Or is it? George Lucas’ prequel trilogy did far more than just tell the story of the rise of Vader. It also reworked the Jedi Legacy, and with it the legacy of the franchise itself. The famed Jedi Council turned out not to be a bastion of wisdom, nobility, and truth, but flawed, even corrupt: absolutely capable of manipulation and deception. In a word, a colossal failure. Yoda failed Dooku, just as Obi-Wan failed Anakin, and with him the galaxy.

That was world-building – world-remodeling – at its finest. Then to go back and revisit the originals in light of the prequels meant gaining a deeper appreciation of Luke’s lightness, his goodness. The only reason he would have become an agent of evil was now clear if he had listened to Yoda and did not save his friends. In a way, Luke had recognized the Jedi’s failings, their resort to dogmatism and arrogant omniscience, and sought to break the pattern. That’s why this list continues attack of the Clone warriors near the top and Vengeance of the Sith at the very beginning. If a new story in a franchise deepens or expands your idea and enjoyment of an original, rather than narrowing or undermining it, it’s worth it – and can plausibly be considered better.

Not the yy Abrams understood that. In making his contribution to the Skywalker saga—episodes VII-IX, producing all three, directing the first and third—he didn’t look to the prequels for inspiration, as he should have. He looked at the originals.

The result, some say, were “homages” to Lucas, loving reconstructions that brought the archetypal storytelling of Star Wars to a new generation. That’s whoo. Abrams’ films were, to put it bluntly, plagiarism of the first order, a copy-and-paste made all the more shameful when it was implied that a female lead in Daisy Ridley’s Rey was all it took to justify the effort . So his films only have to appear last in every ranking list and certainly in this one. The characters and plot points mapped so well to their counterparts in the original story, and Abrams’ lack of imagination was so total that the trilogy threatens to destroy the legacy of the entire franchise to this day.

Again, that’s why this list hates lists. Because as much as Abrams is to blame for the general worthlessness of Rey’s journey into the Jedi Dome – and he really, really is – lists, particularly those designed only to recap norms, are just as, and perhaps more, to blame. Such lists are lazy, lame, lackluster and defective. Perpetually bolstering the glory of the old, they project their own risk aversion and intoxicate audiences with a conservatism fundamentally at odds with the emancipatory art of storytelling. As a result, far from welcoming radical change, fandoms demand allegiance, loyaltyto the lore.

Over the years, certain swaths of Star Wars fandom have proven to be just that: extremely backward-looking and therefore unwelcome to transformation. In other words, not wise or noble or true, but flawed, even corrupt – human error. How great this sodality is was never quite clear. One thing is clear: they are out there now and are holding us back.

And that’s probably a lot of you: the audience for an article like this. Ask yourself, as Yoda once asked Luke: Why are you here? Because when it comes to arguing and showing off and being too police and hating – and what else should it be? – you are already an agent of evil. Searching Star Wars movie rankings, reading list after list after bullshit list, is ultimately about justifying your obsession and nostalgia for a dying franchise: the endless hours you’ve spent rehashing its pointless details. If only you had friends to run away to. If only you had real people to save.

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