|The movie poster seen round the world|
You have the original, an out of the box cultural phenomenon that fundamentally altered the film industry (for better or worse). It was a dominant force for three years until after the second movie. It continued to be a significant presence in popular culture well after that. The second movie, The Empire Strikes Back, was arguably better than the first. At least it was better as a film, with deeper characters, more development, a tighter story arc.
Nonetheless, as I tell my boys, it might be hard to believe but the sequel did get push-back. Many were upset at the dangling ending - the age of the prefabricated movie franchise being far away. And yes, many rejected the 'Father' claim by Vader. They saw the first movie enough times to know that's not what happened. Perhaps because of that, Empire fell short of the original at the box office, as well as with some fan reaction.
As a result of that, and because many of those involved were wanting to go their separate ways (Harrison Ford being the most famous), Lucas had to scrap his much publicized plans of multiple sequels. What we got in The Return of the Jedi was a condensed amalgamation of several movie ideas Lucas had crammed into one final hurrah. And it looked it. Reviews were mixed and most fans, having already grown up and moved beyond Star Wars, were 'eh' at best. There were some great moments, but also some that were decidedly under par.
The prequels barely look like the originals, and enough has been written about the varying levels of celluloid trash heap that they became it's not worth repeating. Which was the worst is up for debate, though most give the third - The Revenge of the Sith - a nod for being the best of a bad lot. If nothing else, the last minutes have a few scenes that connect it to the originals.
As far as the Disney reboot? The first was OK, and tapped into some nostalgia for the originals in a way the prequels dearly missed. Some argue that it was simply a PC retelling of the original story line. That is fair as far as it goes. But the subsequent movies seem to be, with a few exceptions, films that take the worst of everything that came before and repeat it all over and over again. Much of the problem being it's 21st Century Disney, and everything is beholden to the creativity killing political correctness and identity politics of the modern Left.
So think on that. Out of how many movies, only two deserve to be considered in any way 'great'. The third is about two or three hits for every miss. Later ones are everywhere from mostly bad to entirely bad to atrocious. How does that rank on the franchise scale? Perhaps compared to most franchises - whether prefab or simply the result of endless sequels - that might still put it near the top. Think Death Wish. But then, perhaps that says volumes about how good film franchises are to begin with.