin margin separated these two little-loved movies. While we may not agree on the exact order, most readers seemed to concur that the first two prequels were the worst Star Wars has to offer.
6. Revenge of the Sith
Lebeau’s Rank: #6
For the first time in this poll, reader rankings line up with mine. Almost everyone agreed that if they have to watch one of the prequels, Revenge of the Sith is the least painful. Nearly 90% of readers ranked Sith in sixth place. One reader named it as their second favorite movie in the series! Another ranked it as low as seventh place. But most of us have it ranked at the top of the basement.
5. Rogue One
Lebeau’s Rank: #4
Well, that didn’t last long. Once again, readers and I have flipped the order of two movies. I know I’m in the minority here, but I gave a slight edge to Rogue One for at least attempting to do something more than a Greatest Hits compilation. Almost a quarter of respondents agreed with my fourth place ranking. But close to half of you ranked it back a step in the fifth slot, so that’s where it ended up.
Most rankings were right there in the middle of the two trilogies, but there were a smattering of votes cast outside of that range. Just over 10% named Rogue One as their least favorite Star Wars movie which I suppose is understandable given its uniquely grim tone. The highest anyone ranked Rogue One was second place.
4. The Force Awakens
Lebeau’s Rank: #5
Han and Chewie gave The Force Awakens the edge it needed to climb to fourth place. One reader picked the movie as their all-time favorite and another ranked it as the worst movie in the series. But almost 60% of readers ranked The Force Awakens somewhere between the original movies and the prequels. About 40% of readers had it right here in fourth place. 35% of readers actually put Episode VII in their top three, but most of those votes were 3rd place votes.
3. Return of the Jedi
Lebeau’s Rank: #3
From here on out, the readers and I are in agreement.
Obviously, all we have left are the three movies that comprise the original trilogy. Probably not all that surprising given that Le Blog’s readership skews older. Jedi is pretty universally considered to be the weakest of the original movies and reader rankings reflected that. Just over 40% of you ranked Jedi in third place. The same people who ranked TFA third bumped Jedi down a slot. The lowest anyone ranked Jedi was 5th place and a couple of readers picked it as their second-favorite movie in the series.
2. Star Wars
Lebeau’s Rank: #2
Roughly 12% of readers picked the original Star Wars as their favorite movie in the franchise. Over three-fourths of you agreed with me that it was second-best. The lowest anyone ranked the first movie was fifth place. Just about 90% of readers put the original Star Wars in their top two.
1. The Empire Strikes Back
Lebeau’s Rank: #1
Most readers (nearly 83% of them) picked The Empire Strikes Back as the best of the series. That’s not surprising given that the movie is generally considered to be the best balance of space opera and sci-fi fantasy. As one of the few sequels that tops the original, Empire has everything you could ever want from a Star Wars movie. Although Disney will quickly make this list obsolete with annual releases for the foreseeable future, it is unlikely any Star Wars movie will ever top Empire.
Not everyone agrees of course. One reader ranked Empire as low as fourth place. I find their lack of faith (in Empire) disturbing… The same 12% that picked Jedi as their second-favorite movie and Star Wars as their top pick ranked Empire third.
That wraps up another ranked list from the readership. Be on the lookout for another Worst to First with your chance to make your voice heard.