Ranking The STAR WARS Movies: Eleven To Ten (The Bad) - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Ranking The STAR WARS Movies: Eleven To Ten (The Bad)

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to pointless rankings of eleven mostly great movies.

Over the last forty two years eleven Star Wars films have graced the big screen, taking millions of us to a galaxy far, far away to witness the ongoing battle between good and evil. But the biggest battle lies ahead. Nope, not in the upcoming The Rise Of Skywalker, but here on this website as we rank all the cinematic output of the Star Wars universe to find which movie reigns supreme (spoiler: It ain't The Last Jedi).

This is the first of four articles, starting today with the four & a bit (yes four & a bit) films positioned in places eleven and ten. I've split the articles into four because, for me, there are four types of Star Wars films; the great (I'll go out of my way to watch again and again gleefully), the good (I'll happily watch and enjoy if on or, of course, part of a Star Wars marathon), the pointless (because they just are pointless), and the bad (I'd really rather not waste my time on these ever again).

Today it's the turn of the bad Star Wars films. Like any ranking article like this, it is of course just my personal opinion. You may entirely disagree, and that's fine. Feel free to shout at me about it. I'm used to that.

Here goes nothing. I've got a bad feeling about these films...

11. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The 2008 animated feature originally existed solely as a giant cinematic plug for, what was then, the upcoming animated series. After all, it is essentially the first few episodes intended for television sewn together into a movie, and is really nothing more than a soulless cash-grab from George Lucas. It's a real pity as the series went on to be far, far superior to this.

The animation really isn't that good. It looks cheap and jarring, and a bit like a cartoon version of the 1960s marionette shows like Thunderbirds. The plot is all over the place, the dialogue is stilted and overblown (like some of the live-action films in that aspect).

Nowadays, this movie exists solely so The Last Jedi does not come bottom in Star Wars movie rankings! (spoiler: The Last Jedi is next up).

Notable Mention: Ewoks: The Battle For Endor 
The Last Jedi is up next, honest, but first a brief notable mention for the second of the Ewoks made-for-television movies, The Battle For Endor. Because it wasn't intended as a cinematic release I've not given it a number or officially included it among the rankings, but here in the UK it was released at the cinema and I, the fool, paid to see it.

It doesn't feel remotely Star Wars-y at all, and like The Clone Wars movie was a cash-grab after the Prequels, the Ewok films are clearly just that on the back of the Original Trilogy. George has form.

10. The Last Jedi
I loved The Force Awakens. It was everything I wanted from a Star Wars film. Everything I'd waited close to 35 years for. Yes, it is essentially a rehash of A New Hope but it was just so much fun. So as soon as I'd finished watching Episode Seven, Christmas 2015, I could not wait for the next installment in the Skywalker Saga. There were nerves, of course, especially when it was announced that J.J. Abrams would be handing over to Rian Johnson, but J.J. seemed to have set up a clear template, to me at least, of where the new sequel trilogy would be going and I was excited to be along for the ride.

Then Rian Johnson unzipped his fly and pissed all over it.

Sort of anyway. You see Johnson kept harping on about subverting expectations of what a Star Wars movie should be with his new groundbreaking installment, but I don't think he did anything of the sort. In fact The Last Jedi is quite a run of the mill Star Wars film, it's got the usual formula of good guys escaping from the bad guys (be they Sith, First Order or whoever), good guys sneaking into somewhere bad, and good guys doing something dangerous to further the cause of good. It's all there but what is there is just not very good at all.

The only subversion Johnson accomplished was subverting my expectations of how much I was looking forward to this film when he released a god awful boring trailer...

It's absolutely the first time I've watched a Star Wars trailer and been left slightly less excited about the prospect of the movie arriving. It's just a dull trailer. 

The film itself is pointless. The comedy doesn't hit and is used way too much for a Star Wars film. Nothing really happens, nothing at all, and the stuff that does really doesn't pack a punch. Look, J.J. is back for Episode Nine, so we know the whole Rey parentage thing is likely going to be flipped again. Finn does, er, what does he do? Nothing. Poe's all suspicious of everyone and it turns out to be... nothing. Snoke, who was a massive and imposing character in The Force Awakens, turns out to be averaged sized and resembling a dried old white dog turd. His (supposed) death makes his character, again, pointless.

The only thing that I felt was bang on the nose was the depiction of Luke Skywalker as a hermit. Exiling himself as he had once considered killing one of his pupils because he sensed the bad in him. That all rang true to me and Mark Hamill sold it completely. But then Luke's death was incredibly anticlimactic, burnt out by overuse of 'Force Ghost Mode', and coming after Han's heroic death in The Force Awakens, Luke really needed to go out in a much bigger way than that. (Though we all know he'll be back in force ghost mode for Episode Nine).

I know we have one more film to come but even without the final chapter's release I feel quite confident saying that The Last Jedi is the most inconsequential entry into the entire Skywalker saga.

Before I leave this movie behind, and boy I wish I could, I want to point something out in case you think I'm being overly hard on The Last Jedi. I'm in my late 40s, I was 7 when A New Hope (or, at the time, just 'Star Wars') was released. I've grown up on these films and lived and breathed them like so many people of my generation. I saw both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi on opening day with my daughter. This new sequel trilogy is her trilogy, not mine. Yes, she's seen all the other films before, many, many times, but the way J.J. positioned the characters in The Force Awakens, what he did with Rey, well I could see the connection she made in the same way I did with Luke and Han. She enjoyed watching Star Wars before The Force Awakens but afterwards, for those couple of years between films, she became a very obsessed Star Wars fan (proud dad). As we left the cinema after viewing The Last Jedi she said, and I swear, "I'm pretty bummed out right now." When I asked her why she said "That's sorta spoiled Star Wars for me."

It hadn't, of course, one film could never do that but youth brings knee-jerk reactions to things. She's certainly never watched this installment again though, I know she has no desire to do so and it has most definitely taken the shine of her overall Star Wars obsession. Star Wars to her was something so unique, something so amazingly special, it could just never dissapoint. But then it did. Big time.

I've often considered that if characters were changed but the overall script remained largely the same and The Last Jedi had been released in 1980 instead of The Empire Strikes Back would anyone really even be talking about Star Wars today, 40 years on? Or would it, as only the second movie ever released in the series, have killed of the entire franchise? I think there's a very strong chance of that.

Star Wars is lucky that it had a 40 year heritage to fall back on. Lucky that it is part of everyday life for so many people. Lucky that children who have never even seen the films know the big characters, have the toys, can quote famous lines from the films. Rian Johnson was lucky all that existed. because if he thought he was developing the franchise for future generations the reaction from my daughter, to me, proved he was way, way wide of the mark.

Notable Mention: Caravan Of Courage: An Ewok Adventure 
Another brief mention for the first Ewok movie because, like it's sequel, this 1984 made-for-television production found it's way into UK cinemas. Perhaps I was more blinded by Star Wars love at the time because when I first saw it I quite enjoyed it. Of course, it's awful to watch now. All fantasy and no real science-fiction. I'm not knocking fantasy there, just saying it doesn't hold up as a Star Wars film as it's just a magical woodland adventure with fluffy creatures.

I'll still take it over The Last Jedi though.

P.S. It never received any sort of cinematic release, and George was quick to (unsuccessfully) attempt to wipe its existence from the face of the Earth, but had The Star Wars Holiday Special appeared in any multiplex it would be here on the countdown. It's utterly awful, the epitome of bad, but there's a couple of sketches like the one above with Princess Leia singing the theme tune which are just so surreal you can't help but watch. And it's exactly what's needed as a palette cleanser to get rid of the bitter taste of the bad Star Wars movies before we move on to the next phase of the rankings.

Next time we turn our attention to the pointless Star Wars films.

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