The name Star Wars has been thrown around since the 1970s and the Star Wars fever has only gotten stronger with each movie and TV series coming out after another. The franchise has been embedded into the culture and will likely not be going away anytime soon.
The franchise has long been considered past its prime and diluted because of its excessiveness, but that hasn’t stopped the Lucasfilm juggernaut from making a giant financial splash in Hollywood, with the amount of sci-fi fans still consuming it.
It seems only fair to look over the best and most iconic moments of the franchise that have lived rent-free in the minds of fans and analysts alike.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the author’s views.
Here are some of the most ardent and iconic moments in the Star Wars franchise
10) Maul in Solo
In all honesty, this movie is not at all considered to be the best of the Star Wars films, but, despite its flatness, there is one scene that stood out and gave audiences shivers up and down their spines. This was when Darth Maul appeared on screen after almost twenty years.
In the film, Han Solo and Chewbacca are hired to steal some merchandise for their boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) but a scuffle ensues ending with Qi’ra killing Vos as Han and Chewie escape. Qi’ra then contacts Vos’s superior who just so happens to be Darth Maul.
The Sith Lord demands that Qi’ra meet with him on his home world of Dathomir, which made many fans assume that there would be a continuation of the subplot. Hopefully, fans will get more of Darth Maul on screen in the future.
9) The Star Wars Pod Race
The Phantom Menace may have disappointed many fans when it was initially released in 1999, but there are some moments in the film that can never be denied. One specifically is the pod race on the planet Tatooine.
A young Anakin Skywalker is tasked with competing in the race in order for his new Jedi friends to leave and so that he may escape slavery that he has been subject to for all his life. The sound mixing and the visceral thrills are packed to the brim in this special moment from the saga. This has certainly aged gracefully in the canon.
8) The Death of Vader
On a sadder note, Star Wars has gotten a lot of attention from its more quiet and emotionally touching moments. In this scene, Luke was on the cusp of being killed by Darth Sidious until his father Vader intervened to kill the Emperor.
However, this resulted in Vader’s suit being damaged and he asked to look at his son Luke with his own eyes. Luke finds a burned, deformed shell of the man that Vader once was and he slowly dies, telling Luke that he was right to believe there was good in him.
7) Yoda vs Dooku
This was another case where the film itself was not up to par but a scene in the film was absolutely mesmerizing. It’s when Yoda and Count Dooku, a.k.a. Darth Tyranus, go head-to-head in a lightsaber battle after Doku defeats Skywalker and Kenobi.
The fight ends with Dooku trying to crush Kenobi and Skywalker with a large pipe. Yoda saves the two but Dooku escapes with future plans for the Death Star. This fight displays the perfect balance and dynamics between the two characters, with Yoda being the wiser, of course.
6) Duel of the fates
Wow! Another great moment from The Phantom Menace. This sequence finds Obi-wan Kenobi and his mentor Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) facing off against Darth Maul. The extended sequence is never overextended and pleases the audience every time the music plays.
The fight leads to Maul killing Jinn only for Kenobi to cut Maul in half as he fell into a large vent. It’s intriguing and pulsating with enough Star Wars splendor to make it so memorable.
5) Death Star Annihilation
When Luke and the other X-wing fighters plan a strike on the Death Star, the initial strike doesn't go as planned and the X-wing fighters are forced to circle back and try again.
Luke has a try at it and, with the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi speaking with him from the force, is able to destroy the deadly space machine by blasting its point of weakness and sending Darth Vader flying across space in his ship. The scene takes its time with the finishing payoff but it certainly does pay off.
4) Vader Hallway Scene
In a more insidious and creepy moment from a galaxy far, far away, fans see Rebel forces stealing the plans for the Death Star which include how to destroy it, as seen in A New Hope. However, the Rebels are not out of the woods yet as Darth Vader patiently awaits them at the end of the hall with his lightsaber in hand.
The Rebels immediately open fire but their attempts prove to be inconsequential as Vader slices through the soldiers. Luckily, the Rebels manage to escape with the plans as Vader looks over in anger at the Rebels exit.
The scene screamed classic Darth Vader and is one of the highlights of the Disney Star Wars era that have kept fans on edge.
3) Yoda vs Sidious
In one of the fights of the century, fans were graced with the ultimate smackdown between Yoda and Darth Sidious. Yoda, at first, falls victim when he takes the brunt of an electrical blast from Sidious, but regains his strength as the two continue to battle.
However, the battle ends in a stalemate where the two are thrown off by Sidious’ electrical powers and results in Yoda fleeing to his self-imposed exile on Dagobah. Starting off slow and building enough momentum to escalate into a full-blown confrontation, this battle sequence was a much-needed helping of magical science-fiction violence culminating in a magnificent spectacle.
2) Anakin vs Obi-Wan
If there is one Star Wars battle that outranks them all, it’s Anakin Skywalker battling Obi-Wan Kenobi on the volcanic planet of Mustafar. All the brotherly love that once held the two together is long gone.
The two spar over a series of platforms and machinery on the planet, all while avoiding the immense rivers of lava spurting from beneath. The fight concludes with Kenobi cutting off Skywalker’s limbs. The audience can see the hurt in Kenobi’s face, as well as the hate, anger and suffering in Skywalker's in this heartbreaking moment.
1) I Am Your Father
This was the Gone With the Wind of Star Wars moments that had every fans' mouth agape. Luke and Darth Vader are battling as Vader cuts off Luke’s arm. The villain offers Luke a chance to join the dark side so that they may both rule the galaxy together. When Luke refuses, Vader claims that Kenobi never told him about his father. Luke believes that Vader killed him and Vader replies by saying that he is Luke’s biological father.
Full of shock and awe, this was the scene that had Star Wars fans flabbergasted as they saw Vader in a totally new light. The weight and emotion in the room dropped with just those four words and science-fiction has never been the same since.