Please join The Illuminerdi as we reflect on and rank the seven different live-action projects Disney has made since acquiring Lucasfilm.
#1: The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian is considered by many to be the saving grace of Disney Star Wars. The series was created by Jon Favreau and has featured the creative talents of Dave Filoni, Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard, among others. The hit space-western serial takes place five years after Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi, following a Mandalorian named Din Djarin and his ward, a baby Yoda named Grogu.
Pedro Pascal’s performance as Mando was nominated for multiple awards, and season three of The Mandalorian is easily the most anticipated upcoming Disney Star Wars project. Mando recently starred in Episode 5 of The Book Of Boba Fett, stealing the show from the title character.
#2: The Book Of Boba Fett
Temeura Morrison stars as Boba Fett in The Book Of Boba Fett. Morrison previously played Boba’s father, Jango Fett in Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, which saw a young Boba witness his father’s decapitation at the hands of Mace Windu. Morrison first played Boba in Season 2 of The Mandalorian, where he teamed up with Mando and Ming-Na Wen’s Fennec Shand.
Ming-Na Wen is an all-star performer famous for her roles as Agent Melinda May, The Calvary, on Agents Of Shield and the title character of Mulan. Boba and Fennec’s chemistry is electric, and they make for one of the most engaging dynamic duo’s in the Disney Star Wars universe.
#3: Rogue One
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was the first Star Wars movie to take place outside of the episodic Skywalker saga. That being said, it didn’t really distance itself from the past, as Rogue One leads directly into Episode IV: A New Hope. Felicity Jones starred as Jyn Erso, a rebel who leads the Rogue One squadron in their quest to steal the Empire’s Death Star schematics.
Rogue One stands out from other films in the franchise because it actually feels like a war movie, and because of it’s brutal ending. The heroes of the rebellion don’t fare well by the end of the film, and their death is gloriously ushered in through the deadliest Darth Vader attack cinema has ever seen.
Solo: A Star Wars Story was a film that seemed doomed from the start. Alden Ehrenreich was cast as a young Han Solo, angering hardcore fans who would have much rather seen Harrison Ford suit up for the solo outing. To make matters worse, the original directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord left the film in the middle of production due to creative differences with Lucasfilm.
Despite all of this, Solo overcame adversity, presenting fans with a unique look at Han, Chewie and Lando Calrissian’s past. It’s far from perfect, but it’s certainly superior to the sequel trilogy.
#5: The Rise Of Skywalker
Star Wars: Episode VII: The Rise Of Skywalker is the probably the strangest installment in all of Disney Star Wars, but it’s not without merit. The film looks visually spectacular, and Kylo, Leia and even Luke received great conclusions to their arcs in the Skywalker Saga.
At the same time, Palpatine’s return was half-assed to say the least, and The Rise Of Skywalker basically forgets about Finn, one of the sequel trilogy’s leading characters. The chaotic, high-speed energy of Episode IX also helps elevate this film above the previous two Episodes.
#6: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: Episode VII was the first installment in the Disney Star Wars universe. It introduced us to Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, The Resitance, and the First Order. Upon release, it was heralded as the greatest thing to happen to the franchise since the Original trilogy.
Upon rewatch however, The Force Awakens fails to hold up. Operating as a watered down redux of A New Hope and little more, this requel would have been better off collecting dust on the shelf.
#7: The Last Jedi
The Last Jedi is, unsurprisingly, the final and weakest installment in live-action Disney Star Wars. Rian Johnson’s eighth installment in the Skywalker Saga decided to completely alter the trajectory of the franchise, revealing Rey as the child of no-one relevant, Luke as a depressed hermit, and The First Order and The Resistance as literally just continuations of The Empire and The Rebellion.
The Last Jedi is a film that talks about leaving the past behind without ever fully committing to the idea. Thankfully, J.J. Abrams came back for course correction on the next installment, but it was far too little, far too late.
The Disney Star Wars franchise has been a mixed bag so far, but the future is bright. With projects like Obi-Wan and Ahsoka on the horizon, the best live-action Disney Star Wars project could change sooner rather than later.
Which live-action Disney Star Wars project is your favorite? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!