It's a wrap on our first round of the Star Wars Madness tournament, as the victors have been determined and the Elite 8 slate has been set. The four highest rated Star Wars films received a first round bye, giving the underdogs a chance to duke it out and confront the power hitters. We got to witness some interesting showdowns, as movies with distinct in-and-out of universe correlations battled one another with everything to lose. Our readers were posed with the choice of which Star Wars films they believed were worthy of moving on, while simultaneously telling us which movies weren't going to get much fan support. Check out the results below!
In our first matchup, we saw two groundbreaking Star Wars spinoff films go head to head in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Though The Clone Wars preceeded the much-beloved animated TV series of the same name, the rescue of Rotta the Hutt stood little chance against the first major victory for the Rebel Alliance. A fun introduction to the now fan-favorite former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, The Clone Wars served its purpose in acting as the launch pad for the animated show but has never been looked at in the same manner the live-action films are. Released to near-global appraisal, Rogue One fulfilled the promise of a gritty, dark war film set in the Star Wars universe and wiped through the The Clone Wars like Darth Vader's rampage aboard the Profundity.
#5 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story moves on to face #4 Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the Elite 8 round.
Our second showdown saw two brothers of the prequel trilogy match up, resulting in a blowout of Alderaanian proportions. Revenge of the Sith took on its predecessor Attack of the Clones, and it's safe to say that our readers heavily favor Anakin's fall to the dark side over the first battle of the Clone Wars. Frequently panned for poor dialogue and cringe-worthy acting performances, Attack of the Clones gets a bit of a bad rap as it falls to the bottom spots on fan rankings. Revenge of the Sith greatly improved on these criticisms and turned in a heartbreaking tragedy that saw the fall of the Jedi and the Republic as Darth Vader and the Empire rose to dominate the galaxy for decades to leave the Force in darkness. Unsurprisingly, Attack of the Clones was Order 66'ed and will have to watch as its successor moves on to fight another day.
#6 Revenge of the Sith carries on to battle #3 Return of the Jedi in the Elite 8.
Two controversial films went head to head in our third matchup as The Last Jedi took on The Phantom Menace, ending in yet another decisive victory. The Last Jedi still brings about heated fan discussions over two years after its release, giving us an unfamiliar Luke Skywalker jaded with the ways of the Jedi and prepared to end the Order forever. The Phantom Menace, while featuring one of the best lightsaber duels in the saga, left many fans stunned and dissapointed when it kicked off the prequel trilogy, and heavily features the most hated characer in Star Wars. Both films have been panned and praised, with devoted defenders as well as heavy critics, and while many were able to vote for their favorite movie, others were stuck between an asteroid and a hard place and had to pick which movie they hated less. Despite his best efforts, Jar Jar has been banished back to the surface of Naboo as the surviving members of the Resistance look to claim another victory.
#7 The Last Jedi pushes forward to take on #2 A New Hope.
In our final matchup of the first round, the two most recent Star Wars films went against each other, ending in our closest finish yet. A largely unmentioned film with a poor box office performance, Solo: A Star Wars Story was a surprisingly fun ride. The Rise of Skywalker finished off the main saga in polarizing fashion, sending many fans into an angry frenzy while satisfying others. Both films have resulted in disastrous press coverage for Disney and Lucasfilm with production troubles and intense fan reactions that are sure to have a say in how the franchise is handled going forward. The close battle ended in a surprising win for The Rise of Skywalker, proving that Solo just didn't have what it took to put a saga film on its knees. Our readers were as split as Darth Maul, but the end of the Skywalker Saga pushes on as a younger Han has to watch his hopes of victory fly off like Qi'ra.
#9 The Rise of Skywalker moves ahead to take on the top seed #1 The Empire Strikes Back.