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(Photo by 20th Century Fox)

May the 4th be with you!

Flash Gordon meets Hidden Fortress meets Dune, 1977’s Star Wars was formed by George Lucas as an innocent, serial tribute to the entertainment of his formative past. But for everyone else, it was the future, changing the movie culture landscape on every level: How and what gets made, how they’re released, and, yes, how they’re merchandized. A space opera for all ages, Lucas closed out this original trilogy with the biggest twists (Empire Strikes Back) and the cuddliest endgame battle (Return of the Jedi).

Over 20 years later, Lucas returned with the prequel trilogy that went deep into Force mechanics and far towards space politics. And nearly another 20 years after that, the so-called sequel trilogy started up, reuniting old friends and plot devices for the nostalgic blockbuster touchstone The Force Awakens. That was followed by the foundation-shaking Last Jedi, and the action-packed fan service machine The Rise of Skywalker, which is now the second-lowest–rated Star Wars film, according to the Tomatometer.

With the 42-year spanning Skywalker Saga now complete, we’re ranking every movie in the franchise! This means all theatrical releases (including spin-offs like Rogue One and The Clone Wars), but leaving off the TV stuff. Apologies to The Mandalorian. Star Wars Holiday Special, you know what you did. Now, kick back with some blue milk (or green, if you’re watching space carbs) and crank up that holo-phonograph of “Jedi Rocks” because here comes the best Star Wars movies by Tomatometer!

#1

Adjusted Score: 106957%

Critics Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.

Synopsis: The adventure continues in this “Star Wars” sequel. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)… [More]

#2

Adjusted Score: 115580%

Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series’ former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.

Synopsis: Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren… [More]

#3

Adjusted Score: 108658%

Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.

Synopsis: The Imperial Forces — under orders from cruel Darth Vader (David Prowse) — hold Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) hostage, in… [More]

#4

Adjusted Score: 118282%

Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga’s rich legacy while adding some surprising twists — and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for.

Synopsis: Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of… [More]

#5

Adjusted Score: 106574%

Critics Consensus: Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground — and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.

Synopsis: Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing… [More]

#6

Adjusted Score: 93834%

Critics Consensus: Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy.

Synopsis: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel… [More]

#7

Adjusted Score: 90692%

Critics Consensus: With Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas brings his second Star Wars trilogy to a suitably thrilling and often poignant — if still a bit uneven — conclusion.

Synopsis: It has been three years since the Clone Wars began. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Jedi Knight Anakin… [More]

#8

Adjusted Score: 96345%

Critics Consensus: A flawed yet fun and fast-paced space adventure, Solo: A Star Wars Story should satisfy newcomers to the saga as well as longtime fans who check their expectations at the theater door.

Synopsis: Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins forces with a gang of galactic smugglers and a 190-year-old Wookie named… [More]

#9

Adjusted Score: 73912%

Critics Consensus: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones benefits from an increased emphasis on thrilling action, although it’s undercut by ponderous plot points and underdeveloped characters.

Synopsis: Set ten years after the events of “The Phantom Menace,” the Republic continues to be mired in strife and chaos…. [More]

#10

Adjusted Score: 79038%

Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion.

Synopsis: When it’s discovered that the evil Emperor Palpatine did not die at the hands of Darth Vader, the rebels must… [More]

#11

Adjusted Score: 64421%

Critics Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy — albeit visually dazzling — start.

Synopsis: Experience the heroic action and unforgettable adventures of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. See the first fateful… [More]

#12

Adjusted Score: 25682%

Critics Consensus: Mechanical animation and a less-than stellar script make The Clone Wars a pale shadow of George Lucas’ once great franchise.

Synopsis: As more star systems get swept into the Clone Wars, the valiant Jedi knights struggle to maintain order. Anakin Skywalker… [More]

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