Top 10 Best Moments From The Star Wars Film Saga

It's been 20 years since Star Wars fans traveled with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to the far reaches of Tatooine with the hope of fulfilling the Jedi Prophecy. On May 19, 1999, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace introduced a quest to train Anakin Skywalker, the supposed 'chosen one', who would bring balance to the force, and kicked off what is now known as the prequel trilogy.

While Episodes I-III are viewed largely as the weakest of the series, the hype around the films renewed the fandom and fervor around the franchise which had been dormant since the release of The Return Of The Jedi in 1983.

From lightsaber duels to hologram messages, awkward family dynamics and tender reunions, here are the top 10 best moments from the Star Wars film franchise.

10. Hold The Line, Jedi - Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Yes, we were contractually obligated to say one nice thing about Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. While a rewatch today might thoroughly convince you that the animated movie The Clone Wars had more realistic effects, Attack of the Clones still holds some perfectly passable moments: like this original Avengers Assemble featuring every Jedi master, including a two-eyed future Nick Fury.

The CGI in this scene could use about 15 years of work, but the film does give us the best chance to see all of the Jedi masters together in action, before Anakin destroys everything. The inclusion of Padmé, the most powerful, threatening and fashionable senator in the entire republic, as a fighter in her own right is the only thing that holds this movie back from the brink of madness.

9. "Fear is the path to the Dark Side" - Episode I - The Phantom Menace

This moment has a lot to unpack. First, for audiences still watching the original version of the film, beloved Master Yoda has an unmistakably different look. The filmmakers decided to create a new "updated" puppet for the film which left Yoda looking a bit relaxed (see stoned). The fans spoke out against the puppet and the character was replaced by CGI in the next movie as well as an updated release of Episode I – The Phantom Menace in 2011.

Yoda's speech to young Anakin Skywalker warning him of the danger of harboring fear foreshadows the downfall of the supposed chosen one. In Episode III – The Revenge of the Sith, it is Skywalker's fear of losing his wife Padmé that leads to his ultimate desertion to the Dark Side.

8. Obi-Wan and Anakin's Final Duel - Ep. III Revenge of the Sith

Despite the awkward scenes, Ewan McGregor's performance as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi stands as a true testament to the actor's talent and manages to outlast the clunky pacing, ridiculous fighting and ill-fitting romances that define the prequels.

The scene of Obi-Wan finally stopping his prodigy on the lava shores of Mustafar manages to inject the emotion that has been missing in all of the prequels. We see Obi-Wan forced to reckon with his failings and realize that his training, against the warnings of the council, gave Anakin the powers to rebel. Obi-Wan pulls a true Tyra Banks and nails the best scene in all the prequels. "Anakin, we were rooting for you! We were all rooting for you! How dare you?"

7. "Chewy, We're Home" - Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Take a moment to wipe that single tear streaming down your cheek. There are a lot of emotions to sort out in the first installment of the sequel trilogy. There's the excitement of meeting new characters, following along with the state of evil in the galaxy and of course reconnecting with old, beloved heroes.

As Han and Chewie board their old ship, fans are reunited with arguably one of the greatest teams in the entire franchise (seriously, is there anything more iconic than these guys back aboard the Millennium Falcon with the main theme playing softly in the background?)

Moments later, Rey speaks the words that fans are all thinking when she says "This is the Millenium Falcon? You're Han Solo" (and Chewie!).

6. Obi-Wan mind tricks the Stormtroopers, Episode IV - A New Hope

Haven't we all wished we had Obi-Wan's powers of nonchalant? With a wave of his hand, Obi- Wan shields Luke from the searching Stormtroppers and births a wave of replicators. A New Hope holds Star Wars' most iconic lines, but none as easily mentioned and meme-able as "these aren't the droids you're looking for."

5. "No One's ever really gone" - The Last Jedi

Carrie Fisher's death marked a sorrowful time in Star Wars fandom. A year after her death, the filmmakers of the Last Jedi announced it would be Carrie Fisher's last appearance as the iconic Princess Leia. While Fisher managed to film all the scenes that appear in the movie before she passed away on December 27, 2016, the scene between herself and Luke (Mark Hamill) manages to convey the heart wrenching emotion that both celebrates and mourns the icon matriarch of Star Wars, reminding fans that "no one's ever really gone."

4. The Imperial March, Episode VI - Return Of the Jedi

Not just a perfect ringtone for a person you're not fond of, "The Imperial March" is used throughout the Star Wars franchise to exude the perfect amount of terror and respect. Not just for Darth Vader, the Return of the Jedi employs "The Imperial March" to set up the entrance of Star Wars' most frail and frightening villains.

Senator-turned-Emperor-turned Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, a.k.a. Darth Sidious, if you're friends, manages to command a certain level of respect and admiration from his mentor Darth Vader, which is only compounded when he exits his ship to Vader's O.G. theme song. It's only fitting that Darth Sidious take one more thing from Darth Vader, just before Vader fulfilled his own prophecy by destroying Palpatine and the Empire forever. Or did he?

3. Rey wields the lightsaber - Episode VII - The Force Awakens

This is the moment fans have waited for ever since the announcement of the sequel trilogy. Even the most casual Star Wars fan will understand the importance of a good lightsaber fight. And while this isn't the most technical of duels, since both Rey and Kylo Ren aren't as battle tested as characters from previous films, this fight is filled with undeniable emotion.

Fans are left with several questions: Why did the Skywalker lightsaber call to Rey? How is Rey able to use the force so effectively with almost no practice? Is Rey the chosen one?

One thing is for sure: Rey kicks a** and her conflict with Kylo Ren is shaping up for an epic showdown.

2. "Help Me Obi Wan" - Episode IV - A New Hope

This moment is quite possibly the most important in the entire franchise. The message from Leia delivered to Obi-Wan Kenobi via R2-D2 sets the entire plot in motion. It is Leia's desperate plea to Obi-Wan, that sends the old Jedi Knight and his new found apprentice, Luke Skywalker, to Alderaan.

Along the way, Luke begins his Jedi training, following in his father's footsteps. Through the initial mission to deliver stolen Death Star plans to Rebel Alliance forces, the larger backstory of the Star Wars genesis reveals itself. A new hero emerges and with him, a new hope.

1. "No, I am your father" Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

This is it. This is the moment that defined George Lucas' filmmaking career, the ending that left an entire generation of moviegoers, at least those that don't know Vader means father in German, completely shocked, and the scene that spawned the most misquoted movie lines of all time.

An example of the Madela effect on the big screen, one of the biggest controversies surrounding Star Wars (even surpassing Ford's affair with Fisher) is the exact line Vader says to Luke when revealing his parentage. Unlike what our collective hive mind has decided to recreate, the actual words Vader says are "No. I am your father." These five words not only eclipsed the utter meltdown had by a-desperately-in-need-of-a-hand Luke, but launched an endless onslaught of parodies and cemented the Star Wars series as the greatest science fiction trilogy of all time.

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