From A New Hope to Rogue One, these are the Star Wars cinematic universe’s most perfect frames.
For the obsessives, Star Wars has spent the better part of 40 years providing stunning visuals. Whether it’s the iconic single images or operatic space battles in motion, there are few franchises that have provided stimulation quite like the one George Lucas birthed in 1977. The film’s impact beyond its own imagery is also something worthy of celebration, as the success of Star Wars led Lucas to the formation of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic, two companies that have provided film nerds with countless brilliant and thrilling moments.
When it comes to choosing the Perfect Shots of the Star Wars franchise, there is always going to be great debate. What weight do we give shots created in the digital space vs. those created in-camera? Do we consider a shot’s iconography or history, even if its composition isn’t better than another shot? Do we punish the Prequels because they will long be remembered as the lesser portions of the Saga? Do we restrain ourselves from including too much of The Force Awakens and Rogue One because of their technical advantage?
These are the debates we love to have internally and with all of you, our readers. Our hope is that this ranked list of the 50 Most Beautiful Shots is representative of many schools of thought. Composition certainly matters, but so does iconography. The Perfect Shot is as much about a beautifully composed frame as it is about how an individual shot makes us feel. The most perfect shots accomplish both, holding up in a vacuum while also transporting us back to our most honored experiences. Give our list a look and feel free to discuss in the Responses area at the bottom.
50. The Phantom Menace – dir. George Lucas. DP David Tattersall
49. A New Hope – dir. George Lucas, DP Gilbert Taylor
48. Attack of the Clones – dir. George Lucas, DP David Tattersall
47. Attack of the Clones – dir. George Lucas, DP David Tattersall
46. The Force Awakens – dir. J.J. Abrams, DP Dan Mindel
45. Attack of the Clones – dir. George Lucas, DP David Tattersall
44. Return of the Jedi – dir. Richard Marquand, DP Alan Hume
43. Attack of the Clones – dir. George Lucas, DP David Tattersall
42. Return of the Jedi – dir. Richard Marquand, DP Alan Hume
41. Rogue One— dir. Gareth Edwards, DP Greig Fraser