The best and the rest of Star Wars
The best and the rest: From swashbuckling action to creaky scripts
Empire Strikes Back (1980)
With its downbeat ending, twisting plot and fantastic set pieces – including the ATAT walkers on the ice planet Hoth, Han Solo's Millennium Falcon pursued by a fleet of Darth Vader's (left) Star Destroyers – it might be argued that a huge part of Star Wars's reputation is owed to Empire.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
The movie that started everything off, the original Star Wars combined swashbuckling action, neverseenbefore special effects and a genuinely engaging story as the farmboy Luke Skywalker eventually destroys the Death Star.
Return of the Jedi (1983)
Lucas's prequel movies have attracted the majority of the negative reviews. However, the truth is that the rot had set in with Jedi, the last in the original trilogy. The Mercurial Han Solo is reduced to little more than a doughy goodguy in a puffy jacket. The movie also gave us the terrible, cutesy Ewoks (right) – for which Lucas surely deserves an extended stay in the pit of the Sarlacc.
The Phantom Menace (1999)
Perhaps the longest bum note in the history of cinema, Menace suffers from terrible cardboard acting and a creaking script. Also featured are Jar Jar Binks and Liam Neeson uttering the accursed word 'Midichlorians' with a straight face.