Star Wars in Review: The 10 Coolest ‘Star Wars’ Moments
A Top 10 by G-FUNK
Having started of my retrospective with the more recent cinematic offerings hasn’t given me many nice things to say so far. Let’s take the opportunity to turn that around before an angry mob turn up outside of House of Geekery dressed like Stormtroopers waving pitchforks.
10. Leia and Han Banter
This is a vague entry, whilst the others are specific moments. The relationship that develops between these two characters is a well told story on its own. Upon their first meeting the back and forth jibes provide some of the most entertaining aspect of the movies. Han trying to save face in front of Chewbacca makes it extra fun.
9. Boba Fett Talks Back to Vader
Boba Fett barely appears in the Star Wars films, and remains almost completely stoic during his scenes. He eventually gets accidently knocked into a giant…thing…in the desert by a blind Han Solo. Yet somehow he is remembered as the ultimate bad-ass cool guy. How? Because he doesn’t take shit from Vader. Vader is the ultimate bad guy. He kills people with a thought and planets get destroyed at his command. Yet Boba Fett has no problem giving him attitude. It’s cool.
8. Yoda Revealed
A brilliant red herring, that the viewers bought hook, line and sinker. Luke arrives on a swamp planet looking for a Jedi master, and like him we’re expecting a great warrior. When the annoying little green man turns around and reveals himself to be this ‘great warrior’ = mind blown. Summarising exactly what Luke needed to learn, that it doesn’t matter who you are and what you may seem but what you believe and what you do that’s important. Granted, that all got flushed down the toilet when he starts pulling out the backflipping lightsaber moves, so let’s not acknowledge that.
7. Luke Takes Down the AT-AT
The opening battle of Hoth in Empire Strikes Back is plenty entertaining. The special effects are taken up a notch by setting the battle on a planets surface instead of space. The best moment occurs when Luke Skywalker has been stranded on the battlefield but uses his grappling hook to climb to the underside of a giant troop carrier and single handedly takes it down. Closely following this in terms of awesomeness is the backflip-lightsaber-catch in Jedi.
6. Darth Maul Stands Firm
Two Jedi Knights and team of soldiers head to the door…it opens to reveal a black cloaked figure…and they all come to a stop. Such an imposing, striking figure he doesn’t need to make a move or say a word to intimidate the room for of people on a mission for blood and conquest. The clincher comes when the Jedi’s pull out their lightsabers only to be matched by Darth Maul’s double bladed weapon. It’s a shame it was so overplayed in the trailers, because he would’ve been mind-blowing to see it in the film.
5. Han Solo Getting Frozen
Solo was the tough guy of the franchise, and when he is trapped by the Empire it represents a low point for the heroes. Even while they are surrounded by the enemy, including Vader, having been betrayed by his friend, the viewer still expects him to pull out a blaster, Chewie start lashing out, Luke swing into the room – anything. Instead he is resigned to his fate. Leia breaks and tells him that she loves him and Harrison Ford reaches a new height of cool when he responds: “I know.”
4. Darth Vader Appears
This is a scene that makes my role as a film teacher easy. It’s a great scene for new film-makers to deconstruct and examine the visual techniques being used to tell a story. It’s brilliantly effective in its simplicity, create a menace and an icon in one fell swoop.
3. Han Solo in the Catina
Han Solo is the cool kid of the Star Wars universe. Up until his introduction in the first film everyone had been painted in broad strokes – overtly good or swimming in evil. Solo is cold and charming, arrogant and savvy. The clinching moment comes when we see him being confronted by the bounty hunter Greedo (FYI – Greedo is a woman under the costume) which creates an extra element of danger in the form of the unseen gangster Jabba the Hutt. Han Solo truly shows his edge when he stealthily draws his pistol and kills Greedo in cold blood.
No, since you ask, I don’t consider anything other than the theatrical releases worth watching.
2. The Star Destroyer Fly-Over
There’s no denying that the original films opening shot didn’t pack a punch. Screen filling titles backed by an immense fanfare of sound giving away to the vast emptiness of space. A small spaceship passes across the screen followed by a behemoth on its tail. The soundtrack and the visuals are pitch perfect, creating a sense of awe that created a legion of fanatics on the spot. Watch any interview with Star Wars fans and this scene will be the first thing brought up.
1. “No Luke…I am your Father.”
Somewhat diluted in its effect due to it becoming basically common knowledge for most new viewers, this is still one of the smartest, best delivered twists in cinematic history. Having developed the rivalry between Skywalker and Vader over the course of two years had come to a head. Luke had learned early on that Vader had murdered his father, then seen the Empire kill his aunt and uncle, seen Vader cut down his mentor and now they’d taken his friend and ally as a captive. When Vader throws this spanner in the works it’s a complete game changer. It opens up more questions, changes the path Luke was on and sets up for the epic finale.
I hope that my son gets to see this scene before he finds out about the twist.