‘Star Wars’: Can it Get Any Better?

A long time ago, in a fanbase literally everywhere, the great debate began. The world was gifted with Star Wars actually just 40 years ago when A New Hope was released and the world was changed forever. Since then the ‘Star Wars’ franchise has captured, shocked, and occasionally disappointed all generations. We officially have 12 movies and a plethora of shows, video games, and fanfiction. I’d like to narrow this conversation down the 7 episodes we have so far. Which one is the best?

First, we have the most popular belief that ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is the #1 ‘Star Wars’ movie. In Jason Guerriseo’s article “All the ‘Star Wars’ movies, ranked from worst to best” he slaps The ‘Phantom Menace’ at the bottom and ‘Empire Strikes Back’ at the top. Jason claims that, “Anything can and does happen in this movie. The reveal of Darth Vader as Luke’s father is still one of the greatest twists in movie history. But as the years go by, it’s the shot of Han Solo frozen in carbonite that still gets me.” This statement takes me right to the movie and its most powerful scenes. There is a certain persuasive aspect to Jason’s personal reactions to the film.

Jason’s opinion is very popular among critics and fans everywhere. Mark Houghs from Forbes wrote in “Ranking The ‘Star Wars’ Movies From Best To Worst” that, “It remains as effective and brilliant today on every level as it was upon release, and just gets better with age. With a lifetime gross of $538 million, it has the lowest box office of any film in the series, despite being widely recognized as the best. 5 stars.” Supporting the argument that episode 5 is the best. Mark supplies many facts like these that may convince you ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is the best. We could just jump on the bandwagon, but we should take a look at where it all began.

The second strongest argument that I have heard has been for A New Hope. Colin Fleming states in his article “Why the First ‘Star Wars’ Is Still the Best ‘Star Wars’”, “But Star Wars: A New Hope is better. Unrivaled in its ability to bridge the gap between the people who are sitting in their seats watching the movie and the characters that are dashing about in it, it’s film as a congruous journey. Empire, conversely, doesn’t have Hope’s cohesion, even though its plot, essentially, is that the rebels run away, and assorted incidents, adventures, and anecdotes accrue with great rapidity.” This argument addresses the down falls of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’.

In “40 Years Of STAR WARS: What Makes A NEW HOPE The Best STAR WARS Film?” written by Brian Long, it is made clear why we would have nothing if it weren’t for ‘A New Hope’. He states, ”A NEW HOPE managed to synthesize so many stories into one modern tale… The eternal battle between good and evil is present. There is also the philosophy of the Force connecting all living things. STAR WARS is a language all of its own. Each of those ideas can be traced back to the first film. The lightsabers, the Force, the Jedi are all cultural touchstones that are completely realized in this first film.”

So here we are in 2017 with 7 episodes and counting. Has the series truly gone down hill from start to finish or is it a hit or miss with each one? I stand with Colin and Brian. A New Hope started it all and introduced the most amazing fictional world. It will always be the best. There is no ‘Empire Strikes Back’ without ‘A New Hope’. End of discussion.