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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#1) Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    The Case For It: The Last Jedi takes all the complaints of sameness that hit The Force Awakens and learns from it. It's an audacious film that comments not only on itself, but also on Star Wars as a whole. It's easily the most self-reflexive, post-modern Star Wars of them all. Mark Hamill gives his best performance as Luke Skywalker, portraying Luke as a wounded, disillusioned hero nearing the end of his life and seeing nothing but failure until he learns of an even newer hope named Rey. The cinematography by director of photography Steve Yedlin is gorgeous and some of the best in the franchise's history. Also, everyone loves Porgs.

    The Case Against It: Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) sacrifices herself, but because she was just introduced in this film, we hardly know her. The "heroes chased by the bad guys while the young Jedi apprentice trains for a big fight" story is lifted directly from Empire. The Canto Bight subplot is a weird digression that addresses themes of social inequality and the perils of war profiteering, which are never addressed again. Some of the comedy falls flat.

    Most Head-Scratching Part: Why didn't Holdo just tell Poe her plan? There was really no point in keeping it a secret, since he complained and started a mutiny anyway, which you'd have to assume she anticipated, considering she knew he was a stubborn loose cannon.

  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#2) Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

    • 2002

    The Case For It: Attack of the Clones corrects the problem of Anakin Skywalker being too young to affect the story in any way by making him an angsty teen. Hayden Christensen takes over as the future Darth Vader, giving the narrative a clear protagonist to follow. Attack of the Clones also gives a larger part to Ewan MacGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi. MacGregor's wry, sarcastic, world-weary Kenobi might be the best overall performance in the entire prequel trilogy. Once again, the action scenes are shot with vigor and attention to detail.

    The Case Against It: The plot of Attack of the Clones - what little of it there is - rests on the dubious love story between Anakin Skywalker and Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman). Nevermind that Amidala met Anakin when he was only 9. What's worse is that the actors have absolutely no chemistry together.

    The dialogue is some of the least natural-sounding in a series known for its mouthfuls of awkward conversation. Nothing really happens until the final 30 minutes of the movie, which features the first battle of the Clone Wars. For a movie about a galactic conflict, the fall of democracy, and the rise of a brutal space-dictatorship, there's not much to really care about. It all feels like low-stakes wheel-spinning to prepare the audience for the more consequential, climactic Episode III. You could probably skip this movie and still understand everything that happens in Revenge of the Sith.

    Most Head-Scratching Part: Four words: "I don't like sand."

  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#3) Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

    • 1999

    The Case For It: This is not going to be easy, but hear us out. The Phantom Menace is a visual treat that advanced the technological progress of cinema more than just about any film of its era - other than The Matrix. From the creation of motion-capture creatures like Jar Jar Binks to the jaw-dropping podrace sequence, The Phantom Menace is a remarkable fantasy spectacle. It also has the most memorable lightsaber confrontation in the entire series, the scene immortalized as the "Duel of the Fates."

    George Lucas, making his return to the director's chair for the first time since 1977, lost none of his ability to stage a magnificent action scene. The Phantom Menace is also the only prequel film to feature extensive use of physical sets, puppetry, and other practical effects. By Attack of the Clones, most of the locations and creatures were rendered with green screens and computers, giving them an artificial quality that has not aged well. Visually, Phantom Menace might be the Star Wars prequel that looks the least dated to modern eyes.

    The Case Against It: Where, oh where, to begin? Criticism of The Phantom Menace is now something of an internet cliche, but for good reason. No Star Wars film can ever top Episode I for pre-release hype or post-release disappointment. As the first Star Wars film in over a decade, The Phantom Menace had most of the world frothing in anticipation. In 1999, Star Wars content was far rarer than it is today, when we're blessed with a regular diet of films, animated series, and live-action streaming shows, in addition to the books, comics, and video games that have always made up the extended Star Wars universe. All that enthusiasm was tested when Episode I disappointed so many long-time fans with shallow characters, a plodding story, clunky dialogue, and the aforementioned Jar Jar Binks. The disappointment and frustration around this movie are deep and profound. Star Wars fandom would never be the same again.

    Most Head-Scratching Part: There are so many choices, but one choice stands out from the others. Young Anakin Skywalker (played by Jake Lloyd, who was only 10 when the film was released) destroys the droid control ship by accident. In contrast to the cathartic, emotional moment when Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star in A New Hope, Anakin just kind of... lucks into stopping the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. It could be argued that Anakin was being influenced by the mysterious powers of the Force (and the *sigh* midichlorians in his blood or whatever), but that's never made explicit in any way. This all might not have been an issue if Lucas hadn't decided to make Anakin a passive 9-year-old boy with no agency of his own. At times, The Phantom Menace seems to be about everyone and no one at once. Also, midichlorians. What the heck, George?

  • Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#4) Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

    • 2019

    The Case For It: The Rise of Skywalker has some really cool visuals. Ian McDiarmid returns in full force as Emperor Palpatine (or his clone or whatever). Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver remain compelling leads. Driver's scene with Harrison Ford is a legit tearjerker moment. 

    The Case Against It: The movie flies through every scene without giving viewers time to process the plot. There's pretty much nothing for Poe and Finn to do, yet the script adds even more characters (Jannah? General Pryde? Zorii Bliss?) that come and go without incident. The Rise of Skywalker also retroactively makes the entire trilogy about Palpatine and disregards the themes of the previous two movies. The final space battle is almost impossible to follow.

    Most Head-Scratching Part: Emperor Palpatine oversaw the creation of a massive fleet of Star Destroyers in complete secrecy and was able to staff all of these ships within one of the most inhospitable areas of space in the Star Wars universe. He also had a daughter.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#5) Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    • 2015

    The Case For It: This movie is pure fun from start to finish. It's both nostalgic for the original trilogy and capable of forging a new path for the series. Rey and Finn slip into an easy banter early on that is worthy of the original cast. The world feels tactile, lived in, and unmistakably Star Wars. Adam Driver's turn as Kylo Ren captures all of the internal conflict and rage in impressive fashion, with most of it having to be expressed through a mask.

    The Case Against It: It's hard to not see the similarities between The Force Awakens and A New Hope. There are some interesting new ideas about Rey's lineage, fate, and the nature of the Force, but it's overwhelmed by so much of the same: the same ship designs, the same character dynamics, and the same story beats. 

    Most Head-Scratching Part: If Luke Skywalker wanted to stay hidden, why would he leave a map to find him? Also, why does the New Republic not want to confront the First Order again? Aren't they clearly a massive threat that can't be contained? Are the people who run the New Republic all fools?

  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#6) Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    • 2005

    The Case For It: Revenge of the Sith is tasked with dramatizing Anakin Skywalker's turn to the dark side and his rebirth as Darth Vader. The film deserves credit for not flinching from that responsibility, making Anakin a truly reprehensible, selfish character who we can accept as a villain. The Order 66 sequence remains chilling to this day. As this is the grimmest Star Wars film of them all, Ian McDiarmid has the chance to really steal the show as the dastardly Emperor Palpatine.

    This is a depressing movie, but one livened up by McDiarmid's purely campy performance. While the Duel of the Fates is considered by many to be the best lightsaber fight, the final confrontation between Anakin and Obi-Wan is certainly the most elaborate, with the two Jedi defying the laws of physics in the midst of a volcanic eruption on the planet Mustafar.

    The Case Against It: While the Mustafar battle is remarkable to look at, it feels somewhat weightless due to the CGI environment. As had become expected with the prequels, the dialogue is forced, the characters are two-dimensional, and the story is thin. Because the audience was never given a good reason to like Anakin beyond the fact that he was once a precocious, naive kid, his turn doesn't pack the same punch it could have in a more subtly executed story. 

    Most Head-Scratching Part: The decision to have Darth Vader let out a howling "Noooooo" after learning that Padme had perished is one of the most ridiculed moments in the entire franchise.

  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#7) Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

    • 1983

    The Case For It: Return of the Jedi brings the story of Darth Vader to a close with the emotional throne room sequence where Vader gives his life to save his son, Luke Skywalker. It's hard not to get choked up at Vader's sacrifice after following his rise and fall in the previous five chapters. The opening sequence where Luke Skywalker and Leia break Han Solo out of Jabba the Hutt's palace is a ton of fun. There's a notable rush to watching Luke finally use the full might of his Jedi powers. The speeder chase on Endor is another memorable action set-piece.

    The Case Against It: Ewoks! People don't like them that much. The story recycles the Death Star for seemingly no reason. Harrison Ford had clearly checked out by this point, as the film doesn't have much for Han to do besides fret over Leia and make funny faces periodically. The throne room scenes are so much better than everything else in the movie that it's almost like that material is from a better movie.

    Most Head-Scratching Part: Why did the Empire build a second Death Star? And how long did it take them to build it compared to the first one? And they built it with another fatal flaw? Yikes.

  • Star Wars on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#8) Star Wars

    • 1977

    The Case For It: The one that started it all. The original Star Wars is immaculate action filmmaking. From the moment the Rebel Blockade Runner zooms past the frame, hunted by the Imperial Star Destroyer, the film rarely stumbles. The performances of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are some of the most memorable in the history of cinema. This movie set the bar extremely high.

    The Case Against It: It's actually pretty slow in spots. It gets by on its charms and whiz-bang idealism, but the movie grinds to a halt from the moment R2 and C-3PO land on Tattooine to when the Millennium Falcon takes off into space. Younger viewers might even find this movie boring. Sacrilege, we know.

    Most Head-Scratching Part: Luke and Leia kiss, which in hindsight, is pretty gross.

  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back on Random Worst 'Star Wars' Movie

    (#9) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

    • 1980

    The Case For It: The general consensus is that this is the best Star Wars movie ever. It's romantic, tragic, poignant, and genuinely shocking. Every single actor gives it their all for a magnificent script that charts a bold path for a franchise in its infancy. Who doesn't love Lando? 

    The Case Against It: Again, let us reiterate: The general consensus is that this is the best Star Wars movie ever. It's difficult to argue against that, but here goes nothing. There's basically no story to speak of other than "Darth Vader chases our rebel heroes while Luke Skywalker trains to be a Jedi." The Empire Strikes Back is a collection of loosely connected set-pieces that lurches to a cliffhanger ending that might frustrate anyone looking for a movie to tell a complete story on its own. In general, Empire works best in the context of the movies preceding it and immediately following it. It doesn't necessarily work as well as a standalone film.

    Most Head-Scratching Part: This is a fantastic movie that doesn't have many irritating moments, but you might wonder why the Empire has so many pointless, neverending shafts for people to fall down on its ships.

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About This Tool

There are currently eleven movies in the Star Wars series, and there are two popular viewing sequences, one based on the sequence of plot development, and the other based on perception experience. The Star Wars series brought some of the most popular characters in the film, but it also managed to launch some of the most offensive trashes.

While fans are looking forward to a new movie, let us review the best and worst Star Wars movies together. What should be clear is that there is no unified judgment standard, everyone's ideas are different. The random tool lists 9 of the worst Star Wars movies.

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