Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

First impressions are important. When Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was first announced at E3 2019, it had a lot to live up to. The first two Lego Star Wars games (later edited and repackaged as The Complete Saga) held a special place in the hearts of fans with its charm and visual storytelling. The following installment, based on the Clone Wars TV Series functioned differently with less of a focus on individual levels and more of a focus on open-world gameplay. The same is true of the Lego adaptation of The Force Awakens but after that game, there was silence. There were no video games based on The Last Jedi but with The Rise of Skywalker on the horizon, fans hoped that something would manifest. Anticipation was high and when that first trailer dropped at E3 it seemed to deliver. It boasted all 9 core films in Lego form in glorious high definition, which was further demonstrated by the second trailer unveiled in the lead up to December of 2019.

It quickly became one of the most anticipated releases of 2020, before it was announced that the game would be delayed until sometime in the first quarter of 2021. This wouldn’t be the first delay, with it finally being released on April 5th, 2022, although there were frequent trailers during this time that gave a further glimpse at the expanded galaxy each time. Those who pre-ordered the Deluxe Edition of the game would receive an exclusive Luke Skywalker Minifigure with his own carton of blue milk as well as each of the 7 DLC Character Packs as they released. The first two of these packs, featuring characters from Solo: A Star Wars Story and series one of The Mandalorian, would be available from the day of the game’s release.

This is where the issues began.

The code given with the deluxe edition, which was to provide access to the DLC, only granted access to the Classic Character pack. It would seem that the codes meant for the deluxe edition ended up in the cases for the standard edition which was an issue for sure, but fixable. Within 2 days of release and after countless e-mails from fans, the developers were able to patch the game providing the correct DLC for those who paid for it. Thankfully, it wasn’t an issue that affected the core gameplay…that came later. Many players have reported several bugs over the past month, which they hope to be resolved in a patch of some kind. It’s worth noting that the developers aren’t to blame for this as they (like all video game developers) crafted this game under ridiculous time constraints, unfair hours, and a paycheck that doesn’t reflect the hours they actually worked. Crunch time is a serious issue and video game companies should be held accountable.

A major bug prevents the level markers for Maz Kanatas mission from loading in, meaning that players cannot play this level or any that follow it. Since each episode of the saga needs to be completed to unlock the next, it leaves players unable to access episodes 8 and 9 as well as the planets and missions unlocked by playing through them. It seems like opening a new save file may solve these issues for some players although it would mean replaying through any portions of the game that have already been completed.

Next are the loading issues, which aren’t game-breaking by any means, but may be bothersome to some. The biggest of these occur during the Smugglers Run missions, where the player will occasionally drop out of hyperspace to take on battalions of villains. If the player has already fought some of the Capital Ships (like the Galactic Trade Federation Ship) then it will load in during these battles but only as textures. They take up a large portion of the screen but they have no mass, meaning that they can be flown through. The only workaround seems to be completing these Smuggler Runs missions before taking on the Capital Ships, however, since they spawn at random this isn’t possible.

EDIT: In a patch, it appears that the developers have managed to smooth over the majority of these bugs. It is currently still unclear how many but the Capital Ships issue is entirely fixed.

Lastly for this article, although I’m sure there are more hidden in the game itself, is the loading screen. It’s a gorgeous piece of artwork in its own right with many of the main characters from across the entire saga just hanging out. There are some neat little character moments in here like Rose Tico tasering Jar Jar Binks or Poe Dameron and Finn being unable to keep their hands off each other (methinks there was a Stormpilot fan on staff) but these are not the flaws. The flaws are that, on occasion, they will load in incorrectly. So far, they have loaded in the lightsabers minus the characters and, more horrifyingly, loaded in the characters minus their faces.

These issues are particularly frustrating because the game itself is excellent. It’s not simply a remaster of the previous games (like GTA: The Definitive Edition was) but a completely new game, built from scratch and designed for a totally different experience. The Complete Saga was primarily focused on the missions, 6 for each episode, which were accessed through doors at the main hub – a cantina. Meanwhile, The Skywalker Saga spends less time on levels and more time on open-world exploration and collectable hunting. There are numerous side quests, puzzles, and trials to complete across the 24 planets and the space in between them along with almost 400 characters to unlock. The galaxy is vast in a way that’s never been fully exemplified before, with the closest approximation being the Battlefront games which showed areas previously unseen but which only scratch the surface in comparison to this. It’s clear that the developers hope that the player will explore every nook and cranny, given how much walking there is between levels. It can feel as though the 9 episodes are merely to acquaint the player with game mechanics and to unlock the various planets, with the “real” game being the galactic exploration. This won’t be for everyone but it’s an absolute delight for anyone who wants to marvel at all the galaxy has to offer.

It’s a gorgeous game, making the most of every pixel on screen. Whether it’s the reflective surfaces, sunset skies, or the sheer quality of the high-definition graphics, there’s plenty to be in awe of. This carries across to the characters and the way they interact with their surroundings. They leave little square footprints on the ground, dirt sticks to their clothes, and the frost builds up along the plastic seams. It’s no wonder this game took so long to make. It’s not just a treat for Lego fans but for Star Wars fans too, with little easter eggs and nuggets of lore littered all over the place. A high number of these may be accidentally missed by the player if they’re not keeping a watchful eye, making this world feel lived in and loved. There’s a recreation of a photo featuring Warwick Davis with some of the original cast on Endor, cover art for previous Lego Star Wars games, and even a literal easter egg. It is abundantly clear that this game wasn’t just made for Star Wars fans, it was made by Star Wars fans.

One of the game’s strongest aspects is the voice cast, comprised mainly of returning voice actors from the Clone Wars TV series. Fans of the show will get a kick out of hearing such iconic voices reading even more iconic lines, like James Arnold Taylor uttering Obi Wans famous “hello there”. It also provides a little more weight to his final duel against Matt Lanter’s Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, which they deserved the chance to voice. The standout performance comes from Sam Whitwer who, as well as returning to voice Darth Maul, voices Emperor Sheev Palpatine. He pours as much energy into this performance as he ever did for Maul, absolutely cackling with devilish glee as he delivers lines like “do it” and “I am the Senate”. This is on top of the return of some original cast members too, like Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Brian Blessed, and Daniel Logan.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga may not be the definitive edition of this story but it’s the most expansive. Having been created all it once, it has benefits that the original 9 films never did, like referencing any piece of the lore that they choose in any era. (Keep an eye out for the Jawas!). The John Williams composed soundtrack is as beautiful and meticulously crafted as it has always been, which perfectly matches the beautifully crafted locations. It’s got plenty of that Lego-brand humour that will delight both children and adults, without ever overshadowing the original story. The amount of travel won’t be for everyone, nor will the numerous bugs, but if you can survive these then you’re in for a whole galaxy’s worth of fun.

May the Force be With You…

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

The Star Wars Collection

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Film)

Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Rouge One: A Star Wars Story

Episode IV: A New Hope

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

The Clone Wars/ Rebels

Ranking the Star Wars Saga

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

ED: The Phantom Debate

ED: The TROS Defence

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

Clone Wars/ Rebels

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: Rebels both aired during my childhood. However I never got the chance to watch them at the time due to them being shown on Cartoon Network, and Disney XD respectively. Whilst I could have found them online, I never made the effort to… but with their release on the streaming service Disney+ it became easier than ever, so I took the plunge. Instead of doing a small review episode by episode, I chose to review them season by season. The following is a collection of those reviews, with a newer summary of my overall feelings on both shows.

 Series 1 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars does a wonderful job of easing us back into the prequel era and setting up the series’ to follow. Marvellous voice work and solid animation (for the time).

Series 2 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is where the show really settles into its own. Great character development and huge ramifications towards the series’ end.

The first several episodes of Series 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars are an odd dive back into the first couple of series. When it finally decides to progress the story is when the show becomes most impressive and intense.

 Series 4 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars leans heavily on the actual “war” aspect. It’s gritty and doesn’t hold back on how people can be swayed. The finale is also one of the best things to happen to Star Wars.

Series 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is your reminder that you can make a show for children AND address morality. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun and an emotional roller coaster.

Series 6 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars provides a definitive shift in tone. The energetic entertainment of Attack Of The Clones is gone and the dark powerhouse that is Revenge Of The Sith has arrived. I don’t think I’m ready for this to end.

Series 7 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars may be one of the finest pieces of television ever devised. Solid plot, CGI and score throughout. As a Star Wars fan watching the finale I am both delighted and emotional.

Series 1 of Star Wars: Rebels is interesting. More a show for children than a children’s show, which makes sense given the Disney buyout. The animation also comes off a little bit flat though I’d imagine I’ll get used to it. I see A LOT of potential.

Series 2 of Star Wars: Rebels feels, at times, like a sequel to Clone Wars and whilst I can appreciate that, I like when it is its own thing. By the end of the finale I was sold on Rebels as a whole and am really looking forward to Series 3.

Series 3 of Star Wars: Rebels is unapologetically and sometimes forcefully Star Wars. The show has finally let itself become a show centred on its cast and Grand Admiral Thrawn is a fantastic addition. There were laughs, cries and closure.

Series 4 of Star Wars: Rebels is a beautiful ending to a show I found myself adoring. The entire second half is essentially one long episode and it holds ZERO punches. This franchise wont end and I won’t stop loving it.

Overall, I definitely prefer The Clone Wars to Rebels, but both shows have their own pros and cons. The Clone Wars gives us a closer look at one of the biggest wars in the entire franchise with a decent balance of action and politics. The animation is a little rough to start with but progresses quickly, and by the end of the show’s run, it is simply stunning to look at. Having experienced the prequels fairly young, I was really interested in spending more time in that era with the characters I knew, and the development of those characters was filled with a lot of emotion. I also loved the new additions like Ashoka, Captain Rex, and Hondo Ohnaka, and explorations of the Clone psyche. However, those first few seasons are a little slower than the latter seasons with episodes that weren’t released in chronological order, which made following the story a little difficult at times.

Meanwhile, Rebels introduces us to a brand new cast of main characters that become compelling despite their lack of importance to the main “Skywalker Saga”. The animation can be jarring at first, but it looks like a 3-D rendering of Ralph McQuarrie’s original artwork which is a nice touch. The first half of the show can feel like a continuation of The Clone Wars, but when allowed to tell its own stories, they’re full of heart. Sabine Wren very quickly became one of my favourite characters in the whole franchise, and Chopper continues the trend of sassy astromech droids.

Something that both shows handle exceptionally well is the villains. Clone Wars introduces us to Asajj Ventress while continuing the story of Darth Maul and the rise of Emperor Palpatine. Rebels gives us more time with Admiral Tarkin whilst introducing Imperial Agent Kallus and Grand Admiral Thrawn, who quickly became one of my favourite characters. Both shows give more than satisfactory endings with Clone Wars especially feeling like it should have had a theatrical release.

If you haven’t seen either of these shows, I highly recommend them. It’s clear that Lucasfilm is planning to incorporate both of these shows in their ever-expanding universe, and with many shows on the way, it may be easier to catch up sooner rather than later.

May The Force Be With You…

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Film)

In 2003, the Star Wars franchise was between instalments. Attack of the Clones had been released the previous year and it wouldn’t be until 2005 that Revenge of the Sith hit theatres. To fill in the gap and explore the legendary Clone Wars first mentioned in 1977’s A New Hope, Lucasfilm hired animator Genddy Tartakovsky to create an animated miniseries. Tartakovsky was well known, and well respected, for his television show Samurai Jack, the gritty tone and stylised animation of which can be found in abundance with Clone Wars.

The show aired on The Cartoon Network (later just Cartoon Network) during advertisement breaks with each of the first 20 episodes (series 1 and 2) running at just three minutes in length. The final five episodes (series 3) would get their own allotted time slot as they were upped in length to twelve minutes each. This meant that, in total, the entire show ran at just over two hours long, effectively giving us a feature length film between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Star Wars: The Clone Wars was created as part of the main canon, with some elements even getting a mention in the novelisation of Revenge of the Sith such as series villain Asajj Ventress. To me, this series is still one of the finest pieces of storytelling and animation that Lucasfilm have ever given us, but there is now a new canon Clone Wars where this show once stood.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a 2008 computer animated film that follows Anakin Skywalker and his newly assigned Padawan Ashoka Tano as they attempt to retrieve the kidnapped son of crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Along the way, they and Obi Wan Kenobi must survive attacks and treachery from the Sith Lord Count Dooku and his apprentice Asajj Ventress. Asajj is one of the few elements carried over from the 2003 miniseries, along with the general character designs and several members of the voice cast. The most prominent returns in terms of voice acting are James Arnold Taylor as Obi Wan and Tom Kane as Yoda. They would return again for the television show, of which this film was the backdoor pilot. As far as pilots go, this one is pretty good, although it isn’t perfect.

I’ve now watched The Clone Wars several times and each time I soften to it a little bit more. Before viewing it for this piece, I remember not being fond of it and thinking that it may be the worst of all the films in the franchise, however I was definitely being overly critical of it. There are critiques to be made for sure, but there is also plenty to enjoy. The soundtrack by composer Kevin Kiner really sets this film apart from the others, with its use of less common instruments like Dudukes and Ouds, and mid-2000s vibe. The oft-used John Williams theme is sampled for the opening and end credits, but the rest of the score is purely Kevin. The voice cast all give great performances too, whether it’s newcomers like James Arnold Taylor and Tom Kane or returning voices like Samuel L Jackson and Sir Christopher Lee. Whilst the animation itself comes across like computer game graphics, the backgrounds are gorgeous and clearly inspired by the concept art of long-time Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie. Probably my favourite element of The Clone Wars is its addition to the ever-expanding Star Wars lore.

The lore of the Star Wars franchise is a marvellous but fickle thing. Between the small retcons here and there, like the 2003 miniseries, there are brand new additions which continue to be beloved by fans. There’s an abundance of those additions here, which will later be vastly expanded by the 7 series long run of the show that follows. Asajj Ventress is a phenomenal villain who is both vengeful and skilled whilst still living in perpetual fear of disappointing her master. Ashoka Tano is, as the film points out, a lot like Anakin with her cocky attitude and secretly caring nature, whilst also being intuitive. These two master/student pairings are fascinating to watch and compare. The film also introduces us to the immensely likable, and later fan-adored, Clone Captain Rex as well as the simple humour of the Separatist Battle Droids, and the previously unseen members of the Hutt clan. Whilst the show really takes its time to explore all of these elements, the film does a fantastic job of introducing the concepts.

However, my criticisms come with the story itself. We start off with a 20 minute long battle between the Droid and Clone Armies, which is great fun, before rescuing Jabba’s son, which is fine, before getting a B-Plot with Padmé in the final act which feels a little unnecessary. I feel like the plot should be building to something instead of starting on a high before sort of dwindling. The character interactions and action sequences are enough to keep the film intriguing, but I wish that the main plot was a little stronger. The B-Plot with Padmé feels like less of a “twist” and more of a “snap” despite the character being really likable. Ideally this B-Plot would have been present from the very beginning of the film ,or not present at all, which would have allowed us more time with characters or fights. This sidequest also introduces us to Jabba’s uncle Zirro the Hutt who is painfully queer-coded. It only becomes a major issue throughout the television show’s run, but I’m still not a fan of it here. He is literally the only Hutt, as far as we know, who speaks English, and they gave him a feminine voice with a lisp, which makes the queer-coding feel almost intentional. It kind of sucks to be honest.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, for the time being, is the last of the canonical Star Wars films to be reviewed and the reasoning is that it doesn’t really fit. I could have done this entire franchise in order, but I made the conscious decision to do the mainline Skywalker Saga, before doing the off-shoots, before doing this one. Part of that is that I already had those first 6 films ready to go, but part of it is also because they are the “most important” to the Star Wars story I suppose. If you’re watching everything in this franchise in chronological order, then you’re following this with the television show, but if you’re sticking to the films then you’re following it with Revenge of the Sith– providing a severe disconnect. Firstly, this is the only animated feature in the (currently) 12 film line-up that consists of live-action films. Secondly, the story doesn’t pick up or end in a convenient place. There’s no clear indication of the presumable time jump that happens after Attack of the Clones, and the film ends open-ended so as to provide a launching point into the story of the television show. This isn’t to say that the film is bad, because I don’t think it is, it’s just that because of the way in which the film is constructed you are kind of required to watch the show before Revenge of the Sith. That show is excellent and leads perfectly into that film, but in terms of a “Movies Only” marathon, the Tartakovsky show, despite being non-canon, just fits better. As always, the choice of how you handle viewing this film and the franchise around it is entirely up to you.

May the Force Be With You…

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

Disney Investor Day 2020

It’s that time of the year when Walt Disney Studios gather their investors together to display some of the projects that they have coming down the pipeline. As with previous years, we, the general public, were able to attend via livestream, although the majority of new footage was reserved purely for investors. With Disney’s intention to provide at least 100 new pieces of content each year, there was a lot of information to unpack, and that’s not what I’m here to do. If you’d like full rundowns of the information, they are readily available online from a variety of sources. Instead, I am going to go through the announcements that had me excited and/or intrigued, although if we are being honest I will end up watching most of what they create anyway.


The first major piece of news for me was the confirmation that It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has been given the go ahead for 4 more series. This pushes the total number of series up to 18 and makes it the longest running live-action sitcom in history – ahead of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet at 14 series. I can’t wait to spend more time with the horrible owners of Paddy’s Pub.


News of a series set around Star Wars legend Obi Wan Kenobi was announced at last year’s Disney Expo, but we now know that the limited series will pick up 10 years after Revenge of the Sith. This sets it 1 year after the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story and 5 years before the TV Series Rebels. The major news is that prequel star Hayden Christensen is set to reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker (now Darth Vader). I’m sold.


Star Wars Visions will be a series of short films brought to us by some of the finest Japanese anime creators. You read that right, we’re getting Anime Star Wars. No, I don’t feel like I need to explain further.

Rogue Squadron

With a title taken from the video games of the late 1990s, which were set between the events of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, I can only assume then is when this film takes place. The real news here is that it will be directed by the wonderful Patty Jenkins, who is fresh of the heels of the Wonder Woman films. This makes her the first woman to take charge of a Star Wars film and I can think of nothing more important or exciting for this franchise than that.

Wimpy Kid

The book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid has already been adapted into a set of live action films, but this next instalment is to be animated in the style of the original books’ illustrations. I’ve always felt the story would work better that way and it’s nice to see it finally happening.

Rescue Rangers

I did not expect to be excited by this news, but this will be a live action/animation hybrid featuring comedians John Mulaney and Andy Samberg. These are a few of my favourite things/people and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.


It would appear that Disney+ Series are the new direct-to-video sequels, and we’re getting a few of them. Tiana is taking us back into the world of The Princess and the Frog which, I feel, may be one of the most underrated Disney productions.


I’ll be honest, I’m looking forward to everything that PIXAR is developing, but this one is especially exciting. This film will be a Buzz Lightyear origin story that inspired the toy in the universe of Toy Story and I’ve kind of always wanted that. Plus they have Chris Evans onboard to voice the titular spaceman. Now we just need a TV Series of Woody’s Roundup.


This TV Series looks like it will be the most original concept that Marvel Studios has produced in a very long time. The aesthetic looks really interesting, and Elizabeth Olsen is more than good enough to carry a series of her own. I’m looking forward to perhaps seeing the full extent of Scarlet Witches’ powers.


I was probably going to watch this anyway because, Tom Hiddleston seems like he has a lot of fun in the role, but now I’ve seen footage of the show itself and it does look like fun. They also have Owen Wilson, and time travel, which is a combination I would very much like to have.

She Hulk

This is the closest thing we are going to get to a solo Hulk venture for quite a while, which is reason enough to be excited. It’s also going to be focused on her role as a lawyer, so according to Kevin Feige “there’s no telling who might show up”. This feels like a Daredevil tease, but what is confirmed is that Eli Roth will be returning as The Abomination, a character not seen since 2008.

What about the rest?

You’d think that with so many new pieces of media in the realm of both Star Wars and Marvel that I’d have more items on this list, and I’d have thought so too. The thing is that practically all of the other content they announced ties directly into something else, and I would really like some stand-alone content. The Mandalorian has been some of the best Star Wars content, I feel, because it can stand on its own. As for Marvel, I’m honestly a little burned out, as many people are, I think. With both franchises ending their major film plans last year, there was a lot of hype, and for some, a lot of disappointment. I love these franchises as much as anybody (heck, I’m going to keep watching and probably enjoying them regardless) but I think slowing down before speeding back up would have given everyone a little time to breathe. There’s something to be said for selective content.

Signed: Your hypocritical neighbourhood queer

The TROS Defence

Before we begin this long journey, I would like to clarify that I am not JJ Abrams, and that I am in no way affiliated with him, amd as a result, I cannot know for certain what is in the original script (from Abrams and Terrio, not Trevorrow) for The Rise of Skywalker (TROS), or how the information in that script differs from the novelisation by Rae Carson. This defence is comprised of notes that cast members have given us about the script, the contents of the novel (which I have read), and information from within the film itself, topped of with a small amount of theorising. The aim is not to convince those who believe that the film is awful that they are wrong, nor is it to dissuade anybody who did like it. As mentioned in my review [HERE] I believe that there are several flaws in the film, but I don’t think that they should ruin your opinion of it. They certainly didn’t for me. I have broken the numerous complaints into several categories for ease of reading.

PART ONE: Concerning Sheev

Having died at the hands of Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi some 31 years earlier in the timeline, Emperor Sheev Palpatine has returned. The film brushes off how this is possible, citing “cloning, dark science, secrets only the Sith knew” but we are left in the dark on the subject. The novel tells us that his feeble body is merely a clone of the original, and that it is inhabited by the spirit of the original Palpatine. However, this clone body is too weak to sustain his unlimited power, which is why it seems to be rotting away, with chemicals from his crane keeping him alive. The dark side technique of Essence Transfer has appeared before, in the Star Wars: Legends timeline, being used by several figures including the highly popular Darth Bane, but this is the first time that it has appeared in the new canon. Many have wondered how Palpatine’s feeble frame could use the force to summon an entire armada of destroyers, but the novelisation clarifies that this is simply a vision that he is giving Kylo Ren. It’s revealed in the opening scene that Sheev isn’t the only clone as we discover that Former Supreme Leader Snoke- antagonist of The Last Jedi– was too. Not only that, but he had been designed as a way to groom Ben Solo into the ways of the Sith and, ultimately, as his final test. We see several elderly Snoke bodies floating in a Bacta Tank, leading many to question if he has always looked like that. I theorise that he has not and that several Snokes were being grown at the same time to age at the same rate. This would lead to an easier way of replacing the first Snoke should he somehow die. As previously mention, with his death at the hands of Kylo Ren, Snoke has served his purpose, so it would stand to reason that there would still be several clones to spare. I’ve seen claims that if he was merely a creation of Palpatine and under his control that he didn’t really bridge the minds of Kylo and Rey. However, supplementary material dives into a smattering of Snoke’s past so I propose that instead of literally being under the control of Palpatine, he is instead an independent being under Sheev’s influence. The fact of the matter is that we know next to nothing about Snoke, and that he could have been in communication with his creator the entire time. I’ve seen further claims that nobody really bridged Rey and Kylos minds because they were already connected through their Force Dyad. It is apparent, at least to me, that the connection was lying dormant until Snoke bridged their minds, unleashing the full power of their connection. Our third and final clone is revealed only by the original script- Rey’s father. The film however gives the impression that he is a biological child of Palpatine and goes no further into it. This is some pretty important information that we could have done with, because the implication of the in-movie explanation is not one that anybody wants.

PART TWO: Concerning Finn

The Rise of Skywalker spends more time on the ladies in Finn’s life than it does on Finn himself, which is a shame because he has perhaps the most interesting arc. I say ladies, but Rose, who it seemed to be implied would be his love interest, is barely present. Co-writer Chris Terrio has stated that she was supposed to be more present, staying with Leia and acting as an anchor to the Resistance base. However with the passing of Carrie Fisher in 2017, any scenes featuring her were to be recycled shots from previous films and, for some of those shots, it would mean some pretty hefty CGI work. As a result, the decision was made to scrap these scenes during production, leading to the unfortunate cutting of almost all Rose’s material. Finn’s alternate love interest is a former stormtrooper named Jannah who they encounter on the moon of Endor along with the rest of her squadron. Until this point, Finn is the only stormtrooper we know to have abandoned the First Order which makes him unique. By introducing an entire squadron of former troopers, you take that unique-ness away.. This trilogy, and more so the novelisations, have hinted at Finn being force sensitive which is a magnificent reason for the First Order not being able to gain complete control over him. Instead, it seems that any trooper can leave so he isn’t that special anymore, even with his possible force ties. This is something that the film continues to hint at, and that the script supposedly confirms. It’s this news that he wants to tell Rey but, again, the film doesn’t explain that. Of all the issues that people have with TROS, the inclusion of Jannah is one that I can agree with.

PART THREE: Concerning Kylo

Of all the characters that people feel were “ruined” by TROS, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren seems to be top of the list. As you may recall, he has been steadily growing as a person and, in doing so, destroyed his helmet in The Last Jedi. This is a progression for him because many, including Snoke, saw the mask as his pale imitation of Darth Vader. In destroying it, Kylo acknowledges that he is not his grandfather, but his own man. TROS has him repair that helmet which many felt was a betrayal and an act of regression. Co-writer Chis Terrio and Kylos actor Adam Driver have divulged that this reforming of the helmet is supposed to reflect the rebuilding of Kylo’s identity. While it once stood as an homage to Vader, it is now a cracked representation of Kylo’s character. This act is based on the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, where broken pottery is repaired and the visible cracks become a part of that objects history. Thus continues the long-standing tradition of Star Wars borrowing from Japanese culture. There was also a heavy amount of criticism towards how quickly Kylo seems to change upon his redemption, with there being very little sign of change in the preceding scenes. Indeed, this aspect of the film could have been handled better by showing that change over the films duration or by redeeming him earlier. As for killing him, I still will not fault it. George Lucas has always maintained that Star Wars should rhyme, and this trilogy has made no secret of being the new Vader. I’ve been saying since 2015 that if they want to redeem Kylo, something I was hesitant of at first, they’re going to kill him so it came as no surprise to me when they did. I also think that if you consider the future of this galaxy far, far away, it probably wouldn’t sit well with its inhabitants to have a war-criminal wandering freely. The following issues centre not only Kylo himself, but on his Knights of Ren. Time after time I have heard that they don’t add anything to the plot and that simply isn’t true. It is the Knights of Ren who are responsible for tracking Rey to both Passana and Kijimi. While there is a First Order presence on these planets, there is only a presence. The First Order doesn’t particularly care about Rey but Kylo does, hence sending the Knights of Ren to hunt her down. They are also responsible for the capture of Chewbacca on the former of these planets. It may be the stormtroopers who fly him back to the flagship but it is the Knights who capture him and hand him off. Ultimately they are slaughtered by the redeemed Kylo Ren which is also a point of contention. Many were expecting to hear more about them and their history, but that is not something that was ever promised to us. JJ Abrams has stated that he originally had further plans for them back in 2015 but that The Last Jedi hadn’t used those ideas. As a result, he decided to bring them back for TROS so that we would, at the very least, get to see a bit more of them. Anybody who was expecting to get a deep dive into these characters is either misinformed or have concocted these expectations themselves. Theorising has always been one of the most enjoyable aspects of every fandom, at least for me, but you cannot hold the film in contempt for not delivering on your theories.

PART FOUR: Concerning Rey

Having discussed the dark side of the Force, it is now time to address the light. I think that the most trivial complaint was that “somehow” Rey managed to fix Luke’s lightsaber after tearing it in half during The Last Jedi. If you’re shocked that a lightsaber can be repaired then I would like to take a moment to educate you. Each lightsaber is built from scratch by a padawan during the course of their training. If it has been built, it can be destroyed and it can be re-built. Rey has a long, long history of taking things apart and putting them back together, after all it was the only way to survive on Jakku. On top of this, she is training under the exceedingly capable Leia and is in possession of the ancient Jedi texts so fixing a lightsaber should be a breeze. Whilst we’re talking about how capable Rey is at repairs, let’s discuss Luke’s X-Wing. After sitting at the bottom of an ocean for several decades, this vehicle is definitely not up to standard so clearly Rey couldn’t use it to travel to Exegol. Except that she repaired it. Just because you don’t see it on-screen doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. The novelisation confirms this. If there’s one thing I have learned from my relatively short time on this planet it’s that thinking for yourself is incredibly important. Part of that is being able to fill in the blanks when they occur, which it seems several people can’t do. Our next issue seems to run along these same lines with Rey having no response to Kylo’s final sacrifice to save her. I will admit that the film could have and should have handled this moment much better. Even a pan out to a wide shot would have gone a long way to giving this moment the weight it deserves. However, Rey still has to travel all the way back to the Resistance base and upon returning she isn’t all cheers and smiles. Technically, from the Jedi perspective, she shouldn’t even be mourning his loss because emotional attachment is seen as weak but, if she did, I believe that she did so during the flight back. Of all the opinions that you have encountered so far, the following is perhaps the most controversial. I am absolutely fine with her being a Palpatine and with her taking the name Skywalker. One issue seems to be that this implies The Force is genetic but it very well could be. The only Force user that we know to have children is Anakin, who passed that gift onto Leia who passed it on to Kylo. A further issue that arises is that because Rey is a Palpatine, she isn’t special The reveal of who she is, as far as we see, doesn’t change how she perceives the universe around her. It’s also a very late reveal, occurring in the third act of the third film of a trilogy. For contrast, the “Vader” reveal occurs during the third act of the second film of a trilogy. Luke gets an entire film to explore the consequences of his reveal whilst Rey does not. It’s a case of bad timing and, in all probability, some poor planning. There are those who feel like it retcons Kylo’s line in The Last Jedi about her parents being nobodies but I disagree. “You’re parents were nobodies because they chose to be” is a silly line and I don’t think anybody will dispute that, but I see this as a further clarification of the previous statement. From a societal standpoint, her parents were nobodies and that is a life that they chose for themselves. As far as Rey dawning the name Skywalker, it’s a good old fashioned “found family” trope Luke and Leia were the only adults to show her any real signs that they cared about her and that they did so regardless of the fact she’s a Palpatine.

PART FIVE: Concerning Plot

As I’m sure you are aware, the plot for TROS is a fetch quest with an added side of a cat-and-mouse chase. A lot of people have taken issue with this, stating that it doesn’t feel like Star Wars and that it all but destroys the character arcs of our main heroes. Personally, I disagree with this take as it’s the first time we’ve seen our main cast interact with each other and how their relationships work. Furthermore, I don’t seem to recall any complaints that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a fetch quest- which is a story element that I have always enjoyed, regardless of where it is used. I also can’t say that I agree with any criticism stating that the film relies too heavily on pre-existing material. You’re right to state that their isn’t much new content here but as the final film in a saga, I don’t feel like there needs to be. Personally, I feel like it only needs to wrap up any loose plot elements and character arcs. Whether it actually does that is something on which opinion differs, but I think it does. The remaining issues are ones that I don’t know I can defend. Luke spent the majority of the previous film telling Rey that the Jedi were not the peacekeepers that history makes them out to be and that they were, to put it bluntly, incompetent. It’s important to note that he is entirely correct, but once he returns as a Force Ghost, he informs Rey that he was wrong. This action is the films one true retcon. Secondly, there is a noticeable lack of General Armitage Hux who has been going through his own character arc. He gets around 5 minutes of screentime but, as with so many things, his role is expanded in the novel and the original script. Then there are the death fake-outs of Chewbacca and C-3PO. Chewie’s death exists purely as a demonstration of Rey’s ability to use force lightning while threepio’s sacrifice seems to be the jumping off point for comedy, as he is dragged through a dangerous adventure by people he doesn’t know.

PART SIX: Concerning Lesbians

I’m sure you all saw this part coming. The inclusion of a lesbian kiss was either the Social Justice Warriors ruining Star Wars, a step in the right direction for LGBT representation, or not enough of a step in that direction. Personally, I don’t feel like it was anywhere near good enough. We only know one of these women- Commander D’Acy- and she has only had several lines between this film and The Last Jedi. It’s also a relatively quick shot that adds nothing to the plot and can easily be cut out from any showings. If the reports are true then the House of Mouse is to blame. If you wish to read more about how they have failed the LGBT Community, and continue to do so, you can read my piece Disney Minus {HERE}.

PART SEVEN: Concerning my final thoughts

At the end of the day, TROS suffers from one massive issue which is its lack of explanation. As I’ve said throughout this piece, many of the films issues have a resolution in either the novel or the original script or both. I don’t think that this would have prevented people from disliking the film, but it might have at least softened the blow. Had the entire script been shot and released, TROS would supposedly have been 3 hours long and was set to be 2hours 42minutes until a couple of weeks before its release when it was cut down to 2hours 22minutes. It is yet to be disclosed by why this happened, with the prevailing theory being that the film was given one last overhaul which may explain the pacing. This is further cemented by Adam Driver performing Automated Dialogue Replacement in a hotel closet while he was on tour promoting the film. There are further reports of studio interference including the refusal to make Finn and Poe a couple as well as the kiss between Rey and Kylo. It’s also been reported that the voices of Jedi past from the climax of the film were to appear on-screen as Force Ghosts and that Kylo’s death scene was at least 5 minutes longer. This led to calls to ‘release the JJ cut’, which I myself made. As I stated at the very beginning, this piece does not exist to sway opinions on either side, but to give the movie a fair voice. We may never know what happened, or if the JJ cut exists, but there is more to the story of Rise of Skywalkers failure than meets the eye.

May the Force be With You…

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

In 1977, George Lucas brought Star Wars to the unsuspecting masses. He feared that nobody would like it, but was proven to be totally wrong. Now here we are, 43 years and 9 mainline films later, with his saga finally at a close. For many, that closure wasn’t what they had hoped for, with some swearing off the franchise altogether. There are stories of a troubled production and studio meddling but, for now, I’m leaving that aside and taking a look at the film we were given- Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

We follow Rey, Poe, Finn, and the rest of The Resistance as they grapple with the return of an ancient enemy in the form of Emperor Palpatine. Our heroic trio, alongside C-3PO and BB-8, set out on a quest to find the last Sith Wayfinder- a device that tells the location of the secret Sith planet of Exegol, where Palpatine and his armada await. Meanwhile Kylo Ren has regrouped with the Knights of Ren to hunt down Rey and convince her to turn to the darkside of the Force. Our plot, in essence, is a “fetch quest” with an added side of a cat-and-mouse chase. A lot of people have taken issue with this, stating that it doesn’t feel like Star Wars and that it all but destroys the character arcs of our main heroes. Personally, I disagree with this take as it’s the first time we’ve seen our main cast interact with each other and how their relationships work. Furthermore, I don’t seem to recall any complaints that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a fetch quest- which is a story element that I have always enjoyed, regardless of where it is used. This is also, I think, the funniest that C-3PO has ever been, riffing off the other characters who he has clearly bonded with, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only source of humour. Finn and Poe have a wonderful dynamic where they bounce off each other like the oldest of friends, leading to the odd chuckle.

There’s a lot of sentimentality and nostalgia at play here, which is to be expected from a franchise-ending film. Carrie Fisher returns through the use of recycled scenes and audio, Mark Hamill is here as a force ghost, Billy Dee Williams slips back into the role of Lando with ease and even Harrison Ford makes one last hurrah as the galaxy’s best loved smuggler. On top of this is the aforementioned return of Ian McDiarmid as the delightfully insane Sheev Palpatine but, for me, the films best moment comes during the climactic battle. Drained off life-force and on the verge of death, Rey calls out to the Jedi of old to give her one last push. When the voices respond, they consist of not only characters from the mainline instalments but also from the animated shows Clone Wars and Rebels. These shows have always been canon but this finally makes them canon within the film series itself in a feat that not even Marvel has managed to pull off.

Once again, the background components are all wonderful. The score is as fantastical as it has always been, with an ethereal chorus thrown in for good measure. Perhaps its best moments are when it chooses to be truly triumphant and full of hope. Conductor John Williams even manages to sneak in an on-screen cameo this time round as a barman. The cinematography is staggering in places, with the scenes on Exegol being massive in scale. It shows the return of the Sith physically looming over any character in the frame and adds a sense of dread. The set-pieces on the planet of Passana are the most colourful that I remember seeing in any instalment, providing the briefest moment of levity. Between sets, costumes, props, lighting and sound design this film is spectacular. This has been consistent throughout the entire saga and without them, they simply wouldn’t exist.

With that, we have reached the moment I’ve been dreading since walking out of the cinema on December 16th 2019- discussing the movie’s flaws. The backlash that The Last Jedi received pales in comparison to that of The Rise of Skywalker and I will not triple the length of this review by discussing every single issue that people had. I am of the opinion that at least half of these criticisms, if not a little more, are trivial and that there are only a few truly valid ones. Whilst on the moon of Endor, we meet a former stormtrooper named Jannah who rebelled against the First Order alongside her entire squadron. Until this point, Finn has been one of a handful over the course of the entire franchise to do this, so having an entire squadron completely invalidates that. I’m sure that it was done with the intention of giving Finn a sense of belonging and a family but he already has that with The Resistance. There is also a distressing lack of General Hux who, until now, has been going through his own interesting little arc. Even when the film does make use of him, it doesn’t further his arc in any way and they destroy any chance of seeing that arc completed by killing him in the least satisfying way. Lastly, we are informed that Rey is the grandchild of Emperor Palpatine, in a twist that I personally am ok with. It does, however, leave us with the question of who Rey’s grandmother is. Of course I am aware that the novelisation and original script explain this away, but going only on what the film tells us, Palpatine did the nasty. Ew.

It is no secret that The Rise of Skywalker was supposed to be, at least, 20 minutes longer and that had it been the length envisioned by JJ Abrams, it would have explained away a vast amount of the complaints. It is my hope that, one day, we will know exactly what happened to this film and that, if we are very lucky, we might see that version of it. The few issues that I have with this film do not obliterate my enjoyment of it and, as endings go, I find it to be a fun watch. At the end of the day, it’s Star Wars. Fans will either come to appreciate it for that or they’ll forget about it and move on. This feud is only for now, but Star Wars lives in our hearts forever.

May the force be with you…

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

The Phantom Debate

There seems to be an unspoken rule in the Star Wars fanbase. It has stood for almost 2 decades now, and everybody chooses not to question it. The rule is this- never ask anyone for the best order to watch the Star Wars saga in. If you are new to these films, chances are you will be told of the “right way” to watch them, but the fact is that there isn’t one. It comes down to personal preference as to the experience you want, and what follows are three of the most popular methods. For simplicity, we are focusing on the 9 core films of the Skywalker Saga.

Chronological Order

If you want to experience the saga in the way that creator George Lucas intending, this is it. All 9 films are placed in order of the canon timeline which centres around the Battle of Yavin from A New Hope. As a result, each year is marked as BBY (Before Battle of Yavin) or ABY (After Battle of Yavin).

Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (32 BBY)

Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (22 BBY)

Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (19 BBY)

Episode 4: A New Hope (O BBY)

Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back (3 ABY)

Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi (4 ABY)

Episode 7: The Force Awakens (34 ABY)

Episode 8: The Last Jedi (34 ABY)

Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker (35 ABY)

Viewing the saga in this order allows us to follow Anakin Skywalker, his training as a Jedi, and his eventual fall to the dark side under the new title of Lord Vader (Eps 1-3). We then follow his son Luke as he too learns the ways of the Jedi, discovers his sister Leia and faces down his father (Eps 4-6). Finally we follow (though barely) Leia’s son Ben Solo who has fallen to the dark side under the title of Kylo Ren and his journey of redemption (Eps 7-9). It’s a tale of family, and their continuous struggles over the decades. It is also the tale of Senator Sheev Palpatine, his rise to power, his inevitable fall, and his eventual resurrection. Through the course of 9 films, Sheev goes from a humble chancellor on the planet of Naboo to Emperor of the entire galaxy. Each trilogy of films has been dubbed The Prequels (Eps 1-3), The Originals (Eps 4-6) and The Sequels (Eps 7-9). The reason they have been dubbed this way is where our next viewing order comes in.

Release Order

If you want to experience the journey of Star Wars then this is the way. The Original Trilogy is so-named because it was released first and, as such, is the first Star Wars story to be told. It was followed several decades later by the Prequels and the Sequels.

Episode 4: A New Hope (1977)

Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi (1983)

Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999)

Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (2002)

Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Episode 7: The Force Awakens (2015)

Episode 8: The Last Jedi (2017)

Episode 9: The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)

Luckily, in the age of DVDs and subscription services, you only have to wait minutes between each film instead of years. This order has us follow Luke Skywalker as he is thrust into an unexpected journey of heroism, where he discovers the dark truth about his father and his past. Those questions about the past are then answered with the Prequel Trilogy. We learn the sinister truth about Darth Vader, and his grip of terror over the galaxy. To finish it all off, the Sequel Trilogy tells us how the galaxy is coping in the aftermath of Return of the Jedi, because that was a question you just didn’t know that you needed the answer to. Many fans consider this to be the “purest method” because this is how the original fans experienced it. This is the order in which I viewed them, but, being born in 1997, I was one of the last of a generation that had no other option. Once the Prequels were announced, there was a certainty that one day all 6 (now 9) films could be watched in chronological order. It was inevitable, so to argue that Release Order is “the way” is ridiculous. You don’t need to watch them this way, but you can, the choice is entirely up to you.

The Machete Order:

Originally concocted by Rod Hilton on his site nomachetejuggling.com this one may seem slightly odd, but bare with it. I have linked to the original, which is a superb read, but will provide a bare bones overview.

Episode 4: A New Hope

Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

Episode 3: The Revenge of the Sith

Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi

Episode 7: The Force Awakens

Episode 8: The Last Jedi

Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker

This method keeps the story focused on Luke, before flashing back to show how Anakin became Vader, and finishing the rest of the story in order. There is an almost identical order, known as the Ernst Rister order, except this one omits The Phantom Menace. For his reasoning, and for a better explanation than I could manage, please read the original article HERE.

You may think that choosing between these 3 methods is an easy task, and that it is the only choice you have to make. You are wrong. There are 2 more choices to make before launching into your Star Wars marathon. Which versions of the Original Trilogy, to watch and whether or not to include the anthology films Solo and Rogue One. With each re-release of the Original Trilogy on home media, comes another set of alterations, be it CGI or sound editing. The commercially available DVDs that closest resemble the original theatrical cuts are as bonus discs in the 2006 releases. Each home media release is different in its own way, and lists of these differences can easily be found online. As for the inclusion of Solo and Rogue One, that’s a little bit more difficult. Solo tells the origin story of smuggler Han Solo but really doesn’t tie into the core saga. I consider it a fun little detour but it isn’t essential unless you’re determined to watch every film. Rogue One, on the other hand, tells how a group of rebels stole the Death Star plans, and explains that infamous exhaust port. It isn’t part of the Skywalker saga, but I see no reason to skip it. It provides extra context to A New Hope and has some superb set pieces, as well as the best Darth Vader scene in any of the films. Here’s how that ties into the orders.

Chronological Order: Solo and Rogue One, in that order, between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

Release Order: Rogue One proceeds The Last Jedi whilst Solo follows it. Their release years are 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Machete Order: Rob Hilton has since answered this very query. The Machete Order stands as it is, with Solo and Rogue One being completely separate films. See his response HERE

I haven’t undertaken a Star Wars marathon since 2015, when I was preparing for The Force Awakens. Each viewing order has its own benefits and the decision of which one to choose is entirely up to you. Personally, I would recommend Chronological Order, as it keeps the story straightforward with any subsequent viewings being available for the other two options. There’s no such thing as a “Pure” Star Wars experience, but each person’s experience is still an experience. That’s the beautiful thing about Star Wars. It doesn’t matter how we got here, what matters is that we are here. We are a community and, though we often seem divided, we are here because we love Star Wars. Its not about defending your views, its about discussing your opinions. The most fundamental part of the fanbase is this:

The force is with ALL of us. Always.

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

Solo: A Star Wars Story

In 2002 a little show called Firefly hit the airwaves. It followed a group of space smugglers on their adventures, bouncing from place to place trying to outrun the law and survive. Full of heart and humour, the show was cancelled after just one series, but thanks to a growing number of fans it was finally continued with a movie named Serenity in 2005. Take that premise, remove a little of that heart and humour, set it in the Star Wars universe… and you get Solo: A Star Wars Story.

We follow a young Han Solo as he escapes his home planet of Corellia, befriends Chewbacca the wookie, and bluffs his way through several smuggling missions under the watchful eye of the murderous Dryden Vos. Portraying Han was never going to be an easy task, with Harrison Ford being the only other person to portray him, and thus becoming synonymous with the character. The initial backlash to the casting from fans certainly seemed to demonstrate that nobody was willing to have a new Han Solo. Luckily, Alden Ehrenreich pulls it off. He isn’t simply doing a Harrison Ford impression, instead he becomes the same suave arrogant Han Solo that we have come to know. There are also some wonderful performances from Woody Harrison as a grizzled, skeptic old smuggler, and Donald Glover as the ever-charming Lando Calrissian. These three bounce off each other exceedingly well, and keep you invested enough in the characters and plot that you’re curious as to what might happen next.

These happenings all occur under the watch of the mysterious Crimson Dawn, who you’re not sure is a person or an organization until the film’s final moments. It turns out that Crimson Dawn is a criminal organisation headed by what remains of Darth Maul. After being sliced in half in The Phantom Menace, it appears that Maul refused to die and got himself a pair of robot legs. I am aware that all of this was dealt with in the television show Clone Wars as well as Rebels but many people, myself included, lack the time or resources required to keep up with it all. While those shows are considered canon (part of the official Star Wars lore) this is the first time that his survival has been mentioned on the big screen and therefore makes his survival known to the general public. I found his inclusion to be a highlight of the film, along with Han and the crew partaking in the famous Kessel Run, explaining away that whole “parsecs are a measurement of distance not time” thing that most Star Wars fans have been explaining for years.

Solo‘s biggest weakness lies in the character of L3-37, who seems to exist only for a continual Female Rights gag. There are much better ways to get a feminist message across without using a one-note character, especially in a franchise that already has such strong female characters. The humour in general is a bit hit-or-miss, with the banter between our leads proving to be better than any of the quippy one-liners. It’s also guilty of laying on the nostalgia a bit thicker than it needs to, showing how Han came to own his belt and blaster among other things. I don’t particularly mind the nostalgia, the film doesn’t rely entirely on it, like some kind of crutch supporting a lackluster film. If you take out the not-so-subtle nods, I think it would still be just as good.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a good film. It isn’t great by any means and it isn’t award worthy, but I certainly don’t mind watching it. Eldenreich, Harrison and Glover all give solid performances and, as always, the score is great. It is perfectly adequate.

Until Next Time…

Ranked: The Star Wars Saga

*DISCLAIMER: This list is based purely off of my own opinion*

#10 — Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones For me, this is the worst of all. I genuinely cannot remember a single thing about the plot. Couple that with the peak of Anakin and Padmes “romance” and you have the weakest of the saga.

#9 — Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Make no mistake, this is not a good film. It has some of the worst directing I’ve ever seen and Jar Jar may be the most annoying thing on Earth. This film’s one saving grace is how memorable it is.

#8 — Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith The last of the prequel trilogy is the best for me. The acting and the culmination of the prequels’ 3-film arc are well done. Unfortunately, it still has some of those Prequel Issues so it’s still relatively low on the list.

#7 — Solo: A Star Wars Story Not as good as the original trilogy, but not quite as bad as the prequel trilogy. There is some solid acting here as well as those little hits of nostalgia that make it worthwhile.

#6 — Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope The one that started it all. Definitely a good film, and certainly an iconic moment in cinema history. It’s still just a little bit plain for me compared to the rest of this list.

#5 — Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Set in the New Hope era but feels more grounded than the original did. You can really feel the weight and hold of The Empire in this film. Same era, better delivery.

#4 — Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens This film knows exactly what it wants to be and exactly how its setting up the oncoming trilogy. It’s a solid continuation that isn’t afraid to sprinkle in a little nostalgia. A New Hope for a new age.

#3 — Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Some of the biggest twists and turns in the entire franchise. Also has some of the most stunning setpieces. It’s a refreshing taste of something new.

#2 — Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi The perfect example of how to conclude a trilogy. Ties up loose ends and finishes character arcs in moments that will not be forgotten.

#1 — Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Dark moments of fun sprinkled throughout, and cinema defining plot twists. Full of the grit that would come to future films while maintaining a sense of hope. One of the finest sequels ever made and more than worthy of the top spot