The Star Wars film franchise is arguably the most legendary cinematic universe ever created. Sure, the Marvel Universe makes a lot of money, and has a lot of fans, but Star Wars is historic. In its four decades, this series has changed the nature of filmmaking in terms of special effects and technology, and has changed the nature of the film business in terms of merchandising and promotion. Its effect on popular culture has been such that Star Wars transcends social and generational barriers – something that continues as the franchise progresses and evolves.
That evolution has seen an original trilogy re-framed with the production of a trio of prequels, followed by a rebooting instalment that breathed new life into a well-known story. Now, this universe is broadening its horizons, with anthology stories about various characters – some new, and some familiar. The first of these, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has been embraced by audiences around the world as a worthy entry into this beloved canon. But, where does it rank amid its stablemates?
Any such listing is entirely subjective, of course – but viewing the entire franchise in terms of the objective success of each instalment can lead us to clear positioning of these films. Whether you prefer the lighter tone, or the battle scenes – there are means by which we can draw almost quantitative conclusions about the success of each feature film. Franchise progression, character development, production design – these are just a couple of the aspects of the process to consider when ranking Star Wars.