The Skywalker Saga Ranked (Star Wars)

Today is May the 4th. If you are a Star Wars fan, you know this day has become very special. “May the 4th be with you” will be said thousands upon thousands of times today. In honor of that, I decided to ask the biggest Star Wars fan I know to rank the nine Skywalker Saga films – my 14-year-old son, Wesley Lytle.

Wesley Lytle lives and breathes all things Star Wars. He has devoted hours to thinking, pondering, and writing about these movies. Additionally, Wesley brings an incredibly unique perspective to the movies. He was too young to experience the Original Trilogy or the Prequel Trilogy as they released but he was already a huge Star Wars fan when the Sequel Trilogy hit theaters. He loves the Star Wars movies as passionately and purely as humanly possible. So, without further ado, here’s Wesley’s list!

Ranking of Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 

Star Wars

(Disclaimer: I love all of these movies so just because I rank something last doesn’t mean I hate it.)

9: The Phantom Menace 

This is hard to rank last because it was my favorite Star Wars movie growing up, mostly because of Darth Maul, but now that I’m smarter and more mature I see the flaws. The story is all about politics. And we all know how much 5-year-olds love political debates and treaties. The dialogue is probably the biggest flaw of this movie (of the entire prequel trilogy I should say) and you know……Jar Jar. But despite all the flaws, this movie holds a special place in my heart, and it still pains me to rank it last.

8: Attack of the Clones 

The main reason why I dislike this movie is because of Anakin and Padma’s relationship. The script is awkward, cringy, and the directing doesn’t help at all. I still think Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) gets too much hate for it though. He did a good job with what he was given. But besides that, the action is great, and the music is always amazing, so I still love this movie.    

7: The Last Jedi

Now I’m not one of those people who thinks the sequel trilogy is the worst thing ever made, but I still have problems with it. For starters, this movie completely changes Luke as a character. The whole point was that Luke sensed the conflict within Vader, threw his weapon to the side, and said, “I’ll never turn to the dark side. You’ve failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” This was all changed when Luke sensed darkness in his nephew, Ben, and his first instinct was to kill him, which ultimately led to the creation of Kylo Ren.

Luke later redeems himself which I was happy to see. And at the end of the day, it still entertained me, which is the whole point of a movie, so I still like it.

6: The Rise of Skywalker

I don’t have much to say about this movie. There’s not really anything I hate about it. The Palpatine introduction could have been a little bit better, but I don’t really care all that much. I think it’s a good ending of the trilogy and of the saga. The final fight where we finally got to see Palpatine’s full power was awesome, especially as a 10-year-old in the theater. It’s a good movie, but the next ones are better, that’s why it’s number six.

5: A New Hope

I know what you’re saying, this is way too low. Look, I was so sad to type 5 next to this movie, but it had to be done. Everything about this movie is perfect: the music, the visuals, the characters, the story, the humor. And it still gives me chills when Luke blows up the Death Star.

For some it can seem slow paced, which is why for me, it’s my “sick day” movie; something slow and quiet that makes me happy. Darth Vader is awesome in this movie and never ceases to put a smile on my face. (Fun fact: Darth Vader is only in A New Hope for 8 minutes, but his presence is so powerful we are still scared of him as a villain). This is one of my favorite movies of all time, but I still had to rank it low, sorry. 

4: The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens is the first Star Wars movie I saw in the theaters. And it is the greatest theater experience I have ever had. Well, the beginning was not so good because I saw a trailer to The Mummy and had nightmares for a year, but the rest was great. The audience cheered at every little reference to the original trilogy. Seeing Han and Chewy entering the Millennium Falcon, R2-D2 being revealed, seeing the burnt up helmet of Vader.

This movie has everything that makes Star Wars great: good characters, awesome music, epic space battles, a complex villain, aliens, and every now and then a little bit of romance. People say it’s a rip-off of A New Hope. But that, in fact, is why I love it. It gives the fans a sense of nostalgia. And there is no greater feeling when watching a movie, than when you’re taken back to your childhood. That’s what this movie does and that’s why it’s great.

(Disclaimer Number 2: Just warning you, the top three are just me ranting about Vader so be prepared.)

3: Revenge of the Sith

Now this one may be a little “controversial”. BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE I LOVE THIS MOVIE!! Darth Vader is my favorite Star Wars character, and this is pretty much his origin story. Some people think Anakin’s turn to the dark side seemed too quick and sudden, but I’m here to prove them wrong. Anakin’s dark side nature was with him his whole life. 

He started out as a slave when he was only a child, then left his mother to be trained as a jedi by Qui-Gon Jinn knowing the fact that his mother is still in slavery. Qui-Gon is then killed which leaves Obi-Wan to train Anakin. When Anakin is older, he falls in love with Senator Padme, but the Jedi forbid love. So, Anakin has to keep his relationship secret. He then has a vision of his mother dying, but the Jedi don’t allow him to do anything. He still tries to help her, but fails and murders all the people responsible, which is a big turning point in his life. 

A few years later he has a similar dream about Padme, his secret wife. This is when Anakin’s conflicted emotions grow immensely. He asks Yoda for help, but Yoda pretty much says to deal with it and to get rid of all love. That’s when his good friend and mentor Palpatine tells him there’s a way to keep people from dying, which obviously peaks Anakin’s interest. The Jedi then make the HUGE mistake of not letting Anakin be a Master. That mistake makes Anakin’s trust in the Jedi plummet.

Anakin then finds out that Palpatine is a Sith Lord. The Jedi take action and try to arrest Palpatine. But when Master Windu sees Palpatine’s power he has no choice but to try and kill him. That’s when Anakin has to make the final choice. Should he let Windu kill Palpatine or should he help the only person who knows how to save Padme. 

This moment is when Anakin chooses the dark path and Darth Vader is created. And in the words of Yoda, “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny”. This movie is the point when the Star Wars universe was changed forever, and it gives the character of Darth Vader more depth. And that’s why it is number three.      

2: The Return of the Jedi

The Return of the Jedi is Vader’s redemption story. And as you know from the last review, I love Darth Vader. But I don’t want to spend a whole other review on just one aspect. The moment the movie starts you’re captivated by the amazing rescue mission to save Han Solo and then having the hilarious battle of Endor. I just love seeing adorable fluffy Ewoks absolutely DESTROY highly trained Stormtroopers. And I know when this movie came out the Ewoks weren’t loved among some of the fans, but those people are weird cause Ewoks are awesome. 

This movie also shows how much the main characters have changed. Han Solo changes from an arrogant and selfish smuggler to a selfless general. The scene when Luke tells Leia he’s her brother, then leaves to confront their father, Vader, perfectly shows Han’s change. Han comes out and sees Leia’s distressed. He asks her what’s wrong, but she can’t tell him. He gets mad and starts to storm away, but then stops to comfort her. He doesn’t know what’s wrong, yet he still tries to make her feel better. The old Han Solo wouldn’t have done that. And even though he changes, he still has his signature swagger and wit that makes us love Han as a character. 

Another good development is that Luke who was just a boy in A New Hope is now a fully trained Jedi Knight. And obviously I can’t leave out Vader’s redemption. Luke sensed the conflict in him and instead of killing the most dangerous man in the galaxy he tries to turn him to the light. Some people get confused about “The Chosen One” prophecy. Luke isn’t the chosen one, Anakin is. Luke merely had a major part to play. Anakin Skywalker was the one in the end who killed Palpatine bringing balance to The Force. He is the Jedi that returned. 

1: The Empire Strikes Back

YES, we’re finally here. The Empire Strikes Back is probably my favorite movie of all time, maybe tied with The Return of The King. This movie is non-stop action. Starting with the awesome Hoth battle, perfectly set up by John Williams’ killer soundtrack. Then the exhilarating asteroid chase. Yoda’s introduction is always hilarious and even more so when you’ve seen it hundreds of times before and you know he’s just messing with Luke. 

Another aspect I love is Han and Leia’s love story. I’m not a fan of romance or “rom-com” movies, but this movie is the exception. Mostly because Han is just so perfect, and he absolutely shines in this movie.  

This movie also has Darth Vader being the single greatest villain of all time. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Darth Vader is AWESOME. Every time Vader is on screen I giggle with glee and excitement. 

And I can’t leave this review without mentioning the ending. The final duel is my second favorite sequence in all of Star Wars ending with the iconic “No, I am your father” scene. And best of all this movie does something most movies don’t do, making the bad guys win. And I think that’s a pretty good message because sometimes it seems evil has destroyed good and there’s no more hope in the world, but in the end good will eventually prevail.

Editor’s final thoughts

There you have it. The Skywalker Saga ranked. One final note before I leave you to discuss this list and tell us your rankings. To further prove Wesley’s love of Star Wars, he won’t be seeing this article until much later today as he has been at the theater with his big brother Aidan since 8:00 PM last night watching a marathon of all 9 of these movies.

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5 thoughts on “The Skywalker Saga Ranked (Star Wars)

  • May 4, 2024 at 11:26 am

    Thank you, Wesley! You’re very knowledgeable about all things Star Wars, and you make it so interesting to the reader.

  • May 4, 2024 at 10:03 pm

    Wow! I am no Star Wars fan, but that was a great job, Wesley!!

  • May 6, 2024 at 8:37 am

    Wesley I enjoyed this about like enjoying one of the movies. Thank you!! Can you tell me what your #1 scene is among these 9? I saw the #2. I’ll hear as many as you’d like to mention, ranked or unranked (i.e. #3, #4, etc.)

    • May 6, 2024 at 1:41 pm

      My number one is probably the order 66/Anakin vs Obi Wan sequence. I also like the ending of Return of the Jedi and pretty much all Darth Vader scenes (Because Vader is freaking awesome).


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