By Joshua Vaughan
It is pretty apparent that Star Wars may just be the most iconic film series of all time; from its generation-defining original trilogy to Lucasfilm’s groundbreaking work in sound editing and special effects (not to mention Hayden Christensen’s bratty acting) of the prequel series, the legendary saga is renowned the world over. So, while the world prepares for the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, let’s look at the best moments from the legendary saga so far…
10: Yoda’s Passing – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
“There is another Skywalker”. Those famous last words signified the passing of Master Yoda, but highlighted the fact that there is indeed a “new hope” for the galaxy. With Luke’s Jedi training incomplete, and as Yoda becomes one with the Force, this moment signifies the importance of family, which may just have been the pivotal key influencing Luke’s decision to salvage the “good” in his father.
9: That Is Why You Fail – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Once again, Yoda keeps it real by handing Luke some constructive (?) criticism. After his inability to lift the X-Wing from the bottom of the Dagobah swamp, we learn that blowing up the Death Star just isn’t enough to become a Jedi. Sure, you may have saved billions of rebel lives, but you still can’t challenge Yoda on what he’s lifting nowadays.
8: Mos Eisley Cantina – Episode IV: A New Hope
So many memories in this one. That ever-present alien band (known by nerds as Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes), Ben Kenobi slicing off a drunken Aqualish’s hand, and Han shooting Greedo first, all but make this bar a character of its own. Plus, meeting Chewbacca and Han Solo for the first time is always a bonus. (Also Han, a “parsec” is a measurement of distance, not time).
7: The Sarlacc Pit – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Living within the Great Pit of Carkoon lays the Sarlacc, the creature which settled a great deal of fates within the Star Wars franchise. While Han, Chewbacca and Luke fight off several Gamorrean Guards, Leia strangles Jabba the Hutt to death with his own chain, as Boba Fett is eaten by the monster itself. Whether he’s dead or not remains to be seen…
6: Trash Compactor – Episode IV: A New Hope
“Shut down all the garbage mashers on the Detention Level!” Should Luke have never screamed this down the communicator to C-3PO, the Skywalker family (minus their psychotic father) would all but be dead (and a lot thinner), and along with that, the fate of the galaxy would be sealed. A memorable scene indeed, along with a cameo appearance from that weird alien thing called a “dianoga” (per the Internet).
5: Death Star 1.0 Explosion – Episode IV: A New Hope
Long story short, Han and Chewy save the day, returning in the Millennium Falcon to shoot Vader’s TIE/x1 attack ship, giving Luke enough time to blow up the Empire’s ultimate weapon, with a little help from the Force. A spectacle to behold, this scene just makes you wonder how you would begin to build a moon-sized space station in complete secrecy.
4: The Duel on Mustafar & The Vader Reveal – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The only selection from the prequels on this list also features two iconic scenes – Anakin and Obi-Wan squaring off on the lava planet of Mustafar, and Darth Vader’s first few moments in the iconic suit. As the master takes on the pupil, and the suit slowly rises in the fog, these epic moments (in true prequel fashion) are spoiled by a whiny “You underestimate my power” from Christensen and an equally melodramatic cry from James Earl Jones.
3: Battle on Hoth – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Quite fittingly, the Beta map on the newly released Star Wars Battlefront videogame is based on Empire’s climactic opening battle on the ice planet on Hoth. The Battle of Helm’s Deep in the Star Wars franchise, we see Vader storming the rebel base, the AT-ATs rampaging and Luke swinging his lightsaber like it’s nobody’s business. A classic scene.
2: I Am Your Father – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Nothing says fatherhood quite like cutting your son’s hand off. Luke learns who his true daddy is the hard way, in a moment which almost eclipses the Star Wars franchise as a whole. Although often misquoted as “Luke, I am your father”, this moment was good enough to give Empire Magazine a name and a purpose.
1: Binary Sunset – Episode IV: A New Hope
An underrated scene which captures, in an albeit fleeting glimpse, the attraction and nostalgia we all get when it comes to the majesty of Lucas’ Star Wars original trilogy. As Luke gazes into vastness of space, making a promise to leave his homeland of Tatooine, with John William’s tear-jerking score ramping up in the background, cinemagoers were hooked from the get-go.