I enjoyed New Hope more than Empire when they came out- but I agree with the ranking. I was 12 in 1977 and of course stood in line to see the first movie a dozen times. The iconic binary sunset on tattoine still gives me the same feeling of awe and thrill it did at 12. So it is my personal favorite. But Empire is a better movie, almost perfect in my opinion and I love it just as much, but.. the 12 year emotional impact in me can never overcome my adult critical thinking.