It's a Guy Thing

The Greatest Star Wars Moments Ever

With the highly anticipated Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker coming out this month, bringing an end to the modern trilogy, it’s the perfect time to go back to the previous films and look at some of the most jaw-dropping moments from the biggest movie franchise in the world.

Clones for Days (Episode II: Attack of the Clones)

For many, the George Lucas inspired sequels still leave a bad taste in their mouths, but there is no question the prequels did have some epic moments and none more epic than the Kamino scene where Obi-Wan visits the remote rain-soaked world of Kamino, where long-necked aliens craft the foot soldiers of the Empire’s genesis amid placid environments so sterile it might as well be a hospital. Of course, Obi-Wan’s intense battle against flying bounty hunter Jango Fett and his son Boba is a massive highlight for any Star Wars Fan.

Speedracer (Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)

One of the most iconic scenes from the original finale was the tense and jaw-dropping speeder scene from Jedi. Luke and Leia’s pursuit of Imperial scout troopers aboard hoverbikes hurtling through Endor’s titanic trees at suicidal speeds is one of the greatest chase sequences, not just in the Star Wars Universe but in any action movie. Of course, it’s not just the visuals that made this scene so memorable, ask any Star Wars fan about this scene and they will recreate the epic sound of the speeder bikes whizzing past.

I Walk This Lonely Road (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

Who will ever forget the epic scene when the guardian of the Jedi temple at Jedha turned blind while Rebel warrior Chirrut Imwe chanted his, now epic, mantra as he walked out of his battlefield shelter to defy the incoming fire of Imperial troopers to throw the switch that enabled the plans for the Death Star to be beamed to the Rebel fleet. Rogue One might be a divisive Star Wars entry but that specific scene captured the hearts of every fan in the cinema and will go down as one of the most epic moments in Star Wars lore. I am one with the Force and the Force is with me.

Bikini’s, Barges and Big Boys (Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)

One of the most lasting memories, especially for younger men when watching Return of the Jedi was, of course, the bathing suit slave outfit Princess Leia wore when she was the captive of the evil slimeball that is Jabba the Hut. But that’s not the epic moment we are talking about. That is reserved when the no-nonsense princess escaped her shackles and choked the dangerous galaxy mob boss with his own chains. It was not only a cathartic moment for Leia but also for the audience seeing Jabba getting what he deserves. It was an epic moment in the early ’80s and even more so now, 30 years later.

Dark Lord Emo (Episode VII: The Force Awakens)

The new big bad wolf in the latest trilogy is Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, a wannabe Darth Vader and son to Han and Leia. He wears an intimidating mask and has his voice processed to make him sound more evil than he actually is, a lot like his hero Vader. The difference is though he is a spoilt little brat that hasn’t quite mastered his force powers yet. So when he discovered Finn and BB-8 had escaped from his grasp in the sands of Jakku, Ren’s lightsabre-swinging freak-out highlighted his petulant rage even further. It was the perfect way to highlight a young man at odds with his choices in life and sets up an imperfect yet fascinating villain.

Great Plan, Princess (Episode IV: A New Hope)

After Solo, Skywalker, and Chewbacca liberate Leia Organa from captivity on the first Death Star, they quickly discover they haven’t quite thought it through properly. The recently freed Leia improvises and blasts a hole into a garbage disposal chute. What seemed like a good idea at the time quickly backfires as they discover they landed in an area that is not only about to crush them, but a creepy alien garbage monster is lurking deep underneath the sewage water. The interaction between an angry Han and irritated Leia is the icing on top of the garbage cake.

Old Pals Playing Rough (Episode IV: A New Hope) 

They say you’ll always remember your first and it’s no different in Star Wars. The first lightsabre showdown between former master and apprentice was at the time a tense showdown. Obi-Wan and Vader came face to face for the first time since Obi-Wan defeated a dark side Anakin. Although the fight itself is not the grand spectacle that recent lightsabre duals have become, it’s loaded with tension as the two former friends push each other to the limits to see who will break first. 

Kill ‘Em All, Especially The Children (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith)

Revenge of the Sith is without a doubt one of the darkest chapters in Star Wars history and highlighted why Vader is so revered and feared across the galaxy. With Palpatine pulling the strings from the political shadows, Order 66 was mentioned throughout the movie but never explained. Until the order was executed and shocked fans across the globe. Three murmured words from the Emperor is all it takes for the heretofore obedient Clone Troopers to turn on their Jedi generals and gun them down in cold blood.

Podspeedracer (Episode I: The Phantom Menace)

Let’s be honest here, The Phantom Menace was not a good movie and it was an even worse Star Wars movie. It was boring, lifeless and went against many of the lore that was initially set up in the original trilogy. However, it wasn’t all bad though as the pod racing scene was a much-needed injection of excitement in an otherwise dull film. Much like the earlier mentioned speeder bike chase from Jedi, the pod racing scenes offered break-neck speeds and phenomenal sound effects to elevate a scene many might not have initially cared about.

A Man and his Monster (Episode VI: Return of the Jedi)

An overconfident Luke Skywalker strolls into Jabba’s palace full of piss and vinegar, carefully explaining to Jabba that he will not leave until he has his friends returned to him. Of course, Jabba wasn’t the negotiating type and had a trick up his dirty slimy sleeve. The oldest trick in the villain handbook, the secret trapdoor, was sprung on Luke. Skywalker went from overconfident Jedi to scrambling for his life as he came face to face with one of the most recognizable monsters in Star Wars, the Rancor. Not only was this a surprise for our hero, but even audiences did not see that coming. Well played Jabba, well played.

Vader Lays Down the Law (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

Rogue One was a prequel to A New Hope, it set the scene on how the Rebels got their hands on the Death Star plans that allowed Luke to blow it to kingdom come in Episode IV. Everything was going quite well for our heroes as Rebel spies. Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor made their way out of the giant structure after successfully uploading the plans to the Rebel base. However, a familiar heavy breathing sound came out of nowhere and a deadly red lightsabre appeared. Vader was here and he was not a happy chappie. His onslaught sets off a chain reaction of events that, in the end, leads to the Empire’s demise. It’s a vulgar display of power and an unwitting demonstration of hubris, all in one fell lightsabre swoop.

Word Wise I Have (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

Yoda was a weirdo, no doubt about it. One never quite knew if he was a small little madman or a wise old Jedi. Probably both but damn he did give some amazingly quotable advice. When he orders Luke to lift his sunken X-Wing spaceship from the waters of the swamp where it crash-landed, rejecting the young man’s complaints with eight words that cut through the self-doubt and self-pity to show the stakes in stark relief. Do, or do not. There is no try. Since then those words have been used in every single comedy routine, meme and annoying motivational Facebook post ever.

New Pals Playing Rough (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith)

We mentioned their second and last meeting earlier, but it was the ultimate showdown between master and apprentice. The moment every single Star Wars fan was waiting for, for years. And although the prequels didn’t handle the turn to the dark side as much as many hoped for, it was still an epic showdown between Obi-Wan and Anakin. You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you. It’s fitting that Obi-Wan Kenobi’s defeat of his childish student turned mass-murdering Sith Lord ends in a declaration of such touchingly childlike simplicity. It was an emotional moment, seeing Obi-Wan desperately trying not to fight his former apprentice and doing everything in his power to save his friend and brother.

3-Way (The Golden Rule) (Episode I: The Phantom Menace)

The second and last exciting moment from the first prequel was the fantastically tense showdown between Darth Maul, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, and young padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi. It was a clash of three unique styles, from the calm and focus of Qui-Gon to the brash and youthful anger of Obi-Wan challenging the aggressive dual-bladed Seth lord. The unusual setting, involving a series of elevated platforms and timed forcefields, adds a palpable sense of drama, in which every move’s consequences are clear and concise. And of course, the music, O Fortuna, is the perfect backdrop to one of the most intense battles.

Now Is Not The Time (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

After being betrayed by long-time friend Lando Calrissian, Han Solo and the gang are led into a trap while hiding from the Empire on Cloud City. With Vader and Boba Fett waiting for the trio, Solo, Chewie, and Leia are left helpless in the hands of the dark lord. Vader decides to try freezing Solo in carbonite as a dry run for what he plans for Luke Skywalker, and Han’s friends are forced to watch. It’s too much for Leia, who finally tells him how she really feels “I love you.” His response, “I know.” It was a dramatic revelation that just added to the drama of the last few minutes of The Empire Strikes Back. Who needs happy endings when you have Empire?

Daddy Issues (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

Right now the massive twist in Empire is so overused and part of popular culture that one actually forgets at the time this was a massive plot twist no one saw coming. George Lucas and his team kept the big “I am your father” reveal securely under the lid that it was a complete surprise to the cast themselves. Now imagine sitting in the cinema at the time, blissfully unaware what Vader was about to reveal. When Vader eventually does reveal the truth, the reaction of pure anguish and denial on Luke’s face would even move the coldest of hearts. It’s become a parody in itself these days but at the time with no internet to ruin everything, this was one of the biggest surprises ever in cinema.

That’s No Planet (Episode IV: A New Hope)

When the Death Star was first revealed to the crew of the Millennium Falcon, it gets mistaken for a planet. Only to discover to their horror that it wasn’t a planet but a planet-killing moon base run by the Empire. How would the lowly and understaffed Rebel forces even attempt to destroy such a massive threat? Easy actually, thanks to stolen Death Star plans (big thumbs up to Jyn and Cassian), a little bit of luck and a whole lot of force. As Luke makes his way down the trench, avoiding tie fighters he comes up against Darth Vader himself who is in hot pursuit, but thanks to new buddy Han who knocks the Sith lord off his perch, Luke is able to focus on the force and makes sure to get that one in a million shot.