Top 10 episodes of Star Wars television of all time

The Mandalorian chapter 14 - Disney Plus
The Mandalorian chapter 14 - Disney Plus /

We are officially living in an unprecedented era of Star Wars material. Barely a week goes by without a new novel or comic alongside an ever-growing line-up of games and movies. These days the gleaming jewel of the galaxy far, far away is of course television.

While the live action series may be relatively new to the franchise. Star Wars has had televised content since the 70’s and even had a handful of animated shows in the 80’s.

With such a long tradition of small screen wonders. Let’s find out what the 10 best entries are of Star Wars on television.

10. The Mandalorian – Chapter 6: “The Prisoner”

Prison breaks don’t come much better than this. Here we learn a small portion of Din Djarin’s mysterious past. Just enough to pique our interests but not enough to totally demystify the Mandalorian. Loaded with tension and “shocking” betrayals, The Prisoner shines as the best episode of the first season of live action Star Wars.

9. Obi-Wan Kenobi – Part VI

Wrapping up a series in a satisfying way is no small task. Just as soon as we’d welcomed some old favorites back into our lives, they are gone again all too soon. Part VI of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series solidified the worth of the limited series.

It wasn’t just a revisitation on a classic character. The episode, and by extension the whole series informed us on the mental state of Obi-Wan and indeed how all surviving Jedi would have felt following the destruction of their order.

The final episode brings to a narrative close, the epic story of brotherhood and loss, shared between Kenobi and his fallen apprentice, the now Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Such a confrontation was previously the stuff of fans’ dreams. In this finale, it was made real.

8. The Clone Wars – “Victory and Death”

The grandeur of televised greatness is not reserved for the realm of live action. Far from it in fact. As we came to learn, George Lucas has a passion for animation. In fact, it would be fair to say he spent the same amount of energy and time on the various Star Wars animated series as he did the live films.

While the long-awaited final season of The Clone Wars animated series may have proceeded without him, the groundwork that Lucas laid out provided everything that Dave Filoni and team needed to orchestrate one of the most heart wrenching finales in animation history.

7. The Mandalorian – Chapter 14: “The Tragedy”

Sometimes the quiet and more emotional scenes are what makes a piece of screen media truly special. Episode 14 of The Mandalorian is not one of these.

What makes this episode truly spectacular is just that, the spectacle. With over-the-top gun-slinging action that only Robert Rodriguez can deliver, The Mandalorian takes this episode as an opportunity to shed any pretense of stoicism and calm that Din Djarin and crew have and show us what it truly means to be a Mandalorian warrior.

This episode of course marks the ‘resurrection’ of fan favorite character Boba Fett and certainly does him justice to that effect. While the episode is more or less a stormtrooper destruction derby, it also tugs on the heartstrings considerably with the tragic kidnap of the beloved infant Grogu.

6. The Clone Wars – The Mortis Trilogy

Technically a trio of episodes but narratively speaking they serve at one ‘arc’ of a greater story. And what a story it is. In these episodes from season 3 of the animated series The Clone Wars, we learn more about the force in an hour than we previously had in three decades. This is Star Wars at its most ‘fantasy’ rather than ‘sci-fi’ and it delves deep into the mythos of the galaxy as well as revealing part of Anakin Skywalker’s dark destiny. A must watch for any lore collector.

5. Rebels: “Twilight of the Apprentice”

Simply put, this episode has everything. Characters old and new. Old wounds reopened and new ones created. And of course many, many lightsabers. The implications and consequences of this episode are still being felt in the Star Wars continuity to this very day and even tread the path of what’s to come in the future.

But I will say no more than this. Watch this episode. Watch this series. You will not regret it.

4.  Visions – “The Ninth Jedi”

The concept of a Star Wars anime anthology series would have seemed beyond outlandish in a previous time. Today it is hailed as a breath of fresh air that we didn’t know we needed. The whole series of Visions showed us what was truly possible for the galaxy without the constraints of endless canon minutiae bogging down writers.

While The Ninth Jedi is actually one of the less ‘out-there’ concepts from the series, its relatively grounded nature gives it that lived-in feel that Star Wars is legendary for. A whole saga could be crafted out of this 21-minute short; such is the breadth of its creative mastery.

So popular was Volume One of the series that a second Volume is on its way in Spring of 2023.

3. The Book of Boba Fett – Chapter 2: “The Tribes of Tatooine”

While the later half of the series may have received mixed results, none can deny the sheer brilliance of its second episode. Boba Fett is no longer some masked killing machine. There is now pathos and reason to his being beyond simply getting the job done. Thought lost to the bowls of the Sarlacc, Fett returns to the world with unlikely allies, the Tusken Raiders of Tatooine. Here, with relatively few words, we learn more about the ‘sand people’ and Fett than we previously have in decades. In the process we experience a meditative and beautiful journey unlike any that has come before in the galaxy far, far away.

2. Clone Wars: Volume 2

Again, not just a single episode of an animated series but rather a narrative collection that warrants consideration.

Simply put, the 2D Cartoon Network series Star Wars: Clone Wars, is one of the coolest things to ever exist. Cartoonish action has never been this good and might never be again. The series started out amazing and simply kept getting better. The later Volume of the series brings us to the end of the Clone Wars and directly before the events of Revenge of the Sith. It does so with the majesty and brevity that only Genndy Tartakovsky has the sensitivity to accomplish.

1. Andor – Episode 3: “Reckoning”

As one anonymous social media commenter stated: “Andor’s excellent dialogue flies in the face of everything George Lucas stood for.”

When we use terms like ‘real’ and ‘gritty’ it’s easy to just imagine a grainy filter, shaky cam and distinct English accents achieving this effect. But seeing it done by professionals in a shared universe that is so overburdened by lore and pre-existing context, and for it to shine like a new dawn, is something that can scarcely be communicated in words. But I shall try nonetheless.

Andor simply feels ‘real’ in a way so many things in this franchise try and miss the mark. In this series, though early days it may be, it feels effortless. It feels natural and unforced. Like all of this really happened and it had been planned to happen this way without a hair out of place.

Of course, none of this is true. A show based on the early life of a character who is introduced and dies in a 2016 film, that is a prequel of a bizarre sounding film from 1977, was not preordained. A small team of writers made this happen and they made sure it happened right.

The third episode of the new Disney+ series Andor is an ecstatic departure from what we have previously witnessed in televised Star Wars.  It is political, it is personal, it achieves the kind of subtle world building that rivals Lucas himself.  All of it held in place by some of the best acting and scripting we have yet seen in this very old franchise that we love.

We are currently only a third of the way through the first season of Andor and if this is just a taste of what’s to come, there’s a lot to be excited for.

Next. 5 things you never knew about Andor’s Stellan Skarsgård. dark

What are your favorite episodes of Star Wars television? Let us know in the comments below! For all things Star Wars, head on over to Dork Side of the Force!