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SPOILER Ranking Live Action Episodes

Discussion in 'General TV Series Discussion' started by cawatrooper, Feb 11, 2022.

  1. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

    Nov 14, 2016
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    Now that TBoBF is finished, the Star Wars live action TV universe is really starting to curate a serious collection- so how do we feel about what's out so far? Thought it might be fun to rank what I've felt, from least to most favorite. Obviously there are spoilers in here. Share your thoughts, too!

    23. The Streets of Mos Espa (TBoBF Chapter 3)
    I love almost all of the episodes here, and even this one does some good stuff. It advances the plot a bit when Fett's show was otherwise pretty stuck in flashbacks.

    But I do feel the episode needed to be more. So far, I hadn't minded the slower pace of the first two episodes, but this one just didn't do the heavy lifting it really needed to get the show on track, in my opinion. Far from my favorite episode... but this is the bottom of the barrel, so we're only going up from here!

    22. The Gunslinger (The Mandalorian, Chapter 5)
    I remember most of the buzz around this episode was about the easter eggs. Little was said about the plot, and to be honest, that makes sense. It introduces at least one of the most grating characters to Star Wars since Jar Jar Binks (two, depending on how you feel about Pelli Motto, though I personally like her).

    Tatooine seems like such an uninspired and tired setting for Star Wars now, and I don't feel this episode really warranted it.

    21. The Passenger (The Mandalorian, Chapter 10)
    The more horror-style of Star Wars is something I've wanted to see more of, and the ice setting was definitely unique for the show. Outside of the kind of tired trope of evil fantasy spiders, I'm not sure what I dislike so much about this episode, because there are a lot of good ideas at work- it just doesn't quite work for me, in the end.

    20. Stranger in a Strange Land (TBoBF Chapter 1)
    The first step of Fett's show did some interesting stuff. I liked the flashbacks (especially in the Sarlaac Pit), though I think they could've wrapped those up in just this episode.

    Acknowledgments to Kamino and Fett's childhood were nice to see, too.

    19. The Tribes of Tatooine (TBoBF Chapter 2)
    To be honest, this episode runs together a lot with 1 and 3 for me, but I do remember really liking the train heist. That's about all I can really say on it, though. Enjoyable enough, but my Tatooine Fatigue was really starting to flare up by the end of this one.

    18. The Gathering Storm (TBoBF Chapter 4)
    Another Boba flashback episode, but this one actually told some stories I was interested in- meeting Fennec Shand, getting the Firespray back, killing the Sarlaac pit...

    It's also probably the closest we get to see political intrigue in the Fett series, which is surprising since I considered quite a bit more.

    17. The Child (The Mandalorian, Chapter 2)
    I bet a lot of you are surprised to see this one so low. I admit, maybe if I were to watch it again soon, I'd appreciate how it depicts the Child and Mando's first interactions more. But on my first and only viewing, I really disliked it. I'm really not a fan of when Star Wars makes creatures or non-threatening alien species into the enemies, so fighting the rhino thing and the jawas just wasn't very engaging for me.

    16. The Siege (The Mandalorian, Chapter 12)
    Man, I barely remember this one. The assault on the Imperial base was pretty neat, though it did feel a little too swashbuckly at times. The Empire could've been a little scarier here (and the cloning plot still hasn't really paid off, in my opinion).

    This one is placed as high as it is because of Baby Yoda eating cookies, that's it.

    15. The Reckoning (The Mandalorian, Chapter 7)
    Another one I barely remember (apparently we're in that part of the list). This one really just felt like setup for the season one finale, with some creature feature thrown in (which again, I don't always love). Points for Nevarro being a volcanic planet, because I'm a sucker for some lavaflows, and the cliffhanger was effective.

    14. The Sanctuary (The Mandalorian, Chapter 4)
    A solid enough episode. I try not to let Gina ruin these too much for me, and to be honest Star War's umpteenth Seven Samurai homage probably wasn't going to rate too highly here anyway. But over all it had a nice compact story, neat focus on an AT-ST as a sort of big bad (they're too easily disposed of usually) and moved the arching story in the end. Almost felt like an episode of The Clone Wars in a way, and I mean that as a compliment. And trees! Love a planet that's not just dust or sand or snow. We're definitely getting into the "pretty dang good" section of the list now.

    13. The Heiress (The Mandalorian, Chapter 11)
    The watery stuff seems like it could've been utilized a bit more (was really hoping for some sort of Lovecraftian-style horror like Mass Effect's Leviathan DLC when I first saw the shots in the trailer) but the boarding of the Imperial Cruiser in the end was really cool. And of course, what a pleasure to see Bo Katan on the show (and to finally get rid of Frog Lady, sorry Frog Lady fans).

    12. Redemption (The Mandalorian, Chapter 8)
    Wow, I'm surprised to see this one so low. I thought it was a great finale when it came out- and it still is, but it's definitely been surpassed. Really, not a lot stands out to me from it now- IG-11 was a constant scene stealer (especially with Baby Yoda strapped to him), we finally see Din's face and learn his name, and the appearance of the Darksaber was cool, but I think the show has really moved beyond the scope of this for a finale now (and that's a great thing!).

    11. The Prisoner (The Mandalorian, Chapter 6)
    I hated this one when it came out. Remember those days, when each episode felt like a one-off? Oh, to go back to then, bonus points for it being pre-pandemic too :p.

    This is one that I have rewatched, and it's definitely benefitted from it. Now, I like how it feels less like part of the overarching story, and how it contributes to the world-building. Apart from the awesome Batman-esque final act, I really liked how this gave us some of the best glimpses of the New Republic that we've seen in film canon.

    10. The Marshal (The Mandalorian, Chapter 9)
    Season 2 starts off with a bang. As a fan of the Aftermath series, it was great to see Vanth. As a KOTOR fan, I loved seeing the Krayt dragons and more nuanced take on Tusken Raiders. As a Star Wars an, it was thrilling to see Fett's return teased.

    But overall, I think this episode just really showcased how good The Mandalorian could be. Season 1 looked great, but this episode set the bar so incredibly high.

    9. The Jedi (The Mandalorian, Chapter 13)
    I'm so torn on this episode. I love Ahsoka. I love Thrawn. I love the eastern aesthetic of the Imperial fortress, and Ahsoka challenging them, and the burning forest, and the action scenes...

    And yet, something about this just didn't work for me as well as it could've. I have a really hard time pinning down what it is (which is frustrating to write about it, to be sure). It's certainly still a good episode, but I think this was about the time I was starting to fear that we'd be getting a cameo of the week in Mando (which, to be fair, is kinda what was happening at that time). I'm glad Ahsoka is back in Fett's show now so her appearance still pays off, but I think it would've been interesting if she stuck with Mando until he met with Luke at the end of the season. I don't think there's any reason that wouldn't have worked in the story, and it would've made more sense overall, in my opinion.

    8. The Mandalorian (The Mandalorian, Chapter 1)
    This episode is just full of so much. The hunt for Horatio Sanz. Introduction to Nevarro. The riding of the Grug things (or whatever they were called), the incredible shootout with IG-11 and the gang. And then BAM, the whole series (and Star Wars TV universe) is flipped upsidedown and all around with the reveal of The Child.

    Incredible and memorable opening.

    7. The Believer (The Mandalorian, Chapter 15)
    Another one I didn't love on the first watch. Giving it another chance, the "train heist" is great, and the Tarantino-esque scenes in the base are some of the best acting that Star Wars has. This is stuck right in the middle of a great run of episodes in Mando season 2, but it holds up really well on its own still.

    6. Return of the Mandalorian (TBoBF Chapter 5)
    I liked TBoBF well enough in its first few episodes, but I think it's clear in my rankings so far that I was pretty underwhelmed by the earlier half of the season.

    Din's return gave the show the shot in the arm it needed. But I don't think it just helped TBoBF, but also Mando S3. So much tablesetting (reporting back to the clan, getting a new ship, starting the process of returning to Grogu, getting rid of the now kinda redundant spear) was started or completed here, allowing Mando S3 to hit the ground running.

    And man, after being stuck on Tatooine for so long, these new environments were a blessing.

    I know some people hate that it seems the fan favorite episodes in The Book of Boba Fett seem to focus on an entirely different character, and I agree it's a little silly (I still think a Fett miniseries was combined with some rewrites of S3 after fan feedback), but honestly I'm just happy to enjoy something as much as this.

    5. The Sin ((The Mandalorian, Chapter 3)
    You could see the ending coming from a mile away, but that doesn't make the ride any worse. And even so, what an emotional ride. What I like about this isn't so much that it's a twist that Mando goes back for Baby Yoda, but because this is him committing. The first episode had the twist, but this is where Mando commits to it, where he etches his new fate.

    And hey, doesn't hurt that the action scenes (Din vs Stormtroopers in Herzhog's base, and the Mandalorians vs everyone in the street) were really good.

    4. The Rescue (The Mandalorian, Chapter 16)
    Big robots, Mandalorians, an Imperial Star Destroyer, Luke... this episode had some incredible stuff. It's pretty much full of great action throughout, but we all know that Luke's arrival is the big draw here. In a scene quite reminiscent of Vader at the end of Rogue One, he saves the day... but at what cost? Because as we see him cutting through the dark troopers like butter, the score isn't necessarily triumphant, nor dark... but almost sad. Din must know the inevitable here- Luke is coming for Grugu, and he probably should.

    The setup with the Darksaber is great, too. Really looking forward to see how that plays out.

    3. In the Name of Honor (TBoBF Chapter 7)
    Really mixed bag of an episode, and maybe it's just high right now because of how recent it is, but it does have some great moments. Most of the rancor stuff (okay, even my creature feature dislike has a limit), the giant droidekas, the showdown with Bane.

    There's some truly awful choreography with this one, and I'll own up to that. And you know, I had really high hopes for this one, and those didn't really pan out either. But it's big dumb fun, and that's okay.

    2. The Tragedy (The Mandalorian, Chapter 14)
    I bet I place this one a little higher than most people, but I really enjoy the simplicity of this episode. Very vital to the story (it's almost the lynchpin of the second season), but a tight action-packed 30 minutes (in fact, I think it might be the shortest episode in any of the series so far).

    I really enjoy the field battle here. A small team of defenders on a rocky hill against enemy infantry. Add in some artillery (which is super under-utilized in most SW content) and you have a surprisingly unique action piece. Not to mention the arrival of Fett is incredibly cool.

    The end is perfectly tragic- we know Mando will make things right by the end, but man if it wasn't tense.

    1. From the Desert Comes a Stranger (TBoBF Chapter 6)
    Another one that maybe benefits a bit from recency bias, but man I liked this one.

    Let's get the big one out of the way- Cad Bane. Introduced perfectly, and twice! Once in a Dark Knight-esque masked heist scene, and again later approaching from the dunes. Live action Cad Bane is one of the coolest things Star Wars has ever done, in my opinion- though given he's been one of my favorite characters since his TCW introduction I may be a bit biased.

    The stuff at Luke's blossoming temple is very cool, too. I think many fans have fantasized about seeing Ahsoka and Luke meet, but I don't think many expected that to happen live action. Absolutely incredible we got this.

    Not a ton of action in this episode, but it just nails so much, gets so much right.
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  2. The dinh

    The dinh Rebel General

    Nov 24, 2019
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    I'll give you my top 4(i'm very lazy):
    1. From the Desert Comes a Stranger (TBoBF Chapter 6) Someone else said it, but I felt the same way throughout this episode: "I can't believe their doing this! Wait their doing this too!?!? YODA"S LIGHTSABER!!!!!!!!!"
    2. The Rescue (The Mandalorian, Chapter 16) “One X-wing? Great. We're saved.” Damn right you are.
    3. Return of the Mandalorian (TBoBF Chapter 5) Bryce needs to stop running away from dinosaurs and get behind the camera, or maybe she'd make a good Mara Jade ;).
    4. The Believer (The Mandalorian, Chapter 15) I still think Burr should get an award for this performance.
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  3. Darth Derringer

    Darth Derringer Rebel General

    Mar 9, 2021
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    I love them all so it’s hard to choose between your favorites. But I realized one way to go about it was to rank my most “rewatchable” episodes. So given that disclaimer…

    My Top Ten “Favroniverse” Star Wars Episodes:

    1. THE JEDI – Mando S2-Ep5. This episode was the best directed, had the best production design, had the best fight sequences, was the best acted, and featured the best story. And to top it all off, it featured the live-action introduction of Ahsoka Tano. It remains an absolute Dave Filoni Masterpiece that has only grown in stature over time.

    2. THE RESCUE – Mando S2-Ep8. – The overall episode wasn’t as strong as others BUT it’s stirring conclusion is arguably The Best Star Wars since the original 1977 film.

    3. FROM THE DESERT COMES A STRANGER – TBoBF-Ep 6) This episode had it all – a MUCH-IMPROVED DEEP FAKE Luke Skywalker, a Luke-Grogu training montage, the return of Ahsoka, and the heartbreak of a father-son reunion postponed. As if that wasn't enough, it also featured the live-action debut of one of the most badass villains in all of Star Wars. Again, this one was written and directed by Dave Filoni.

    4. THE RETURN OF THE MANDALORIAN – TboBF-Ep5) My gut tells me we are witnessing the development of a great new Director in Bryce Dallas Howard. All the ‘little things’ to be found in this episode (along with THE HEIRESS) shows, without a doubt, that Bryce ‘gets’ Star Wars.

    5. THE HEIRESS – Mando S2-Ep3. I have found that this particular episode of The Mandalorian continues to grow and grow on me over time. It’s become one of my all-time favorite ‘rewatchables.’

    6. THE SIN – Mando S1-Ep3. The stirring finale to the The Child Bounty trilogy. This is where we learned that Mandalorians with jet backs were no longer just a Star Wars annimation thing. :) This one was directed by Debra Cho (a good omen for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series?)

    7. THE CHILD – Mando S1-Ep2. A great introduction to the Mando-Grogu relationship which is highly rewatchable. This one was directed by Rick Famuyiwa. Since its first airing, Mando and Grogu's duel with the Mudhorn quickly became a Star Wars' classic.

    8. THE BELIEVER – Mando S2-Ep7. One of the best written scripts from all three seasons. Bill Burr has been touted for his incredible acting in this episode (which is true.) But credit should also go to Pedro Pascal for literally oozing his discomfort at having his helmet off.

    9. CHAPTER 1 – Mando S1-Ep1. One of the strongest opening episodes of ANY series, let alone Disney+’s first live-action Star Wars series. This started the Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni collaboration off with a bang.

    10. THE TRAGEDY – Mando S2-Ep6. This episode featured the kick-butt, live-action debut of Boba Fett. 'Nuff Said.
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