Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

We remember the most exciting, cool and downright iconic moments of one of the greatest ever sci-fi series…

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Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments10. VICTORY AT LAST

Episode VI
Director: Richard Marquand
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

The fall of the Empire and redemption of Anakin Skywalker is what all six movies have been building up to and the conclusion is a defining moment in the saga. Vader defeats his demons by saving Luke and destroying the Emperor, Lando makes up for his misgivings by leading the Rebel aerial attack, while Han and his lady team up with some fairly annoying furry midgets to get the job done on the ground. It all ends with a big group hug, Luke didn’t sleep with his sister, Anakin is now a ghost and C-3PO is the Ewok god – the circle is complete.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments9. ORDER 66

Episode III
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman

The moment when every single Jedi becomes an enemy of the Republic – you knew it was coming but nothing can quite prepare us for the carnage that follows and the sheer amount of death and destruction that is reaped by the newly dubbed ‘Darth Vader’. The Star Wars movies are often at their best when the Empire has the upper hand and here it is in complete control. Younglings are slaughtered, Wookiees executed and even powerful Jedi Master Yoda falls at the hands of Emperor Palpatine. A dark day for the Jedi but this only serves to make the inevitable Rebel comeback all the sweeter.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments8. THE RANCOR

Episode VI
Director: Richard Marquand
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

In a botched attempt to free Han, Luke ends up squaring off against the mound of muscle that lurks beneath Jabba’s throne room. Luke faced some serious challenges in his journey thus far but defeating such an ominous foe so early on in the movie proved that he was more than ready for what lay ahead. Crushing the Rancor’s skull under the weight of its own retaining gate was a nice touch and sent the depraved audience into frenzy – still you’ve got to feel sorry for that poor Rancor Keeper. Don’t cry big guy you can always look after Salacious Crumb.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments7.  DARTH MAUL VERSUS THE JEDI

Episode I
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Ray Park

After watching The Phantom Menace for the very first time, many fans thought that it had no redeemable qualities. But for all the Jar Jar Binks and Pod Races, George Lucas did at least deliver not only one of Star Wars’ coolest ever characters in Darth Maul, but then placed him in one of the most exciting showdowns of the entire saga. Darth Maul disposes of Qui-Gon Jinn as if he were nothing at all, only to go out like a complete punk to Obi-Wan Kenobi, ending up exactly like his Lightsaber – in two separate halves.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments6. BATTLE OF HOTH

Episode V
Director: Irvin Kershner
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Though Star Wars showcases some spectacular space battles, the franchise’s best combat sequence has got to be the one that plays out on the ice planet. With the Rebels of Echo Base believing they are safe from the steely grip of the Empire, guess who shows up to spoil the party? But it seems gigantic AT-ATs and the Imperial Death Squadron are no match for a length of rope, as Luke Skywalker figures out how to topple the mechanical dogs of wars and allows his cronies to escape with their lives, just.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments5. VADER’S INTRODUCTION

Episode IV
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Mark Hamill, David Prowse, Hayden Christensen

This might be considered cheating but Palpatine’s apprentice gets two introductions – the second being in Episode III – and they’re both good for different reasons. The first (or second depending on what order you watch the movies) comes in ROTS when we see Vader being assembled and see him rise for the first time, his humanity gone and a monster born – how unfortunate, then, that it has to be spoilt by the Simpsons-esque “Noooooooooooooo!” that follows. His next introduction is his finest: Vader, now a seasoned Sith, boards Leia Organa’s ship, ravaging everything and everyone in his path – now that’s badass.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments4. HAN SHOOTS FIRST

Episode IV
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Despite George Lucas’s best efforts to try and ruin one of Star Wars’ best scenes by having Greedo fire the first shot, every Star Wars fan will know that Solo doesn’t need an invitation to smoke this Kermit wannabe if it means getting him out of sticky situation, and this acts as the perfect introduction to Star Wars’ most charismatic mercenary. This one act helps to establish Han’s character more than any galactic dogfight ever could. The scene also gives us our first glimpse of Mos Eisley, which is filled with some of the most intriguing creatures in the entire saga. Want to stay out of trouble? Then steer clear of the cantina.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments3. THE TRENCH RUN

Episode IV
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

A lesson for us all: don’t rely on technology to get the job done when the Force is much stronger. This is the moment Luke begins to master his Force powers and just in time to take the shot that destroys the Death Star and sticks a rather large thorn in the side of the Empire. Many still laugh at the fact that the most powerful space station ever created could be destroyed with a single shot, but surely it’s funnier to watch Darth Vader bouncing around like a charged power ball when coming under fire from the Falcon. Those Imperial engineers have a lot to answer for.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments2. HAN’S CAPTURE

Episode V
Director: Irvin Kershner
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

This isn’t high on the list because Han gets captured (indeed, it’s in spite of that), and nor is it so admired because Boba Fett actually gets involved. No, there is one reason and one reason only that  this scene from Empire Strikes Back features so prominently – Harrison Ford. When Leia proclaims her love for Han, the actor improvises a line so perfectly befitting his character it’s a wonder it wasn’t in the script to begin with. One of the coolest moments in sci-fi cinema.

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments

Ten Of The Best… Star Wars moments1. “I AM YOUR FATHER”

Episode V
Director: Irvin Kershner
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

This one line turned the entire Star Wars saga on its head and was one of the best twists in sci-fi history. Spoken strategically by the dark lord of the Sith in an attempt to recruit Luke to the dark side, Hamill puts in an emotional performance worthy of an Olivier. Well, kind of. First daddy cuts your hand off and then tries to turn you into the maniacal dictator of the entire galaxy – Vader sure has a lot to learn about parenting. Nevertheless these five words help shape events leading into the final act and set Darth Vader on the path to eventual redemption, fulfilling the prophecy and bringing balance to the Force.

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