Star Wars is a franchise that has fascinated many over the past three decades. Whether it was watching these movies as children growing up, or seeing them as adults, they have ultimately become a part of us. The creative set pieces, the weapons first introduced to us, and the interesting characters all stuck with us like no other story from before. There is a certain aura that Darth Vader brings to the screen, and there is no question as to why he is undisputedly, 'the greatest movie villain of all time'. The scenes that these characters find themselves in, on the distinct planets they are on, and what weapons they are using at the time help to shape a list of the Top 10 Scenes and Moments from the Original Trilogy.
10. The Introduction of Boba Fett
This scene could either be in the Special Edition of 'A New Hope' when Han encounters Jabba the Hutt and Fett is standing close by or this one. While the scene is pivotal to establish what will happen in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi', it is not the true moment that comes to mind when Boba Fett is mentioned. It is when Darth Vader assembles his legion of bounty hunters to dispatch after Han Solo. Darth Vader mentions to him to not disintegrate him, which creates a theory that it was Boba Fett that killed Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru in 'A New Hope'. There is always a sense of suspiciousness and darkness that surrounds Boba Fett. He becomes a pivotal player in 'Empire', becoming the secondary antagonist that sets all of the events of the movie in motion. He has since become a cult classic because of how mysterious he is, and remains to be to this day. A stand-alone Fett movie would be interesting, but not necessary.
9. Arrival of the Emperor on Death Star II
Prior to this scene, the only other time that we as the viewer are exposed to the Emperor is in Darth Vader's pod as he communicates with him about Luke. At the beginning of 'Return of the Jedi', Darth Vader warns his commander that the Emperor is coming and that Death Star II needs to be completed on schedule. Quivering in fear, the commander responds with 'The Emperor is coming here?" This is when you know that the Emperor is not someone to mess with, nor anger. This sets up for when the Emperor does finally arrive later on in the movie, and everyone is respectful, fully knowing they need to be respectful and not against the Emperor's orders.
8. Battle of Hoth
Before Hoth, there was Tatooine. One planet is scorchingly hot, the other is absolutely freezing. While this scene does not add to the overall plot as there are no true repercussions from this scene other than the separation of Luke from Han and Leia, it is one amazing scene to watch. To this day, the effects are spectacular, but it shows how prepared the Empire is for any situation in their attempts to take out the Rebel Alliance. The AT-ATs are first introduced, and remain one of the most powerful weapons that the Empire has. Luke uses his lightsaber for the first time to destroy an AT-AT, and snow troopers are introduced. Hoth adds another dimension to the Star Wars universe, and this battle further supports it.
7. Darth Vader Sitting in his Medical Pod
One of the more human scenes in all of Star Wars. It reveals that Darth Vader is not only a machine, but also a man. It supports what Obi-Wan told Luke in 'Return of the Jedi', "He is more machine now than man." It is Darth Vader in a vulnerable state, one of the two times that we see him like this in the Original Trilogy. Before this scene, he is a huge, hulking figure that is someone not to be messed with, but we see a head that is scarred from behind. It leaves much to the imagination as we are not sure how he ended up in the suit or what caused it. Twenty five years later, we have our answer as to how he ended up in the position he was in. While it was necessary to expose Darth Vader's face at the end of 'Return of the Jedi', it did not leave anything to the imagination. That was what makes this scene a stand out moment.
6. Darth Vader's Entrance on Tantive IV
The moment that we are introduced to Darth Vader, is the minute you know that there are bad things afoot in the galaxy. His hulking figure, his theme playing, and how he towers over everyone he comes in contact with, leads us to believe that he is the supreme ruler in the galaxy. He isn't, but he is definitely the one who is feared the most out of everyone. The stark contrast of his black suit against the white of the ship show that darkness is about to continue to spread throughout the galaxy. The only person he kills on Tantive IV is Captain Antilles who he interrogates and makes short work of. Otherwise, his appearance and that one action show that he is dangerous. There is no wonder as to why everyone bows down to his fist.
5. Destruction of Death Star I
The end of 'A New Hope' is one for the ages. It is a simple scene, good against bad, that could essentially end the Star Wars saga. It ends the story and shows the destruction of the Empire on a small scale. When all hope seems lost and that the Rebel base is about to be destroyed on Yavin IV, Han and Chewbacca come in and saves the day. It is unexpected, and brings the movie full circle. It illustrates Han's change and want to help the Rebels and not just take his money and run. Without Han coming to save the day, the scene would have been anti-climactic. It is expected Luke will destroy the Death Star, but it all turns bleak when Luke is on his own. While Darth Vader is off flying around in space to wherever he is going, the Rebels celebrate.
4. Introduction of Han Solo and Chewbacca
These two are Luke's comrades throughout. Without them, Luke would have never made it as far as he did in the galaxy. While all of their achievements should be recognized in a list, it is hard to pinpoint one exact moment that they are most helpful. Instead, we'll just go with their entrance. At a small cantina in Mos Eisley, these two are taking a stop who just happen to be strapped for credits in order to pay back Jabba the Hutt. Obi-Wan and Luke know they can pay him off if they get to their destination, and that is why this trip happens. Han is a scoundrel, or a 'scruffy looking nerf herder', but ultimately has a heart of gold that takes some time to develop. Along with meeting them in the cantina, we meet a vast array of colorful characters that would only frequent on Tatooine. It is the scene that truly expands the Star Wars universe as we now see so many more lifeforms and how they all interact with each other.
3. Darth Vader's Redemption
This moment may be the most powerful scene with actions involved. Earlier in 'Return of the Jedi', Luke plants the seeds of doubt within his father when he turns himself in on the forest moon of Endor. Fast forward. Luke has another duel with his father, ultimately cutting his arm off, making Luke come to the realization that he is on the same path that his father was once on. He let hate and anger consume him, beginning to become something that he was not. When Luke resists the Emperor's advances to turn to the Dark Side, Luke refuses, and pays the price. Force lightening is shot from the Emperor's hand and Darth Vader stands over his shoulder just watching. Darth Vader watches as his only son writhes in pain, on the verge of death, all because he wants to keep his allegiance because there is no turning back from all the death and destruction that he has caused. With a simple camera shot, we see Darth Vader turn good as his head moves as lightening reflects off of it. Without wasting another moment, he picks up and throws the Emperor down the shaft to finally fulfill the prophecy of "Bringing balance to the Force".
2. Landing on Dagobah and Meeting Yoda
Obi Wan tells Luke that he must go to the Dagobah system to learn from the Jedi Master Yoda. This was Luke's destiny. Upon crash landing on Dagobah, the planet is a swamp, and not somewhere that a once vaunted Jedi Master would now be. It is not known why he is there, except we as viewers soon realize that he is in hiding from the Empire as a result of Order 66. As Luke wanders around and sets up camp, he runs into a little green alien. This green alien is oblivious to everything, but when he reveals that he is Yoda, it teaches the viewer one important point; you do not need to be big and strong in order to be strong with the Force. It transcends all our preconceived notions since the only two people who have the Force introduced into the series were Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. Darth Vader is big and powerful, thus allowing a connection between the two. Obi-Wan is a weak man, but at one point he would have been in shape and powerful with the Force. It does not add up as to how Yoda could be one of the strongest Jedi, but Yoda disproves all notions and not only teaches Luke all about the Force, but also the viewers. The Force comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes.
Was there any doubt about what the number one scene would have been?
1. "No, I am your father."
The most iconic line in all of Star Wars has since become one of, if not, the most famous quote in all of cinema. It isn't so much the words that are being spoken, as they are all simple. It is in the moment of the scene, the gravitas of the situation, that we as viewers are just as shocked as Luke is when Darth Vader reveals this to his son. Upon rewatching 'The Empire Strikes Back', when this moment comes up, it is still as chilling as it was the first time this twist was revealed. This is the scene that changed the whole saga forever. The only two people who knew that Darth Vader was Luke's father before the release of the Film were George Lucas and James Earl Jones. Everyone was under the impression that it was Obi-Wan that killed Luke's father, which as we all know from the prequels, that is not too far from the truth. Obi-Wan is the one who completely dismembered and left Anakin Skywalker to burn on Mustafar, and that was the point of no return for him. By having the original 'Empire' script say that Obi-Wan killed Luke's father, it was able to create a genuine 'NO!" from Mark Hamill as he screams out in pain, realizing that everything was a lie.