Sunday Funday: 100th POST!

Sunday Funday: 100th POST!

Let's have a little bit of fun to celebrate Dice and Cardboard's 100th post! The team would like to give a big shoutout to Mitch for starting the whole idea of a blog that writes about all three of these miniatures games in hopes that you'll all read about at least one. Of course, a hearty thank you to all of our readers. We write because we're all a bit crazy and probably just need this outlet but we're so happy that you all also like to read it!

So, in honor of our 100th post we'll each be ranking the Star Wars movies released to date in hopes that our choices will make you like/dislike us even more. We know that the odds of successfully navigating someone's personal feelings about Star Wars are approximately 3720 to 1, but here at Dice and Cardboard we say:

Mitch: Armada

  1. The Last Jedi
  2. The Phantom Menace
  3. The Force Awakens

  4. I feel like these bottom three are pretty common, maybe even self-explanatory, but they are still Star Wars and I still love to watch them every chance I get.
  5. The Rise of Skywalker
  6. Return of the Jedi
  7. Solo
  8. Attack of the Clones

  9. I think this middle part of the list is where my opinions might get controversial. Yes, objectively speaking I think AOTC is a worse movie than ROTJ and Solo, however, ROTJ and Solo were not the movies I watched every day after getting home from elementary school for like 3 years straight. I would be doing 7 y/o me a disservice by ranking it lower. Solo being higher than ROTJ?! Yes. Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover knocked their roles out of the park. I am also a huge sucker for origin stories. Getting to see how Han and Chewie meet and how Han won Millennium Falcon from Lando made me geek out.
  10. A New Hope
  11. Empire Strikes Back
  12. Revenge of the Sith

  13. These three seem pretty run of the mill to me. Most people I talk to have at least either 3,4, or 5 in their top 2 and, generally the other two follow close behind. These are the 3 most consistent, solid movies to me. Most of the time if you say you're going to put one of these on nobody will dispute, not even non-Star Wars fans.
  14. Rogue One

  15. Rogue One is the absolute pinnacle for me. It has everything I love about star wars in it. Between suspenseful, sneaky rebellion tactics, the brash unapologetic Director Krennic, and large, beautiful space battles there is not a single moment to look away or even blink. In addition to being a fantastic story about a throwaway line in A New Hope, it brought us some of the greatest characters in all of Star Wars and, how could we forget, the gruesome Vader hallway scene.

Fulcrum: X-Wing

  1. Attack of the Clones

  2. Now, I really enjoy some aspects of this one. I saw it the day it came out for my birthday with a bunch of friends and there are parts of this movie that are either just classic Star Wars or were jaw-droppingly new and exciting. Unfortunately the pacing is just a bit weird, the dialogue feels off, and the humor doesn't always land. Still love it, though. I appreciate that some of the themes of the prequel trilogy start to mature in this one as we see hints of Anakin's temptation to the dark side and I love this pattern for the middle films of each trilogy. We have the benefit of hindsight, of course, so watching Obi Wan go to Kamino to play cool guy Jedi detective and just getting totally bamboozled and then seeing the Jedi show up on Geonosis with their new army and thinking they're the new big kid on the block without asking any questions is pretty satisfying as new context for the rest of the saga to this point.
  3. Revenge of the Sith

  4. Super cool, a lot of fun, but just a bit of a mess. This one has aged well for me as it seems it also has for a lot of us. It's only down in this part of my ranking because I don't end up rewatching it as much as I do others.
  5. The Rise of Skywalker

  6. This one is down near RotS for me for the same reason that one is in the bottom half of the list. It's just an awful lot of movie crammed into its runtime that feels a bit haphazard at times. That said, after I think about this film without watching and cringe at its frantic pace, when I watch it I'm drawn in by the visuals and pretty much thrilled from start to finish. I think the humor in this one lands better than it does in the prequel films and I was so glad that C-3PO got his time in the sun, with both a heartfelt character feature and, in my eyes, a well-considered comedic redemption. If I had to pick a single flaw it would be that I don't love the final battle at Exegol. The scale bloat (we gotta find something worse than a Death Star!) makes it hard to get a handle on what's happening and we never really get a big picture view, so it ends up feeling confusing and the emotion of it doesn't pay off at times. Snap deserved better.
  7. Solo

  8. My wife and I recently rewatched Solo and she asked me, "why didn't people like this? Is Star Wars just not allowed to be fun?" and I think that sums up my feelings as well. She's absolutely right. It's fun to take Star Wars seriously but taking it too seriously leads to the Dark Side. Sure, this isn't the best Star Wars movie, but I don't think it deserves the fate it was served. We got a visually exciting, fun heist movie with, in my opinion, good performances from a great cast, but it just never got any love. Oh well. This one also was good about blending answers to questions we never cared to ask about Han and Chewie (didn't especially need that) with new and exciting things that were either brand new (like Dryden Vos, Enfys Nest, etc.) or surprise looks into things we'd only ever heard of (Corellia, Kessel, etc.)
  9. The Phantom Menace

  10. This was the first Star Wars movie to come out in theaters in my lifetime (not counting Special Editions for this) so it has a special place in my heart. Ranking this higher than the other prequels may be my first "unconventional" choice so far but I have a specific reason. I grew up watching the Original Trilogy Special Editions on VHS and then when I saw this in the theater (10 times, I believe) everything was somehow simultaneously so new and unique but also still familiar as STAR WARS. The shining facade of Coruscant and the understated old world glamor of Naboo contrast so well with the the obvious reality that this beautiful world doesn't extend to Tatooine and sets up the chill that runs down your spine when we see Sidious and Maul go to work. Sure, it wasn't executed perfectly, but I think it's a great setup for the next 8 films, seeing this seemingly inconsequential trade war near the Outer Rim start the falling dominoes that lead to the end of the Republic and the rise of the Sith.
  11. The Force Awakens

  12. Is it objectively a "great" film? Probably not. Does it (probably intentionally) mirror beats from the original? Absolutely. Did I cry a litle bit when the trailer came out and when I saw this in a theater? You'd better believe it. "Chewie. We're home." Sure, the nostalgia bait was a little heavy at times but can anyone truthfully say they didn't like that moment? The Force Awakens suffers a bit, in my opinion, from the new media strategy of giving us extra context through other media (shows, books, comics) but when the Millenium Falcon first took off or the Resistance X-Wings first show up on Takodana with their amazing soundtrack I definitely didn't care. Don't get me wrong, read/view all that content for the amazing context because it makes this movie even better. I recommend Claudia Gray's Bloodline and Lost Stars, and the Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren comics. Unfortunately, however, I found myself asking, "the Resistance? What about the New Republic?" and, "the First Order? What's their deal and why are they just a rebranded Empire?" and was a bit distracted when I could have just known the great backstories that I got later and been less distracted. Before we go on I think it's worth mentioning that this one has low-key one of my favorite lightsaber fights in the whole saga that is maybe held back by Death Star Trench Run 2.0. It's not the acrobatic show of the prequels but it feels truly dangerous, like a real FIGHT, and the snowy forest setting sets off the lightsaber colors perfectly.
  13. Return of the Jedi

  14. To be honest, I find myself rewatching this one more than most of the others. There's just something so compelling for me about the 3 well-defined acts working so well and the last one is some of the best, purest Star Wars there is. The Rise of Skywalker tried, nobly, to mirror this structure: a somewhat frantic, action-packed intro to whet our appetite and set up some characterization, an introspective middle section with some conflict and development, and an epic finale, but fell short compared to the magnificence that is the Battle of Endor. I read an article once that I wish I could find and cite that the Battle of Endor is space battle scripting and editing perfected: you have individual storylines for each hero that perfectly match their characters set against this massive backdrop, giving us both intimate views of the people we're invested in with a clear view of the stakes they're dealing with while helping us focus. The whole time we get these important events like chapter marks that help set the pace like the Death Star laser coming online, the AT-ST hijacking, and the destruction of the Executor. Absolutely masterful and nobody came close until Rogue One applied this formula flawlessly to the Battle of Scarif (see later in my list). I do think that the Lord of the Rings trilogy also executes this concept well but this is not a Lord of the Rings blog and I don't claim to know anything about it beyond the films.
  15. A New Hope

  16. Not much for me to say about this one right now except that the way each performer stepped into their characters and it all just *clicked* is truly remarkable, especially when you consider just how new the idea of this movie was. I grew up with the Special Edition but have since watched both and, I gotta say, my hot take is that the Battle of Yavin looks great in the remaster. Sorry.
  17. The Last Jedi

  18. Okay, here's my (kind of) hot take. I am not here to litigate everyone's complaints against this movie, but I will briefly say that when it comes to everyone's technical issue with that objectively beautiful fight scene I can blink and miss it even in slow-mo and the characters in the sequel films are very intentionally depicted as following similar arcs to their forebears. With that out of the way, let's talk about what I love about this movie. The Last Jedi follows in the tradition of The Empire Strikes Back in that all of our now-familiar characters fail, have to deal with failure and loss, and we get a more intimate look at them while they learn and grow. Darth Vader and Kylo Ren realize that they need to take a closer look at why they serve who they serve; Leia and Poe learn about leadership and sacrifice (and I love the way Leia teaches Poe his lesson); Han and Finn are tempted by moral quandaries and shadows of their past but learn to stop running and commit to those they love, even if it means making sacrifices; Luke and Rey learn that their heroes/mentors are three-dimensional people who can make mistakes and learn what it is to know fear. These lessons are both echoes and evolutions of those learned in the Original Trilogy. Then at the end our heroes come together having suffered and lost to acknowledge their pain and lessons learned and prepare hopefully for their potentially desperate next steps. We also explore the idea of fate vs. free will just for fun. It's like poetry; it rhymes. But within this woven story of our heroes dealing with loss and having their status quo turned on its head, we are also forced to challenge our own assumptions. We were taught that the Force belongs to the Jedi and the Sith and it seemed like Qui Gon Jinn was the only one who understood that this was vanity (which makes his death that much more consequential). The Force belongs to all living things and the Jedi failed and need to either end or be redeemed. That's a tough lesson to learn but one that we've been set up for. Also, the Jedi were not warriors. "Wars not make one great," was a point George Lucas made very intentionally. Becoming that was part of what led to their fall; Luke has to find a way to help his friends and redeem his failure without falling into that same trap. The ace pilot is great but isn't always right and has to learn how to lead without ego because he's not the hero the Resistance needs right now and people are dying because of it. Also, the fight with the walkers is at the end, not the beginning. What's that about? Star Wars is so often about the challenge of trying something new; it's what I love about The Phantom Menace and A New Hope. Sure, the low-speed chase is a bit hokey but it is in service of everything I love about this film and sets up one of the most striking visuals of the saga so I'll suspend my disbelief for a moment for the sake of enjoying one of the deepest and most beautiful Star Wars movies that we've been fortunate to get. The Force does not belong to the Jedi, it belongs to everyone. Star Wars does not belong to anyone, it belongs to everyone. I see this film as a love letter to Star Wars. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
  19. Rogue One

  20. Whew. Lots to say about this one that I don't know how to articulate because, like The Last Jedi, it has its issues. I just don't particularly care about them because I like the rest so much. I got a great insight into how this one struggles when I saw it with my wife who understands and appreciates Star Wars but by that point had seen each prior film once. She kept asking facetiously, "wait, what planet are we on now? And why are we here? Should I know this place from before? The ending is a real bummer, right?" She came away enjoying the movie but thinking it was a bit messy, and she is probably right. Even with the beautiful visuals and fantastic performances, Rogue One kind of depends on you being a pretty big Star Wars fan to pick up on the subtle cues, keep up with the frenetic pace of the exposition, accept and understand what is and isn't important from moment to moment, and connect emotionally with the stakes. But I am a lifelong Star Wars fan so I'm not bothered by any of that. I am an unashamed prequel and sequel enjoyer but it was such a good idea to give us a direct infusion of original trilogy nostalgia that enhances the experience of rewatching the original films. We get the unveiling of the Death Star, a new look at the Rebel base at Yavin IV, all of our favorite starships and starfighters, but also the UT-60D U-Wing, TIE Striker, Scarif, the Ring of Kafrene, and some great new characters. This movie works so well as a bleak look, a war movie to Solo's heist movie, at the struggle against the Empire that fits pretty seamlessly into the Star Wars story and whets our appetite for more information about this period of the saga that had just sort of been set up in opening crawls and left alone. I've lost count of the number of times I didn't have anything in particular I wanted to do so I just put Rogue One on and was happy with the choice.
  21. The Empire Strikes Back

  22. So I already covered a lot of what I like about middle entries in the trilogy and it shouldn't be a surprise that this tops my ranking. I do think it's worth acknowledging that while I consider this the strongest movie of the Star Wars saga it isn't the first one I reach to for a rewatch, but in my mind its supremacy is just a given. A New Hope made us love the characters but the action keeps us from asking too many questions, then Empire slows everything down and gives us the answers we didn't even know we were asking for. It is just so endearing and satisfying. The lessons they learn are somehow so elemental yet also deep and complex (and one of the reasons I love The Last Jedi is because we get another pass at these themes): Han realizes that being unreliable, untrustworthy, and putting up an unaffectionate facade isn't going to work anymore and is hurting people he cares about and ends up having to sacrifice himself to start making it right; Leia is learning the true cost of fighting a war and what it is to lead through loss while figuring out how to build a team she can trust; Luke learns that he is powerful but he is not mature and is barely scratching the surface and that his mentor made a well-intended mistake and deceived him; Vader is starting to realize his plan of no longer serving the Emperor and justifying all of his murderous anger but maybe his idea to influence Luke to join him didn't work because...what if we're the baddies and I'm destined to be on the wrong side of history? Really good, heavy stuff. There aren't any X-Wings blowing up TIE Fighters but those sequences wouldn't pay off if it wasn't for what happens in this film.

Blaze: Legion

  1. The Rise of Skywalker

  2. I think this is a pretty common pick. I tried to defend this movie, and ultimately I am still happy to watch it, but at the end of the day it feels weakest to me. I can't help but think that it could've been so much more.
  3. The Force Awakens

  4. An amazing theater experience for me. Not the first Star Wars I saw in theaters thanks to The Clone Wars movie and a rerelease of The Phantom Menace in 3D, but definitely the first real Star Wars theater showing for me. On every rewatch though I just find the movie pretty bland. Some great parts, some meh parts, but personally I just feel it's a little bland.
  5. The Phantom Menace

  6. I love the final duel, but probably not as much as many. I don't think that Jar Jar is the worst character in the world either. I just think that TPM is the weakest of the prequels. Give me more Qui-Gon Jinn force ghosts though, he's the best part of the movie.
  7. Attack of the Clones

  8. This is a tough one to rank for me. There are some strong and amazing scenes here, but also it feels like a drag and the plot is needlessly complicated even for a Star Wars movie. The Clone Wars show makes this better because of the tie-ins and callbacks, but it still sits in the bottom half of my rankings.
  9. A New Hope

  10. I know that there are some people out there who will consider this sacrilege, but I think A New Hope is better for what it did than what it is. The first third of the movie is the droids walking around Tatooine and, while I like R2 and 3PO, I think it is a tad boring on rewatches. The last third though is great, so it makes this way better. I appreciate A New Hope more than I like it.
  11. Solo

  12. I would argue Solo is the most enjoyable Star Wars film. It isn't the best, but I enjoy the cast and think that the plot is fun and goofy and captures what makes Star Wars great. Criminally underrated in many cases, and it suffers from being the first movie post The Last Jedi and being a spinoff.
  13. The Last Jedi

  14. So this is my opinion that will get everyone mad at me. I actually like The Last Jedi. It has its flaws no doubt, but it is an enjoyable film. Plothole after plothole abound but I think it is the most artistic Star Wars movie and certainly has some of the coolest scenes (see: Snoke's Throne Room, Luke and Kylo battle). I will defend this movie for what it does right, but I will not ignore what it does wrong. I think people give it some well deserved criticism but it is not the abomination that others claim it to be and I will stand by that.
  15. Return of the Jedi

  16. So Return isn't my favorite Star Wars movie, but I think that the sail barge scene is peak Star Wars. It is goofy, it is cool, it involves so many cool characters, and the good guys come out on top. The score for that scene is so cool as Luke gets his saber, and the reveal that he is a full Jedi is great. Beyond that I love the Emperor's throne room and the battle of Endor is cool too. Upon rewatches this one only goes up in my list.
  17. Revenge of the Sith

  18. Here it is, the top three. Revenge of the Sith is a good movie with a lot of cool parts, easily the best of the prequels, but The Clone Wars made it so much better. Threads that were loose are tied together here and elevate this to a great film. Memes aside the dialogue here is better than the other prequels and it is so cool seeing so many massive Star Wars characters in one film. In raw coolness factor alone this takes third place.
  19. Rogue One

  20. I remember walking out of the theater just being in awe. This movie feels like a continuation of the original trilogy. I have never seen a movie make me care about the characters that I know will die more. It is a rag tag bunch of heroes who don't walk on a paved path to victory, but have to fight for it. Krennic is a top tier Star Wars villain for me and the battle of Scarif is too cool. I watch this and immediately have to reconsider what my favorite Star Wars movie is, that is how good it is.
  21. The Empire Strikes Back

  22. The true classic and one of the best sequels of all time, Empire is strong on every front. The battle of Hoth is such a great opening and it only gets better as it goes on. Bespin is such a beautiful setpiece for the end of the film and the fight between Luke and Vader remains a masterpiece. As much as the other films try, nothing can top ESB for me.