I asked ChatGPT and Bing to rank the Star Wars movies — and the results surprised me

Darth Vader raises a hand in frustration in The Empire Strikes Back
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

When it comes to movie night suggestions, The Force isn't equally strong among ChatGPT and Bing with ChatGPT. As a skeptic of all things AI when it comes to generating written text and other new tricks that folks online can't stop talking about, I walked into conversations with both chat-based tools with a chip on my shoulder. 

The task was simple: see if ChatGPT and/or Bing with Chat had the brains to do something that many cannot: sort the 11 Star Wars movies in order of best to worst rankings. While this is an incredibly subjective question — and one that I wouldn't trust an AI to get right, as it cannot actually claim to have taste — it's something that I've always enjoyed debating. Including that time that O'Shea Jackson Jr. told me my rankings were "insane" for not ranking Episode 3 higher.

Hilariously enough, though, one of these two generative chat tools actually gave me a list I actually respect. Sure, it gets some arguable things wrong, but it's far more correct than I expected. Allow me to explain.

Bing's list is decent, but it's also uninspired

Our request for Bing with ChatGPT — an AI-enabled search tool that Microsoft is pushing users to change all their preferences to Bing to use — was simple: "Rank the Star Wars movies from best to worst."

And Bing, with the laziness of a student who copied someone else's homework, responded with a list preceded by the statement "there are many ways to rank the Star Wars movies, depending on your criteria and preferences. One possible ranking based on IMDb user ratings is..." with the below ranked list:

  1. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  2. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
  3. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
  4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  5. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
  6. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
  8. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)
  9. Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
  10. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

It's not a terrible list, but it's oddly my second-favorite of the two. My personal nitpicks? I'd rank Rogue One and The Last Jedi higher, and push The Rise of Skywalker to the 11th spot.

Regular ChatGPT has a better and incomplete list

When I asked ChatGPT to "Rank the Star Wars movies from best to worst," it gave me the following reply based "on critical and audience reception." I'm a little curious as to how it made this list, but read it for yourself before we proceed:

A ChatGPT window with the prompt "Rank the Star Wars movies from best to worst" followed by the response "As an AI language model, I don't have personal preferences, but here's a commonly used ranking of the Star Wars movies based on critical and audience reception: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) A New Hope (1977) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Return of the Jedi (1983) The Force Awakens (2015) The Last Jedi (2017) Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Revenge of the Sith (2005) Attack of the Clones (2002) The Phantom Menace (1999) It's worth noting that opinions on the ranking of the Star Wars movies can vary greatly among fans, and everyone has their own personal favorites and least favorites."

(Image credit: ChatGPT)

The first, and funniest, thing I noticed is that ChatGPT is throwing out Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker. This is particularly odd since that movie came out in 2019, and ChatGPT's knowledge base ends in 2021. This technically makes its list doubly wrong, but since that movie is as bad as it is... I'm inclined to accept it.

Then, it ranks Rogue One in the top 3, which I agree with, and moves The Last Jedi up a spot. I'd have put that movie above The Force Awakens, but I'm happy to see TLJ appear relatively highly, considering its review-bombed nature. 

So, while ChatGPT could get an "Incomplete" grade, it wins points for better rankings. I'm also partial to ChatGPT for putting the prequel trilogy in the bottom of the list.

Analysis: Should you ask ChatGPT and Bing for help with movie night?

I don't just say this because I want to protect my own job, but the flaws shown in both lists are grounds for disqualification. Bing's ChatGPT didn't do any thinking of any kind, and just pulled from a list (credit for citing its sources should be given).

And while I prefer regular ChatGPT's rankings, it certainly does get that 'incomplete' score I suggested above. Anyone who wants help picking out movies to watch online should keep it locked to Tom's Guide, as we're constantly tracking the latest new releases to watch. 

For example, the latest edition of my column on the top new movies of the week to watch online features Babylon, The Whale and M3GAN's Unrated Cut, while I've also compiled the best new to Prime Video movies that are 90% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes. And you have my word that AI had no connection to those articles. No disrespect to the Skynet that will one day take our jobs away, but you'll have to pry my keyboard out of my cold, dead hands.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.