Critics Have Chosen The Worst Star Wars Movie, And It’s Not What You Think

Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated movie from 2008 is the worst-rated movie in the franchise.

By Parker James | Updated

star wars movies

Star Wars movies are known to have a true die-hard fan base, endless Comic Con events, all forms of merchandise, and to date, 12 movies. In the ever-growing range of Star Wars movies, there will be tough debate over the best and worst pieces of Jedi media. However, according to Rotten Tomatoes critics and users, one movie reigns supreme as the worst Star Wars movie: Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated movie from 2008.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars released as an animated movie in 2008 received a heart-breaking 18% fresh score from film critics and a 40% fresh rating from the general user base of Rotten Tomatoes. On January 14th, 2018, one critic went as far as to say: 

“The “Star Wars” franchise has become what the marketing executive always thought: an excuse to steal money from children. The Lucas empire has finally succumbed to the Dark Side.” 

What makes Star Wars: The Clone Wars the worst-rated movie in the franchise is of course going to be a matter of opinion but there are a few key points of agreement among the fan base on Rotten Tomatoes. One, the animation was subpar at best. When compared to other films of the technical wonderland that was 2008, most users felt it was cheaply made and clunkily produced. 

Two, the writing of this movie was considered poor. Most users found the storyline to be non-existent and mostly just a way to push characters from one fight scene to the next. Three, the characters were found to break canon and to be generally annoying. Now, it is important to note that most users considered Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie to be nothing more than a promotional event to advertise the animated TV series originally airing on Cartoon Network only a few months after the release of the feature film. 

star wars The Clone Wars movie

Take a moment to compare it to the highest-rated film of the Star Wars movie franchise, Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980). As stated before, what makes a film good or bad is a matter of opinion, however, here is what some of the Rotten Tomatoes user bases generally agree upon. 

One, the plot of this Star Wars movie serves to build upon A New Hope in a dark, almost oppressive way in every interaction between Luke (Mark Hamill), Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han (Harrison Ford), and the Empire. Two, the additions of Hoth and Dagoba and new plants expand the Star Wars universe in a way that feels organic and breathes more life into the canon. Three, every character’s story arc feels complete within the context of the film and serves a purpose rather than just pushing the character from one place to the next. As a result, The Empire Strikes Back has received 94% fresh from critics and 96% fresh from users. 

As the universe is continuing to be expanded, fans and critics of a galaxy far, far away need to ask themselves what makes a Star Wars movie worthy or forgettable. Are the characters likable? Do the settings feel like actual people (and non-humans) live there? Will the story arcs feel like they have a purpose or believable stakes? With Disney now in charge of the canon, will they find themselves one with the force or will they repeat the mistakes of the clone wars?