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Christmas Gift Guide

Sometimes you've got The Force, sometimes you don't

'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'

But it cloned a lot of cash

'Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace'

Bad acting, great profits

'Star Wars: Episode VI -- Return of the Jedi'

It's good to be bad?

'​Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones'

'Only' $650 million

'Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith'

Stellar box office

'Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back'

But no box-office love for 'Empire'? Really???

​'Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens'

The franchise re-awakens

​'Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope'

A new movie era

The latest Star Wars movie, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," has garnered a 65 Metascore, considered to be a "generally favorable" review among critics.

But the fact is, the Star Wars franchise has produced wildly divergent results.

Here are the eight big-screen Star Wars movies ranked, per Metacritic data, from worst to best...including quite a few that would have loved to have gotten a 65.

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Metacritic score: 35

Year released: 2008

Critics hated this 2008 animated feature, calling it confused and characterless.

Caption by / Photo by Warner Home Video

Viewed as a vessel to launch the Emmy-winning, 2008-2015 TV series of the same name, "The Clone Wars" was a success. It made money, too: grossing $68 million off a spare $8.5 million budget.

Caption by / Photo by Warner Home Video

Metacritic score: 51

Year released: 1999

This was the movie generations of Star Wars fans had waited for, the first installment of a prequel that promised to tell the dark origin story of Darth Vader. But despite Liam Neeson's star power, "The Phantom Menace" was a "curiously soulless," "ho-hum" letdown.

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Fan complaints about the pint-size Anakin (Jake Lloyd), Jar Jar Binks and more might have been legendary, but so was the movie's box office. "Phantom Menace" remains one of the top 25 all-time worldwide hits, with a $1 billion gross.

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Metacritic score: 53

Year released: 1983

The concluding chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy fell into a trap -- a trap! Critics said the trailblazing saga -- what with all the Ewoks running around -- came to "an almost cheesy conclusion."

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

If Star Wars fans of 1983 were displeased with "Return of the Jedi," they didn't show it. Audiences worldwide bought more tickets to it than they did to its more acclaimed predecessor, "Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back."

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Metacritic score: 54

Year released: 2002

The burgeoning love between Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Padmé (Natalie Portman) was a focal point of the second Star Wars prequel. It also was a sticking point for critics who found "Attack of the Clones" to be "too long... too dull... [and] too lame."

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Either audiences agreed with critics or it's tough to be the middle chapter in a trilogy. In either case, "Attack of the Clones" was the lowest-grossing movie of the prequels. (It "only" made about $650 million worldwide.)

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Metacritic score: 68

Year released: 2005

The final live-action Star Wars movie of the George Lucas era concerned Anakin's descent to the dark side. Critics called the prequel trilogy's concluding chapter "a vast improvement over the previous two outings."

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

"Revenge of the Sith" marked a box-office rebound for the franchise. The film grossed about 30 percent more than "Attack of the Clones," bringing in nearly $850 million worldwide.

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Metacritic score: 80

Year released: 1980

You love this movie. We know. Critics loved it, too. They praised the first followup to Star Wars as "richly imaginative, engrossing and spectacular."

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Despite being regarded and remembered as one of the franchise's best (and despite being a very big hit in 1980), "Empire Strikes Back" ranks as the lowest-grossing live-action Star Wars movie. Good going, Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams).

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Metacritic score: 81

Year released: 2015

A movie has to be pretty good to outrank "Empire Strikes Back," but "The Force Awakens" did just that. The film marks the start of Disney's Star Wars stewardship and introduced a new generation of characters, including Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega), was very good.

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

"The Force Awakens,"which also featured original-trilogy fan favorites Han (Harrison Ford) and Leia (Carrie Fisher), rode its positively giddy buzz to a $2.1 billion worldwide gross, the world's third biggest of all time.

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Metacritic score: 92

Year released: 1977

"A grand and glorious film that may well be the smash hit of 1977," Gerald Clarke wrote for Time back in the day. The critic was righter than he knew. Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker became the face of the blockbuster era.

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Originally released on just 43 screens, the first Star Wars played and played and played. Audiences couldn't get enough of Darth Vader and company; the movie rewrote the box-office record book en route to a $775 million worldwide gross.

Caption by / Photo by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
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