What’s the best (and worst) streaming Star Wars content right now?

Star Wars as a franchise is (almost) universally loved, but even the biggest fans, those in the know can read Aurebesh(Opens in a new window) and know the name of Chewbacca’s father(Opens in a new window)— will readily admit that not all movies and shows delivered the same quality. Some critics hate more than fans – and sometimes vice versa. But how do you determine which shows and movies are premium?

The internet has the IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes scores to do it for us, and FinanceBuzz(Opens in a new window) quantified the data available in the form of an infographic. This includes an overview of how Disney+ streaming shows such as The Mandalorian and Boba Fett’s Book compare themselves to non-Disney-designed shows (e.g., The Clone Wars) and even the films that started this franchise in 1977.

First, the movies. The original trilogy (episodes IV to VI – those with Luke Skywalker making eyes at the princess who we later discover was his sister) is the most popular with audiences and critics. Stand up like the best movie in the whole canon is The Empire Strikes Back.

Things get weird with the latest trilogy (Episodes VII-IX), which introduces characters Finn, Rey, Kylo Ren, BB-8, and some old pals from previous films. For example, critics loved Episode VIII (The Last Jedi) almost as much as the originals, but Rotten Tomatoes audiences pan it. But the reverse happened with the final film, The Rise of Skywalkeralthough it still outstrips the prequels with audiences.

Of course, all of these films, even independent ones such as Solo and the exquisite RogueOne, are now available on Disney+. And with Disney+ came new content, the likes of which fans have never seen before – live-action TV series set in the midst of Star Wars. The first one, The Mandalorianhas stellar ratings from viewers according to IMDb’s per-episode numbers.

MANDO

The episode with [spoiler!] the appearance of deepfake Master Luke himself has a near-perfect score of 9.8 out of 10.

(Notoriously lacking in this report is a breakdown of scores for Boba Fett’s Book. But a visit to IMDb shows individual episodes go as low as 6.4 until the Mandalorian character returns and takes over the show. It really should have been mando, season 3.)

Anime shows have more seasons. Towards the end of seasons 5 and 7 of The Clone Wars are pretty well rated episodes. Even with rebels for the end of seasons 2 and 4. But these programs, although on Disney +, were not made by Disney. (Fun fact: 72.5% of total Star Wars content is animated, so only 27.5% is live action.)

Recommended by our editors

CONTENT IN D+

The kicker is that movies do do not have the highest average IMDb score, at 7.1 out of 10. Shows – anime and live – have a higher average score of 7.4. Plus, Disney+ Originals (even with the poorly managed Boba Fett) have better scores than non-Disney productions. Live action is also preferred. Shows including Kenobi and the next Andor and Ahsoka are probably going to be big.

CONTENT ON D+ LIKE GOOD?

FinanceBuzz also looked at the best decades for star wars content. No surprise; the 1970s, when the original film and Empire were released, got the highest score. Somehow, the 2000s, the era of the prequels, came second. The 2010s are the third, and it’s also the decade in which the most Star Wars content has been produced – over 8,000 minutes.

THE BEST DECADES

For more, including a timeline of the chronological order in which to watch the shows, check out FinanceBuzz’s report.(Opens in a new window). Or visit ours How to watch the Star Wars movies in order, which explains how to do it chronologically or in release order – or better yet, “machete” order, in which two of the prequels are treated as a flashback after Luke discovers his parentage. There really is no need to watch Episode I. Ever.

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