6. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith finds itself smack in the middle of the pack, sitting at a comfy number 6 out of 11 in our Star Wars lineup. It's another middle child of the saga - not the trailblazing firstborn or the adorable youngest, but holding its own with a flair for the dramatic. This movie is where the prequels finally hit their stride, delivering the gut-punch payoff of Anakin Skywalker's tragic fall from Jedi hero to the fearsome Darth Vader. It's like watching a space opera soap opera, complete with epic lightsaber duels, galactic-scale battles, and a villain's origin story that's as heart-wrenching as finding out your favorite droid has been scrapped for parts.
But if it's so epic, why does it rank where it does? Well, as much as I personally enjoy and love this movie, it's undeniably a mixed bag of "wow" moments and "wait, what?" bits. On one hand, you've got the high-stakes action and the deeply emotional arcs that tie up the loose ends leading into the original trilogy. It's the movie where the pieces of the puzzle come together, and you can't help but get pulled into the spectacle of it all.
On the other hand, it's also burdened with some of that wooden dialogue and clunky moments that made the prequels a bit of a bumpy ride. But when push comes to shove, Revenge of the Sith delivers where it counts, serving up a satisfying conclusion to the prequel trilogy and setting the stage for the classic Star Wars adventure that started it all. Hayden Christiansen and Ewan McGregor single-handedly hold the movie up and make it interesting and entertaining, especially when it comes to their final battle in Mustafar. For what it's worth, RotS si much like finally getting to the good part of a story after a long buildup – it might not be perfect, but it's a ride worth taking.