top of page

Our Original Star Wars Series Rankings, from Worst to Best

Star Wars is an American space opera franchise created by George Lucas with the first film installment in 1977. The franchise quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, expanding into various films and other media. As of 2020, the value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at US$70 billion, the fifth-highest grossing media franchise of all time.

To celebrate Star Wars Day today we have ranked the 6 original Star Wars films in order of worst to best. So, without further ado, here are our rankings.

6. The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace, released in 1999, was the first prequel of the Star Wars series and it was certainly one of the most hyped films of all time. The reality is that it failed to meet those high levels of expectations. The negative reviews featured around the lack of captivation or emotional pull; however, Liam Neeson was praised for his performance as Qui-Gon Jinn and the battle with Dark Maul was praised as one of the best lightsabre fights in the whole franchise.

In our opinion, The Phantom Menace was full of poor dialogue, below-par acting, dull discussions, and simply, a lack of entertainment. Too much Jar Jar Binks and not enough Darth Maul.

5. Attack of the Clones

Released in 2002, the fifth film in the Star Wars film series (the second in chronological order), featured Hollywood stars such as Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christopher Lee.

The film failed to meet any expectations, seeing itself being hit by the middle movie curse within a trilogy. The film attempted to bridge the gap between the light and dark side of Anakin Skywalker, however, we were provided with romantic-less conversations between Anakin and Padme and underdeveloped characters with a far too heavy reliance on CGI.

The film ended up with Worst Screenplay and Worst Supporting Actor at the Golden Raspberry Awards. The wooden acting and over-reliance on CGI meant we could’ve put it 6th, but the action scene and reduction of screen-time for Jar-Jar Binks means it’s better than its prequel.

4. Revenge of the Sith

Released in 2005, Revenge of the Sith was the third chronological installment of the Star Wars franchise. It is apparent that the prequel is generally not as rated as the original series, but the Revenge of the Sith provided much more than the two we have previously mentioned, completing the story of Anakin Skywalker’s transition into Darth Vader in thrilling style. Though many fans and critics viewed Revenge of the Sith as the strongest of the three prequels, Lucas had been criticised for his weakness in dialogue throughout his films – a criticism that Lucas himself had admitted to.

The film was released in 115 countries, grossing $849 million worldwide, making it the second most financially successful film of 2015, behind Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The film held the record for the biggest opening weekend for any 20th Century Fox film for a decade until it was taken by Deadpool in 2016.

3. Return of the Jedi

It is no surprise that the original trilogy takes all top 3 places. Return of the Jedi was the 3rd installment of the original Star Wars trilogy and 6th chronologically. Released in 1983, the film received positive reviews, although many felt it did not meet the cinematic heights of its predecessors, which we will come on to next, but is certainly a better film than the trilogy that followed.

It grossed $374 million during its initial theatrical run,