Star Wars Day 2022 is upon us. Every year, fans come together on May the 4th fans to celebrate the much-beloved space opera set in a galaxy far, far away, for all of its good and bad.
While we're expecting plenty of exciting announcements – a new Obi-Wan Kenobi trailer, for instance – equally, it's just a great excuse to rewatch and appreciate the films for what they are. Naturally, as part of this, I could write about the best Star Wars movies but in reality, we're all aware it's the original trilogy. No debating it, the universe has spoken.
Instead, I'd rather discuss what I believe to be the most underrated Star Wars movies and why they are worth reconsidering. All of these picks are available to stream on Disney Plus now, so make for perfect viewing to celebrate the occasion.
Looking for more ideas? Don't miss our 5 ways to celebrate Star Wars Day.
Since Disney purchased Star Wars from George Lucas for $4 billion, many people would argue that the House of the Mouse was the worth thing to happen to the franchise. I wouldn't go that far, although it's certainly struggled with the main sequel trilogy. One of the worst decisions was to release five films over the span of four years between December 2015 to December 2019. Fatigue was a big problem and the biggest movie to suffer from this was Solo.
Was Solo necessary? No, of course not. Does Alden Ehrenreich hold a candle to Harrison Ford? No, are you mad! Is the way the character gets his name ridiculously dumb? Without a doubt. Should this have been a series instead of a movie? Quite possibly. All of that said, Solo is an extremely fun space western that offers a much more condensed story than the galaxy-ending quests we've encountered too many times.
The supporting cast is also superb: Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandiwe Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany and best of all, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Inspired casting! This also helps Ehrenreich grow into the role of the smuggler as the film progresses, due to the duo's chemistry being off the charts. It may have gone through development hell, yet Solo still makes for a very enjoyable comfort watch. Maybe there's still hope for some sort of sequel?
The Force Awakens
Look, the sequel trilogy is a mess. Whether you loved or despised The Last Jedi and endured whatever the Rise of Skywalker was, none of it worked as one overarching narrative. The only good thing to come from it all was The Force Awakens, which has seen too much hate in retrospect. It may just be a retelling of A New Hope but it's a damn good one and a key factor to Star Wars being re-energised as a whole.
A lot of love is put into The Force Awakens. Whether its the score, the special effects, the handling of returning characters – tell me you don't grin ear-to-ear when Han and Chewie board the Millenium Falcon – the tempered use of lightsabers, the introduction of new interesting heroes (Rey, Finn, Poe) and complex villains (Kylo Ren, Hux, Snoke) as well as a dynamite cliffhanger that left us all guessing for two years what was next.
It had it all! What started out as something as bright as the twin suns of Tatooine should not be used as a scapegoat for the shortcomings of its sequels. I'll always remember the incredible buzz from seeing the first trailer and leaving the cinema knowing Star Wars was back.
Revenge of the Sith
Aside from Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi and podracing (yes, it's always been cool), I find it hard to defend most things from The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Revenge of the Sith, on the other hand, has so much going for it.
Not only is the dialogue actually palatable, the visuals and script all feel a major step up from its predecessors. It's just generally more entertaining all-around. No trade negotiations. No Gungans. No long discussions about sand. Just great space action and the emotional weight of two friends breaking apart before culminating in one of the best lightsaber battles in Star Wars history. Additionally, we get a loveable overblown performance from Iain McDiarmid as Palpatine and the formidable General Grievous, a feared Jedi hunter and ruthless killing machine.
The downfall of Anakin Skywalker is in no way shape or form perfect. It is, however, something that's ready to be explored further and something I personally can't wait to see once McGregor and Hayden Christensen return to their respective roles in Obi-Wan Kenobi later this month.
Obi-Wan Kenobi stars Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen with Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell and Benny Safdie all set to appear. It will begin streaming exclusively across Disney Plus from May 25th, 2022.