A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away… May the 4th unofficially is known as Star Wars day (actually official in L.A.) and to celebrate this day for one of the most iconic franchises in the world, I shall list my Top 6 Star Wars moments. It won’t be one from each film as I’ve just gone for my general favourite moments from the franchise. So let’s not beat around Beggar’s Canyon, here are my Top 6 Star Wars moments:
6. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith- Battle of Heroes; Anakin Skywalker Vs. Obi Wan Kenobi-
Say what you want about Episode III, it is by far the strongest of the prequels and takes the franchise into darker areas that had been promised from the prequels. And it does have it’s really great moments. This is one of them. Anakin has now turned to the dark side (boo) and Obi Wan has come for a final showdown to put a stop to Anakin (who at this point has been given the Darth Vader title) and the Emperor’s plans to take over the Galaxy. The location is the Volcano planet of Mustafar, and it isn’t going to end well, particularly for young Skywalker. Hayden Christensen’s cringe-worthy acting aside, this is an example of the prequels very well choreographed lightsaber battles that are incredibly inventive and exciting, with a stirring score by the great John Williams. And Obi Wan’s speech at the end always gets me! Check out the saber clashing below… that sounds a bit wrong:
5. Star Wars Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back- Han frozen in Carbonite
Never trust Lando Calrissian. Especially when he seems to be the only Black guy in the galaxy (Original trilogy anyway). Because he’ll end up turning you into the Empire, nicking your spaceship and wearing your clothes at the end of the movie. That aside, being frozen in carbonite really takes the biscuit. Especially after you’ve finally gotten the Princess to like you after some heated flirting. Well, that’s just the case for the true hero of the franchise, Han Solo, who is placed into frozen carbonite as a test before Darth Vader uses the same technology on Luke. It is one of the franchises’ darkest moments from the best Star Wars movie, and really sees the stakes heightened as the Empire gets the upper hand. And Han’s comeback line to Leia’s ‘I love you’ is pretty smooth. Cocky bastard.
4. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace- Duel of Fates; Qui Gon and Obi Wan Vs. Darth Maul-
Anything praising The Phantom Menace could be deemed as controversial, as many Star Wars fans see this film as the moment George Lucas sold out and tarnished the memory of Star Wars. He did get a lot wrong, the inclusion of midichlorians and adding characters in for the sake of merchandise and grabbing new child audiences (here’s looking at you Jar Jar) being just two of them . But was it really ever going to be as good as the originals? No is my answer. Particularly with that dialogue, which wouldn’t seem to go away for the course of all three prequels. But this scene has to stand amongst the best of the whole Star Wars franchise. It has some of the best John Williams music, brilliant choreography and a chance to really show what the Jedi’s could do before the Jedi Order fell. Oh, and a dual lightsaber. Seriously, when watching this as a 6 year-old at a massive cinema in England back in 1999, there was really no other film that was better at the time. So for that reason, no matter what my less naive-self may think now, Episode I will always serve as a happy memory.
3. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope- Mos Eisley Cantina
Not only just for the music (which easily warrants it a place) but because a lot of what is iconic Star Wars can be sound in this just over 6-minute scene. It’s the first moment that we see the lightsaber used in ‘slicing and dicing’ action, we’re introduced to Han Solo and his trusty sidekick Chewbacca and the immortal quote “two droids, and no questions asked,” is delivered by Sir Alec Guinness in all his dignified glory as Obi Wan Kenobi. It also contains some great and highly imaginative creature designs amongst the paitrants of the Mos Eisley cantina, in which you’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. The face off between Han and Greedo can also be found here, thus beginning the Star Wars fan argument of who shot first. This clip is from the much detested remastered additions of the original movies, and it clearly shows Greedo shooting first. Maybe that is how Lucas intended it. Dah well, Han always wins at the end of the day.
2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back- ‘I am your father!’
Clichéd choice? Definitely. But only because of how much it really means to Star Wars and everything that followed it, turning the whole franchise and story on its head. The moment is, of course, after lopping his hand off, the evil Darth Vader reveals to our clean-cut hero Luke Skywalker that he is, in fact, his father. Dun-dun-DUUUUUN! It was the movie twist of the 80’s and still one of the greatest in film history, creating speculation as to what this realisation means for Luke. Is he destined to follow in the same footsteps as his father? And what will he do without a hand? A dark twist to a dark tale, which saw the perfect set up for the concluding part, Return of the Jedi. Remind yourself below, as I doubt you’ll be reading this list if you’ve never seen Star Wars. And if you never have… then I find your lack of faith disturbing!
1. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope- Binary Sunset
My top Star Wars moment is also the shortest in this list. The Binary Sunset that Luke gazes out upon on his home planet of Tatooine, as its two Suns set on the horizon. It’s one of George Lucas’ more sombre and subtle moments of a filmmaker, yet undeniably Sci-Fi. It shows Luke longing for adventure as he gazes out over the Suns, with the hint that there more is meant for him then just living on a farm with his Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen. And it’s not long until that adventure begins for both Luke and us as the audience. It is this moment that always comes to mind whenever I think of Star Wars, and therefore it defines the franchise for me. For all its special effects, space battles, lightsabers, aliens and iconic characters, it is this image that will always define Star Wars for me. A film about hope, escapism and adventure, a classic story of good and evil in Sci-Fi packaging that anyone can, or learn, to enjoy. That, is why there is a Star Wars day.
So there you have it, my top Star Wars moments. Sorry if you’re disappointed not to see any Attack of the Clones or Return of the Jedi in there, but their moments didn’t quite make the cut in my opinion, (well, Jedi nearly got in there, Attack of the Clones remains a rather dull entry in the series, was back then, still is now). The final act of Jedi has to have a special mention as Luke faces off against both Vader and the Emperor. But I think the moments above highlight some of the great moments from a franchise that will continue to live on among many film fans. Right I’m off to Alderaan, no questions asked. Thanks for stopping by, and remember, the force shall be with you, always.