A galaxy far, far away is about to become a lot closer. One of the chief benefits of Disney launching their own streaming service in Disney+, is that a lot of their premier franchises will all soon share the same home. The Star Wars and Lucasfilm collection is one of the series that will benefit the most when Disney+ premieres on Nov. 12.
Star Wars is a series of films that demands to be watched sequentially (or in whatever order you choose regarding the originals and the prequels). Now Disney+ represents and opportunity for the streaming world to present Star Wars the right way. Disney+ doesn’t have the rights to every single bit of Star Wars content just yet, but on the movie side of things, it’s pretty close. Both the original trilogy and prequels are present here with more movies from the new Star Wars era set to be arrive soon.
Here are all the Star Wars movies you can find on Disney+. Just a note: Den of Geek may receive a commission from links on this page.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
The Phantom Menace is rightfully considered the bottom of the barrel of Star Wars movies. Sure, it’s nice to begin your marathon with the story of Anakin Skywalker but be warned that little Ani might ruin Darth Vader for you…And then there are the trade blockades, votes of no confidence, what feels like six hours of underwater chase scenes, and the dreaded Jar Jar Binks, who might have seemed like a good idea at the time but is perhaps the most despised supporting character in the entire saga.
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Do you hate sand? Then, boy, do we have a protagonist for you. Attack of the Clones is a marked improvement over The Phantom Menace and introduces one of the more fascinating galactic conflicts in Star Wars history with the Clone Wars. The movie doesn’t exploit the Clone Wars concept enough to save a pretty lackluster film but at least there’s less Jar Jar.
What we do get are the first hints of Anakin’s eventual fall to the dark side, from his disagreements with Obi-Wan to his confused feelings about Padme. Then there’s the whole bit with his mother, which really marks Darth Vader’s first evil act in the saga. Anakin starts to get a taste for massacres here. You could do much worse than Attack of the Clones, although your mileage will definitely vary. Some fans really hate this movie.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Besides all of the adventures starring your favorite prequel Jedi like Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda, and Mace Windu, The Clone Wars is also the story of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s young Jedi Padawan. Watch a couple of episodes and you’ll quickly discover why Ahsoka is one of the best characters in Star Wars.
Along the way, fans will also be reunited with Darth Maul! You’re probably asking how that’s possible. The Clone Wars explains all that while also expanding Maul’s story beyond his quest to destroy the Jedi. Now, he wants to kill his former Sith master, too!
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Now, this is more like it. Revenge of the Sith features many of the same drawbacks as the other prequels. Its dialogue is rough and there’s an overreliance on CGI. It does, however, have something that no other prequel does: a fitting climax. The movie covers much of the end of the Clone Wars, including a battle on the planet Utapau (a location George Lucas meant to use in A New Hope, but didn’t) and the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, where a young Han Solo would have made a cameo had Lucas not come to his senses.
It also features Anakin turning against the Jedi, joining the Sith, killing a bunch of kids at the Jedi Temple, and all-around being a bad dude. This forces Obi-Wan’s hand, and he travels to the volcano planet Mustafar to confront his former apprentice once and for all. The result of this duel leaves Anakin horribly scarred and mutilated. At last, he is reborn as Darth Vader.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Star Wars standalone films seemed like a dicey proposition in the early days of Disney’s takeover. Would audiences still care about one-off movies set outside the structure of a trilogy? Well, if they’re as good as Rogue One, then yes, absolutely. Rogue One reveals the endless possibilities of non-trilogy films set in a galaxy far, far away. More importantly, it finally gets the concept of a Star Wars prequel right.
Rogue One tells the story of Jyn Erso, the criminal-turned-rebel-spy who led a mission into the belly of the beast to steal the Death Star plans that would become the McGuffin of the first Star Wars film. But in Rogue One, those plans are actually front and center. Jyn, secret agent Cassian Andor, Force devotees Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus, Imperial defector Bodhi Rook, and the hilarious droid K-2SO risk it all to acquire the plans that will lead to the destruction of the Empire’s ultimate weapon.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
A New Hope is the story of a band of Rebels who must stand up against an evil and oppressive Empire. We meet Princess Leia, a diplomat-turned-soldier willing to die for the Rebel cause; R2-D2 and C-3PO, the robotic chorus of this grand adventure; Han Solo, a smuggler who says he’s only in it for the money but actually has a heart of gold; Chewbacca, Solo’s faithful companion and walking carpet; Obi-Wan Kenobi, an old hermit living on a desert world who harbors a mysterious and epic past; and, of course, Luke Skywalker, the farm boy who is destined to defeat the Empire and bring about the end of the Sith.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back is many fans and critics’ choice for best Star Wars film ever. It’s not hard to see why. The Empire Strikes Back is a remarkable middle chapter for the franchise and makes the absolute most of its extended cast of characters and nails the concept of a mid-series climax.
By the time we rejoin our heroes on the ice planet Hoth, the victory at Yavin is a distant memory. The Rebels are in hiding and the resurgent Empire is out for blood. Darth Vader has a personal mission, too: to find Luke Skywalker, the young Rebel hero who destroyed the Death Star. But how to lure the boy into a trap? By using Han and Leia as bait. The Empire Strikes Back is one of the greatest sequels in history and arguably the best science fiction movie ever made. To miss this one is to miss what makes Star Wars a truly great franchise.
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi faces a huge burden as it attempts to wrap up a story beautifully told in the previous two films. It’s not a perfect movie but it is a near perfect conclusion to the initial trilogy. Fittingly, this threequel opens right where the entire saga began: with two droids walking through Tatooine. This time, it’s as part of a plan to spring Han from Jabba the Hutt’s palace in the desert. Tons of undercover hijinks ensue for the first hour of the movie.
Once Han is back on the Falcon, it’s time to focus on the Empire, which is building a second Death Star in an effort to finally obliterate the Rebellion. To ensure that everything goes as planned, the Emperor himself arrives on the space station to oversee construction. It’s on this giant moon-sized weapon where Luke will face Darth Vader for the last time as well as make the ultimate choice: become a Jedi or allow himself to fall to the dark side.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
J.J. Abrams’ next chapter in the Star Wars story came out more than 30 years after the conclusion of Return of the Jedi and in many ways feels like it could have been released 20 minutes after. It’s remarkable how well The Force Awakens fits in with the Original Trilogy and the Star Wars mythos. The movie may feel a bit too close to the original Star Wars for some but it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t absolutely nail the spirit of the movies fans fell in love with in the first place.
The Force Awakens deals with a whole new cast of characters: Rey, an orphan living on the wasteland of Jakku; Finn, a Stormtrooper who never had a choice but to join the First Order; and Poe Dameron, the greatest starfighter pilot in the galaxy. Their stories converge as the First Order begins its attack on the New Republic.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi is a classic middle chapter of the series. It changes the tone and perspective of everything that came before it. “Let the past die, kill it if you have to,” Kylo Ren says. And Johnson happily obliges.
There are plenty of twists and turns in The Last Jedi, none of them worth spoiling. What we will say is that this is a very bold chapter of the Star Wars saga. It does more to move the story forward than any other Disney-produced Star Wars films and is arguably the best of the new movies.
Star Wars Movies Yet to Arrive to Disney+
Solo: A Star Wars Story – arrives on July 9, 2020