Everyone know that Star Wars fans scrutinize everything to do with the series, and this includes even the titles that accompany a movie. After all, these title cards are usually the only clue fans have for months before a film’s release, so they are used to gauge how the film will turn out.
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In this list, we have not taken into account the TV series, video games based on the films, or animated media in Star Wars; only the mainline live-action movies have been examined. You’ll find there’s more than meets the eye with these title cards. Here they all are, ranked from least to most impressive.
11 Original Trilogy: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi (1983)
The idea was that the closing film in the trilogy would be the darkest, but Return of the Jedi surprisingly turned out to be one of the funniest entries in the series. For this reason, the title card doesn’t adequately reflect the film’s nature.
The dark, maroon-like coloration of the title (the color differs in some prints) makes it appear as if we’re in for a story that would be the hardest to watch, and even the font of the title looks grim. However, the celebratory feel of the film should’ve gotten a brighter style.
10 Prequel Trilogy: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
It was in the prequel trilogy when the “Episode” aspect of the titles began being stressed in particular, as these series of films had the word “Episode” front and center more so than the actual name of the specific film in question.
The first one doesn’t do much to stir interest, though, as the tinted color here is too dull to spark any real excitement, along with the “Star Wars” in the title being rather minuscule which, let’s be honest, is the main attraction.
9 Prequel Trilogy: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones (2002)
The second film in the prequel trilogy improved upon the title card of its predecessor by bringing in more focus on the series name, which can be seen here in stark contrast with the subtitle of the film. The “Episode” portion too was reduced in size compared to the previous one.
However, there’s still no escaping how the title screen is still too drab to be engaging, and this kind of presentation was also the reason why the prequels were rather maligned, as the charm behind Star Wars just can’t be felt.
8 Sequel Trilogy: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
The latest films brought the revamped version of the main titles, starting from The Force Awakens, which also did away with the focus on “Episode” in the titles. A more space-y look was given to the titles along with the notable presence of stars.
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While this was a cleaner approach that brought about a welcome change, the yellow font is something that doesn’t make the screen seem as vibrant as one would hope. Sure, it gave off a lighter look that wasn’t too serious, but it lacked that epic quality one would desire after the lengthy absence Star Wars had experienced.
7 Prequel Trilogy: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith
Here was when the series got the title right in the prequel trilogy, as this one was crisp and to the point. The “Star Wars” part was smaller, but it had a good contrast to the rest of the title to make it more prominent.
The other part of the title wasn’t as huge as the previous ones, and the “Episode” portion was kept shorter to put focus on the subtitle, which we have to admit is one of the very best in the series. The variation in the title colors was a good change too, as it didn’t seem as dark as before.
6 Anthology Series: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
The benefit of the anthology series is that the usual rules don’t need to be followed as far as presentation is concerned, which meant that Solo had a distinct look compared to the sequel trilogy, despite being released around the same time.
This one was a callback to the Episode V as the tilt in the logo and the “Star Wars” portion accompanying it below was around the same. Making this a good title card was the fact that the background was utilized a still from the movie and wasn’t comprised of all-black.
5 Sequel Trilogy: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)
The film had a lot of problems in it, but there’s no denying the title screen perfectly illustrates the theme of the movie. This one gives off a darker, clearer outlook for the film, as just taking a glance of it reminds you of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber.
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The title cements how this film is meant to be seen as a marriage between the dark side and the pull to the light that Kylo felt. as the space-y look is accompanied with the darker font.
4 Anthology Series: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
There were several different designs for Rogue One’s title card, but this is easily the most creative the series has gone with any title we’ve seen thus far. Here, a theme from the movie is seen in the title itself.
What seems to be either the view of the Death Star from Scarif, or the color of the planet itself can be seen peering from behind the title, bathing the screen with a beautiful hue. The name tag, while being relatively dry in presentation, did a good job in communicating the grim nature of the film.
3 Original Trilogy: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Nothing screams “retro” as much as the title of The Empire Strikes Back, which was a great way of highlighting how this would be a Star Wars film but would also carry a different feel compared to A New Hope, and it can be seen with the title.
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The tilt in the title carries a sense of whimsy, but the darker coloration of the font confirms that the rather jovial nature of the previous film would not be carried forward here. The font itself is one that attests to the space opera aspect of the film.
2 Sequel Trilogy: Episode IX – The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)
Blue is definitely one of the best colors to go along with a Star Wars title, and The Rise of Skywalker has benefited from this, raising the hype level for the viewer by utilizing this color scheme. It gives off the tone of finality that’s involved with the story and reminds you of Rey.
With The Last Jedi making use of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber, this one has the blue color to reflect the one wielded by Rey, a perfect reminder that she is the protagonist of the sequel trilogy.
1 Original Trilogy: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
In case you didn’t know this, the original name of A New Hope was simply the series name since nobody knew at the time what a huge success it would turn out. We have to hand it to the original logo as well for eliciting the sense of grandeur the film brought, as the font has an epic presentation.
It looks like a giant monolith at the center of space, highlighting the drama aspect of the film while carrying the sense of wonder that Star Wars brings with it. It is also the basis of the opening crawl that has remained in all the main installments of the series. Just looking at this title screen makes us want to watch the series all over again.
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