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All The 'Star Wars' Movies, Ranked By My Nine Year Old

I’ve already said this in another article but, to me, the new 'Star Wars' movies are meaningless.

With very few exceptions, the more content that is built around this universe, the more the original trilogy is diminished. So I don’t see the point.

My nine year old does not agree. He wants more Star Wars. More more more. 

Nick Bhasin

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All New 'Star Wars' Movies Are Meaningless

I saw 'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace' in the theatre in 1999.

But what does my son, the new generation of Star Wars fan, want from these movies?

To find out, I rewatched the nine films with him in chronological order and asked him to choose the best part and character of each movie and to rate the lightsaber fighting, spaceship fighting and rank the movies overall.

(In the interests of time, I didn't include Solo or Rogue One or The Clone Wars feature or the TV movie Ewoks: The Battle of Endor, for that matter.)

Here’s how it went…

[Warning: There are some spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker at the bottom of the article. So if you’re frightened of that kind of thing, just avoid that section.]

Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace

He's one of the cruellest atrocities in cinematic history, but my nine-year-old son thinks Jar Jar Binks is hilarious. (Image: Disney)

From the terrifically boring opening crawl about trade route taxation to the stereotypical Asian accents to Ewan McGregor’s monstrous haircut, it is truly baffling how not fun this movie is.

No character in film history represents the suspicious creative choices of a film better than Jar Jar Binks, who shows up 11 minutes into this movie and proceeds to wreak havoc with horrible slapstick and goofy wordplay (“Exsqueeze me”).

And my nine year old loves it. He thinks the movie is generally boring because it’s “just watching people talk”, but he finds Jar Jar to be completely hilarious.

Best Part:

When Anakin accidentally blows something up at the end and accidentally saves the day

Best Character:

Jar Jar Binks (?!?!)

Lightsaber Fighting:

3 / 5

Spaceship Fighting:

2 / 5

Rank:

8th

Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones

Maybe this movie should've been Yoda jumping around for two hours. (Image: Disney)

After the outrage over Jar Jar Binks, the Gungan jester is sidelined, deeply disappointing my poor boy. To make matters worse, an incredibly stiff Hayden Christensen is introduced in what turns out to be a cheeseball jambaroo with a lot of chit chat, zero cast chemistry and appearances by Rose Byrne and Joel Edgerton.

Natalie Portman endures further indignities, including having her outfit shredded in a suspiciously sexy way and some regrettable falling in love picnic moments.

Aside from Yoda flipping around for a few seconds, my son finds all of this very boring.

Best Part:

When Obi-Wan Kenobi says “Why do I get the feeling you’re going to be the death of me?” to Anakin, because he thinks it's funny.

Best Character:

Mace Windu (Sam Jackson -- who somehow manages to be one of the few people in these movies to escape with his dignity.)

Lightsaber Fighting:

2 / 5 (Thanks to Yoda flipping around.)

Spaceship Fighting:

4 / 5 (For the sequence with all the jumping from space car to space car.)

Rank:

9th (Again, there was too much talking for his tastes.)

Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith

The cheese in these prequels is best enjoyed with a fine wine. (Image: Disney)

Lines like “Oh this is going to be easy”, “This is where the fun begins” and “Hold me like you did at the lake” make this third prequel as painful as the others.

For all the updated effects updating and improved lightsaber fight choreography, we get to the creation of Darth Vader, which is stirring -- and then completely undercut by the preposterous “NOOOOOOOOO”, which almost single-handedly ruins the entire franchise.

Luckily for my son, he is able to enjoy R2-D2 screaming.

Best Part:

Yoda vs Darth Sidious

Best Character:

Yoda

Lightsaber Fighting:

4 / 5 (Yoda fighting plus Hayden Christensen is pretty good with a lightsaber.)

Spaceship Fighting:

2 / 5

Rank:

7th

Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope

Friends. (Image: Disney)

It’s pretty cheesy but still a lot of fun. And the score, which does a lot of heavy lifting, is incredible. After watching Yoda flip around, this lightsaber fighting feels stiff. Also the new effects that Lucas added are awful. 

But all the boy’s favourite elements are here -- the Force, the Millennium Falcon, R2-D2 screaming. He has a great time with it.

Best Part:

At the end, when Han Solo saves Luke Skywalker and screams “Yee hoo!”

Best Character:

Han Solo

Lightsaber Fighting:

3 / 5

Spaceship Fighting:

4 / 5

Rank:

3rd

Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back

"Luke, please, stop whimpering. You're embarrassing me, your father." (Image: Disney)

If you start with the prequels, you forget that Yoda actually has a sense of humour -- and the boy thinks he's very funny in this. He also thinks Luke’s crybaby reaction to Darth Vader telling him he’s his father is hilarious. He’s incredibly insensitive to what it might feel like to get that kind of news from a nasty bad guy.

Best Part:

When Darth Vader floats down from the top of the stairs -- or when Yoda is going through Luke’s stuff. The boy can’t decide.

Best Character:

Yoda

Lightsaber Fighting:

4 / 5 (Vader vs Luke is very cool.)

Spaceship Fighting:

3 / 5 (For the stuff on Hoth with the AT-ATs.)

Rank:

1st (!!!)

Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi

Does anyone remember the 1985 TV movie 'Ewoks: The Battle for Endor'? No? (Image: Disney)

There’s lots of good stuff in here -- Luke talking smack to Jabba, the Jedi mind trick, the barge fight.

My son loves the chase sequences on Endor. “I would love to be on one of those,” he says of the space motorbikes. He also loves the Ewoks because they’re funny.

Best Part:

When Luke jumps off the plank, back flips and catches the cool green lightsaber.

Best Character:

Luke

Lightsaber Fighting:

4 / 5

Spaceship Fighting:

3 / 5

Rank:

4th

Movies

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'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's Major Revelation Had Been Hinted Since 'Force Awakens'

MAJOR SPOILER WARNING FOR 'THE RISE OF SKYWALKER' AHEAD.

Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens

Is this the greatest 'Star Wars' character ever created? (Image: Disney)

It’s remarkable and kind of cheap how much this resembles A New Hope -- give plans to droid, bag guy look for plans, hero in desert, disabling shields, etc.

But the movie plays up the stuff my son likes about Star Wars and it works for him. Rey is basically an enhanced Luke Skywalker and a great character to cheer for. He loves that the Force is so strong with her and it’s undeniable that everything looks better -- the lightsaber fighting, the spaceships, all of it.

And yet, my nine year old prefers A New Hope. He says it’s funnier. And he says that because it came first, it’s automatically better because this is just a copy. That’s an interesting, mature perspective I didn’t know he would have. I’m impressed.

Best Part:

For some reason, when Maz Kanata crawls across the table to look into Finn’s soul.

(My four-year-old son says that his favourite part is when Kylo Ren dies, which, of course, doesn’t actually happen.)

Best Character:

Rey

Lightsaber Fighting:

4 / 5

Spaceship Fighting:

5 / 5 

Rank:

5th

Star Wars: Episode VIII -- The Last Jedi

Luke Skywalker's revenge. (Image: Disney)

This is easily the best of the new movies. It looks great, there are fantastic set pieces and it’s funny. Whether you’re on board with the whole “haves vs the have nots” stuff or not, it’s trying to be about something.

The boy says there was more talking than he would have liked but it wasn’t boring.

Best Part:

When Luke Skywalker ducks Kylo Ren’s lightsaber -- or when Poe says “Permission to hop in an X-Wing and blow something up."

Best Character:

Poe (Because he’s funny.)

Lightsaber Fighting:

4 / 5 (That Snoke scene…)

Spaceship Fighting:

5 / 5

Rank:

6th

Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker

Sorry, no. THIS is the greatest 'Star Wars' character ever created. (Image: Disney)

More pieces should be written about how this trilogy should have been planned better. .

Rian Johnson tried to build something interesting on top of the old stories and create something new. JJ Abrams took what Johnson did, and completely dismantled it. He just rolled everything back! It doesn’t make a lot of sense and it’s borderline offensive, especially with the sidelining of Rose Tico, who some bigots didn’t like because she was Asian

The lame cameos, the spy stuff, the Emperor’s dead and then he isn’t but he wants to die again… it just feels like they’re making it up as they go along and it’s infuriating.

To me.

The nine year old doesn’t notice. He loves all the Jedi / Force stuff and the little guy Babu Frik, who is funny. He also thought it was hilarious when we all thought Rey had killed Chewbacca, which was uncomfortable.

Best Part:

When Babu Frik screams.

Best Character:

Babu Frik

Lightsaber Fighting:

5 / 5

Spaceship Fighting:

3 / 5, which feels like a dig at Poe.

Rank:

2nd (?!?!?!)

Nick Bhasin

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I've Watched This 'Star Wars' Trailer 33 Times And I. Have. QUESTIONS

This is it. The last full trailer for 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'.

My son told me that what he loves most about Star Wars is the Jedi stuff and the Millennium Falcon. He loves the characters and how funny the movies are.

For him, the new trilogy delivers that. His perspective made me appreciate those movies -- and Jar Jar Binks -- more.

But he’s also starting to understand that these new movies and the prequels and everything else is built on something that started over 40 years ago. And he acknowledges (despite that bizarre second place ranking for The Rise of Skywalker, which, to be fair, may be the result of recency bias) that because they came first, it’s hard not to feel like the original trilogy is better than everything else.

So as a member of the new generation of Star Wars fans, he can cherish the originals while enjoying the new stuff. That's probably the best you can ask for.