10. The Call to Adventure- When we first meet Luke Skywalker at the beginning of “A New Hope,” he is a nobody. He is a dreamer who stands alone in the universe, wishing to step out into the unknown world. And when Luke stares off into that binary sunset, the audience relates to him more than ever, as he searches to find his place in the vast galaxy.
9. A Not So Good Feeling- The Garbage dump scene strands our heroes, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia into a compactor of waste. With nowhere to run, our heroes gain a sense of dread, before Han Solo delivers one of the most iconic lines in the “Star Wars” universe. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this!” This line was one of many that shaped the “Star Wars” lingo which many fans still drool over today.
8. A Re-match made in Heaven- Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi have had some bad blood in the past, and these two relics must duke it out in one last duel. But what’s more shocking is when Obi-Wan lets Darth Vader kill him. At the time it was a shocking moment but it plays an important part in the “Star Wars” universe, as Obi-Wan’s ghost appears to Luke throughout the series, which marks another step on the Hero’s Journey.
7. Yoda’s Words of Widsom- Luke seeks out the oldest living Jedi, master Yoda on Degobah. Luke is surprised at how small of a Jedi Yoda is, but is amazed at how strong he is with the Force. Yoda teaches Luke everything he needs to know and says it best when he lifts an entire ship out of the murky swamp. He says, “You must unlearn what you have learned,” and the more famous “Do, or do not, there is no try.”
6. The Death Star Run- At the end of “A New Hope,” our heroes embark on a great crusade to destroy the super weapon The Death Star. The battle that ensues reminds audiences of the World War II battle sequences when the Allies fought the Axis powers at be, in the trenches of Normandy. And the best part about the scene is when Han Solo flies in to save the day, helping Luke deliver the final blow.
5. A Minefield of Asteroids- In “The Empire Strikes Back,” Han Solo and company are being chased down by an Imperial fleet. They must get out of dodge as quickly as possible so they navigate through an asteroid field which is madness. They find an open crater and hide their ship in it, and before long they realize that they are about to become space food. This isn’t Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” but it comes pretty close.
4. Han Shot First- In the original Star Wars film from 1977, there is a sequence that takes place in the Mos Eisley Cantina. The character Greedo is looking for Han Solo, to bring him in for a bounty. Han feeling threatened shoots Greedo down in cold blood before meeting up with Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi. But what makes this one of the most controversial scenes in film history, is that George Lucas changed the scene showing that Greedo shot first because he thought it was morally wrong for children to see. Fans are still up in arms over this change and in my eyes, Han always shot first.
3. Palpatine’s End- What makes this scene powerful is the Frankenstein moment. Palpatine creates a monster in Darth Vader who controls and manipulates him throughout the series. And when Vader decides to kill his master, it brings Mary Shelley’s monster myth to life, as the creation kills his creator. It’s also surprising because it shows that Vader has turned back to the good side, as Luke has now redeemed him.
2. An Unscripted Romance- Before Han Solo is frozen in carbonite, he shares a passionate kiss with Princess Leia, in which he delivers the most signature line in the “Star Wars” series. The “I know” line was completely improvised by actor Harrison Ford and makes film nerds hearts throb every time that John Williams score plays in the background.
1. The Reveal- The confrontation between Luke and Vader is one of the most iconic scenes in cinema. Vader and Luke engage in an epic showdown for the first time; Sith vs Jedi. And while Vader appears stronger and more skilled, Luke’s vengeance drives his skills forward as the two clash on the bridge. Luke is beaten by Vader and what follows is the most shocking moment in film history. The reveal of Luke’s father was a jaw-dropping moment in 1980, and forever changed the series in this regard.
So there you have it, the top 10 greatest moments in “Star Wars.” Do you agree with this list? Which moments did we forget? Leave a comment and let us know. For more mischief, mayhem and movies keep it real at filmschoolhooligans.com. And, May the Force Be With You, Always!