Top Six Star Wars Movies

The Star Wars Saga is a staple in not only the the science-fiction genre, but the movie industry as a whole. Back in 1977, audiences were taken on a vast and mythical journey and I imagine were blown away by something so fresh, little did they know the true journey that had just begun. Rumor is that Star Wars Episode VII is to be released in 2015 by Disney who just purchased the franchise for over 4 billion dollars and I’m very excited to see what will be done with it. I whole heartedly believe there’s no way anyone could possibly make worse Star Wars movies than Episode I and II. I won’t lie and say I’m even that huge of a Star Wars fan, but I think the saga is a substantial piece of filmmaking and very enjoyable to boot. Here’s an ordered list of the films thus far.

6. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Attack of the Clones is horrible, that’s all there is to it. I consider it to be one of my least favorite films if only for sheer disappointment value. Even after the disappointment that was Episode I, I thought there was no way he could make a worse Star Wars movie so I was excited for the sequel. I was wrong, Attack of the Clones is worse, much worse. Attack of the Clones is just the perfect example of spectacle taking the forefront. It didn’t matter how bad the movie was, it had enough battles and explosions.

5. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace was the Star Wars movie everybody wanted to see. Star Wars had acquired its gargantuan fan base with the original trilogy, so upon the announcement of a new Star Wars movie how could anyone who witnessed the original Star Wars story not succumb to a bit of excitement. Then, unfortunately, everyone actually saw the movie. Yes, The Phantom Menace was a disappointment, but I will always argue that it is not the worst one. Sure Jar Jar Binks sucks, but at least Episode I had the pod race, Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul.

4. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

With Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars saga is brought to a supremely entertaining and satisfying conclusion. Luke Skywalker fulfills his destiny of becoming a legendary Jedi worthy of honor and glory, while the redemption of Darth Vader is simply breathtaking. This is all while adorable Ewoks help prevail over the evil Empire on Endor. Return of the Jedi was tasked with a lot and though it wasn’t as groundbreaking as A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, it tells a great ending to a great story.

3. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

A princess, a wise jedi, an iconic villain, a rising hero, two quirky droids, a fuzzball and Han Solo; these are the chess pieces that make up the game that is the first extraordinary excursion into the galactic epic that is, Star Wars. There’s a sense of adventure around every corner and on every new planet you see. The characters you meet are memorable and vital to the telling of quite the tale of the forces of good and evil. A New Hope was the story that started it all and it is a spectacular one. It’s truly a classic movie that will forever remain in the pages of history and the minds of the fans inspired by its excellence.

2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

In terms of progression of story, if A New Hope is a thrilling adventure than The Empire Strikes Back is a poetic drama. While hope was indeed instilled back into the galaxy with the arrival of a Rebel Alliance in A New Hope, that hope is all but vanquished when the empire strikes back. There are different worlds, new faces, thrilling set pieces, action, inspiration, betrayals and a few surprises. “No. I am your father,” the sith lord, Darth Vader, reveals to his fallen son in arguably the most pivotal scene in all of Star Wars. The Empire Strikes Back is one of the most astounding sequels ever created. I thought A New Hope was amazing, but it was all leading to this.

1. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the greatest of the six Star Wars films. It’s my favorite and it has been since I first viewed it back in 2006, so sue me for loving one of the prequels better than the original trilogy. Darth Vader is my favorite character in the Star Wars saga (Hayden Christensen’s performance is definitely lacking, he did some maturing since his awful performance in Attack of the Clones) and in Revenge of the Sith we witness the birth of this powerful villain. It’s a dark and very fascinating story in its prominence and its not without some extravagant spectacle.

The film is just chock full of evildoers from Count Dooku to General Grievous, and of course the malevolent Emperor Palpatine. The arc and villain at the heart of the film is Vader and there’s never a point when I’m not having a good time watching Episode III. It’s hard not to root for the wise and good-hearted Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The film culminates in an epic battle between master and apprentice on the eruptive planet, Mustafar. It’s the greatest moment in Star Wars and just one scene that helps make up for the greatest Star Wars movie that is ever likely to be made.

Top Ten Awesome Villains in Bad/OK Movies

It’s a very unfortunate, but true fact that there are many cases where awesome movie villains worthy of great movies appear in god awful or just alright films. Sometimes those villains aren’t given the recognition they deserve based on the film they are in. So, this is my list dedicated to them, the villains that are downright beautifully written and performed, but because of the awful or alright movies they’re in, don’t get the same recognition and praise they sometimes deserve.

10. Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th series)

I will agree that the Friday the 13th movies are fun, but the series as a whole is truly awful filmmaking. What can you expect from a slasher series that grew into over ten films? What can’t be denied is how awesome the villain that it spawned is. Jason Voorhees is one of the most iconic characters known to the horror genre and this list wouldn’t be complete with out him. His trademark hockey mask has got to be one of the most well-known props in film.

9. The Sniper (Phone Booth)

The movie phone booth is awful from beginning to end, but for some reason I always need to watch it when it comes on. The reason is because Kiefer Sutherland is truly brilliant as the villain of the film. Basically the entire movie takes place in a phone booth with Colin Farrell in the starring role. On the other line we can hear the voice of a man whose point a large sniper rifle at our star. The Sniper is an awesome villain that never seems to get noticed. I suppose I can see why.

8. The Joker (Batman)

Before 2005 when the masterpiece Batman Begins came out, Batman movies weren’t that amazing. Batman Forever was alright, I wasn’t a fan of Batman Returns and Batman and Robin is one of the worst movies ever conceived. My third favorite Batman movie after Christopher Nolan’s two masterpieces would have to be Tim Burton’s original Batman. This is due in part to Jack Nicholson’s wild take on The Joker. It is nothing compared to Heath Ledger’s, but it still deserves lots of praise.

7. Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street series)

I know A Nightmare on Elm Street is considered a classic when it comes to the horror genre, but to tell you the truth, I’m not a big fan. I love the idea, but the execution wasn’t as great is its made out to be. I do however love the wickedly awesome villain Freddy Krueger. Even though he’s one of the most iconic and evil killers ever put on screen he still has brilliantly delivered dark humor. Its almost like he feels the need to not only kill his victims, but humiliate them and if that’s not villainy than what is?

6. Jigsaw (Saw series)

The “serial killer” who actually hasn’t technically killed anybody just had to be on this list. The ultimate guilty pleasure of mine is the Saw movies. Other than the first one, they are god awful, but I get unhealthy amounts of joy watching them. The joy doesn’t come from watching Jigsaw’s famous “traps” in which his victims are put to tests to see if they have the well to survive. The joy comes from the insane plot surrounding the main character and antagonist Jigsaw. He’s maniacal and sadistic, but he has good intentions in a way.

5. Hans Gruber (Die Hard)

Some might be surprised to see Hans Gruber on this list because most consider Die Hard to be an amazing movie. I do like Die Hard, it’s cool, but its not spectacular. It’s a certainly a fun movie, but its truly nothing special, just an entertaining action movie to me. It’s alright or as the title states “OK”. Hans Gruber however is a truly fantastic villain. A suave calculating thieve who might give his hostages some food, but won’t hesitate when he has to pull the trigger. Alan Rickman plays the character to a tee and the fact that he’s thrown off a building is made all the more pleasurable because of what basterd he truly is.

4. Stuntman Mike (Death Proof)

I absolutely love every minute of Death Proof, but I can’t deny that its not really a good movie because Tarantino didn’t want it to be a good movie. With Death Proof he’s paying homage B-movies with insane violence and car chases. The villain of the story is downright awesome. I don’t find nearly as much pleasure watching Kurt Russell in other roles than this one. Stuntman Mike is a sadistic, yet charming maniac who deliberately kills his victims with his “Death Proof” cars just because its a blast.

3. Agent Smith (The Matrix series)

I’ve seen The Matrix movies an unreasonable amount of time, but watching the first one recently was actually the inspiration to make this list. I just sat there as Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith interrogated Lawrence Fishburne’s Morpheus and thought, “Holy cow, this is amazing”. Then Keanu Reeves walked back into frame and I realized why I don’t consider this movie great. Agent Smith is such brilliantly crafted villain in one of the other films that I would consider a guilty pleasure of many. I love watching the Matrix movies, even the sequels, they’re pretty bad movies, but there’s a lot to enjoy and one of the main points is Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith.

2. Norman Stansfield (The Professional)

I do not like The Professional. Its an over-the-top action movie surrounding a relationship between a hitman and a twelve-year-old that is so awkward and annoying to the point of the movie becoming unentertaining. The reason it is worth watching though is because one of my favorite actors, Gary Oldman, plays the only redeeming quality of this movie and he plays him spectacularly. The character isn’t nearly used to its full potential, but the scenes he is in are made fascinating. He trues throw the scene like the shark in Jaws and you just can’t wait to see him again. I would’ve much rather just seen an entire movie surrounding a character study of this character. That would’ve been a brilliant film.

1. Voldemort (Harry Potter series)

I don’t get very much enjoyment at all out of the Harry Potter films. Maybe its just me, but sub-par execution and awful acting from the main characters don’t make for entertaining movie experiences. The series did get one thing right though, they managed to cast the supporting characters to perfection. Gary Oldman was awesome and Sirius Black, Richard Harris and Michael Gambon both made enjoyable Dumbledore’s (even though Harris was obviously better), Helena Bonham Carter is brilliant, as always, as Belatrix and Alan Rickman plays a part that he was born to play. The real treat in Harry Potter though is one of the greatest actors known to cinema playing the main antagonist.

Ralph Fiennes is one of my favorite actors and like all his roles, he plays Voldemort so utterly brilliantly. Voldemort is such a dark presence on screen to the point of every other character, even his allies, feeling uncomfortable. This is because every single person he comes across knows where the true power lies. Voldemort is truthfully the only reason I go see the Harry Potter movies. If I can only catch a glimpse of Fiennes performing the character to literal perfection, than the price of admission was worth it. When I began writing my list of the Top Ten Awesome Villains in Bad/OK Movies I know right away deserves the top spot. Ralph Fiennes playing the villain Voldemort is simply breathtaking.