Popular Culture

What Is the Best ‘Star Wars’ Movie? All 12 Films, Ranked

Are we eternally doomed to spend the rest of our days debating what is the best Star Wars movie? Well, I hope so.

The act of physically sharing our feelings on this question, however, is an entirely different debacle. I prefer to mumble my words when it comes to the fourth pick on my ranked list; actually, I like to mumble my words on just about every item on my list, as its entirety is probably a disgrace to most Star Wars fans—but I’m okay with that.

If the spoon chairs from Attack of the Clones didn’t have a profound impact on your life, then what’s the point of living?

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12. ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ (2008)

Who’s in It: Matt Lanter, James Arnold Taylor, Catherine Taber, Tom Kane, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Daniels, Ian Abercrombie, Kevin Michael Richardson

Lifetime Grossing: $68,300,000

It doesn’t get any lower than this. It would have been so nice to have an animated Star Wars film hit the same highs as its live-action spectacles. But alas, that outcome never came to pass. Once I got over the cool fact that two of the film’s characters are voiced by their live-action counterparts (Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu and Anthony Daniels as C-3PO come along for the ride), I was sent into a deep depression by its bargain bin animation, uninspiring musical score, and Saturday morning cartoon script. Avoid this one and just binge every season of the TV series of the same name. Thank me later…or now…or whenever.

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11. ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ (2019)

Who’s in It: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Kelly Marie Tran, Keri Russell, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern

Lifetime Grossing: $515,202,542

Oh, it’s bad—it’s really bad.

Most everything that occurred in this film was completely derivative of the previous Star Wars films, which made the whole thing feel pretty predictable and unceremonious. Rey being the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine? Nah, that doesn’t sound like ANYTHING ELSE we’ve heard before. A forest planet for the site of the rebellion? And there are no Ewoks on it? Now that’s just a crime.

We want a re-do, Star Wars.

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10. ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ (2018)

Who’s in It: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandiwe Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Lifetime Grossing: $213,767,512

This film was like being handed a glimmering ice cream cone only to have it splatter on the floor two seconds later. While we may have collectively dreamed for years about a Han Solo backstory, this one botched the main part of the story: Han Solo. Now, this isn’t Alden Ehrenreich’s fault—he just wasn’t believable enough to pass off as Solo. In that sense, the film was practically set up to fail as Harrison Ford is the only one who can pull off Han Solo.

Now, the only reason that this one is ranked higher than The Rise of Skywalker is that there were actually some pretty tight action scenes, most notably with the Millennium Falcon.

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9. ‘The Last Jedi’ (2017)

Who’s in It: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Kelly Marie Tran, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern

Lifetime Grossing: $620,181,382

Honestly, the only two redeeming qualities of this film are the crystallized alien foxes that pranced around and the dichotomy between the red and white colors in the final battle at the end—that’s basically it.

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8. ‘Revenge of the Sith’ (2005)

Who’s in It: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee, Ahmed Best, Matthew Wood, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson

Lifetime Grossing: $380,270,577

This one’s iconic for obvious reasons: it’s where we saw the first glimpses of Anakin Skywalker switching over to the Dark Side and it’s where he and Obi-Wan Kenobi duked it out just inches above the smoldering lava of Mustafar.

Not only was this the first Star Wars film I ever saw in a movie theater, but it was also the second time I was scarred in a movie theater (the first was in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). You know, because there’s nothing quite like seeing a human getting his limbs sliced off and then being burnt alive.

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7. ‘The Phantom Menace’ (1999)

Who’s in It: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee, Ray Park, Ahmed Best, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson

Lifetime Grossing: $431,088,295

Darth. Maul.

While he was grossly underused, Darth Maul is basically the only thing that made this film interesting. Well, aside from the absolute chaos that is Watto.

Pod-racing is fun and all, but this isn’t a Fast & Furious film—actually, now that I’m thinking about it, it kind of is: there’s a ton of high-speed racing that distracts from the fact that everything else going on isn’t really that important.

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6. ‘The Force Awakens’ (2015)

Who’s in It: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Peter Mayhew

Lifetime Grossing: $936,662,225

The Force Awakens was so well-made that it’s genuinely confusing how the two films that followed ended up being so bad. This movie is the highest-grossing Star Wars film ever created, and rightfully so: it set the scene perfectly for a solid new trilogy: we had a fascinating backstory to Finn, the installation of a new female Jedi, and a pilot who could fly loops around anyone he encountered.

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5. ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (2016)

Who’s in It: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen

Lifetime Grossing: $532,177,324

Now, this one really came out of left field.

No one was expecting Rogue One to be as brilliant as it is, which is what made it such an absolute pleasure to watch in the theater. The last two minutes of the film might be some of the greatest action in all of Star Wars history, as we got a glimpse into Darth Vader at his most ruthless. Not only that, but the CGI of Princess Leia was frighteningly perfect.

Her final word sealed the deal.


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4. ‘Attack of the Clones’ (2002)

Who’s in It: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Temuera Morrison, Christopher Lee, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson

Lifetime Grossing: $302,191,252

Don’t worry, I already know I’m getting dragged for this one.

I already mentioned the spoon chairs from Kamino before, so I won’t force you to suffer through that again, but in short, Attack of the Clones is the most underrated Star Wars film to date. Most people just brush it off for being a part of the flawed prequel trilogy, yet they often rank Revenge of the Sith and even The Phantom Menace higher than this one.

Let me explain this: Revenge of the Sith is only beloved because it’s home to the Anakin vs. Obi-Wan showdown; The Phantom Menace is surviving because of Darth Maul.

Attack of the Clones isn’t known for just one thing—it’s actually got quite a bit going on. For one, we’ve got the whole cloning issue on Kamino, which is where Obi-Wan faces off against Jango Fett. And speaking of Fett, we not only get to see him release the glorious-sounding seismic charges while swerving around in space, but we also witness his death on Geonosis by Mace Windu.

The Battle of Geonosis is epic in its own right, featuring three different bizarre creatures that Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé Amidala all have to take out. And to throw down an exclamation point onto all of that, Yoda goes absolutely HAM on Count Dooku following the Geonosis battle.

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3. ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980)

Who’s in It: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones, Peter Mayhew, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Ian McDiarmid

Lifetime Grossing: $209,398,025

Listen, I get it: you think that this should be in the number one spot. After all, it’s got the first face-off between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, the scenes on Hoth, the introduction of Lando Calrissian, and it features Princess Leia’s greatest hairdo and outfit. This is, by all means, an outstanding film, but for some reason, it just doesn’t top out for me when it comes to the OG films.

For me, it’s the middle child of the trilogy.

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2. ‘A New Hope’ (1977)

Who’s in It: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones, Peter Mayhew, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Ian McDiarmid

Lifetime Grossing: $307,263,857

It’s the one that started it all.

For that reason alone, many would put A New Hope in their top slot, and rightfully so. It represents the heart of the series: when everything was simple and the only thing that was standing between success and failure was a tiny opening in the Death Star to shoot a laser beam into.

It’s the blueprint for a decades-spanning series that will probably never die out, and because of that, A New Hope is something we’ll always hold close and fall right back into.

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1. ‘Return of the Jedi’ (1983)

Who’s in It: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones, Peter Mayhew, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Ian McDiarmid

Lifetime Grossing: $252,583,617

What is the best Star Wars movie, you ask?

This. This is the one.

Return of the Jedi checks off all of the boxes for me: it’s got Ewoks, baby Ewoks, Salacious Crumb’s chaotic laughter, C-3P0 being treated like a God, a speeder bike chase, and the destruction of the Death Star II. Oh, and it’s home to C-3P0’s delivery of the greatest line in all of Star Wars history.

To me, it’s always felt like the most emotional of the bunch, and being that I’m an avid crier, this one’s the perfect fit. Luke and Leia realize that they’re twins, Han and Leia are finally on the same page with each other, and the end scene with everyone celebrating by the fire is one for the books.

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Popular Culture

15 of the Most Powerful DC Characters, Ranked

When it comes to DC Comics, quite a few of the heavy hitters are ones that go a bit unnoticed, which might be due to the fact that Marvel has really taken the superhero world by storm with their films over the last 10 years. That’s not to say that DC doesn’t have a massive amount of incredible characters to cover—it’s just that we haven’t been given the sort of access we have with Marvel. Blending the more well-known choices with those who have less of a spotlight, we’ve ranked 15 characters who are just scraping the surface of the most powerful in the DC sphere. These superheroes and supervillains are widely considered to be the most powerful DC characters of all time.

RELATED: Who is the Most Powerful Marvel Character? The 30 Greatest Heroes and Villians, Ranked

15. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
First Appeareance: Showcase #22 (October 1959)
Ethan Van Sciver / DC Comics

Let’s kick off this list of the most powerful DC characters by acknowledging one of the galaxy’s greatest protectors. Hal Jordan AKA Green Lantern is one of the most recognizable faces in the DC sphere, as he was first created in 1940. Through his ring, Green Lantern can project different forms of energy, create force fields, and fly through multiple different parts of space without the need for a ship. On top of this, he of course has an insane amount of strength—the only catch is that he basically needs his ring to be able to do most of these things.

14. Supergirl
First Appeareance: Action Comics #252 (May 1959)
Warner Bros. Television

Of course, there’s Superman, but let’s not leave out THE girl, Kara Zor-El, AKA Supergirl. To some, she might seem like an inferior friend to Superman, but she’s actually quite the opposite. She receives her powers from solar energy and with that, has various types of vision, including x-ray, microscopic, and electromagnetic. Her strength stems from electromagnetic fields, which makes her extremely strong (though not as strong as Superman—but still).

13. Martian Manhunter
First Appeareance: Detective Comics #225 (November 1955)
Ivan Reis / Joe Prado / DC Comics

Aside from having one of the best real names in DC Comics (J’onn J’onzz), Martian Manhunter is exactly what you’d think he’d be like. With his massive stature, he has an insane amount of strength on top of the abilities to shape-shift, become invisible, and use telepathy—he’s actually known as the most telepathic character in all of DC.

12. Lex Luthor
First Appeareance: Action Comics #23 (April 1940)
Dave Stewart / Lee Bermejo / DC Comics

Lex Luthor has played both sides of the coin over the years in relation to Superman, serving both as a foe and an ally to him—he’s basically a major frenemy. Though some might mix him up with Professor X from Marvel, Luthor is definitely not as kind-hearted; actually, Luthor is pretty selfish. Luthor’s power is doubled when he puts on his suit, as his main source of power is through his brain, as he has a genius level of intellect. Luthor can travel through matter, shape-shift, and regenerate—that’s in addition to being able to astral project through his telepathic powers.

11. Captain Marvel aka “Shazam”
First Appeareance: Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940)
“Justice League: War” / DC Comics

There’s a fair chance that you’ve caught the Shazam! movie at this point, so you might already be familiar with his insane abilities. For one, he can activate his powers at any point by saying “Shazam,” which is basically a direct call to the beings who he received his powers from. Known for his ties with electricity, his power stems from Zeus’ thunderbolt, which—as you can imagine—is pretty strong. Not only can he manipulate electro blasts and other types of energy, but he can also cast spells.

10. Wonder Woman
First Appeareance: All Star Comics #8 (December/January 1941/1942)
Warner Bros.

As her powers hail all the way from Greek goddesses, it’s tough to match the kind of strength that comes from Wonder Woman. She’s practically invincible aside from the fact that smaller projectiles can injure her. So, sticks and stones may break her bones, but they probably won’t even get the chance because Wonder Woman’s incredible agility and powers will be able to stop that before it even happens.

9. Spectre
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #52 (February 1940)
Gene Colan / DC Comics

Channeling the vibes of our friend Doctor Doom from Marvel, The Spectre works below the Presence as one of his agents. He has no limit to his power, which aids him in his other abilities to travel through multiple dimensions, create various types of energy, and transform his shape. With his main weapons being the energy blasts he creates, the Spectre switches things up by using different types of energy including both pyro and thermal blasts.

8. Flash
First Appeareance: Flash Comics #1 (January 1940)
Christian Duce / DC Comics

Not only does Flash have one of the coolest suits out of all the DC characters, but he’s also one of the universe’s strongest heroes. As kids, we simply thought of him as the superhero who could run really fast; it turns out that there’s quite a bit more to him than that one feature. That very speed also powers his overall strength, as the more speed he racks up, the more powerful he’ll become in a given instance. In addition, Flash can also manipulate electrical energy and forces to work to his advantage.

7. Captain Atom
First Appeareance: Space Adventures #33 (March 1960)
Imaginary FS PTE Ltd. / DC Comics

Energized by the Quantum Field, Captain Atom is basically a walking science project gone right. With his entire body comprised of an alien-originated metal as protection, he controls the flow of different types of energy, including atomic transmutations and matter generation, as well as having the capability to time travel.

6. Lucifer Morningstar
First Appeareance: The Sandman #4 (April 1989)
Christopher Moeller / DC Comics

There’s just no messing around with a guy named Lucifer Morningstar. The name alone can scare off most enemies, but his powers are manifold compared to that. He’s a bit more chill than his brother and his abilities include manipulating various forces and blasts, a heightened level of magic spell casting, and he can travel through the depths of space without a ship—oh, and he’s also immortal.

5. Michael Demiurgos
First Appeareance: The Books of Magic #1 (December 1990)
Christopher Moeller / DC Comics

As the twin brother of Lucifer Morningstar, you’d think that the two would be fairly equal when it comes to their power levels. A large part of their differences comes from the fact that Demiurgos ended up becoming more of a leader, as he was at the center of the angels’ operations when his brother led a massive rebellion. He also has a daughter named Elaine who just might be a bit stronger than him.

4. Superman
First Appeareance: Action Comics #1 (Cover Dated June 1938, Published April 18, 1938)
Alex Sinclair / Jim Lee / Scott Williams / DC Comics

Is having Superman not in the number one slot wrong? Well, not really. Here’s the thing: Superman is extremely powerful—we know that. But a few characters do come out on top in comparison with their more energy-based powers. As Superman relies mostly on his abilities involving strength and flying, it limits him from being considered the most powerful character around. Even though he’s not at the top of this list of the most powerful DC characters, he’s very well deserving of being placed within the top five.

3. Elaine Belloc
First Appeareance: Lucifer #4 (September 2000)
Michael Kaluta / DC Comics

A fairly unassuming girl, right? Wrong. Elaine Belloc, daughter of Michael Demiurgos, is also the main God in charge of going with the canon that has the Presence giving his spot to her. An archangel, she has many of the same powers as the Presence, though not to the extreme extent that he does. She can warp matter, use magic, and is immortal. Oh, and she also has wings.

2. Doctor Manhattan
First Appeareance: Watchmen #1 (September 1986)
Adam Hughes / DC Comics

Ah, Doctor Manhattan, our best blue buddy. Aside from the fact that he walks around without clothes on, Dr. Manhattan is killing it in every other part of the game. Existing across all universes and within the past, present, and future at the same time, he has major control over the flow of energy, can use magic, and also has the ability to reconstruct molecules.

1. The Presence
First Appeareance: More Fun Comics #52 (February 1940)
Peter Gross / Ryan Kelly / DC Comics

Okay, so maybe this one is a bit of a cheat given that The Presence is, you know, basically God. While he dresses like an old-school news reporter, his powers exceed his style, as the Presence is truly capable of anything given that he’s omnipotent. Given his immortality, he’s unable to be defeated, and with other strengths like the powers to take on new forms and travel through various dimensions aiding him, The Presence is the ultimate force and is recognized by the most hardcore of DC fandom as the top of the food chain when it comes to the most powerful DC characters.

Popular Culture

‘Causeway’ Review: Recovering Above the Waves

Causeway (noun): a raised way across wet ground or water.

And yes, I did have to Google what that word meant. After watching the entire film, I had no real idea of what the title represented. But in looking back, even if I had known the word prior to watching, its meaning in relation to the movie wouldn’t have made a bit of sense until I was finished with it.

Lila Neugebauer’s Causeway is about two people who just have their feet above the water line. One misstep and they could both go tumbling into the deep, but together, they balance each other out.

From the outside looking in, the premise of Causeway seems pretty straightforward: Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence) suffers a traumatic brain injury while serving as an Army engineer in Afghanistan and returns home to New Orleans to recover, though when she returns, she ends up striking up an unlikely friendship with a car mechanic, James (Brian Tyree Henry), who has some trauma of his own.

Leaning more so into the dialogue and less into outside factors that distract, Causeway centers its audience right on the present in the same way that Lynsey has to focus on her recovery.

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While I have no idea what year this film is set in (though I can assume that it’s sometime after 2016 as that’s the year Bud Light gave its logo a little rebranding), it almost doesn’t matter because the message is universal: everyone has flaws, but they shouldn’t always be the defining factor in judging a person.

When Lynsey first arrives at the makeshift rehab facility upon returning home, she’s taken care of by an older health aide, Sharon (Jayne Houdyshell), who realizes later in life that her calling is to help others heal through rehabilitation.

“Frank liked naproxen better than Advil—he had bursitis in his shoulder,” Sharon says. “I got so good at taking care of him, I thought, ‘why can’t I do that for a living?’ So I went back to school and got licensed.”

“What a miserable life,” Lynsey says coldly, though she immediately catches herself and apologizes.

“It’s okay,” Sharon says genuinely. “People say things they don’t mean. Sometimes they can’t remember words. It’ll get easier.”

That easy acceptance from Sharon is at the root of what both Lynsey and (later on) James begin to strive for together, though getting to that place of acceptance is quite a bit easier said than done.


Causeway is definitely quiet, though as Lynsey trucks on through her recovery, the world around her gets a little bit louder, a little more open.

While Lynsey is more so a shell of herself at the beginning of the film, she slowly but surely settles back into things as time passes on and her recovery continues. She transitions from somber to sunny, and—I have to say—a lot of that credit goes to James, who she meets after her car breaks down back home in New Orleans. He immediately notices the internal hurt inside of her and takes the reigns when it’s obvious that Lynsey has gone through some sort of major trauma.

Stressed out and still struggling after rehab, Lynsey can’t remember her phone number to give to James so that he can call her back about the car repairs—actually, she doesn’t even know it.

“I don’t know my number,” Lynsey says. “I really don’t know my number.”

“Can I see your phone?” James asks. “What I’ma do, is I’ma call me, right? And that way, my number will show up, all right? Simple as that.”

It’s an extremely tiny interaction, but in the way that James speaks to Lynsey at that moment, it’s clear that there’s something else there—it takes someone who’s been hurt to recognize and understand that hurt in others.


While some might feel that the flaws in this film come through in the tired hours of Lynsey and James aimlessly drinking beer and smoking weed, it’s that empty time of tiny words and togetherness that shows growth isn’t always linear—it can sprout in times of seeming nothingness.

More than anything, Causeway is honest—both in itself as a film and within its characters, who share deep flaws that are tough to accept. But it’s within James acknowledging those flaws for Lynsey (and vice-versa) that they’re both able to come to terms with themselves.

James and Lynsey found themselves in situations where they walked away with a major loss, which is why they were able to understand each other at such a molecular, unconscious level. To them, the future is for change, and the present is for making it to that next day—to that future.

Though the two experienced different types of trauma, together, they can heal together from the wounds, both gaping and invisible, keeping the other from falling off the causeway.

Causeway is currently streaming on AppleTV+.

Popular Culture

Yung Gravy Sits Down With Sean Millea for ‘Please Clap’ Podcast

Sean Millea, host of ONE37pm’s podcast, Please Clap, recently sat down with rapper, Yung Gravy, to talk about everything from rap and stage anxiety to beat samples and…licorice?

Anyway, both have unique personalities in their own right, which definitely made this episode one for the books. As a whole, the podcast pairs Millea with a new guest for each episode, where the two discuss a range of different topics, though most revolve around the world of comedy.

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Given Sean’s comedic background and involvement on the New York City comedy scene, each episode of Please Clap features hilarious stories from both sides of the table. A few of Millea’s other guests have included Noah Snyder, Jamie Wolf, and Sarah Harvard, who are all regulars on the comedy circuit.

Please Clap likes to center around up-and-coming comedians on the scene, and though Yung Gravy isn’t a comedian or even an up-and-coming artist (he’s already well-established in the music world), his music almost always has a comedic side to it. And as a person himself, there’s no denying how genuinely funny Yung Gravy is.

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="" data-video-id="7137800668173094186" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@one37pm" href="">@one37pm</a> Rumor is they’re in the studio as we speak … full pod out now @yunggravy @seanmillea_ <a title="yunggravy" target="_blank" href="">#yunggravy</a> <a title="podcast" target="_blank" href="">#podcast</a> <a title="funny" target="_blank" href="">#funny</a> <a title="lol" target="_blank" href="">#lol</a> <a target="_blank" title="[e-266c] original sound - ONE37pm" href="">[e-266c] original sound - ONE37pm</a> </section> </blockquote></code>

At one point in the interview, Millea actually ends up pitching one of his own songs to Yung Gravy, which results in a hilarious conversation between the two.

“Just overall, it’s not horrible,” Yung Gravy says. “At first, it was a little suss, but then, it came back in. You know, you added an instrument, bro.”

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Yung Gravy gets pretty deep when discussing how performing and anxiety can become intertwined at times:

“I have anxiety, so it’ll hit on stage—in a lot of situations,” Yung Gravy says. “Weirdly, performing isn’t the primary cause of anxiety lately. When you’re preparing to go on stage, you’re sitting back behind the stage and you hear everybody and you’re nervous as f***. And then you get out there and perform one song and you’re completely comfortable. But getting to that point is always scary.”

In that same vein, Yung Gravy talks about the early days of his career and how it’s shaped up into the form it’s at today:

“I never realized that my voice was unique,” Yung Gravy says. “It was basically like I was good at marketing and branding—I went to school for business and marketing; I started a few little companies that all took off. But I think the rap itself and the flows and everything just came from being a hip-hop fan forever.”

<code><blockquote class="tiktok-embed" cite="" data-video-id="7132990698617376046" style="max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px"> <section> <a target="_blank" title="@one37pm" href="">@one37pm</a> Addison Rae’s Dad is in the studio … and we can’t wait to hear [e-1f602] @Yung Gravy [e-1f36f] @Sean @Please Clap <a title="yunggravy" target="_blank" href="">#yunggravy</a> <a title="addisonrae" target="_blank" href="">#addisonrae</a> <a title="sheri" target="_blank" href="">#sheri</a> <a target="_blank" title="[e-266c] original sound - ONE37pm" href="">[e-266c] original sound - ONE37pm</a> </section> </blockquote></code>

But in classic Yung Gravy fashion, he goes back to the funnier side of things, explaining how he might have a pretty touchy diss track coming his way.

“So, Addison Rae’s mom, Sheri—her and I are involved,” Yung Gravy says. “Her ex-husband, Monty, is continually talking s*** about me, and I got a message from a poppin’ producer, who he DM’d, and was like, ‘Yo, I need a beat—I need to make a diss track.’ And I am so, so excited to hear that.”

Popular Culture

‘Andor’ Episode 9 Recap: “Nobody’s Listening!”

Another episode means another day in prison for Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who’s still being held at the Imperial facility where he’s forced to work for basically an indefinite period of time against his will. With the Empire changing inmates’ sentences with no real rhyme or reason, Andor’s starting to become a bit more fearful as the days go on.

While outwardly, it might not appear as though any cracks are forming at the prison, if you look close enough, they’re just barely starting to appear. Even the smallest of cracks eventually give way to something much larger, and in this case, it looks like there might be a good ‘ole prison uprising in Andor’s future.

Where’s My Get Out of Jail Free Card?
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Having cemented his spot within the group of men he’s working with at the prison, Andor has also been picking up the slack of one of the older members of the squad, who’s been having a tough time physically. Upon noticing his struggles, Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) shortens his prison sentence, giving him just a few more shifts until he’s released. This proves true exactly what was said in the last episode about the Empire holding you hostage until they don’t need you any longer.

Unfortunately for the older man, those last shifts ended up doing him in, as he eventually suffered a stroke and passed away, leaving their team down a man, though more knowledgeable about the Empire in the process.

As Andor and Loy sat in as the medic—without much thought at all—injected the older man with something to put him out of his misery, the two saw up-close just how ruthless the Empire is and how they view everyone as easily replaceable machines.

On top of that, there was some other chatter going around the prison, namely that all of the inmates from unit two-five—which is around 100 men—were fried by the floor, apparently as a result of them “making trouble.”

Between these two events, it finally became obvious to Loy that something really wasn’t right at the prison, and though Andor had badgered him repeatedly to reveal the number of guards on each level to no avail, this time, Loy had a change of heart.

“Never more than 12,” Loy said.

Torture? Say No More
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Dedra Meero is a woman on a mission, and she won’t seem to give up until every stone is left unturned—or until every person with a functioning brain is absolutely fried via torture.

Listen, it was always fairly obvious that Meero was a tough cookie, but it wasn’t until this episode that we really got to see her absolute devotion to the Empire, though even more so, her devotion to being right.

Our girl, Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona), really has her feet held to the fire in this instance, as she’s being forced to choose between protecting Andor and being practically tortured to death. Meero doesn’t give her much time to dilly-dally as a massive metal helmet is promptly strapped to Caleen’s head. And with that, the process ensued.

After being tortured within an inch of her and finally giving Meero the information she needed, the Empire simply threw Caleen onto a nearby mattress and locked her away to suffer alone.

Mothma and Co.
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Mon Mothma has been battling opposition from practically all sides of her life, and as she continues to be talked over during yet another Senate speech, it’s more obvious than ever that others don’t share the same feelings as her.

At home, her daughter, Leida (Bronte Carmichael), is favoring her father once again, though this time it’s in reference to a new dress she recently received and whether or not her parents will approve of it.

“Your father may have an opinion—we’ll see if he lets you wear it,” Mothma says.

“He lets me do anything I want,” Leida says coldly, alluding to the fact that Mothma sucks the fun out of everything.

It turns out, though, that the dress was actually hand-delivered by Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay), who happens to be Mothma’s cousin. The two chat for a bit, though they quickly get to the real meat and potatoes and start diving into some details about the formation of the Rebel Alliance. However, Sartha fails to mention her involvement in the Aldhani mission, which shows that there isn’t total transparency between the two.

Mothma then asks Vel to stay out of the limelight for a bit and to stick to herself, as she’s both worried for her cousin’s safety and concerned if all of their efforts are worth it.

“We’re fighting against the dark,” Vel says. “We’re making something of our lives.”

Popular Culture

Everything We Know About ‘The Last of Us’ TV Series

A landmark production both in its expansive, year-long filming that took place in Canada and within the fact that it’s HBO’s first series based on a video game, The Last of Us is already crushing records—and it hasn’t even aired yet.

HBO Max dropped the first official teaser for the series on September 26, giving us just a little bit more of a glimpse into the show, which features Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in lead roles. With a ton of new information revealed, we’ve broken down the trailer and everything we’ve heard about the series so far.

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Everything New Revealed in ‘The Last of Us’ Trailer

The trailer kicks off with us tracking Joel (Pedro Pascal) as he walks around a dilapidated post-apocalyptic America. Back at his home, he stares at some text on his wall reading, “when you’re lost in the darkness,” which is written in blood.

We switch over to Ellie (Bella Ramsey), who has chains around her ankles, clearly being held in some sort of specific zone. We fast-forward a little further in the story as Joel is leading Ellie out of where she’s being held, the two forced to remain quiet out of fear of being caught.

Aloud, we hear someone speaking to Joel about Ellie: “This is your chance—our best shot. You keep her alive, and you set everything right. Save who you can save.”

As the trailer continues on, the action intensifies, as Joel’s able to break Ellie out, trekking across various areas in the U.S. together while attempting not to be located by those out to get him.

Who’s on ‘The Last of Us’ Cast?
Elisabetta A. Villa / Getty Images

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will be starring in the main roles of Joel and Ellie, respectively, two very different people who find themselves on the same journey together in the post-apocalyptic United States.

Alongside them will be Gabriel Luna, who’s taking on the role of Joel’s younger brother, Tommy, as well as Anna Torv, who’s portraying a local smuggler named Tess, and Merle Dandridge as Marlene, a leader of a resistance group named the Fireflies.

Melanie Lynskey, Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Nico Parker, Storm Reid, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodward, Graham Greene, and Elaine Miles have all been cast in supporting roles, as well.

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What Is ‘The Last of Us’ About?

Based on the video game of the same name, the new HBO Max series is set 20 years following the fall of modern civilization in the United States. One of the survivors, Joel (Pedro Pascal), is forced to travel across the country with Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl who is immune from the virus that has nearly caused the end of the human race.

The series is both written and produced by Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin.

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Where Was ‘The Last of Us’ Filmed?

The filming spanned over a year in Alberta, Canada, specifically in High River, Fort Macleod, Canmore, the Alberta Legislature Building, Mount Royal University, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Stampede Park, and Rice Howard Way.

In addition, filming took place at Waterton Lakes National Park, Okotoks, the Calgary Airport Trail, Kensington, Victoria Park, Calgary Courts Centre, and Olds.

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What’s the Release Date for ‘The Last of Us’?

The Last of Us series will premiere on January 15th, 2023. Similar to other HBO series like House of the Dragon, new episodes will drop weekly on HBO Max.

Popular Culture

‘The White Lotus’ Season 2: The Funniest Lines So Far

Warning: Spoilers for The White Lotus Season 2, Episode 1

What happens when you combine a woman who loves a good macaroon, two frenemy couples, and an 80-year-old man who dabbles in sexual harassment? Well, you get The White Lotus Season 2.

Even though the show is still currently setting the scene for its second season, there has been absolutely zero hesitation regarding the writing of the show. Okay, maybe the writers need to spread the love a little more when it comes to the characters aside from Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya McQuoid, but hey, I’m not complaining: I’ll listen to her babble on about fancy desserts and blind nuns any day.

Save for Coolidge and Jon Gries, we’ve got an entirely new cast for the season, with the latter two picking up with their Season 1 characters of Tanya and Greg Hunt. The only difference? The pair is married now.


And honestly, she deserves better—like, Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) better.

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Following the same structure as the first season, we’re following five different narratives, which consist of three groups of guests, the management staff, and those native to Sicily, Italy, which is where the hotel is located.

First up, we have Daphne (Meghann Fahy) and Cameron Sullivan (Theo James), who are vacationing with their friends, Harper and Ethan Spiller, though the Spillers (mostly Harper) have a dim view of the Sullivans.

As mentioned before, Tanya and Greg are attempting to spend a romantic vacation together, though Tanya brought her assistant, Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), along, and Greg is too distracted with work phone calls.

Three generations of Di Grassos are also staying at the hotel, which includes patriarch, Bert (F. Murray Abraham), his son, Dominic (Michael Imperioli), and his grandson, Albie (Adam DiMarco).

Behind the scenes at The White Lotus, Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) is running a tight ship, attempting to keep track of two local Sicilians, Mia (Beatrice Grannò) and Lucia (Simona Tabasco), who are running a bit of an independent business on the hotel’s premises.

So, without further ado, these are the funniest lines we’ve heard so far from The White Lotus Season 2. And yes, half of them are from Tanya.

Tanya McQuoid-Hunt (Jennifer Coolidge)

“I was told that the cheese here was made by a blind nun in a basement.”

“You’re gonna have to get lost.”

“What macaroons?”

“I was seeing all of these faces of men with these very effeminate hairstyles, and then I saw you and your eyes were like shark eyes.”

“I must’ve been dissociating.”

“I really did only eat three!”

Greg Hunt (Jon Gries)
Fabio Lovino / HBO

“You ate all the macaroons, didn’t you?”

“It’s hot out—I got swamp crotch.”

Daphne Sullivan (Meghann Fahy)

“Honestly, Cam and I don’t even watch the news anymore.”

“I love a good binge.”

Harper Spiller (Aubrey Plaza)
Francesca D’Angelo / HBO

“They don’t vote, Ethan.”

“Really? You guys don’t take sleeping pills?”

“Is that what happens when you’re rich for too long? Your brain just atrophies?”

Cameron Sullivan (Theo James)
Fabio Lovino / HBO

“Like, I’m just so over the whole news cycle, you know?”

The White Lotus Season 2 airs on HBO every Sunday at 9 p.m. EST.

Popular Culture

‘Wendell and Wild’ Review: Mild With a Side of Wild

For a film titled Wendell and Wild, the eponymous characters really take a back seat in this tale that’s actually about a 13-year-old girl forced to face her past through the ever-moving shadows on her wall.

The stop-motion animation itself—especially at the very beginning—provides a wow factor that immediately sucks you in. However, as the film chugs along, it fades a bit into the background, leaving us with a sometimes predictable plot and an adorable goat (more on that later).

Despite that, Henry Selick’s newest flick is still a solidly fun and spooky watch, though if you were expecting something a little deeper and more profound, you might need to fill that void elsewhere. But not everything has to be so profound, right? After all, what’s wrong with just having a good time?

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Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele voice the characters of Wendell and Wild, two demon brothers who reside in the nostril of their father, Buffalo Belzer (Ving Rhames), who also happens to be some sort of demon lord. They live a fairly monotonous life, venturing out to the top of their father’s head each day to install hair plugs to keep him looking fresh.

On the living side of things, we’re quickly introduced to Kat Elliot (Lyric Ross), whose traumatic past ultimately became responsible for her present, as she finds herself at a new Catholic school as part of a program that places children from juvenile detention into schools.

After being greeted by three new classmates who are seemingly perfect, along with their pet goat that actually is perfect, Kat feels like the odd one out, though later, she meets Raul (Sam Zelaya), another classmate, who eventually makes her feel slightly better about the arrangement.

Kat’s still haunted by the death of her parents, which she feels fully responsible for, as it was her scream in the back of her parents’ car that led them to crash into and off a bridge. Being the only survivor, she’s had to live with an intense guilt that’s turned into simmering anger over the years. To Kat, the only thing that could ever heal her would be if her parents were to miraculously rise from the dead—and it turns out that Wendell and Wild have a plan to make that happen.

Well, sort of.


While outwardly, the main plots of the film center around Wendell and Wild and Kat finessing a way to get what they really desire, through their journeys to reach those very things, they realize that all that glitters is not gold.

In that sense, Wendell and Wild is a bit of a lesson in learning how to cope and live with your “demons” instead of searching for a quick way to temporarily cure them. And while that message is nice and all, it’s also a little predictable given the events that go down in the film as Kat desperately tries to resurrect her parents from the dead.


Part of me wishes that the film had focused on the main plots of Kat and the duo of Wendell and Wild instead of throwing in sub-plots that didn’t add much aside from clogging up the two main stories that we were actually interested in.

Sure, it’s a shame that the town of Rust Bank is dilapidated and burnt down, but it just wasn’t necessary to get into the nitty gritty of that and how an ill-intentioned company wants to come in and overhaul the city. I mean, we’ve got dead skeletons coming out the wazoo—there are much larger problems in Rust Bank right now.

All in all, if you head into this film with extremely high expectations simply because of Coraline, you might be a little let down. But if you’re more of a newbie to the world of Henry Selick, Wendell and Wild is certainly a solid introduction to his repertoire of stop-motion films. The animation in this film is sometimes so clever that it hurts, from Wendell and Wild tunneling their way out of the underworld in the same vein as a tabletop maze to the perfect simplicity of the crackling, swaying radiator in Kat’s room.

Basically, if you’re in need of some spooky vibes, this film will definitely satiate that.

Wendell and Wild is currently streaming on Netflix.

Popular Culture

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: Who Is the Most Powerful Avenger of All Time?

What’s more powerful: a human rocket or a giant, green brick wall? The truth is, the answer to that question is actually pretty complicated.

Listen, the Avengers is practically a revolving door of the latest and greatest superheroes in the Marvel universe, which means that whittling down that list and arriving at the most powerful Avenger isn’t exactly the easiest of tasks to be given. Some people might go with the more obvious choices like Thor and Captain America, but there are always those who’ll trend towards someone a bit more off the beaten path. You know, like the almighty Squirrel Girl, who—yes—was a member of the Avengers at one point.

Despite the arguments that are bound to ensue, we’ve gathered up 20 of the strongest Marvel superheroes worthy of being crowned the most powerful Avenger of all time.

20. Star-Lord
Paco Medina / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Peter Quill

Notable Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Best Power: Superhuman durability

Aside from having a cool mask and dual blasters, what else can Star-Lord actually do? Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh: he was able to survive the energy of the Power Stone and is capable of surviving in space, but compared to the other Avengers on this list, he doesn’t quite stand up to their powers.

19. Valkyrie
Mahmud Asrar / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Brunnhilde

Notable Movies: Thor: Love and Thunder, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Superhuman strength

First off, Valkyrie rides a pegasus, so she automatically gets extra points for that slay. Aside from that, she holds many of the same powers that Thor does, though at a slightly lesser level; however, once she snatches up Zeus’ thunderbolt, her strength takes on an entirely new meaning.

18. Falcon
Jay Anacleto / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Sam Wilson

Notable Movies/TV Shows: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Master of flight

Falcon’s one of those superheroes who can constantly be depended on to swoop in at the last possible moment to save the day: in other words, he probably holds the record number of assists in all of Avengers history.

17. Winter Soldier
Rod Reis / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Bucky Barnes

Notable Movies/TV Shows: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Master assassin

Bucky Barnes might not actually have any superhuman abilities, but when it comes to heavy artillery and sheer force, the Winter Soldier’s got you covered. And being Captain America’s right-hand man, the two basically become unstoppable when fighting together.

While Bucky Barnes isn’t the most powerful Avenger of all time, he’s certainly the coolest.

16. Hawkeye
David Aja / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Clint Barton

Notable Movies/TV Shows: Hawkeye, The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Master archer

Like the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye also doesn’t possess any superhuman powers, but what he lacks in that department he more than makes up for in his archery abilities. A detail-oriented fighter with his senses always on high alert, Clint Barton is ready at a moment’s notice to take out whoever’s coming around the corner.

15. Wasp
Elsa Charretier, Adam Kubert / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Janet Van Dyne

Notable Movies: Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ant-Man, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Shrinking in size

Ant-Man’s partner in crime, Wasp, is just as ferocious as he is, though with slightly different capabilities. She can shrink down just like Ant-Man can, though being that her name is the Wasp, it only makes sense that she can fly and sting just like the insect.

14. Shang-Chi
Leinil Francis Yu / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Shang-Chi

Notable Movies: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Best Power: Master of the martial arts

Even without the power of the Ten Rings, Shang-Chi proves his strength in his outstanding martial art skills, though those rings definitely up the ante. He can use them in a variety of different ways, including as projectiles and transportation, while also giving him superhuman strength and stamina.

13. Black Widow
Adam Hughes / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Natasha Romanoff

Notable Movies: Black Widow, Iron Man 2, Captain America: Civil War, The Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Stealth/related spy skills

Ethan Hunt, watch out: you’ve got competition, and her name is Black Widow. Okay, her name is Natasha Romanoff, but that doesn’t have the same ring that Black Widow does. Basically, she’s got stealth running through her veins and can knock you out without even knowing you were knocked out.

12. War Machine
Clayton Crain / Marvel Comics

Real Name: James Rhodes

Notable Movies: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Energy blasts

While James Rhodes’ War Machine suit is very similar to that of Iron Man, we do have to remember that the man under the Iron Man suit has a genius-level intellect and has been at it for a bit longer than Rhodes has. But that’s not to dismiss War Machine, as he’s a major force to be reckoned with out on the field and in the sky.

11. Ant-Man
Bob Layton / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Scott Lang

Notable Movies: Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Shrinking/growing in size

People like to dismiss Ant-Man because they believe all he can do is shrink down to the size of an ant, but in reality, his abilities span much further than that. Scott Lang can also reverse that power and grow massively, making it easy for him to literally stomp out his enemies like he would an ant. Alright, maybe that wasn’t the best analogy.

10. Captain America
Carmen Carnero / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Steve Rogers

Notable Movies: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Superhuman strength

Okay, okay: don’t hate me for putting Captain America halfway down this list, but if we’re really here to rank the Avengers by sheer power and force, our good buddy, Steve Rogers, just doesn’t measure up to people like the Hulk, Captain Marvel, and Thor. He’s got a pretty cool shield, though.

9. Spider-Man
Mark Bagley / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Peter Parker

Notable Movies: Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Spider-senses

While Spider-Man might be one of the most beloved Avengers of all time, he’s not the absolute strongest of the bunch, though I’d have to say that being ranked at number nine of a practically endless amount of Avengers is pretty darn good.

8. Black Panther
Juann Cabal / Marvel Comics

Real Name: T’Challa

Notable Movies: Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Super-soldier powers

Not only is Black Panther himself expertly trained in combat, but after Shuri constructed him a Vibranium suit that harnessed kinetic energy, it made T’Challa practically unstoppable. And yes, that’s on top of already having the Super-soldier powers constantly coursing through his body.

7. Iron Man
Barry Windsor-Smith, Jim Starlin, George Tuska, P. Craig Russell / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Tony Stark

Notable Movies: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Genius intellect

Yeah, you put a human genius in a technologically-enhanced suit and see what happens.

While Captain America is technically the leader of the Avengers, everyone knows that Iron Man is the real brain in charge of the operation. His suit is extremely powerful, allowing him to fly at wild speeds and fire off massive energy blasts, but behind the scenes, Tony Stark is doing just as much work as Iron Man.

6. Vision
Steve Epting / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Vision

Notable Movies/TV Shows: WandaVision, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Civil War

Best Power: Superhuman intelligence/the Mind Stone

Given that Vision literally has the Mind Stone engrained in his head, it’s obvious why this Avenger is as powerful as he is. Though technically a robot, Vision is a gentle and kind being, more interested in the cause for peace than in using his powers willy-nilly.

5. Doctor Strange
Kevin Nowlan / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Stephen Strange

Notable Movies: Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Conjuring spells

A former surgeon who can cast spells? Yeah, this Stephen Strange dude is really playing God over here.

Doctor Strange has a multitude of different abilities, which all center around him being a sorcerer of the mystic arts, including astral projection, telepathy, teleportation, time manipulation, creating shields, conjuring objects, and sending off energy blasts. And if that wasn’t enough, he also can’t be killed, which easily puts him in the running for being the most powerful Avenger.

4. Hulk
Declan Shalvey / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Bruce Banner

Notable Movies/TV Shows: She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: Civil War, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Superhuman strength

Just look at him.

3. Thor
Ron Lim , Israel Silva / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Thor Odinson

Notable Movies: Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, Thor: Love and Thunder, Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: God-like strength

Whether it be fighting alongside Mjölnir or Stormbreaker, Thor’s strength is indisputable, though it’s his gentle heart that creates the perfect balance of a superhero. Oh, and he’s the God of Thunder, so there’s that.

2. Captain Marvel
Juan Frigeri / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Carol Danvers

Notable Movies: Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Cosmic physiology

Listen, if it weren’t for the following contender, Carol Danvers would 100% be the most powerful Avenger of all time—she’s a freaking human rocket, for God’s sake. I know some people like to argue that Avengers like Thor or the Hulk should be placed above her when it comes to power rankings, but can either of those characters tear down from space to Earth at the speed of light and shoot out energy blasts at an entire field of foes?

Yeah, exactly.

1. The Scarlet Witch
Siya Oum / Marvel Comics

Real Name: Wanda Maximoff

Notable Movies/TV Shows: WandaVision, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame

Best Power: Energy manipulation

Yes, the Scarlet Witch is the most powerful Avenger of all time.

Even aside from the absolutely monstrous display of power that she showed in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Wanda Maximoff was always a major force to be reckoned with in the Marvel universe. Her powers are completely unmatched, as she’s able to use telekinesis, manipulate energy, and pop in and out of people’s consciousness while reading their minds at the same time.

Popular Culture

‘Andor’ Episode 8 Recap: “Narkina 5”

Forget Locked Up Abroad—how about Locked Up In Space?

With Cassian Andor en route to some sort of horrific Imperial prison after being charged with appearing to be associated with the Rebellion, he really doesn’t know what he’s getting into. Having been able to fly under the radar and dodge consequences in the past, he’s in for a bit of surprise when he realizes just what his six-year imprisonment will entail.

They Have Sneakers in Space?
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Following Andor’s sentencing, he’s immediately led around like some sort of lost horse through the depths of the Empire prison system, which ultimately spits him out onto a ship that brings him and a few others to a base named Narkina 5.

Upon landing, the group is met by some Imperial higher-ups donning massive, colorful sneakers reminiscent of Reebok pumps. Instead of regular incarceration, the group will be performing various tasks for the Empire, which, if done efficiently, won’t result in them being mass-electrocuted. Though upon receiving that information, the group is electrocuted via some sort of implanted chip as a glimpse of what’s to come, which sends the group seizing onto the ground.

Andor is then brought into some sort of basement holding area where he’s met by his new boss, Kino Loy (Andy Serkis), as well as the entire group on Floor 5 that he’ll be working with. After being assigned to Table 5, Andor just stares blankly at the complicated-looking tasks that he’ll be getting into, which resembles a classic assembly line.

After their shift, the groups head to their respective cells, and though there are no doors on each cell, the floor outside basically becomes an electric death trap overnight. In essence, one step out of that cell and you’re dead, which is why Loy advises against sleepwalking.

Though Andor slowly gets into the groove of things (improving his working speed, getting used to the food, etc.) and starts to feel a little bit more comfortable, there are always days when he’s reminded me of how dire the situation he’s in actually is. You know, like when one inmate decides to end it all by stepping onto the main floor outside of their cells simply because he can’t take it any longer.

With no end to his term in sight as prison sentences are currently being doubled and tripled, at some point, Andor’s got to figure out how to get out of this hellscape. After all, one of his prison mates did warn him never to look at the amount of time he has left in his imprisonment.

“Double, triple—it doesn’t matter,” his prison mate says. “You’re here ’til they don’t want you. Understand?”

The Empire Is Angry
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Basically, Dedra Meero’s (Denise Gough) facial expression is always indicative of what state the Empire is currently in, and given that her expression is usually that of grave anger and annoyance, it’s safe to say that the Empire isn’t too pleased with how things are playing out right now.

Because of that, they’ve decided to crank things up a notch, which means doubling everyone’s prison sentence, including Andor’s.

Meero is still hot on the trail for the person who stole the Imperial Starpath unit, and though she won’t admit that she’s obsessed with the case, her summoning of Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) says differently.

Though she berates and questions him for his obsession with locating Andor as he has submitted multiple requests about the investigation, Meero seems to be secretly gathering up all this data for her own gain in the long run.

After a long-winded conversation with Karn, Meero eventually heads off to Ferrix to question other local residents with knowledge of Andor, basically kidnapping the townspeople from their own homes without a warrant.

Finally, Meero gets to one of Andor’s closest friends, a woman whom we haven’t heard from in quite a bit of time: Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona). However, the episode ends before we’re able to hear their conversation.

Mon Mothma: Senator and Serial Party-Thrower
Lucasfilm Ltd.

If we’re being honest, Mon Mothma’s (Genevieve O’Reilly) main arc for this entire series has just been her throwing lavish parties at her home and exchanging angry looks at her husband. Okay, okay, maybe she’s also secretly plotting the Rebellion, but it’s all under the guise of being a serial party planner.

The Real Housewives of Coruscant, anyone?

Anyway, her old buddy, Tay Kolma (Ben Miles), is back for this bash, which her husband doesn’t seem too pleased about. She lets him in on the secret that she has 400,000 credits just sitting around from the mission, but before they can talk about it further, her husband butts in once again and cuts them off.

We finally get to see a bit more of what our old buddy, Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), has been up to while Andor was away on his mission, which, outwardly, has consisted of fake-selling historical artifacts to Mothma. Internally, though, Rael has been attempting to figure out what his next move is with the Rebellion, and as he can’t seem to locate Andor, he reaches out to a familiar face from Rogue One: Saw Gerrera (Forest Whittaker).

Rael meets up with Gerrera and gives him a mission: to meet Anto Kreegyr, a man who has been “probing the Imperial power station at Spellhaus,” which ultimately resulted in him finding a weakness in their defenses. Given this, he wants Gerrera to work alongside Kreegyr and make more headway in that Rebel cause.

As Gerrera isn’t too happy about the arrangement, he turns Luthen down, even with the reward of some pretty helpful spare parts on the line. Despite that, I’m betting that Gerrera will have a change of heart down the line.