That’s right, the Supernaughts have joined forces to provide an official, definitive ranking of the George Lucas era Star Wars saga, soon to be extended even further thanks to our new Sith Lords at Disney. 21 of the finest writers, podcasters, and guest writers of the Supernaughts turned in their individuals rankings of each film, from best to worst, such that we could compile this written in stone judgement.
Will there be any surprises? Stick around until the end to find out. But before we get to the numbers, let’s see what some of our contributors and friends had to say about the individual films, starting with the first film in the timeline.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Puck Propaganda: Rank 5
There is a lot to like about The Phantom Menace, and I mean a lot: Darth Maul, Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan, the lightsaber duels, John Williams’ score, Senator Palpatine, podracing, and even Padmé Amidala. However, everything that works is dragged down kicking and screaming by what doesn’t, most notably Jake Lloyd’s horrible non-acting as Anakin Skywalker and Jar Jar frickin’ Binks. Hell, the Gungans in general are garbage, but Jar Jar is the kind of shit even garbage wouldn’t want to be around. Then there’s the mishandling of the whole midi-chlorians thing, a mediocre script, some terribly awkward dialogue, overuse of toilet humour, and Lucas’ average at best directorial skills. Nonetheless, I still very much enjoy the film. It’s good, just nowhere near as good as the worst film in the original trilogy.
Orcus: Rank 6
Basically 2+ hours of exposition. Yes, it had a beginning, middle, and end, but it didn’t really accomplish anything. It wasn’t so much a movie as opposed to a flashback that could have been edited into the other prequel trilogy films. Aside from the podrace and Darth Maul, there wasn’t a whole lot to take away from this. The only way to improve this movie would be to treat it as a silent film with placards providing the info dumps to John Williams’ soundtrack.
AsimovLives: Rank 6
…because it’s kinda dull, it has Jar Jar Abrams, sorry I mean Jar Jar Binks, and, well, Binks really is enough reason. Cool lightsaber duel though!
Kyle: Rank 4
Yep. That’s right (spoilers), I rated The Phantom Menace above Return of the Jedi. What can I say? Darth Maul, Ewan McGregor, and the podrace go a LONG way for me.
Joe: Rank 6
A weak back pedalling for the mythos and more racist caricatures with Black, Japanese, and Jewish stereotypes front and center. There were good elements, but Jar Jar alone would be reason enough to burn the negative.
I know that there is an argument that Jar Jar was an attempt to appeal to younger consumers. Mike Nesmith of the Monkees once said that you can entertain a three year old by chewing with your mouth open, but that is not what you should be doing. There is also an argument that it is important to have things to disgust your elders to fulfill personality development. The same people think they can take gallons of alcohol without getting negative physical effects and can frequently be seen hitting themselves in the head with a hammer to cure a toothache.
Uh huh. Nah. You had enough young asshole rebellion in Anakin, who at no time is challenged on his percolating hormones being responsible for his decisions. He is shown to be a tool and nothing more. One hopes Padmé’s genes are dominant in the kids. But we will find out about that in a few days, won’t we?
Dee: Rank 5
I guess Lucas wanted to recreate the feeling of A New Hope with his return to the saga and adapted its pacing, which was not a good idea in this case. This is not the story of a farm boy on a desert planet who finally escapes his boring life, we are instead following two experienced heroes in a fully fledged universe already.
Good grief, that movie really wastes a lot of time on nothing, going back and forth without accomplishing a lot. Who knows why Lucas wanted to reuse the dynamic of the three simultaneous, interconnected showdowns from Return of the Jedi, a decision that was destined to lead to unfavourable comparisons. And I did not even mention kid Anakin and Jar Jar yet.
A few saving graces keep this instalment from hitting the bottom of my ranking, like Neeson’s strong presence, Darth Maul’s lightsaber skills, and the podrace. With the battle droids, the sea creatures, and the yellow star fighters, this movie can also boast some neat designs. A very unwieldy experience.
Scott: Rank: 6
Watching this was a Menace…to my sanity.
Next page: Anakin really hates sand