From The Mandalorian to The Clone Wars, here’s our list of Star Wars TV shows ranked from worst to best.
With the long-awaited Obi-Wan Kenobi series now looming on the horizon, we’ve decided to take a look back at every Star Wars TV show released to date. Disney and Lucasfilm are rapidly ramping up production of Disney Plus productions while remaining silent on upcoming theatrical releases, making it seem like the immediate future of Star Wars is tied to the streaming platform.
Of course, since live-action Star Wars television was taking its sweet time to take off, most of the shows available at the time of writing are animated. However, if you come back next year, you’ll find a leaderboard much more populated with live-action productions – alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Rogue One prequel series Andor will arrive shortly after, and then we’ll wait for Ahsoka and The Acolyte. And that’s just the beginning when it comes to upcoming Star Wars TV shows.
Read on below, and don’t forget to check our list of Marvel TV shows also ranked if you’re lagging behind on this front, as we’re absolutely spoiled for quality sci-fi shows.
8. Star Wars: Resistance
- Release date: October 7, 2018
- To water: Christopher Sean, Scott Lawrence, Josh Brener
A flashy cel-shaded animation style couldn’t save Resistance from being a mostly unforgettable romp. One could argue that this Dave Filoni-produced series was a lot more kid-friendly than The Clone Wars and Rebels, and certainly less ambitious, but that doesn’t suddenly make it an exciting kids’ show.
The 40-episode series (split into two seasons) didn’t have much worldbuilding to work with, nor enough freedom to develop a unique storyline. Instead, it shyly complemented the sequel trilogy films with a colorful cast of characters who never got high on their own.
7. The book by Boba Fett
- Release date: December 29, 2021
- To water: Temuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen, and Frank Trigg
The second Star Wars live-action show purposely lives in the shadow of The Mandalorian. After his explosive introduction in Season 2 of the Favreau/Filoni hit series, Boba Fett embarked on an unexpected journey of reflection aimed at rebuilding Tatooine as a “man of the people.” It was a welcome change of pace for the (one-note) character, but the execution was a bit messy.
The first four episodes have nice hues of Conan and gangster movies, despite the uneven pacing, and mostly deliver on the series’ promise to get us interested in Boba. Then it suddenly becomes a (very entertaining) teaser for The Mandalorian season 3, before ending with a hilarious finale that inevitably feels undeserved. We loved the Star Wars content featured in this one, but for the most part it felt like a misguided first draft.
6. Star Wars: The Bad Lot
- Release date: May 4, 2021
- To water: Dee Bradley Baker, Michelle Ang, Noshir Dalal
The first arc in the final season of The Clone Wars introduced us to what we newbies can only describe as the A-Team but Star Wars. Unsurprisingly, alongside the veteran characters, Bad Batch’s hard-hitting mission was actually a backdoor pilot.
The Bad Batch might not have Dave Filoni controlling every piece on the board (he’s busy with live-action storytelling now), and the show sometimes struggles to justify its existence without high-profile cameos, but the first season kept those quality animation on the seventh entry of The Clone Wars and its knack for hard-hitting drama.
5. Star Wars: Visions
- Release date: 09/22/2021
- To water: Michael Sinterniklaas, Neil Kaplan, Adam Sietz
Lending Star Wars intellectual property to Japanese animation studios always sounded like an instant win, and it paid off when Visions launched last year. Each studio brought their A-game to the table and made excellent use of the (outrageous) creative freedom Lucasfilm allowed for this project.
It’s hard to deny that some episodes feel little like Star Wars, or that others are content to simply revamp over-the-top Jedi lore, but the purely visual aspects in each of them make this anthological take on the universe a must-see.
4. The Clone Wars (2D microseries)
- Release date: November 7, 2003
- To water: Andre Sogliuzzo, James Arnold Taylor, Mat Lucas
Genndy Tartakovsky’s The Clone Wars remains a fan-favorite Star Wars production, and for good reason: it was a highly stylized exploration of what could be done with the franchise on television, more intent on having fun with the medium than actually following a set of rules.
The miniseries was the story that “officially” filled the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. But it quickly clashed with novels and comics that also dealt with the massive conflict. It was later knocked out of canon for good by the 3D Clone Wars show, but it’s still a two-hour (more or less) watch not to be missed.
3. Star Wars: Rebels
- Release date: September 26, 2014
- To water: Dave Filoni, Taylor Gray, Freddie Prinze Jr.
The Rebels have had their hands full following the (temporary) cancellation of The Clone Wars right after Disney’s takeover of George Lucas’ empire. While Dave Filoni stayed on board, the starting budget was a few steps below what fans had grown accustomed to and it seemed like a rather irrelevant adventure at first, but it has gradually become one of the audiovisual ‘classic’ star’s best bits Wars” storytelling that exists.
The show’s first season might be tough, and even the (much larger) second and third volumes struggle with fullness episodes due to Disney XD’s exhausting 22-episode orders, but Rebels quickly wins your heart and won’t let go. It’s both an excellent prequel to the original trilogy (and Rogue One) and a deeply spiritual exploration of the strangest side of Star Wars – this fourth and final season is a stunner.
2. The Mandalorian
- Release date: November 12, 2019
- To water: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, and Barry Lowin
The very first live-action Star Wars series has turned out much better than anyone expected. Jon Favreau’s scripts surprised fans and critics alike, expertly condensing everything important about Star Wars into a new but old-fashioned guise, and ILM’s StageCraft technology brought most of the gamut from the big screen to television.
There’s just something incredibly appealing about a show that delves deep into Star Wars lore while remaining accessible and welcoming to viewers unfamiliar with the history of Lucas’ universe. Yes, the connections to other Star Wars stories are becoming more present, but so far The Mandalorian has juggled all of its elements well enough.
Also, how adorable is Baby Yoda? You can grab your own Lego Star Wars The Child to have at home. There are other The Mandalorian themed Lego sets that you can get your hands on as well. Just check out our list of the best Lego Star Wars sets.
1. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- Release date: October 3, 2008
- To water: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
What began as just another seemingly innocent animated production for television eventually became a key element in the franchise’s past and future. The Clone Wars did it all, bridging and honoring the entire Star Wars mythos while answering unanswered questions that have plagued fans for decades.
You can find handy lists online to walk you through the show’s main story beats, but we think the entire journey is worth it. Some filler episodes might be weak, but The Clone Wars never feels dull, taking huge swings to nurture pre-existing characters and create new icons that we’ll see for years to come.
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