Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers.
Before this spring break, I’d never seen an entire Star Wars movie from start to finish.
I’m honestly not sure how it happened, given how big the franchise is in my life; both of my parents are huge fans of the originals, the prequel trilogy came out when I was little, and the most recent storyline starring Finn, Poe, and Rey started my senior year of high school.
I had seen bits and pieces of all of the movies, and even a couple of episodes of The Mandalorian this fall, but somehow I’d never sat down for the entirety of even one. I wanted to change that, so I watched the core eight movies over mid-term break, going in the order they were released. I can safely say I’m now a Star Wars fan.
I figured the best way to break this down was to go movie by movie, and give a tiny review of each, listing the best and worst thing about each.
Episode IV: A New Hope
Best: A rescue mission to save a princess turns into her being the most competent and confident one of the group. Leia grabs a gun and yells at Han minutes after meeting him.
Worst: Luke shows more emotion when Obi Wan dies than when he finds out his aunt and uncle who raised him were burned to death by the Empire.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Best: The reveal of Darth Vader being Luke’s father was foreshadowed really well when Vader gets upset about “Anakin Skywalker’s son.”
Worst: Between the early 1980s CGI and bad fight choreography, every lightsaber duel looks cheesy.
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Best: It has to be a tie between the adorable Ewoks, which I’ve dubbed “teddy bear aliens,” and every single hair style of Princess Leia’s. Teach me your braid ways, Leia.
Worst: Luke and Leia finding out they’re twins feels really underwhelming.
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Best: Natalie Portman as Padmé.
Worst: It’s hinted at that Anakin–Darth Vader–is possibly space Jesus.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Best: The love story between Anakin and Padmé is subtle enough to not be distracting, but still very sweet at times.
Worst: Anakin Skywalker is a whiny drama queen at all times other than the sweet and romantic ones mentioned above.
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Best: We hear the Darth Vader theme from the original trilogy more often as Anakin leans more towards the Sith. It’s a cool cue to show his transition from Anakin to Vader, which we see finished at the end of the movie.
Worst: Padmé “loses the will to live” while she’s pregnant and dies in childbirth, even though she knows her kids will now have to grow up without their mother and with an evil father.
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Best: Finn is instantly ride-or-die best friends with everyone he meets who isn’t a part of the First Order.
Worst: Kylo Ren constantly throws violent hissy fits where at best he causes extensive property damage, but at worst he literally murders his own father in cold blood.
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Best: Poe is demoted for being too impulsive but then is immediately given permission to “hop in an X-wing and blow something up.”
Worst: Kylo Ren and Rey have a connection somehow through the Force that doesn’t make sense and is never really explained.