Annlyel explores the stunning cinematography of the galaxy far, far away…
Star Wars is known for a lot of things but one thing I think this franchise is never truly given credit for is how beautiful it can be. Whether we consider the prequels, original trilogy, sequels, or standalone films this franchise has featured some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen from any film. And because of that, I felt like sharing what I feel are the three prettiest Star Wars movies.
So, with no further delay, here are my top three.
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One is gritty, dark, suspenseful, and intense but its cinematography, helmed by Oscar-nominated Greig Fraser, is top-notch. The shot that has struck me with its cinematic brilliance since the first time I ever saw it was the Death Star eclipsing the sun over Jedha. That moment when the sky is turned black and the Death Star lingers overhead like the worst omen you could ever imagine just before shooting a distinct neon green laser onto the planet’s surface is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in Star Wars. It’s a haunting image; one that has seared into my mind with its directorial achievement. And to know that Greig Fraser is the cinematographer for Dune! That movie is in good hands indeed.
2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
I may not like much about The Rise of Skywalker but one thing I cannot deny is this film’s beauty. There are so many thrilling shots that feature the movie’s various worlds in such distinct and memorable ways that to nominate my favorite shot from the film would feel impossible. But I can name a few.
Such as all of Exegol and the stark contrast of black and dark blue that make up the sinister planet, the searing glow of green and yellows you find on Ajar Kloss as Rey trains to become a Jedi, the rays of sunlight peeking through the wrecked throne room on Death Star II, or the stark white of Kylo Ren’s room aboard his Destroyer as Rey and Kylo Ren, a blunt image of good versus evil, fight one another with their red and blue lightsabers drawn.
This movie’s beauty is unforgettable, pure, and simple.
1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Even though The Rise of Skywalker is a beautiful movie The Last Jedi is simply gorgeous. I cannot fully express how beautiful this movie truly is but it is ridiculously incredible. Steve Yedlin, a constant collaborator with Rian Johnson and his films, is a master at his craft and deserves more awards and nominations for his work because the man is amazing!
I’ve seen two of his works, The Last Jedi and Knives Out, and both films are filled with eye-catching moments. The Last Jedi begins by looking different than anything we’ve quite seen before but as soon as Ahch-To appears framed by the descending golden sun it’s very clear that this movie would be different than all of the others.
The bold red of Snoke’s throne room shine as a backdrop against the iconic Praetorian Guard scene, Finn and Phasma’s clash in a fiery Star Destroyer hangar is like something out of the most epic piece of fan art, the dark greyness of the mirror cave scene implicates Rey’s dance between the light and the dark, followed by the warm and almost sensual tones of firelight that accompany Kylo Ren and Rey in one of the village huts.
And we can’t forget about those individual shots that are simply stunning whenever I see them; Finn and Rose on the back of a Fathier as the moonlight provides an ethereal glow overhead (that shot reminds me of something out of a Steven Spielberg movie), the backs of Luke Skywalker and Yoda as they stare at the fire burning away the Jedi Order’s past, that silent moment of Holdo’s cruiser launching into lightspeed through the First Order fleet, or that single shot of Kylo Ren holding his blazing red lightsaber in front of his face as he prepares to attack his old master. Those four shots will be burned into my memory because of their silent power. And that’s why I believe The Last Jedi is the prettiest Star Wars movie.
I’d like to give some honorable mentions to Solo: A Star Wars Story for its different colors and looks that also managed to stand out as well as Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith which has its visual jaw-droppers as well.
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Hello everyone. My name is Annlyel James. I’m a young woman who loves movies of all genres (specifically ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel movies.) I am also a Senior Correspondent for The Future of the Force.