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Every Star Wars TV Show, Ranked

Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos: Disney, Getty

You can read our ranking of every Star Wars movie here.

We really should’ve seen how complex Star Wars was going to get when the first one was retroactively titled Episode IV. In addition to the movies, there are dozens of canon Star Wars books and comic series, video games, and many, many TV shows. That last bit is important, because lately it’s been on TV that Star Wars is fully exploring the franchise’s endless possibilities for storytelling, most recently with the premiere of Ahsoka, a live-action series about a character who first appeared in a cartoon and has gone on to be one of the most important characters in the entire galaxy.

Each Star Wars TV show is vastly different from the others, both in terms of tone, but also in how they incorporate or ignore the larger canon started by the movies. Some, like the earliest ’80s Saturday morning cartoons, were mostly sideshows, others were meant to expand the story with side stories that eventually became intrinsic to the overall franchise, and others are now as essential as any of the main Skywalker saga entries — particularly as at least one upcoming movie is set to directly pay off some of the TV shows.

This makes it hard to know where to start with Star Wars TV and to pick which shows to watch. So, we’ve ranked every single Star Wars TV series, based on whether they are worth your time, and whether they will matter at all to the future of the franchise. (Ahsoka will be added to this list once the season is over.)



There may be some nostalgia for this two-season ABC series about the cute but fierce warriors from the forest moon of Endor, but Ewoks never manages to shake off its cheap 1980s Saturday morning cartoon look and format. Cartoons of this era were primarily about selling toys, and the Ewoks seemed to exist in the movie primarily to appeal to kids. Paul Dini, the creator of the groundbreaking Batman: The Animated Series, co-created Ewoks, but this earlier effort has none of the craft of the cartoon he’d make a decade later. While there are some small references to Return of the Jedi, Ewoks mostly spends its time with cute forest teddy bears and plots that seem more fantasy than science-fiction. It’s as inessential to the overall Star Wars franchise as it gets.

Is it canon? No
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 0 out of 10 Gungans.



Droids, a one-season companion to the ’80s Ewoks show, is just slightly better than the other half of the Ewoks and Droids Adventure Hour because its recognizably about Star Wars, exploring the galaxy’s criminal underworld and actually featuring Anthony Daniels, reprising his role as C-3P0. Still, nothing in Droids really, well, mattered, and despite being developed by sound-design master Ben Burtt, Droids doesn’t really impact the franchise at all, and its limited budget is quite noticeable, making this another Star Wars show that isn’t essential unless you’re a completist or someone with nostalgia for this show.

Then again, this cartoon does feature R2-D2 and C-3P0 facing off against space pirates, so that makes it worth a watch, because every show is better with pirates.

Is it canon? No
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 0 out of 10 Gungans.


The Book of Boba Fett

Boba Fett, the silent loser who did absolutely nothing and died like a fool after ten minutes of screen time yet somehow became one of the most popular characters in all of Star Wars, finally got his own show — and it is not good. The big problem with The Book of Boba Fett is that the initial premise of a story about the Star Wars criminal underworld starring Boba Fett trying to be a crime boss quickly got swallowed up by flashbacks explaining how Boba himself survived getting swallowed by the Sarlacc, and endless subplots about other, less interesting characters. Perhaps The Book of Boba Fett’s biggest redeeming quality is also the greatest indictment of it: There are entire episodes that don’t even feature Boba and are instead just transplanted hours of The Mandalorian that hastily wrap up the plot of an entirely different show.

Still, when The Book of Boba Fett was about Boba Fett, it had some things going for it. Temuera Morrison is always a badass, and he gave us an all-time great Star Wars meme. Plus there’s Boba riding a Rancor to fight a giant robot like he’s in a kaiju movie, and of course, Machete in space. Is it worth watching? Probably not, but the YouTube highlights are — and the Mando-centric fifth episode is required watching for that show.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 6 out of 10 Gungans, but mostly for the Mandalorian-centric episodes.


Star Wars Resistance

Despite the growing number of new Star Wars shows and the importance of Disney’s sequel trilogy, Star Wars Resistance is the only series that’s set in the era of Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron, meaning it’s the only option if you need your fix of First Order and Resistance stories. Resistance follows a New Republic pilot recruited by the Resistance to spy on the rising First Order shortly before, and during, the events of the sequel trilogy. The show has a cel-shading art style inspired by anime that makes it look distinct from other titles on this list, and has one of the most diverse casts of characters in the entire franchise. Though it features cameos by Kylo and Poe, and it features a fascinating storyline about how the First Order indoctrinates people, the story never stops feeling like a side story that the movies can easily ignore.

This is one of the more kid-friendly Star Wars shows out there. Despite the “Resistance” part of the title, the show doesn’t really feel like part of the galactic civil war, nor does the larger galactic conflict feel as urgent and serious as in other Star Wars cartoons that were also for kids but managed to explore complex subjects. We still get big space battles and heroic moments, but Resistance has more in common, tonally, with classic and simple fantasy tales of chivalry than with the more grounded tales of war and rebellion of other cartoons on this list.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 3 out of 10 Gungans.


Young Jedi Adventures

Everything you need to know about Young Jedi Adventures is in its title. Yes, this is aimed at a much younger audience than any other Star Wars show, but it still manages to capture that sense of magic and wonder of the original trilogy. As the only Star Wars title set in the time of the High Republic a couple of centuries before the prequels, Young Jedi Adventures has a much bigger sandbox in which to play than any other title in this list, exploring different species and cultures without having to worry about plot.

Indeed, the lack of a big galactic conflict like the Clone Wars or the reign of the Empire that drives the story forward allows this animated series to have a more slice-of-life approach, focusing on the very, very adorable younglings. So far, there aren’t any game-changing additions to the lore to be found here, no grand tease to the future of the High Republic titles or to Acolyte, so this is not the show to watch to prepare for the future of the franchise. If you’ve ever wanted to watch the Star Wars equivalent of PJ Masks, however, then Young Jedi Adventures definitely delivers.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 0 out of 10 Gungans.


Obi-Wan Kenobi

Much like The Book of Boba Fett, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series serves to answer a question that didn’t really need answering — what happened to the Jedi master between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope? The value of that answer depends quite a lot on the level of nostalgia you feel for the prequel trilogy, as the show’s strongest appeal (and its best moments) comes from watching Ewan McGregor say “hello there” to the character once again, and from the emotionally charged interactions between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader, played once more by Hayden Christensen in an unexpected return.

There are callbacks and references aplenty, but other than the compelling story of the Jedi-hunting Third Sister and a scene-stealing (if familiar) turn from young Princess Leia, Obi-Wan doesn’t offer much beyond just a new chance to see old characters in slightly a different setting. Does knowing Obi-Wan was once a depressed hermit with guilt over fighting his brother/apprentice enhance the story of the character we saw on the big screen? Probably not, and unless they make more seasons, the show isn’t necessary in order to watch any other Star Wars title. That being said, McGregor and Christensen do make this an entertaining, nostalgic, and cathartic experience.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 5 out of 10 Gungans.


The Mandalorian

A space Western set in the Star Wars galaxy, following a Mandalorian bounty hunter and a “Baby Yoda” that looks as if designed to be universally beloved? It’s no wonder the first live-action Star Wars show became such a phenomenon. That first season in particular offered something that was both old and new school, familiar and refreshing. The story was not focused on the Jedi, but featured familiar imagery, and it was episodic and standalone — inspired by the same serials that influenced the original film — while still adding to the lore of the franchise at large. In other words, it is a great introduction to the franchise.

Unfortunately, The Mandalorian became too big for its own good. The next two seasons focused too much on connecting to the rest of the franchise and on bringing familiar faces that it left behind the simple yet effective Lone Wolf and Cub story. When looked at as a whole, The Mandalorian may be the single most important title in Star Wars at the moment, inspiring many spinoffs, but as essential as the show is, it is far from the best Star Wars TV has to offer.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 9 out of 10 Gungans.


Forces of Destiny

Forces of Destiny, a series of YouTube shorts that eventually aired on the Disney Channel, is a fantastic surprise. The stories are simple ones (due to the runtime), but what is interesting is that they give the spotlight to female characters in the franchise that we may not have spent as much time with as we should, and the stories are set across every era of Star Wars.

What makes Forces of Destiny a great Star Wars show, however, is the way it plays with fan service of its purest form, shining a light on unseen moments in the story of the franchise — all of it being canon. How Ahsoka started using a second lightsaber, Rey’s training with Luke, Han and Hera’s first meeting, when Ahsoka found out about Anakin and Padmé, and much more. This is not the show to watch in order to catch up to what the overall franchise is doing, but what you watch when you just want to see more of your favorite characters having small adventures and meeting one another.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 3 out of 10 Gungans.


Tales of the Jedi

Tales of the Jedi is the shortest of the shows on this list, yet it is as impactful as any of the others. The six episodes tell just two stories; one of Count Dooku as he first headed on the path of the Dark Side, the other showing how the Jedi discovered Ahsoka’s Force sensitivity and her learning to live in a world without the Jedi. Using the same voice cast and animation team as The Clone Wars, Tales of the Jedi is visually stunning and a great continuation of the tone and themes of that show.

While Count Dooku’s story is fascinating and deepens both the character and the lore of the Jedi, Ahsoka’s episodes are an essential chapter of her character’s story, story, especially as she becomes a key player in the future of the franchise.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 4 out of 10 Gungans.


The Bad Batch

The Bad Batch, a direct sequel to The Clone Wars, takes place in the mostly unexplored early years of the Empire, and it’s one of the darkest Star Wars titles out there. Truly, this show gets bleak, as it not only starts with Order 66 and an animated recreation of Palpatine’s speech from Revenge of the Sith (during which liberty died with thunderous applause), but also explores how the Empire ditched its clone army in favor of stormtroopers. The show follows a group of clone troopers who are all distinct from their cloned brethren — and who all escaped the brainwashing of Order 66 — and through their struggle to survive in the nascent years of the Empire there is a nuanced exploration of the nature of fascism and the fast way in which it creeps into every aspect of society. It is an excellent and important companion to other Empire-era shows like Rebels and Andor.

And yet, The Bad Batch still manages to balance its serialized story with fun standalone episodes that showcase Star Wars’ ability to handle any kind of story, from a treasure hunt, to a racing subplot. If nothing else, The Bad Batch is worth watching just to marvel at voice actor Dee Bradley Baker’s ability to give each and every one of the dozens of clones in the show a unique voice and personality.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 6 out of 10 Gungans.


Star Wars Visions

The biggest strength and weakness of Star Wars Visions is that it is an anthology show, meaning you get some rather dull and forgettable episodes alongside some of the best the franchise has to offer. At its best, this animated anthology serves as an avenue for a diverse group of animation studios to play in the sandbox of Star Wars, fulfilling the franchise’s potential to tell all kinds of stories. The first season focused on anime studios, while the second season opened up the borders to studios from all around the world doing vastly different takes on the Force, the Jedi, and the galaxy far, far away.

Indeed, Star Wars Visions provides not only some of the best-looking moments in the entire Star Wars franchise, but some of its most thematically resonant, like in the second season episode “In the Stars,” which combines a story of rebelling against the Empire with a real-life history of genocide in South America. You’ve never seen Star Wars like this, and it rules. Granted, because of the non-canon nature of the show, it does not impact any other Star Wars title, but that standalone format also makes this a special and thrilling viewing experience.

Is it canon? No
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 0 out of 10 Gungans.


Star Wars: The Clone Wars

It’s easy to understate just how much The Clone Wars has meant to the overall Star Wars franchise. The show played a big role in the redeeming of the prequel trilogy, turning Lucas’s awkward handling of political plots into a thrilling and complex web of conspiracies and lies as we saw Palpatine constantly play both sides against each other for his grand plan, but also how characters like Padmé (who finally gets a bigger spotlight here) stand up against his warmongering. Though still aimed at kids and featuring plenty of silly little side stories about Jar Jar or R2, The Clone Wars frequently gets dark and serious, embracing the “wars” part of its title and becoming more grown up and complex as it goes along. This cartoon, which has an anthology-like format of standalone episodes and multi-episode arcs telling the story of the titular three-year conflict, turned the clones from a faceless army into actual individuals the audience grew to care about, making their fate in the films all the more tragic. Likewise, it expanded on the world of Star Wars and the mythology of the Force, and even returned a fan-favorite character to life.

Most importantly, The Clone Wars made Anakin the hero we were told he was in the movies, a tragic, nuanced figure with insecurities, but also fierce loyalty and bravery, whose descent into the dark side came not out of nowhere, but slowly built up over the entire show. Of course, the biggest contribution the show made to the canon was introducing Ahsoka Tano, telling one of the best character stories in all of Star Wars, and kickstarting a story that continues to drive and impact the franchise today. Though the 133-episode count can be daunting, it is extremely rewarding, particularly in its final four-part episode, which is one of the best things the franchise has ever done.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? The full Jar Jar Binks.


Star Wars: Clone Wars

After Attack of the Clones, George Lucas tapped animation legend Genndy Tartakovsky to create a series of shorts that would bridge the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Rather than just serve to tease the next movie, Tartakovsky delivered arguably the most visually stunning, bonkers Star Wars TV show to date. Though it’s no longer canon, having largely been usurped by Filoni’s similarly titled The Clone Wars, Tartakovsky’s shorts filled some blanks in the history of the Jedi in a dazzlingly stylish way. Many elements of the series have since rejoined the canon in recent years.

It is in this show that we get the first look at a Jedi knighting ceremony, and the building of a lightsaber. Likewise, Tartakovsky’s show presented two of the coolest villains in Star Wars, Asajj Ventress and General Grievous — the latter of which gets one breathtaking introduction that no other Star Wars villain has been able to match, until Vader’s hallway massacre in Rogue One. 

Arguably Clone Wars’ biggest achievement and appeal is the way Tartakovsky reimagines the Jedi not as warrior monks or war generals, but as mythological heroes capable of impossible feats. Characters fight at the speed of light, jump incredible heights, and more. While movie Mace Windu spent most of his time sitting around in meetings, Clone Wars Mace Windu destroyed an entire battle droid battalion with nothing but his fists.

Is it canon? Technically no, but parts of it have become re-canonized.
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 4 out of 10 Gungans.


Star Wars Rebels

Rebels had the daunting task of not just following The Clone Wars, but telling a story set in the years before the original trilogy with entirely original characters. And yet, this quickly became one of the most complex stories in the whole franchise, and one that has influenced Star Wars more than anything in years. The show has a stronger, more focused yet equally ambitious scope as The Clone Wars, and that is mostly thanks to the Ghost Crew. Rebels follows a cast of original characters, pilot Hera, former Jedi Kanan, Mandalorian warrior and tech genius Sabine, droid Chopper, former soldier Zeb, and a young kid named Ezra as they take a stand against the Empire and try to ignite a rebellion. Throughout the show, we get to know both individually and as part of a crew, as they quickly grow to be as compelling and unforgettable as the original trio of Han, Luke, and Leia.

Rebels does a good job of balancing episodic and serialized storytelling, capturing what made the original trilogy so special, giving us fun character-based adventures while also telling an epic story of the birth of the Rebel Alliance. We get some of the darkest moments in all of Star Wars here, as we see the Empire at its most powerful and cruel, making any kind of rebellion — let alone an open rebellion — seem daunting and near impossible. Adding to that is the way Rebels explores the internal conflicts of the nascent Rebellion and its different ideologies and methods.

Likewise, Rebels adds to the overall mythology of Star Wars in ways that continue to resonate, like bringing Thrawn (an Imperial officer introduced in the 1991 Heir to the Empire novel as the next big villain after the Emperor’s death) back into canon, and continuing or concluding the stories of characters from The Clone Wars and even the original trilogy. More than any other title, it is Rebels that really paved the way for the Star Wars we know today, with its influence being felt in both the movies and the shows. It’s not a coincidence that so many shows take place in the Rebels era. It is the perfect bridge between the two tones of Star Wars: the kid-friendly version that focuses on fun space adventure, and the ambitious and mature tone that tells a gritty and mature story of war and rebellion.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? The full Jar Jar Binks.



A prequel to a spinoff movie that told the story of the opening crawl of the first Star Wars, Andor quickly became not only the best Star Wars TV show, but possibly the best Star Wars title ever. Andor updates the Empire from a vague and cartoonishly evil dictatorship to a mundane evil, one that is so oppressive in everyday life, in casual cruelty that rebellion becomes not a choice, but a necessity. And yet, this show doesn’t glorify or simplify the Rebellion. There are no heroes here, no valiant effort to stand up for what is right by waving a flag. Instead, Andor is more like Star Wars meets Les Misérables, an angry work with something to say, following characters that would be in the background of any other story and giving them the spotlight.

The characters in Andor — like the titular Cassian Andor; the secret leader of the Rebellion, Luthen Rael; and even the future Rebel leader Mon Mothma — are not traditionally heroic, or even necessarily good people. This is a show not about the mystical chosen ones, or the heroes who shoot the torpedo that destroys the Death Star, but those who push the line forward, people who burn their lives to make a sunrise they know they’ll never see. Andor may feel smaller than most other Star Wars titles by focusing on fringe planets and small-time Imperial bureaucrats rather than Grand Moffs and Jedi. Yet, the show still feels much grander than many of the movies because the characters are constantly reminding us of how big the stakes are, how important this moment of rebellion is for the entire galaxy. Besides, the show looks gorgeous, with practical sets and a sense of tactility that brings to the original trilogy.

Just like The Clone Wars took the foundation of the prequel trilogy and turned subtext into text, Andor takes the simple story of rebels going against an empire and brings politics and revolution to the forefront. It showed that Star Wars didn’t have to hide its complex themes behind fun adventures or jokes, but that it could deliver a gripping drama featuring spaceships and laser guns. Andor feels very much like Star Wars, and yet is like nothing the franchise has ever seen.

Is it canon? Yes
How important is it to understand what’s going on? 7 out of 10 Gungans.

Every Star Wars TV Show, Ranked