I haven’t done a “May the 4th Be With You” post in a few years. That’s disappointing. To rectify this, I’m presenting my top 10 Star Wars movie moments in honor of this year’s Star Wars day. It’s important to note that my list won’t include anything from Episode VII: The Force Awakens. There’s two reasons for this: 1) It’s really recent and 2) There’s nothing truly memorable about it (in my opinion…maybe with more time that will change). Without further ado, here’s my top 10!
10. The Geonosian Arena (Petranaki Arena): Episode II
While some readers may question including prequel material in this list, they did contain some memorable moments. The Geonosian Arena scene is one of those moments. This scene really showed the height of the Jedi Order pre-Empire. It was truly a spectacle to see hundreds of Jedi and their lightsabers on screen at the same time. Viewers also got a sense of the impeding war that would follow. Unfortunately, this scene also contains the unspectacular death of Jango Fett. Why did both Fetts get such bad death scenes?
9. The Sarlacc Pit: Episode VI
A great scene that captures the entire main cast together. When you think about it, how often do you see Luke and company adventuring together? There are many moments where the cast members are separated and doing their own thing. It’s nice to see all of them facing a trial together. The musical score is great, there’s plenty of action, and Slave Leia gets to strangle Jabba the Hutt. Han also gets a funny moment, although at the expense of Boba Fett. Dammit Lucas.
8. The Death Star Assault: Episode IV
Few people will argue against the greatness of this scene. Space dogfighting. Porkins. A nail biting trench run. Han saving Luke. Luke using the force to save the day at the last second. Everything you need.
7. The Battle of Endor (Space Part): Episode VI
If you thought the first Death Star assault was good, this one is even better in my opinion. Both the special effects and dog fighting were superior in this battle. Lando gets his moment to shine as well. While the first Death Star battle had a sense of urgency, it wasn’t felt as strongly compared to this one. After all, you see the Death Star routinely blowing up Rebel ships. Last but not least, this battle gifted us one of the greatest lines in cinema history: “It’s a trap!”
6. Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Jango Fett: Episode II
This one is a bit personal. Despite both Fetts receiving pitiful deaths, at least Lucas had the courtesy of giving Jango an awesome fight scene to show how cool a Mandalorian bounty hunter could be.
5. Mos Eisley Cantina (Han Shot First): Episode IV
The first time viewers were treated to the diverse array of alien species in the Star Wars universe, as well as the first time viewers saw a lightsaber in action. Additionally, the Cantina Theme is one of the recognized pieces of Star Wars music. And Han shot first. Need I say more?
4. Darth Maul vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn: Episode I
Another prequel moment. Yet this one is truly special because audiences witnessed just how intense a lightsaber duel could be. The duel was accompanied by the second greatest piece of music to come from the Star Wars franchise, “Duel of the Fates.” And while Darth Maul was underutilized in the film, he blew fanboys away when he first drew his double sided lightsaber.
3. I Am Your Father: Episode V
Need I say more?
2. “For My Ally is the Force” (Yoda and the X-Wing): Episode V
This scene captures the magic of Star Wars so well. We see the power of the Force and the wisdom of Yoda. I think my father, who saw Episode V in theaters, summed it up best: “I was in utter amazement.”
1. Luke vs. Darth Vader (Second Fight): Episode VI
An extremely emotional scene. Luke truly does not want to fight his father. Only after Vader invokes Leia’s name does Luke release his restraints. However, he does not let his rage consume him. He succeeded where his father failed. And finally, after watching the Emperor torture his son, Vader redeems himself. Despite not speaking and wearing a helmet, the audience can truly feel the anguish Vader feels watching his son die. That’s why it’s such a powerful scene. Unfortunately, Lucas ruined it by having Vader scream “NOOOO!” in the re-release. Thankfully, the original scene is still viewable. Thank God.
So there you have it. My top 10. There were a few moments that didn’t quite make it, such as the Speeder Bike chase from Episode VI or some Darth Vader scenes (“I find your lack of faith disturbing” and “You have failed me for the last time”), but I’m quite happy with the ones I chose. Do you agree? Disagree? Feel free to let me know. Until then, may the Force be with you.
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