When Disney erased the Star Wars expanded universe, my initial thoughts were brief disappointment, followed by excitement. There are stories I loved from the expanded universe. And there are stories I hated. It made sense to reset the canon because how to you choose which stories are worthy to keep and which aren’t? How do you tell an author that “your stories aren’t good enough anymore”? And let’s be honest, Star Wars has long had an evolving canon. That’s why fans adopted a hierarchical approach that treated the stories as having degrees of canonicity. Do we really want to open the door to Grand Moff Thistleborn, Trioculous, and Ken the Jedi prince?
With the slate wiped clean, I wanted to jump in and stay up to date on the new canon. “I should read every book and comic,” I thought. But hardcover prices can be steep for books and authors that you may or may not like. Also, I’m not the fastest reader out there. When I was younger, I read quickly, but somewhere along the line my reading speed decreased. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up. So, I dropped this goal.
A year ago, my wife and I decided to share an Audible account. I get even-numbered months; she gets odd numbers. Eventually, I started picking up the Star Wars audio books. Sometimes I like the stories and sometimes I don’t, but the production quality is always high. This was an opportunity, I realized, to get caught up and start following the Star Wars canon novels.
So that is what I plan on doing. Each time I listen to a new audio book or watch a movie, I’ll add it to my ranking. Things will shift around, which will be fun for comparison. And it might help you see if we share the same tastes when it comes to Star Wars stories. I may even do a separate series for expanded universe books and comics.
Here is the current ranking, using the films from the George Lucas era.
- The Empire Strikes Back
- A New Hope
- Return of the Jedi
- Revenge of the Sith
- The Clone Wars
- The Phantom Menace
- Attack of the Clones
Again, this list is based on my preference for Star Wars stories. Your list is your own, and I would love to see how you rank these movies. Over the next few weeks, I’ll start filling in the list with other movies and books that I have read. Again, this list will be Disney canon only. I’ll give some thought to my Star Wars Legends list, though, because I don’t want those stories to be forgotten.