Making your way through the Star Wars movies while in lockdown? Maybe you're struggling to prioritise which one to watch next?
If the whole chronological/year of release approach is a bit boring, here's our blog-based alternative, ranking the movies based on their Rotten Tomatoes score.
The site aggregates a percentage score for each particular movie, based on its 'fresh' versus 'rotten' reviews system. As we've mentioned before, it's an imperfect system, given that some films score highly based on a lower number of consistently fresh reviews. Meanwhile, others have more reviews to their name but are dotted with positive and negative reactions, bringing their overall percentage down. In short, it's disproportionate.
Nevertheless, don't use the Force to decide your Star Wars lockdown playlist, as we've done the job for you. Scroll down below the GIF to discover the rankings.
Director JJ Abrams resolved the Skywalker saga in the third and final instalment of the most recent Star Wars trilogy. Daisy Ridley's Rey and Adam Driver's Kylo Ren must sort their differences once and for all, as the resurgent Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) threatens the entire galaxy. And, movingly, we bid farewell to a Star Wars icon: Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher.
10. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (53%)
After 22 years, George Lucas returned to the role of Star Wars director with his first prequel movie. Capitalising on the developments in 1990s CGI technology, The Phantom Menace introduces us to young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), the unassuming boy whose Force abilities foreshadow his later growth into Darth Vader.
Lucas's prequel trilogy continued with Attack of the Clones, as the older Anakin (Hayden Christensen) grapples with the Force and his attraction to Padme (Natalie Portman). Ewan McGregor gives it some much-needed oomph as a sprightlier Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Christopher Lee pops up as the evil Count Dooku.
8. Solo: A Star Wars Story (70%)
The second, and most recent, of the Star Wars anthology spin-offs had a troubled production history. Initially, The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were assigned to bring us the backstory of Han Solo, played as a younger man by Alden Ehrenreich. However, they were later fired and Willow's Ron Howard took over.
The Star Wars prequel trilogy concludes with Anakin's tragic and horrific transformation into the feared Darth Vader. Director George Lucas establishes all of the puzzle pieces that will resonate in the chronologically later A New Hope, including the birth of Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia. That Darth Vader 'birth' scene, though? Nooooooo!
The original Star Wars trilogy concluded with Return of the Jedi, in which the dastardly Empire were undone with help from the cuddly Ewoks. No matter: the lifeblood of the story is the emotionally gripping showdown between Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and his tortured father Darth Vader (James Earl Jones/David Prowse).
5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (84%)
The first of the Star Wars anthology spin-offs details one of the most important moments in the history of the franchise. Felicity Jones leads this relatively dark and gritty adventure, playing a rebel who leads a squadron to steal the Death Star plans. That we're emotionally invested in a story where we know the outcome is a testament to the movie's brilliance.
Rian Johnson took over for the second instalment of the most recent Star Wars trilogy. The Looper and Knives Out helmer controversially shook up many aspects of the mythology, including Luke Skywalker's perception of the Jedi order, and the various Force abilities. Still, one can't knock that spectacular final battle scene on Crait.
3. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (92%)
This is where the franchise began, but it's not the highest-rated movie on Rotten Tomatoes. George Lucas's spirited tribute to the sci-fi adventure serials of his youth was a full-blooded return to old-school Hollywood panache and spectacle. It also cemented Darth Vader as an iconic villain and made stars out of actors such as Harrison Ford.
Some 12 years after the prequel trilogy concluded, director JJ Abrams triumphantly resurrected the Star Wars series. Forgoing trade federation politics and overly abundant CGI, Abrams restored a sense of the whimsy and fun of the original Star Wars trilogy, even if many alleged that the movie was a thinly veiled reworking of A New Hope.
Little surprise here: the most critically acclaimed Star Wars movie is also the one that many fans hold up as the greatest. More emotionally mature and dramatically resonant than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back is the gold standard in terms of what can be achieved in a sequel. And that Darth Vader revelation had every single Hollywood screenwriter in its wake scrambling for shocking ways to bamboozle the audience.
Which Star Wars movie is your favourite? Let us know @Cineworld.