In the last decade or so, the “Star Wars” franchise has been pumping out movies (and TV shows) that take place in a galaxy far, far away, but for this list, we are going to be sticking to the films that were released in the original Skywalker saga. So that means episodes one through nine.
It is appropriate that Empire Magazine released a first look at their new interview with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy on “Star Wars Day,” but it comes with the slightly disappointing news that when Star Wars returns to the big screen fans should not expect to see a constant stream of new movies. While there are many projects currently being worked on, Kennedy has made it clear there will be no rush to put out new content on an annual basis.
At last month’s Star Wars Celebration fans were given a hint of the many projects that will be coming in the next few years, including more TV shows and the first theatrical release since 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker. However, while Marvel Studios continue to put out several movies a year, Kennedy doesn’t intend to put that pressure on the Star Wars franchise and instead wants theatrical releases to be events, similar to the James Bond franchise.
Where Does the Star Wars Franchise Go Next?
Since the Covid pandemic, Star Wars has become a streaming based franchise on Disney+. There have been several popular series delivered in the last three years, including The Mandalorian and Andor, and that certainly isn’t going to change anytime soon with several new shows already coming to the platform in the next year.
When it comes to the once-dominant movie side of The Force, there have been many rumors and even more “might-have-beens” for fans to contend with. However, last month brought the confirmation of a first wave of Star Wars movies, including one set 25,000 years before The Phantom Menace from Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny director James Mangold, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Skywalker Saga sequel starring Daisy Ridley. Kennedy added a little more information to this latter movie, which is set 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker, explaining that it, and the other new Star Wars projects, are all about expanding the lore of the franchise.
9. Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
Not only is The Rise of Skywalker one of the weakest and messiest movies in the Star Wars saga, but it also crushes any and all potential queer storylines set up in episodes VII and VIII. Oh, you were shipping some romance between Poe and Finn? Let’s give them female love interests to crush those dreams. Crushing on Rey, were you? Well, here’s a random love story that she’ll have with the villainous dude of the trilogy. The gays certainly didn’t eat on this one.
8. Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Even if we tried to joke about Obi-Wan and Anakin sword-fighting for almost an hour in Revenge of the Sith, that would still not mean that Episode III has much to offer to the girls, gays, and theys. This movie is all about war, death, and the death of Padmé and let’s just say that killing Padmé, the queen of Star Wars queers, feels specifically very homophobic.
7. Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
A big gay yawn goes out to Return of the Jedi, at least in terms of queerness. If you’re an LGBTQ+ person who liked the Care Bears, then you might’ve enjoyed the Ewoks. It’s also nice to see Leia rescuing Han Solo – going back to her origins of being an intergalactic badass, not just his love interest. Alas, everything else about Episode VI is very straight culture. Overall, the final installments of each Star Wars trilogy appear to be determined on squashing any queer-coded elements established in previous movies, which is interesting, to say the least.
6. Episode V – Empire Strikes Back
Empire Strikes Back is well-regarded as the best Star Wars movie of the entire franchise, and we agree! When it comes to its queerness, though, there’s not much there. Sure, the movie features a few cute winter-season outfits. There’s also Luke’s complicated relationship with his very absent father, Darth Vader, which could feel queer-coded to some viewers. But other than that, this movie places a heavy focus on building the romance between Han Solo and Princess Leia, which couldn’t be straighter of a storyline.
5. Episode II – Attack of the Clones
We know many fans consider Attack of the Clones a bad movie, but it is superior to other installments in terms of queer interest. First of all, Padmé is a true beauty this entire movie – keeping up with her fabulous outfits, incredible body, and saving every dialogue scene she has with boring, brooding Anakin. Obi-Wan grows a beard that we can safely rate with a score of 10/10, no notes. There’s also something rather queer about those Kaminoans who are building a clone army for the Republic, and we love it.
4. Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Episode VIII makes it this high on the list simply because it gets a lot of brownie points. First and foremost, Kylo Ren is shirtless in this film for absolutely no reason, which we stan. Luke is living like a jaded old queen in an island of his own, and we can surely see ourselves getting to that point in the future. There’s also that absolutely dazzling and fabulous fight scene at the end of The Last Jedi with Rey and Kylo Ren killing all of Snoke’s minions, which had us on the edge of our seats.
3. Episode IV – A New Hope
Young queer people can definitely connect with Luke’s angsty personality throughout A New Hope. He feels like he’s different from the people around him, but just doesn’t understand why. And then here comes an elder to explain what makes Luke so different, to tell him that it’s okay, and show him that “it gets better.” We also get a full-force complete badass Princess Leia saving the dumb men who were supposed to rescue her. Of course strong female characters can be straight, but the queers were absolutely living for Leia in Episode IV, and that’s just a fact!
2. Episode I – The Phantom Menace
Padmé’s outfits alone make could justify putting The Phantom Menace this high on the list. She looks absolutely flawless in this entire movie, turning looks at every corner. Honestly, a 10-part docuseries on Padmé’s fashion should be made for Disney+, and we’d be seated to watch the whole thing. In Episode I, every building is gorgeous, every spaceship is pristine, every costume is fabulous. We also get Jar Jar Binks, an annoying and unnecessary character that is very, very gay, no matter what the canon says. Oh, and let’s not forget about Nute Gunray and Rune Haako! Those two fools were definitely getting it on… stop lying to yourselves.
1. Episode VII – The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens introduces us to Rey, another Star Wars badass queen for the queers to love, stan, and perhaps even thirst over for whoever is into women. We also get introduced to Finn and Poe, and there’s literally something very gay about the dynamic between the two of them. All those hugs and long stares into each other’s eyes a lot of potential here, there is. And then we meet Kylo Ren, by far the hottest Star Wars villain of all time, after so many years of not-very-cute-at-all antagonists in the franchise. Episode VII definitely awakens some queerness in this saga, and it’s too bad that all of this potential is squashed during the rest of the new trilogy.
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