Fans Still Think This Is the Best ‘Star Wars’ Movie Trailer of All Time

We’re living in an exciting cinematic era again where we can look forward to new Star Wars trailers almost every year or two. Even if the new trilogy is wrapping up, we’ll likely have more trailers catching people by surprise on which past-tense of present-tense characters make appearances in other movies.

With the new “teaser” trailer now out for Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, we have to wonder if it’ll become the granddaddy of all Star Wars trailers. The emotions are certainly powerful enough in giving full circle to 42 years of pop culture.

Recently, a list was compiled ranking which trailers most resonated. Let’s see if they can still beat Episode IX.

The order of favorite ‘Star Wars’ trailers might surprise you

Esquire put together a “Top 9” list a couple of years ago on what they considered the best trailers. At the time, they were glowing over The Last Jedi, not knowing what lied ahead with epic The Rise of Skywalker two years later.

Even so, it’s an interesting list to see what they and most of the public preferred. One thing you can say about all Star Wars trailers is they all have their own distinctive look and promotional feel.

Also worth examining is what the modern reaction is to Episode IV’s trailer 42 years later. Those who were lucky enough to see the very first trailer saw something a lot different from how trailers are produced today.

A ‘Star Wars’ prequel makes it to No. 4

We all know how derided the prequels have been to some of the most fanatical fans. Sometimes you’ll find a few who stand up for them and say there was more there than met the eye.

In the aforementioned Esquire piece, they placed Episode I: The Phantom Menace‘s trailer at fourth. Obviously one good reason is it was the first prequel and first Star Wars film produced in 15 years.

The excitement then was more than a little over the top. Fortunately, the trailer was very well done in its editing and marketing maneuvering. On the other hand, you could call this manipulative because many still think it’s the weakest Star Wars film ever made.

Take a look again and see for yourself. It’s not the only prequel making the Top Five at Esquire.

‘Attack of the Clones’ makes it to No. 2

While you can argue The Phantom Menace almost lived up to its name in Star Wars cinematic lore, Episode II was usually deemed worse. Anticipation was still high in 2002 when the next of the prequels was upon us. There were hopes for a better movie, and you could say it was, depending on your point of view.

You’ll find many who argue the Attack of the Clones trailer was one of the best based on LucasFilm’s references to the original trilogy and the future Darth Vader. With hints it could be a darker movie in the original teaser, it fell into the strange place of being a great trailer that didn’t provide the reality of the final product.

It once again proves how trailers can easily create a different vibe from how the film ultimately turns out. No wonder so many people feel skeptical today when they see a trailer looking like easy Oscar bait.

What about the first ‘Star Wars’ trailer in 1977?

Despite Esquire placing The Force Awakens trailer at #1 on their list, they place the Episode IV: A New Hope trailer at #3. Maybe you’d suggest it’s in a different league from all other Star Wars trailers considering the promotional marketing in it was a bit outdated compared to what we see now.

This isn’t to say it didn’t generate a lot of intrigue at the time. Plus, it likely has a lot of connective strings to those old enough to remember when the first trailer played in theaters. At the time, those who were young then were likely watching it in awe with their parents and possibly grandparents.

Storm Troopers
Which ‘Star Wars’ film and trailer ranks above the rest? | Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images

If you think Episode IX‘s trailer should now go to #1 ahead of The Force Awakens, the reasons would be the emotional ties we all have to Star Wars through our families. Even our grandparents likely related to it growing up seeing the Flash Gordon serials of the late 1930s and early ’40s.