Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Ranking the Star Wars Saga Movies

Star Wars is one of the few (pop culture) things that has spanned my entire lifetime.  Having been born in 1975, I did not see the first two movies in the theater, but do remember vividly watching A New Hope on HBO as a young child. Of course back then we just called it Star Wars.  Specifically, my mom and I would turn down the volume and speak all the parts, which drove my Dad crazy.

So to celebrate May the 4th (be with you) I decided to take a trip down memory lane.

The first movie I saw in the theater was Return of the Jedi.  I remember that I had a soccer game at Payant field in East Kingsford at 5:15pm and then we went to the Braumart Theater afterward.  Showing my age, I think the Braumart closed for films when they built the new complex on US-2 in Quinnesec in the early 90's and there may be a building where that soccer field once was.  Starting with the prequels, I have seen every movie since, on opening night.  Even when I had knee surgery last year, I was at the theater with Rachel the next day on crutches, for the opening of The Rise of Skywalker.  I smiled when I saw Han and Chewie make a comeback in The Force Awakens, and cried when an Ewok died.  I suffered through Jar Jar Binks, knowing that there was better to come and cheered every time Luke turns off his targeting computer.

I had Star Wars action figures as a child.  They were my favorite toy before G.I. Joe launched.  I had the Tauntaun with the open belly that you could stuff Luke into, the Degobah playset and a battle damaged X-Wing.  My next door neighbor Jamie had the AT-AT and the Millennium Falcon which were the jewels of the collection and that fueled some jealousy.  As an adult I have started to recollect some of the figures I had as a kid, focusing at first on things from Empire Strikes Back.  There is an AT-AT and snowspeeder on my desk right now.

I had the original baby blue Star Wars bed sheets as a kid (pictured above), that ultimately met their demise in college when I wore them to a toga party.  We even had a dog growing up that was named Chewbacca Wookie (Chewie for short).

So needless to say, I have been living and breathing Star Wars all of my life.  So having gone back and watched all the moves as an adult, I have them ranked in order of my favorite.  Going in, I really thought that Return of the Jedi would have come out higher, but I think the fondness of my memories around seeing it had clouded my Jedi vision and looking back, it is ranked properly.
  1. A New Hope
  2. Empire Strikes Back
  3. The Force Awakens
  4. Return of the Jedi
  5. The Rise of Skywalker
  6. Revenge of the Sith
  7. Rogue One
  8. Attack of the Clones
  9. The Last Jedi
  10. The Phantom Menace
  11. Solo: A Star Wars Story
What are your favorite of the saga and how do you rank them?