I’ve looked at the stunning new photos from Vanity Fair for the upcoming episode IX of the Star Wars saga. Because of that, I’ve decided to declare the best Star Wars scene in each episode. Here be controversy, and strong opinions!
I will start with the Prequels, then the Originals, then the Sequels & Disney era. Not all of these scenes will be on the same quality level, yet I believe each Star Wars scene merits a discussion. At the end of this article, I will pick the greatest Star Wars scene of all time.
The Phantom Menace
Scene: The Podrace
When I was picking a Star Wars scene for The Phantom Menace, it was a pretty easy decision. The podrace- where Anakin Skywalker must win in order to free himself as a slave is thrilling and fantastic. George Lucas mixes dark humor (an alien getting blown up) with tension and excitement. During this scene, I was invested and wanting to know what happens next. A brilliant Star Wars scene.
The Attack of the Clones
Scene: Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi Track The Assassin
Not only is it funny “Do you want deathsticks?” but this Star Wars scene is so cool. The plot is basic enough: An assassin is after Padme, and the Jedis Anakin and Obi-Wan Kenobi must find the killer. What happens is some brilliant one-liners, plenty of action, cool city landscapes and a strong kinetic energy. It’s perfect.
Revenge of the Sith
Scene: Execute Order 66
I remember the weeks leading up to seeing Revenge of the Sith for the first time in cinemas. I wondered if George Lucas was really going to show the murders of Younglings. Alot of us associate Star Wars with hope and new beginnings, and in 2005- a Jedi massacre would have changed the game completely. Execute Order 66 is a brilliant scene- with gorgeous music, locations and a neverending sense of dread. It’s gripping and unforgettable.
A New Hope
The scene: The Death Star Blows Up Alderaan.
I was delighted with my scene choice in A New Hope- there are many fantastic moments, so I thought I’d go with one lesser discussed. What is so striking about this scene is that it’s the first time we see Leia Organa as distressed and vulnerable. For a moment, she’s not a bad-ass princess, but a human being who is trying to keep the people she loves safe. Grand Moff Tarkin is also terrific, with fantastic line delivery by Peter Cushing. It’s a great scene.
Empire Strikes Back
Scene: Vader Tells Luke The Truth
What can I say about this scene that hasn’t been said by others? Vader and Luke go from fighting each other, to Vader trying to recuit Luke. But it does not finish there. Darth Vader reveals that he is actually Anakin Skywalker, father to Luke. It’s shocking, and of one the most famous twists in cinema. You know that from this point- things are going to be different.
The Return of the Jedi
Scene: Vader makes a choice
A huge central theme of Star Wars is salvation and redemption. This beautiful scene between a father and his son is memorable, and allows Luke to demonstrate his goodness. Seeing Darth Vader- a character many consider to be scary- as someone who capable of goodness and vulnerability makes him more complex and interesting. It’s good storytetlling. After all, who knew we’d be shedding tears for the villain?
Sequels & Disney Era
The Force Awakens
Scene: Luke appears
The script here is bare- it’s made up of facial expressions, music, and a gorgeous Irish landscape. Yet what makes this scene significant is Mark Hamill’s melancholic expression that is worth thousands of words. It provokes questions with the viewer, and resulted in a terrific and memorable ending.
The Last Jedi
Scene: Rey goes into the darkness
Rich with symbolism and deep meanings, Rey’s journey nto the dark soul of Acht-To is memorable. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of The Last Jedi– but I do appreciate this scene. Rey is shown to be vulnerable, as she continues to fight her insecurity regarding her parents. It’s followed by a scene where she communicates with Kylo Ren (also excellent). I was very impressed by this scene.
Scene: Darth Vader’s massacre
Do I even have to explain how badass this scene is? Yes, it’s fan service but it’s incredibly satisfying. Everything is pitch perfect- from the soldiers facial expressions, to Vader’s raspy breathing and to the music. There’s a reason why this scene got fans excited.
Instead of rambling on, I’ll let you watch the scene for yourself:
Scene: Han shoots first.
There are moments that define one’s life. And I reckon, this is Han Solo. It’s a very ‘student killing the teacher’ moment. After Han Solo has been betrayed and tricked, he finally learns to do it himself. It’s a dark moment, even if you saw it coming or disliked Beckett’s character. Either way, this is a great scene because it shows us how Han Solo turned out to be the man he was in A New Hope.
The Greatest Star Wars Scene
Most people would answer this question with epic lightsaber battles or heroic deaths. I won’t do that. To me, the greatest Star Wars scene is from Revenge of the Sith.
Everything- from Palpatine’s soft voice, to Anakin’s ignorance, to the purple lighting- this scene is the best Star Wars has to offer. Palpatine manipulates Anakin in an extremely genius way, and the audience begins to accept the horrors that are about to unfold on screen. The monologue is perfect, with every word chosen carefully. The closing line from this scene- ‘not from a Jedi’ gives me goosebumps. Sometimes the best scenes are small and aren’t epic, but allude to something greater or darker. George Lucas did that really well in Revenge of the Sith, and I can’t stop acclaiming Ian McDiarmid for his performance of Palpatine.
William Shakespeare would be proud.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Comment below! If you’d like, you can check out my recent Star Wars posts about holiday locations!