Secret Stage Ranks: The Star Wars Saga

With The Force Awakens just two days away, there is one burning question on every fan's mind: how will it compare to the rest of the Star Wars films? While we won't know for a few more days, we can discuss how the six previously-released films rank from best to worst. Like any group of fans, opinions can vary wildly (Dan actually makes a solid case for Attack of the Clones), and we voted amongst ourselves to figure out where our loyalties lie. Please note, based on the calculation of our scale, the maximum a single film can receive is 42 points, with the minimum being 7. Let's jump into it:

6. Episode I - The Phantom Menace (11 Points)

"The beginning of a trail of disappointment. Made up of fake CGI aliens in fake green-screen settings. It is hard to imagine a movie coming from this franchise and with a cast like it had could be such a disappointment, but it was. Right from the beginning you could tell it would be… different. The original trilogy started with some kind of action scene. Episode 1? Politics. It is nice knowing a little bit of the conflict in the background, but there was just too much. And who could forget all our 'favorite' characters? From kid Anakin and his slaver Watto, to the ever lovable Jar Jar Binks. But seriously, let’s not forget one of the franchise’s best villains, Darth Maul, who was given almost no screen time and killed off nearly immediately." - Nick Samo

5. Episode II - Attack of the Clones (17 Points)

"This is an essential film to the trilogy. Getting to see what will be Darth Vader really start to form. The same goes for the crowd favorite, Boba Fett; he probably would have become an assassin anyway, but I'm sure it was locked in after his father's death. Anakin gets the first of many body parts replaced. We finally get to see Yoda do some serious damage, and demonstrate that he is not only wise, but a badass. The traditional bad wrap this one gets is falsely deserved." - Dan Fortin

4. Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (24 points)

"Personally, Revenge of the Sith is a slot lower than I would have placed it myself. It goes without saying that Sith is the best of the Prequel Trilogy, and honestly there's enough in this story that it could almost be expanded into a trilogy of its own. We see the epitome of a Jedi Master in Obi-Wan throughout the movie, and the sharp contrast in Anakin as he begins his fall to the Dark Side until Darth Sidious. It bucks the traditional format of end 'one space battle/one lightsaber duel' and just throws action at you throughout the film, filling in the gaps with exposition that overall much more important than that of Episodes I and II." - Zachary Davis

3. Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (26 Points)

"Return Of The Jedi may be one of the more unpopular favorites among the originals, but let's take a second to recognize some of its strengths. Do you guys remember your favorite thing about Darth Vader? It's probably about him being an embodiment of darkness, something to be feared, and I feel that his menacing presence was definitely more defined in this film. Moving forward into other things (as a Boba Fett fan we don't need to talk about him "dying"), let's talk about some comedy. From small things like "Easy-to-see-3PO" in the jungle while trying to destroy a shield generator, to big things like Han Solo. Han plays a much more comedic role in this film, he seems to provide more relief with not only the things that he says, but the shruggy attitude, while still encompassing the Han we still love today. While other characters take a stride and show how far they've developed, and of course I'm talking about Luke Skywalker. Luke walks into Jabba's place like he owns it, and he really settled into being a Jedi (hence the name of the movie.) Overall, there really are things we can appreciate, and it's good to not look past these things but to treasure them." - Jordan Carlson

2. Episode IV - A New Hope (33 Points)

"The film that started it all is also one of my favorites, namely in terms of how well it builds the universe with so little. The films feels like it's paced so much differently from other films of its day, and I've always felt that you spend just enough time on the Death Star to feel like the gang has infiltrated the Empire, but still has a lot at stake. Tensions are constantly high, as we see early on what kind of evil we're dealing with when Tarkin blows up Alderaan on a whim. Finally, we get so many little hints of more stories both in the past and future of the franchise, and it constantly leaves you wanting more." - Zachary Davis

1. Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (36 Points)

"The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best film in the franchise. For starters, it had three times the budget of A New Hope and it shows. The varied settings, the special effects, and the attention to detail in cinematography & audio were a huge step up. The story itself has the most to offer in terms of engagement because you've already opened up the characters and formed some attachment to them. Only now, we start getting elaboration on what their purpose is going to be throughout the rest of the series. The Battle of Hoth became one of the most iconic battle scenes and you also get the greatest plot twist in film history, both of which changed the state of the industry forever. The end seems bleak contrary to your average heroic tale, which leaves you wanting more and prepares you for the events that unfold in Return of the Jedi. Therefore, Episode V has won all of us here at Secret Stage over." - Hales