A STAR WARS Films Feature
It’s one of the most enduring science fiction fantasy franchises of all time but in the series of films, which ones in the series stand out as the most popular and most lucrative at the box office…
If there’s one thing for sure, the recent commercial and critical success of STAR WARS: Ahsoka chronicling the adventures of the renegade apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, the ill-fated Jedi Master who transforms into the most feared enforcer of the ruthless Empire, the Sith Lord Darth Vader, audiences are still hungry for more tales from George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away. The character of Ahsoka Tano was first introduced in 2008 and featured prominently in the animated feature-length film STAR WARS: The Clone Wars.
Her adventures at the side of Jedi Anakin Skywalker caught in the bitter battle with the fate of the galaxy in the balance, yielded a hugely popular animated series that spanned seven seasons. Ahsoka’s stories would continue into the follow-up STAR WARS: Rebels before the heroine finally became flesh and blood as portrayed by actress Rosario Dawson as a supporting character in the Disney+ Original Series The Mandalorian also set in the expanding Star Wars universe. This latest incarnation gave rise to the self-titled Original Series that is set in the time after the Original Trilogy and its sequel.
George Lucas’ imaginatively ground-breaking space opera took multiplex audiences by storm when it was released in 1977. STAR WARS: Episode IV – A New Hope which introduced soon-to-be fans to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he begins his journey to wield “The Force” and save the galaxy, has the overall highest worldwide box office in the history of the franchise. The film earned $2,269,478,616 (accounting for inflation) with a consistent MetaCritic.com score of 90/100, making it the most lucrative and the most popular Star Wars film of all time. How do the rest of the films in the series fare?
Research conducted by casino experts NZCasinoClub.com which ranked each film installment from 1977 through 2019, analyzing worldwide box office totals, and gathering online data from several reputable critics and scoring sites, resulted in a very robust look at how a long time ago, this rebelliously risky film yielded a cinematic empire and redefined entertainment! Here is a look at the franchise…by the numbers:
1. A New Hope (1977)
A New Hope (1977), which introduces cinema-goers to Luke Skywalker as he begins his hero’s journey to learn “The Force” and rescue Princess Leia, has been crowned the most popular Star Wars film. Not only does this installment have the highest worldwide box office in the franchise – $2,269,478,616 when accounting for inflation – but the movie also has the highest MetaCritic score, 90/100, and its rating is never lower than the second-highest score across all the review sites that were measured. Therefore, A New Hope (1977) achieves a final popularity index score of 91/100, making it the most popular Star Wars film of all time.
2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) received a silver medal as the second most popular installment. The film introduces cinema-goers to iconic characters, including the beloved Jedi master Yoda, as Luke learns to master his skills and battle the notorious Darth Vader. With this exciting plot in mind, it’s no surprise that The Empire Strikes Back (1980) has the highest ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 97/100 Audience Score and 94/100 on the TomatoMeter. That plus the third-highest box office takings of the 12 films that were measured ($1,252,129,604) gives the movie the second-highest popularity index score of 84.74/100.
3. Return of the Jedi (1983)
In third place, Return of the Jedi (1983) has something to excite everyone, including Luke Skywalker’s epic battles with Jabba the Hut and Darth Vader. The final installment of the original Star Wars trilogy ranks in third place on IMDb, with a respectable score of 8.3/10 and a similar 4/5 on LetterBoxd, giving the film a popularity index score of 77/100.
4. The Force Awakens (2015)
The Force Awakens (2015) is the fourth most popular film in the franchise. Exploring the epic journey of Rey, an intergalactic scavenger-turned-Jedi, this installment made the second highest amount in its worldwide box office, totaling an inflation-adjusted $1,377,529,735. The Force Awakens (2015) also has the second-highest TomatoMeter.com rating, 93/100, resulting in a popularity index score of 76/100.
5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
In fifth place is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016). Taking place a week before A New Hope (1977), the film follows a group of resistance fighters as they embark on a quest to steal the plans to the Death Star. Overall, Rogue One (2016) receives a final popularity index score of 71/100, with the fourth highest TomatoMeter.com rating on Rotten Tomatoes, 84/100.
6. Revenge of the Sith (2005)
The sixth most popular film in the Star Wars franchise, Revenge of the Sith (2005), is the only prequel to make it into the most popular list. In the movie, Anakin is lured by evil forces and, embracing the Dark Side, battles the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. With a Meta Critic User Score of 8.9 and 7.6 on IMDb, Revenge of the Sith (2005) has a popularity index score of 68/100.
Adam Parker at NZCasinoClub commented: “Star Wars is a beloved franchise with devoted fans worldwide. This study has ranked the top six most popular films, considering worldwide box office and cross-referencing multiple online ratings, including Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb.
“The original trilogy dominates the top three most popular films, with A New Hope (1977) coming out on top, suggesting audiences still look back on the classics with nostalgia and appreciation for films recognized as cinematic masterpieces.
“Star Wars is an ongoing franchise with multiple films reported to be released in 2026 and 2027. However, Star Wars television series are currently enjoying the limelight, as Disney’s Ashoka (2023) boasts a Rotten Tomato score of 87/100 after releasing only three episodes.”
It bodes very well for fans of the epic franchise, that the recent Original Series really appears to have reinvigorated those nostalgic impressions in its audiences reminding us all why we fell in love with Lucas’ adventures and have faithfully continued to follow along all these decades still exploring the Outer Rim of our collective imagination.
Here is your “FanzEyeView” of the trailer for STAR WARS: Ahsoka now available on Disney+:
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NZCasinoClub is a New Zealand online casino expert with free play options for multiple popular games.