Good list, and probably the order I’d put them in as well. Given that the three worst movies are all the prequel trilogy, and it’s not even all that close, doesn’t it seem inevitable that those will get remade at some point? I’ve become convinced it has to happen. But other than never showing Jar Jar Binks, how do you create a good story from that mess?
The solution I’ve come to (or rather, read on the internet somewhere and was convinced by) is something you touch upon in this piece as well. Namely, you’re right about Ep. II and how the Obi-Wan-as-space-detective thing works. It’s one of the few things that’s fun in that whole trilogy (other than, say, seeing Yoda fight for the first time). Compare that to, say the climactic scene towards the end of Ep. III, where Obi-Wan is talking about how Anakin’s intended destiny to destroy the Sith, not join them. And what do we feel in that moment? Not really much of anything. A lot of people blame Hayden Christiansen for that, but honestly, he’s portraying a character that’s largely whiny and annoying for the entire trilogy. We can’t feel the betrayal Obi-Wan is feeling because we haven’t seen much of the “good” Anakin, the Anakin that would be worth saving.
This is why I buy the idea of ditching (or at least minimizing) the boring intergalactic politics that weigh the prequel trilogy down, cutting down on the teen angst and mommy issues that plague Anakin and the Padme romance subplot, and instead making the prequel trilogy into mostly a series of Obi-Wan and Anakin buddy-cop movies, with those things happening in the background. Have master and apprentice go off to random worlds to investigate things or find and fight bad guys; have them save each other’s lives on multiple occasions; give us a non-CGI-goofy glimpse of Anakin’s abilities and how they when fully tapped in to greatly surpass Obi-Wan; show these two characters developing a friendship, a brotherhood (casting will, of course, be vital for this to be convincing as well). *Then* have Obi-Wan give that speech when Anakin turns, and you’ll get the emotional payout that scene should have.
The first three Episodes could be easily retitled “The Rise and Fall of Anakin Skywalker,” and even if we know from having seen Ep. IV that the fall is coming, that doesn’t mean if done right we can’t enjoy the rise that preceded it. Losing Anakin to the Dark Side is a devastating loss to the Jedi, and the entire purpose of the prequel trilogy should be to ensure that we all feel the weight of that loss. The creation of the Empire, the Trade Federation, Padme, Count Dooku: all these need to be touched upon, but only insomuch as necessary to set the backdrop. The prequel trilogy should be primarily be about making the audience love Anakin like Obi-Wan does, seeing the good in him (that Luke later brings out), and then having him break our collective hearts.