Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Poll: The Worst ‘Star Wars’ Movie

Since its release last week, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ has proven to be one of the most divisive movies of the year. Most critics and many fans seem to love it, but a growing backlash has declared it a terrible piece of garbage and a desecration of the franchise. Let’s put this to a vote. What is really the worst ‘Star Wars’ movie to date?

I think a lot of fans let their love for the franchise blind them to the fact that ‘Star Wars’ has had a lot of crap in it from very early on. Short memories also tend to forget just how much bile some of the previous ‘Star Wars’ movies churned up from viewers, especially the prequel trilogy.

Even with all the vocal outcry against ‘The Last Jedi’, I bet ‘The Phantom Menace’ would still take this poll in a walk if I just listed the nine live-action theatrical features in the series, from ‘A New Hope’ to current. To complicate matters, I’ve decided to break out the 1997 Special Edition revisions as their own entries, and throw in the animated ‘Clone Wars’ feature and the wretched TV movies (including the notorious ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’). This should make the vote a lot more challenging. Please look over all the options before submitting.

I will have to refrain from voting until I see ‘The Last Jedi’. Of all the others, I’m hard-pressed to choose between ‘The Phantom Menace’ and that godawful ‘Clone Wars’ movie. Both have few redeeming qualities, and the lisping Ziro the Hutt may be an even more offensive character than Jar Jar Binks.

On the other hand, the stupid editing and CGI changes that George Lucas inflicted on the Special Edition of ‘A New Hope’ make that version of the movie unwatchable to me. I may have to vote for that.

What Is the Worst 'Star Wars' Movie?

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  1. Kram

    Realistically, it’s probably the holiday special or one of the Ewok movies, but I don’t really want to choose any of those, so I’ll go with the “real” movie I like the least, which is Rogue One. TLJ is my least favorite official episode, though (I didn’t hate it or anything, but I definitely have issues with it and it is the least enjoyable one for me).

    • Ryan

      I agree, It is kind of cheap to include the Holiday specials and Ewok movies. So I will only vote for main movies….
      For me, Revenge of the Sith is the worse. That was the first Star Wars film I walked out of the theater actually angry about what I saw. I honestly can’t think of one good thing about it

      • Kram

        You definitely hate it more than I do, ha, but I never understood why everybody called it a return to form and the best prequel and all that either…to me it’s easily the weakest of the prequels!

      • William Henley

        Really? Revenge of the Sith was not only, IMHO, the best of the prequels, I would rank it as the third best Star Wars movie, only behind A New Hope and Empire. I mean, you have Anakin betraying the Jedi order and single-handedly killing most of them, only to be stopped by Obi Wan in one of the greatest movie climaxes ever. The only thing that really ruined it was Anakin whining about Panda Bear (Robot Chicken reference).

        • Chaz Dumbaugh

          The acting alone cant put any of the prequels up that high for me, while Hayden was much better being “mean” in this one than trying to act in the others, its just not that good, his turn is really stupid, killing Mace Windu and being insanely conflicted to just being like, alright I’m Vader lets go murder some children…..yeah doesnt work, the last battle while fun, is also really over the top, jumping between lava droids and hopping up pillars collapsing and other crazy stuff just takes things a bit too far, its like Lucas wrote himself into a corner and realized this fight has to be CRAZY guys because its Anakin and Obi-Wan, the Darth Maul fight was much better setup and felt more like a Jedi battle should, this one was just FX for the sake of FX

          Then of course you get Vader being shown for the “first time” and he’s asking about Padme and getting mad and screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Which is also one of the worst things in Star Wars, because of that Lucas went and ruined the end of Return of the Jedi with that same garbage line, so that automatically puts Revenge of the Sith near the bottom of the pack

          Now dont get me wrong, I’m a huge Star Wars fan and I enjoy watching all of the films but the prequels are mostly atrocious with some few shining moments that keep me coming back to view them again and again

  2. William Henley

    I have fond memories of the Ewok movies – I was 5 and 6 when they came out. I haven’t seen them in probably 30 years though, so I am sure I would probably find them painful now.

    If it was just the theatrical releases, I would probably go with The Phantom Menace, although The Force Awakens would be a CLOSE second (enough with Death Stars already, there are other things in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, ‘member?).

    However, I like what Josh did with the Poll and threw in television movies and special editions. I think the special editions get harsher treatment than they deserve – they are not THAT bad. Yes, I am annoyed that I cannot (legally) get HD versions of the theatrical releases, and miss Yub Na (seriously, the best part of ROTJ, and Lucas cuts it), but, especially with Empire, the Special Edition is REALLY good. Yeah, CGI Yoda is a bit weird, but the cleanup done with the rest of the film is great.

    So what is the worst Star Wars movie? It is, without a doubt, the Star Wars Holiday Special. It is just painful, especially the wookie wacking off in the VR suite (come on, I am not the only one who thought that)

    I would rather watch Santa Claus versus the Martians or Santa Claus vs the Ice Cream Bunny over this garbage any day!

  3. cardpetree

    For me, Maul, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan saved The Phantom Menace from being the worst. I chose Attack of the Clones. The scenes with Anakin and Amidala are absolutely cringe worthy and the CGI is terrible as well.

  4. I’m going to have to go with ‘Revenge of the Sith’…purely because the Vader “NOOOooooooooo!” forever impacted the tone of his character, making him far less menacing and far too emo. He should have lashed out in a Kylo manner, or a Jack Nicholson seeing himself as the Joker manner….and this spread, with that “NOOOooooooo!” inserted into ‘ROTJ’, so really “ROTS’ hurt ‘ROTJ’.

  5. To me, ‘The Phantom Menace’ is the best prequel, so I would never choose that one. I’m going with ‘Attack of the Clones’. It was so bad, it actually inspired me to start a personal website to be able to write about the disappointment and warn others. Fifteen years later, that website is still updated, so at least the movie spurred my love for the written word.

  6. Chris B

    To me The Phantom Menace is unwatchable garbage and easily the worst. Although Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith aren’t far behind, they at least have a coherent plot and some level of emotional investment…albeit very little.

  7. cardpetree

    Should’ve just included the 9 main movies. The Holiday Special is tainting the actual results. There’s a solid consensus that the Holiday Special was trash.

      • cardpetree

        Yes, I think most of us are just voting on the main Star Wars movies. I didn’t even consider the Holiday Special or any of the other expansion movies that “weren’t actual Star Wars movies”. As bad as TPM is, it’s still somewhat watchable compared to the Holiday Special. It’s not that big of a deal but I would have been curious to see the results of the 9 main movies.

        • David W.

          That’s what I did. You can’t expect TV movies or specials to be great, especially back in the 80’s, as they typically do not have budget of a Hollywood release nor are they given the attention or care of one. I believe the only way this poll would have been fair is to have limited the choices to the 9 theatrical releases.

          That being said, I voted for The Force Awakens. If the other Star Wars movies didn’t exist or it was any other science fantasy movie I probably would have tolerated it more. I may be voting prematurely as I still have yet to see The Last Jedi and I could end up disliking it even more. I will find out Christmas day.

        • EM

          It’s a little like being asked, “Which of the following is the worst Star Wars character?” and being given the choices of Joh Yowza, Jar Jar Binks, Maz Kanata, and Poochie—well, even if you hate Poochie the most, he’s out of the running since he’s not actually a Star Wars character.

      • Timcharger

        The mob has taken it upon themselves to violate the parameters of the poll. People are voting according to what they view are the legitimate candidates. But Josh has his agenda, oh no!

  8. Ian

    I watched Star Wars (stupidly re-titled as “A New Hope” IMHO) when it was re-released in the 1990s and found it exceedingly slow and boring. It really ruined my childhood memories and I haven’t watched anything else in the Star Wars world since. I’d rather hold on to the extremely fond memories of the original three movies and given the Jar-Jar Binks and other messes, I think I’m better off for it.

  9. photogdave

    The Holiday Specials are fun for what they are. I never saw the Clone Wars movie but the cartoon looks pretty bad.
    For me The Return of the Jedi Special Edition is the worst desecration of the original three. A New Hope is a hair’s breadth behind but it’s just slightly more watchable. The Jedi Rocks sequence is such an abomination that I just about lose my Lucky Charms when I see it.
    Not voting because I haven’t seen The Last Jedi yet. Surely it can’t be the worst though?

  10. Gregg

    Going with the “actual” Star Wars movies and not the holiday special it has to be “Attack of the Clones”. It’s not even close.

    And lol at those voting for The Last Jedi because you’re butthurt.

  11. cardpetree

    Wow, someone voted The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980) over ‘The Empire Strikes Back: Special Edition’ (1997).


  12. Guy

    I think I have to abstain from voting. Star Wars ranking is a hard thing to nail down for me. Sue me if you want, but I have nostalgia for aspects of the prequels. I was a kid up to a young teen as Episodes I-III were coming out. I knew they weren’t as good as the Original Trilogy even then, but each still has sequences and elements I can watch fondly. Lucas whiffed on execution again and again in that trilogy, but his worldbuilding for those films was better than what’s been done at Disney.

    Today, with many more years of interests and influences, you’ll find my enthusiasm for Star Wars is a far cry from what it once was. What’s the result of that? I objectively know Rogue One is a better movie than The Phantom Menace on nearly every filmmaking level, but I’d rather watch Ep. I just to see the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan/Maul fight and remember my youth than to sit through any of Rogue One again. So how do I rank that phenomenon? You can’t in any scientific way.

    • I totally understand what you’re saying, and where you’re coming from. I have seen ‘Rogue One’ two times, but I won’t be seeing it again anytime soon. It’s an excellent movie on every level, but it’s not that rewatchable. ‘The Phantom Menace’ – flawed as it is – is a more engaging movie for me, because there are moments of fun and brilliance. Duel of the Fates, Liam’s performance, Sio Bibble (my favorite supporting character), some quotable lines (‘Wipe them out. All of them.’; ‘Nubian, eh, Nubian?’; etc.). Plus, nostalgia.

      • Chaz Dumbaugh

        Thats one thing I love about the Phantom Menace, Darth Maul and Sidious, his lines are super menacing and I love every transmission he makes, “this is my apprentice, Darth Maul, he will find your lost ship”, it just sounds great and is so much better than just about any other lines in that movie, which is crazy to me. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were done very well and I loved both Neeson and McGregor as those characters, they BETTER bring McGregor back for an Obi-Wan movie if its happening or i will be pissed 🙂

  13. Joao

    I dont agree that this is one of the most divise movies of the year. I found this statement pretty strange. We can say the majority has liked it. For instance, among my friends everyone liked it.

    The fact that some people has declared it a piece of garbage does not eliminate the fact that the majority likes it. If this is enough to say that a movie is divise, then we will have to say that every movie ever released in history is divise.

  14. Deaditelord

    I’m going with Attack of the Clones, but barring Ron Howard miraculously salvaging it, I expect the Han Solo prequel will be the undisputed title holder by this time next year.

    • I really wish Lord and Miller had been able to finish what they started. I loved ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’, ’21 Jump Street’, ’22 Jump Street’, ‘The LEGO Movie’ … these guys are FUNNY. Why shouldn’t/couldn’t ‘SOLO’ be a Star Wars comedy?

  15. Dave M

    I’m also going to go with Attack of the Clones. I saw all of the prequels-and just about every SW movie since Empire-on opening day, and I remember sitting in the theater thinking: ‘I’m seeing a Star Wars movie…on opening day…and I’m bored’.

    The moments in the film are so static and lacking any dynamic sense that I wish George would have remembered his mantra from the original film: faster and more intense!

  16. Thulsadoom

    It’s no secret, but… The Force Awakens for me (Not seen The Last Jedi yet, but it sounds pretty much on a par). TFA just plunges to new depths of awfulness in script, logic and lack of imagination, before you even get to it throwing out any of the story and character progression of the previous six films and The Clone Wars. I’d genuinely sooner see what George could do with a stand alone Jar Jar movie, than another of these poorly written bad (not)fan-fiction movies. 😉

  17. Chapz Kilud

    Whoa, I’m surprised Last Jedi is number 4. Even though I voted for it but I was thinking I’m in the minority. I don’t know what Holiday Special was. Was that even in every theater and showing for long? I didn’t vote for Phantom Menace because the only annoying part was Jar Jar and I just couldn’t overlook the numerous offense by Last Jedi and how it crippled everything that came before it.

    Just came from Christmas dinner with lots of friends and we talked about Star Wars and Last Jedi. It seems to be a very divisive movie with people either liking it or hating it.

    • Chaz Dumbaugh

      It didnt cripple everything that came before it, Luke explains in great detail his feelings about everything thats happened since the prequels and it makes sense, but he’s also the Luke we all know and love and of course I cant go much into that because of spoilers. People are genuinely mad about the way Rian Johnson took these characters but they seem to be so mad, ruined my childhood mad, that they arent seeing how good the story and character development truly is for everyone in this movie, the overall theme of loss and moving beyond your mistakes and past is a great thing to be telling and every character has to deal with that here, Heroes dont win in this movie like they usually do and lessons are learned and character arcs happen, I believe every character arc in TLJ makes much more sense than three prequels trying to explain how Anakin Turned to Vader, THAT was a bad character arc and ended up being extremely bad and poorly told, in one movie, TLJ purposely and effectively, tells great story arcs for its characters that make sense, even Luke, after 2 viewings now I’m a big fan of this movie and what it does to subvert our expectations as Star Wars fan, its not the same shit anymore, telling a constant connected story to one family, its much more than that now and really needs to be to continue on

  18. Terry

    Has any of you actually seen ep 8 the last Jedi. This movie makes the phantom menace and attack of the clones look like great all time classics in comparison.

    • Chaz Dumbaugh

      Yes, I’ve seen in twice and the prequels are so much worse, I’m amazed at how people are completely missing the story and themes The Last Jedi are telling. Instead they are mad their answers they wanted didnt come off the way they hoped or that Rian Johnson completely “ruined” my perfect hero world view of Luke Skywalker. I dont think that was the case at all, if you’ve watched every Star Wars movie and have seen the Jedi and actually listen to Luke in TLJ, it all makes sense and his arc in this film makes sense as does everyone else’s. Characters here truly learn a lesson, which rarely happens in any other Star Wars movie. TLJ is slowly creeping up my list to the top but it will require many more viewings just like every other Star Wars film, but no NOTHING is worse than the prequels, the competency in film making, the visuals and acting alone elevate TLJ far above the prequels, you dont have to be a fan of the story but that isnt reason enough to put it below what George did with those awful CGI heavy and insanely poorly acted movies, when Attack of the Clones is listed on TONS of top 10 lists for some of the worst dialogue of all time, TLJ comes nowhere close to being that bad

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