As we just found out the Virginia football team will receive a PlayStation 4 Star Wars Battlefront II bundle as part of their Military Bowl swag and the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise - The Last Jedi - opened today (Editor’s note: IT’S AWESOME), we here at Streaking the Lawn wanted to tackle something very, very important. So, we polled the contributors, let Google spreadsheets do some math, and came up with THE DEFINITIVE STL STAR WARS RANKINGS.
It’s very simple. Each contributor who had seen the movies (and one who hadn’t, Schwartz) ranked all eight “canon” films: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, and Rogue One.
Fearless leader Brian Leung did not vote as has not seen any of the movies, and Hobeck hasn’t seen Rogue One, so judge them as you see fit.
Below, you’ll find the full rankings, the standard deviations, and individual rankings. Let’s get to it!
8. Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Two words. Well, one hyphenated word and another word.
That still has to be the most terrible movie decision ever. Even Tommy Wiseau thought Jar-Jar was just too much. Phantom Menace came in last on nine of 13 ballots, which is understandable. Even the pod racing and Darth Maul couldn’t save this one.
7. Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Bleeeeeechhhh. This was my last place choice based solely on the utter terrible-ness of the romance between Padme and Anakin. There’s more chemistry between two wood planks. Episode I or II were in the last two spots on 12 of 13 ballots (Will said The Force Awakens, because ok? He also had Episode I in second, so I don’t know what’s going on there). Hayden Christiansen somehow manages to be just barely more likable than Jake Lloyd, but spends what feels like eternity whining.
This is actual dialogue spoken by a character (Padme):
No, you listen! We live in a real world; come back to it. You're studying to become a Jedi, I'm... I'm a senator. If you follow your thoughts through to conclusion, they will take us to a place we cannot go, regardless of the way we feel about each other.
I don’t want to talk about this movie anymore.
6. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
I’ll go to bat a little bit for Revenge of the Sith. This was by far the best of the first three episodes. It tied everything together and you got that great battle in the lava factory (don’t judge me) and one of my favorite angry-sad moments.
I still don’t believe Samuel L. Jackson died, though. He’s unbeatable.
5. Rogue One
Now, Rogue One was in my top three. This movie is amazing and so well done. The actors are incredible, the characters make you care, and somehow, despite knowing the outcome, found myself wondering how they were going to get out of all of it. Sure, the CGI was a little much and Forest Whitaker’s character was laughable at times, but damn this movie is straight fire.
Diego Luna should be in everything, and that moment with Darth Vader at the end gives me chills just thinking about it.
Rogue One manages to take a story you know the ending to and make it gripping, touching, and so, so re-watchable.
BRB, going to watch Rogue One.
4. Episode VII: The Force Awakens
This is how you do a reboot. I understand the complaints of mimicking A New Hope (ok, completely copying the plot), but it was the best and safest way to gain the trust of the old guard of fans while introducing the new fans to the series. Once again, I think casting made this movie what it was. Where Episode I failed miserably, Episode VII knocked it out of the park. Daisy Ridley is an outstanding lead, not just an outstanding female lead.
Emo Kylo Ren left a little to be desired as a villain, but Supreme Leader Snoke seems like big enough of an asshole to make up for it until Kylo gets his badness down pat.
There’s just something about the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when Han Solo, Chewy, and THA QUEEN GENERAL LEIA ORGANA (RIP), all get together on screen, and the Millennium Falcon kicks ass once again.
3. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
It just feels right that the original three take the top three spots here (not a spoiler for the countdown, if you’ve been keeping track). You’ve got everything. The gang saves Han from Jabba the Hutt, Luke emerges as a Jedi badass (and fights that weird-mouthed beast underground), lightsaber duels, another Death Star (of course), and Ewoks.
I LOVE THE EWOKS. Don’t come at me with angry Ewok takes, I’m not interested.
The battle between Luke and Darth Vader, then Luke and the Emperor, then the Emperor and Darth Vader is amazing. Vader’s redemption tale is very well done (and honestly the only thing that any of Episodes I-III contribute anything towards), and the moment where Luke lays eyes on his father is great cinema.
2. Episode IV: A New Hope
Honestly, this surprised me a little, as I had it much further down my rankings (Tim, Danny, and Ryan put A New Hope at the top of their lists). It’s a great flick (duh), and did the job of introducing the world to the franchise.
Luke is unbelievably whiny (“But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!) and the lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader looks like it was choreographed by a middle schooler, but it’s still so great.
1. Episode V: Empire Strikes Back
UMM, OF COURSE EMPIRE IS NUMBER ONE. WE’RE INCREDIBLY SMART PEOPLE.
Empire Strikes Back took the top vote in nine of the ballots and in the top two of 11 of the 13 rankings (Will and Ryan, what you doing). This one has it all. The ice planet Hoth. Luke getting kidnapped by a Wampah. Han Solo cutting open a Tauntaun for warmth, leading to the creation of the greatest sleeping bag of all time. Luke going to Dagobah for Jedi training with Yoda. Han Solo and Leia finally kissing. Lando backstabbing the crew, but me still loving him because he’s Billy Dee Williams.
And arguably the most badass moment ever in movie history:
Plus, there’s the whole mind blowing scene where you find out Darth Vader is Luke’s father and it’s a scene I wish I could have seen in theaters for the first time.
Empire Strikes Back truly deserves its spot at the top of the rankings.
Here are the numbers:
Star Wars Movie Rankings
|Rank||Team||Avg Ranking||St Deviation|
|Rank||Team||Avg Ranking||St Deviation|
|1||Episode V: Empire Strikes Back||1.54||0.97|
|2||Episode IV: A New Hope||2.58||1.44|
|3||Episode VI: Return of the Jedi||2.67||1.44|
|4||Episode VII: The Force Awakens||4.54||1.39|
|6||Episode III: Revenge of the Sith||4.85||1.21|
|7||Episode II: Attack of the Clones||7.08||0.54|
|8||Episode I: The Phantom Menace||7.3||1.65|
Here are the individual rankings:
STL Individual Rankings
|Episode V||Episode VI||Episode V||Episode IV||Episode V||Episode IV||Episode V||Episode V||Episode V||Episode IV||Episode V||Episode V||Episode V|
|Episode VI||Episode I||Episode VI||Episode V||Episode IV||Episode V||Episode VI||Episode III||Episode IV||Episode VI||Episode VI||Episode VI||Episode IV|
|Rogue One||Episode IV||Episode IV||Episode VI||Episode VI||Rogue One||Episode IV||Episode IV||Episode VII||Episode V||Episode VII||Episode VII||Rogue One|
|Episode III||Episode V||Episode VII||Episode VII||Episode VII||Episode III||Episode VII||Episode VI||Episode III||Episode III||Episode IV||Rogue One||Episode VI|
|Episode VII||Episode III||Rogue One||Rogue One||Episode III||Episode VI||Rogue One||Episode VII||Rogue One||Episode VII||Episode III||Episode VII||Episode VII|
|Episode IV||Rogue One||Episode III||Episode III||Rogue One||Episode VII||Episode III||Rogue One||Episode VI||Rogue One||Episode II||Episode III||Episode III|
|Episode I||Episode II||Episode II||Episode III||Episode II||Episode II||Episode II||Episode II||Episode II||Episode I||Episode I||Episode II||Episode II|
|Episode II||Episode VII||Episode I||Episode I||Episode I||Episode I||Episode I||Episode I||Episode I||Episode II||Episode I||Episode I|
Even the Hoos have gotten the Star Wars bug, using the film in recruit edits. I’m 100% here for this.
Ok y’all. What did we get wrong? Right? Leave a comment below!