Star Wars: Every movie in the Skywalker Saga, ranked from worst to best

Adam Driver is Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley is Rey in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
Adam Driver is Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley is Rey in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER /
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8. Episode I: The Phantom Menace

As we mentioned, the Star Wars prequels are some of the weakest films in the Skywalker Saga, but there are several aspects of The Phantom Menace that place it above Attack of the Clones, if only by one ranking.

For one, Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn steals the show in The Phantom Menace, at least until his untimely demise at the very end. Sadly, this is the only time the character appears at length over the course of the nine films in the saga, but Qui-Gon’s impact on the franchise is a lasting one. His brief tenure as a protagonist makes this film not just worthwhile, but enjoyable.

Darth Maul’s appearance in The Phantom Menace is also one of the film’s positive aspects, even if fans would have liked to see more from the notorious and well-loved Sith Lord. Even if the movie could have done more with him, though, his appearances make for some intense action sequences — and we do love a good lightsaber battle.

And even with its poorly aged CGI and awkward dialogue, The Phantom Menace stands on its own as a first film. There are emotonal stakes, interesting new characters, and crucial aspects of world-building that make this film important, even if it’s far from the most exciting Star Wars installment.

So, no, The Phantom Menace will never be our favorite Star Wars movie. But we do have to question how much flack it gets….