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Choosing the finest Star Wars movies may appear to be a daunting task, but we’ve done our best to compile a detailed list of all the big-screen escapades set in that faraway galaxy.

1. Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back

Year of Release: 1980

Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Movie Highlight:

The action continues in this “Star Wars” sequel. On the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) face an attack by Imperial soldiers and AT-AT walkers. While Han and Leia flee on the Millennium Falcon, Luke sets off towards Dagobah in pursuit of Yoda. With the assistance of one of the strongest and best Jedi ever, will Luke be able to live when the dark side of the Force summons him to the ultimate battle with Darth Vader (David Prowse)?

What’s Special About This Movie? 

The Empire Strikes Back just beats out the original Star Wars. Episode 5 was controversial when it was released, but it has everything we love about the show: a familial twist, a shining romance, and, certainly, hope. Yes, despite Empire’s darkness – which includes torture, treachery, unsettling visions, and Luke losing a hand – there is never a sense that everything is lost. Our heroes are wonderful people who strive for justice and will never give up.

Empire has more classic sequences than perhaps any other film. There’s the struggle between Luke and Vader, Leia tells Han she loves him, Luke practices with Yoda, and Luke swings from an antenna at the bottom of Bespin. This film altered cinema, and its significance to so many fans cannot be overstated.

Critics Consensus:

The Empire Strikes Back defies audience expectancy and elevates the series to new emotional heights. It is dark, ominous, and ultimately more engrossing than A New Hope.

The Good About Movie: 

Each and every scene is a classic, and every setting is stunning. “The Imperial March” is the pinnacle of sound and fury, with strutting John Williams music and stunning pre-digital visual effects. Yoda is an amusing character, which makes his life advice eminently quotable. “I’d rather kiss a Wookie,” says Fisher, is as great as “I know,” says Ford. Billy Dee Williams’ performance as Lando Calrissian is so dandy that he almost restarts the film. Also, Boba Fett is always present (Jeremy Bulloch).

The bad About the Movie: 

That cliffhanger finishes, along with the comprehension that the next sequel was three years away, truly stings.

2. Star Wars: Episode VI- A New Hope

Year of release: 1977

Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

Movie Highlight:

While attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the enigmatic Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker teams up with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookie, and two droids to defend the galaxy against the Empire’s world-deteriorating fighting station. A New Hope is a deceptively simple story that uses archetypes that have been around for a long time, but the sensitivity, particulars, and fascination with which Lucas brought it to life made it a classic piece of cinema.

What’s Special About This Movie? 

This is where it all started. A New Hope brought us to that fabled galaxy far, far away, full of loving creatures, humorous people, and a timeless narrative of good vs. evil. This film, which was originally titled Star Wars, inspired a generation of moviegoers and filmmakers. While the effects wowed everyone (and continue to do so), it was the world’s cohesiveness that really impressed everyone.

Unlike most sci-fi at the time, A New Hope depicted a gritty, lived-in universe that feels eerily genuine. Lucas then woven a plot that is essentially a Disney princess story in which a lowly villager (Luke) realizes a greater purpose and confronts the evil side witch (Vader) to rescue the day. A once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Critics Consensus:

It opened viewers’ eyes to the potential of blockbuster cinema with a legendarily expansive and grandiose opening to the sci-fi story, and things have never been the same since.

The Good About Movie

There’s a lot to like here, including R2-D2! Princess Carrie Fisher’s bold, But, from the majestic opening fanfare to the delightful cantina soundtrack, let’s offer a particular shoutout to John Williams’ score for elevating every moment.

The Bad About Movie:

The baselit lightsaber combats and effects, even after more than four decades, can be a little rough in parts. And man, the characters in this film recover quickly from tragedy. Moreover, Lucas had not yet nailed down the characteristics of these characters, as evidenced by Princess Leia’s British accent and Luke’s nasal whining.

3. Star Wars: Episode VII-The Last Jedi

Year of release: 2017

Stars: Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega

Movie Highlight:

The Star Wars tale continues with new heroes and galactic icons embarking on an epic journey to uncover Force secrets and devastating historical truths. This movie brings vigor and passion to the screen, combining all the titillation and exhilaration of the best of these films with genuine character depth and unexpected sacrifices. The new-school films begin to shine with “The Last Jedi.”

What’s Special About This Movie? 

The Last Jedi is undoubtedly one of the most divisive Star Wars films, but for good reason. Rian Johnson’s film threw everything out the window, whereas The Force Awakens reinvented an already established template. Rey’s parents have vanished into obscurity. Luke is an elderly man who has developed an odd sense of humor.

The cinematography is also important. The Last Jedi is, without a doubt, the most gorgeous Star Wars film. With its bracing reds, the throne room scene is incredible. And Luke’s home island, Ach-To, is an incredible training ground. Yes, it’s divisive, but this Star Wars film will become a classic in time. Snoke isn’t all that significant. These choices may seem strange in comparison to what has come before, but they are thrilling revelations. And if The Rise of Skywalker did a bit to undermine some of this, there’s no doubting The Last Jedi stands as its own, fantastic entry in the Skywalker narrative.

The Last Jedi is more than simply a thrilling (and hilarious!) blockbuster in practice. It’s a character-driven, razor-sharp story in which the setup and payoff are everything, and characters are enriched and altered rather than just plot motivators.

Critics Consensus:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga’s rich heritage while introducing some unexpected surprises – and providing all the emotion-laden action fans could want.

The Good About Movie:

A razor-sharp story in which setup and reward are key and characters are enriched and altered rather than just exploited as plot motivators. Moreover, the battle for the throne room! Porgs! The Holdo move is a gasp-inducing sensation!

The Bad About Movie:

The filmmakers had no idea this would be Carrie Fisher’s final on-screen appearance, but it’s still regrettable that they left Leia unconscious for most of the film. Additionally, the majority of the scenes where Rose is thrown into the thick of the action for no apparent reason other than to make us like a new character.

4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Year of release: 2016

Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson

Movie Highlight:

As a new threat to the galaxy emerges, Rey and Finn must join Han Solo and Chewbacca in their search for the galaxy’s last hope for peace. Thirty years after the Galactic Empire was defeated, the galaxy is threatened by the wicked Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When Finn, an ex-stormtrooper, crashes down on a barren world, he encounters Rey (Daisy Ridley), a fierce scavenger with a top-secret map in her droid. Together, the teenage team joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to ensure that the Resistance receives information regarding the location of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights.

What’s Special About This Movie? 

Beyond the original trilogy, The Force Awakens reestablishes the ocular language and bounds of the Star Wars world. After the emperor’s defeat, the good guys did not triumph. Instead, life throughout the cosmos continued unabated. Our cherished characters are elderly, tattered, and disunited (or whatever the version from a galaxy far, far away is).

Hope now rests on the shoulders of three new characters: the scrapper Rey, the renegade defector Finn, and the sleek flier Poe. This is a brilliant narrative that revisits old material while also introducing new characters to build a terrific sequel trilogy.

Critics Consensus:

The Force Awakens perfectly recalls the series’ earlier greatness while filling it with regenerated energy. It is packed with action and inhabited by both familiar characters and new blood.

The Good About Movie:

The first half-hour, which quickly establishes Finn and Rey as the new series’ stars before staggeringly killing off Oscar Isaac’s cheerful Poe Dameron at the 25-minute mark. One of the most beautiful shots in the entire series is of Rey going down the beach away from a fallen Star Destroyer. BB-8 is adorable!

The Bad About Movie:

R2-D2 spends far too much of the film sleeping, finally waking up at a plot-convenient point late in the story.

It’s great to see Harrison Ford reprise his role as Han Solo, but the character’s greatness in the film overshadows the younger characters. The entire Resistance-First Order relationship never makes sense; it’s clear that Abrams and his partners simply wanted to rename the Rebellion and the Empire.

5. Star Wars: Episode VIII- The Return of Jedi

Year of release: 1983

Stars: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Movie Highlight:

The Rebels go to Endor to destroy the second Death Star after a daring expedition to save Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. Meanwhile, Luke attempts to save Darth Vader from succumbing to the dark side without plunging into the emperor’s dupe.

What’s Special About This Movie? 

Return of the Jedi does something unusual for a trilogy finale: it wraps up all the loose ends and provides a satisfactory conclusion to all that has come before. A lot of things happen: peace is restored to the galaxy (for the time being), the emperor is vanquished (for the time being), Han and Leia reunite (for the time being), and there’s a massive battle over Endor that’s still mind-boggling today.

The film’s ability to bounce between the conflict between father and son, the earth war of Stormtroopers against the Ewoks, and the space dogfights led by Ackbar and Lando without feeling disjointed is great editing. And, let’s face it, you adored the Ewoks and their yub-nub song. We’re all guilty.

Critics Consensus:

Despite not reaching the zenith of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi is an enjoyable sci-fi adventure and a suitable conclusion to the original trilogy.

The Good About Movie:

One of the most stunningly intense episodes in the entire tale is the speeder pursuit through Endor’s woodlands.

The Bad About Movie:

When the Empire can’t even stand up against a group of teddy bears with ropes and pulleys, they appear a bit less menacing.

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