Ranking the ‘Star Wars’ Movies By Their Visuals

Star Wars has been a fascinating franchise since it came out in the May of 1977 and since then, with nine movies and several different directors and creative minds behind these films most of these Star Wars flicks have had their own, unique, artistic spin to them. So today I’m going to share with you how I rank these movies by their visual prowess or lackluster effect in the aesthetic department. Enjoy!

9. The Phantom Menace


The Phantom Menace isn’t my least favorite Star Wars film but it definitely is the least pretty. The cinematography is boring and unimaginatively straight forward. There aren’t any stunning shots or breathtaking visuals. It’s just a Star Wars movie.

8. Return of the Jedi 

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A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were such great films and Return of the Jedi, for me, has become kind of boring in comparison in nearly every department. This film has its exciting moments but none of those moments are accentuated by any visually jaw dropping shots.

7. A New Hope


When A New Hope came out it was simply ahead of its time in imagination, creativity, and even special effects but, of course, now many of the Star Wars films have just gotten better at being visually enticing. But that doesn’t diminish A New Hope in the slightest. There are still some fascinating shots that have come with this movie like for example; Princess Leia putting the Death Star plans in R2-D2, Luke staring at the binary sunset, etc. I wouldn’t be an avid Star Wars fan if it wasn’t for this movie and that’s why it will always have a special place in my heart.

6. Attack of the Clones 

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Attack of the Clones is literally my least favorite movie for SO many reasons (mainly because of Anakin Skywalker and Padme’s sappy, not well written romance) but I have to admit, it’s one of my favorite Star Wars movie visually. The fact that it was such a pretty movie to look at made me continue to watch it throughout the years even though some of the scenes were kind of painful to watch.

5. The Force Awakens


When Disney brought Star Wars roaring back into existence with The Force Awakens not only was it a ridiculously fun movie to watch but it was also very beautiful too. One of the things I remember the most when I saw the trailer for the first time was when it showed Rey crossing the sands of Jakku on her speeder with a giant crashed Star Destroyer in the background. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen visually in Star Wars and it was only the beginning of a fabulous Star Wars journey Disney has taken me on in the past three years.

4. Revenge of the Sith

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The prequels had a lot of problems but, I have to admit, Revenge of the Sith is a pretty enjoyable movie. The story is good and easy to follow, the buildup to the terrible scenario of the Jedi getting wiped out is horrifying to observe, and the fall of Anakin is just terrible. It’s also a very beautiful movie too. There are countless shots that make the movie a stunning Star Wars film. One of my favorite shots is when Anakin is leading his stormtrooper army into the Jedi temple. It’s not only a great part because of the music but it’s just a visual masterpiece to behold.

3. The Empire Strikes Back


The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980 and after nearly four decades it still offers some of the greatest visuals out of all of the Star Wars movies. I just watched it recently and I was looking at this film in utter awe because it’s such a pretty movie. I mean, the entire Cloud City sequence is just gorgeous to behold. This movie’s cinematography is part of the reason why it’ll always be one of my favorite Star Wars movies.

2. The Last Jedi


One thing The Last Jedi undoubtedly excelled at were the visuals. There were shots upon shots upon shots that left me staring in awe and wonder, like this picture for example. When I saw this shot in the first teaser for the film I knew this was going to be one of the prettiest Star Wars movies ever made. And there were so many eye-popping concepts brought to this movie. The topography of Crait, Canto Bight, Snoke’s throne room, Ach-To, the whole film is just stunning to look at. I could rattle on all day about how beautiful this movie is but I think you get the message; The Last Jedi is a fantastic film visually.

1. Rogue One

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Rogue One isn’t a flashy movie. There aren’t any bold colors in this film like the red and white earth of Crait in The Last Jedi. There aren’t any mind-bending visuals or jaw dropping moments but that’s exactly why I think this is the prettiest Star Wars movie ever made. The gritty, grimy look of this film brings a startling ruggedness to this film that other Star Wars movies haven’t been able to achieve and it’s a huge part of the reason why I LOVE this movie so much. There weren’t any pretty flashes of lightsabers (except for Darth Vader’s lightsaber at the end of the film :)) or fancy locations like the gorgeous Naboo. It was just a rugged film about a group of rebels facing every impossible odd to retrieve the Death Star plans. Beautiful!

And that’s why I think Solo: A Star Wars Story has the potential to be a great movie. It has that same rugged vibe that Rogue One had and that’s exciting indeed.

Well, this is how I rank the Star Wars movies visually. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day. May the Force be with you.


2 thoughts on “Ranking the ‘Star Wars’ Movies By Their Visuals”

  1. Hello Annlyel, the early movies did well with what technology and techniques they had (and if it wasn’t for the OT we probably wouldn’t have half of the special effects we see in today’s films) but Rogue One definitely had some beautiful set pieces and scenery. That shot in the image you have posted of the Death Star emerging from hyperspace and the clouds, all in a calming palette of blue ocean and sky then the terrifying reality when it fires on Scarif. Then there is the action scene where Jedha City implodes/explodes folds in on itself after being destroyed and you have the Resistances U-Wing trying to escape destruction as if “surfing a rocky half-pipe”. Even the establishing shot of the planet Jedha and it’s desert with the rock formation which is actually the fallen statue of a Jedi Knight! Fantastic stuff.


    1. Yes, ‘Rogue One’ is an absolutely beautiful movie. Like the Star Destroyer hovering over that city in Jedha. Simple shots like that made this movie ridiculously enjoyable to watch.


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