Every ‘Star Wars’ TV show, ranked

Star Wars Rebels Season 4
Image via Lucasfillm

If you’re in the mood to watch TV shows from a galaxy far, far away — or just curious about what Force-wielding shows are out there — then here’s our ranking of all of the Star Wars series that have been made thus far.

We’ll cover both animated and live action series about familiar characters and not-so familiar characters. Some are great while others are just OK, but they all offer something unique to the Star Wars universe.

We’ve excluded the very short YouTube video shows that are featured on the Star Wars Kids channel but, if you prefer micro-series then check out Forces of Destiny. All of them are about three minutes long and they’re all available for free.

Now, here is the ranking of all the Star Wars TVs series that have been made, up to and including the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi.

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

11. Droids (animated, 1985)

With so many quality Star Wars shows to choose from, it’s almost unfair to rank them because one must end up last. Droids gets that shutout because of mixed reviews and it only lasted one season but there are some good things about it, like an appearance from Boba Fett and the inspiration for Kylo Ren thanks to a character named Kybo Ren. The series even introduced speeder races on Boonta Eve over a decade before Phantom Menace.

Following the adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO, it was a kids’ Saturday morning cartoon that aired back-to-back with Ewoks to make up a one-hour block time of Star Wars. It aired a couple years after the original trilogy ended but took place entirely before it.

Perhaps its most unique aspect is that it relied on story arcs (mostly lasting four episodes). This was not common at the time and it may have hurt the show because as soon as you got used to the supporting characters, they’d all change after a few episodes. Star Wars shows now, like The Clone Wars, succeed with this formula because their main characters are strong enough to carry a series, whereas C-3PO and R2-D2 on their own are not.

Overall, it’s a significant show in Star Wars history and worthy of more recognition.

10. Ewoks (animated, 1985-86)

Droids and Ewoks are still the only Star Wars series to air on a major television network in America. ABC aired the shows on their Saturday morning lineup for a year and then, after dropping Droids, they still aired Ewoks for another year.

This is even more for kids than Droids is because it’s more playful and obviously has cuddly characters who have fun adventures around the Ewok village and throughout Endor.

Wicket, of Return of the Jedi fame, can mostly be considered the main character here. In the second season, they made a change by having two stories within the half-hour show instead of one. Overall, it would be the last Star Wars TV series for over 16 years and the last full half-hour Star Wars show for 22 years.

9. The Book of Boba Fett (live action, 2021-22)

This recent addition gets some heat from Star Wars fans, and it’s deserving of that for some reasons, but it’s still a quality show and a welcomed addition to Star Wars.

Its biggest problem is that we finally get a show about the best bounty hunter in the galaxy and they turn him into a mob boss. The decision is likely done because they decided to make the Mandalorian about a bounty hunter and didn’t want to repeat themselves but that’s why you have to think ahead when you make certain shows and not sacrifice already popular characters by taking away the main thing that makes them so popular.

However, if you can pretend that the mob boss is someone else then the show is less frustrating. Don’t get me started on what they did to Cad Bane.

8. Star Wars: Visions (animated, 2021-)

A bunch of short stories set in the Star Wars universe with new characters made by a bunch of different studios in Japan. Oh, and it’s also anime. What’s there not to like? All of the stories are original and come from different perspectives. The first season was well received and prompted Disney to announce a second season, meaning that Star Wars: Visions has the potential to rapidly rise on the list in the coming years.

7. Star Wars Resistance (animated, 2018-20)

A very underrated series, Resistance takes a little getting used to at first thanks to the cel-shaded animation, but once you do, then it’s a pretty rewarding show. In fact, it won the 2019 Saturn Award for Best Animated Series.

The main character, Kaz, is an innocent 20-year old guy whose awkwardness makes him a bit annoying early on but thankfully the show holds together despite this. The other characters keep the show on course and Kaz gets pulled further into an adventure he seemingly won’t be able to dig himself out of.

All of season one (the best of the two) takes place on one outpost built upon the sea, which helps you become quickly familiar with the surroundings and sort of allows the setting to act as its own character.

6. Obi-Wan Kenobi (live action, 2022)

“Obi-Wan Kenobi. Obi-Wan. Well, I haven’t gone by that name since before you were born,” Obi-Wan says to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: A New Hope.

So, why was he called Obi-Wan throughout this series, when Luke is 10 years old?

This and some other things helped ruin minor aspects of continuity in Star Wars and got many devoted fans quite frustrated, but despite it all, it doesn’t hurt the many positive elements of the show (even though Star Wars writers can easily do a better job with this sort of thing).

Ewan McGregor is fantastic in his return as Obi-Wan and the other actors are excellent as well. This was really a vehicle for Moses Ingram and she fully embraces the role, one of those rare characters who doesn’t fear Darth Vader the same way others do.

Since this is a brand-new show, I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet but it’s worth your time and the biggest disappointment of all is that it’s only a six-episode mini-series.

5. The Mandalorian (live action, 2019-)

Perhaps this critically acclaimed show should be called The Baby Yoda, but regardless of what you call it, the series continues to impress despite punching out only 16 episodes in three years.

I feel like creator Jon Favreau decided to just say, “Hey. This is Star Wars. Let’s just make some cool stuff.” That’s basically the premise, except for the “borrowing” from the Lone Wolf and Cub series.

So why is this not higher? Well, it’s not over and it will likely move up in our rankings before it’s done, but it needs to get a bit more prolific, not only in its episode output as I’ve hinted, but also in its story.

With just eight episodes a season, there shouldn’t be any filler episodes — and yet, incredibly, there definitely are. The story moves slower than a sick bantha on a record hot day on Tatooine. In fact, I’m convinced I’ll see a bantha in real life before I see The Mandalorian speed up. However, I say that because I enjoy the show, and if for some improbable reason someone from the show is reading this then maybe tell Jon Favreau these four words: “One Fast Paced Season.” Imagine how amazing that season what be? If we can’t get a fast-paced season, then can we at least get past the bantha?

4. The Bad Batch (animated, 2021-)

Contrary to the title, this show is actually good. The Bad Batch are a unit of clones who ended up quite different from the others, not necessarily complete clones. Think of them as sort of defective but in in a good way. They first appeared as a story arc in the final season of The Clone Wars and were so popular that Disney decided to make a show about them.

How good is it? Well, the visuals are excellent and the characters are well thought-out. The series has numerous cameos of other Star Wars characters as well. The story is good but some episodes I can do without. It was recently renewed for a second season so I’m definitely looking forward to the next batch.

3. Clone Wars (animated, 2003)

Not to be confused with the later The Clone Wars series. Gennedy Tartakovsky, who created Samurai Jack, punched out this gem of a series as a build-up to Revenge of the Sith. The idea was to have a short, weekly cartoon airing on the Cartoon Network. Thus, it’s something of a micro-series, with the first two seasons, totaling 20 episodes, lasting about three minutes per episode. However, the third season consisted of five episodes lasting 12 minutes each.

The animation was unique and well received, with the storytelling taking delight in many wordless moments, creating an atmosphere of intense build-up and rewarding conclusions. It twice won the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program.

It ends with the abduction of Emperor Palpatine, segueing perfectly into Revenge of the Sith. Unfortunately, after Disney’s takeover of the Star Wars franchise, they declared this series is no longer canon, mostly so they can remake the story, which they did in the other Clone Wars series during its last season). It’s a reminder that we’re likely a step away from Disney claiming one of the movie trilogies as being no longer canon just so they can remake them.

2. Star Wars Rebels (animated, 2014-18)

Star Wars Rebels takes place before the original trilogy (episode IV) and succeeds in using similar visuals from that era. Stylistically inspired by Ralph McQuarrie’s paintings, they built a new story that works for both children and adults. If you haven’t watched the series, just watch the first 10 minutes to see what you’re in for. I doubt you’ll be able to resist watching more.

The series showcases arguably the best characters of any Star Wars series, at least collectively. It’s the one show in the franchise that ends up being a little more fun than the others but that doesn’t mean it sacrifices its drama.

Rebels, which twice won the Saturn Award for Best Animated Series, concluded in its fourth season, wrapping up its main storyline but leaving you with an epilogue that brings forth another question and leaves the possibility of the series’ return in the future (OK, maybe I’m being too hopeful but it is true).

1. The Clone Wars (animated, 2008-14 & 2020)

The only bad thing about this series is that its name is the exact same as the previous Star Wars animated series but they added “The” (Clone Wars and The Clone Wars) because that makes it completely original. Now, writers like me must forever distinguish the two by noting the year.

The Clone Wars (the 2008 version!) won five Emmys including Outstanding Special Class Animated Program. It was the first full Star Wars series in 22 years and it mostly follows Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi throughout the time period before Revenge of the Sith. A large collection of characters, both familiar and new, are featured throughout and their stories intertwine with the main cast.

It initially ended somewhat abruptly during season six when Disney took over Star Wars, cutting out the chance to finish production on a few new story arcs (including “The Bad Batch”). However, several years later, in 2020, they completed the series properly, finished the “The Bad Batch” storyline and other arcs, and created the last four episodes of the series to take place during the events of Revenge of the Sith.

With seven total seasons, it’s the longest-running Star Wars show ever, totaling 133 episodes. There is also a separate feature animated film that begins the series but I don’t recommend seeking it out because it might make you want to avoid the show altogether. Once you watch the second episode, which is the first of the “Malevolence” trilogy, then you’ll know what you’re truly in for and you’ll realize this show will be worth it.

And, overall, it’s pretty indisputable that it’s the best series thus far in Star Wars franchise history.