With finale of the Star Wars Skywalker saga ending with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this week, I did do diligence of rewtached the Star Wars movies. Let me tell you, it was not a burden.

It’s a list that has been sprung up in many places, and it’s my time to take a stab. Here are my personal top 10 moments of the Star Wars cinematic universe.

Number 10

The First Destruction Of The Death Star

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1987)

The hope of rebellion is strung upon a few rebel fighters going up against the most powerful weapon known to man. Somehow, they pull it off. The rag tag group overcomers the odd and numerous blaster cannons to bring a chance of hope.

Luke listens to Obi-Wan Kenobi and show’s his first true faith in the force. Han Solo comes to rescue the day. Darth Vader is sent spinning into oblivion. It’s a happy ending to a movie that had no guarantee of becoming the most notable and profitable franchise of all-time.

The entire ending sequence is a thrill ride with the lovable good guy accomplishing the seemingly impossible.

Number 9

Yoda vs. Count Dooku

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones (2002)

I distinctly remember losing my shit the first time I saw Yoda wield his lightsaber. I was captivated by it all: his small hilt, the acrobatics, his grunting…just feed it all to me.

His fighting style is so different than any other Jedi. He uses his surroundings more, leveraging himself on ships and walls for the most opportune angle. Phantom Menace made Yoda seem pompous and frankly naive, but this finale to Attack of the Clones was a nice redemption.

Not to be left undone, Count Dooku’s curved hilt is pretty damn cool on its own. Between Dooku, Darth Maul and Kylo Ren, does the Dark Side have the best-looking Lightsabers? I think so.

Number 8

Holdo’s Sacrifice

Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)

Hand up. I am not a huge fan of The Last Jedi. However, there is no denying that Rian Jonson put forward some visually striking scenes, and none more so than the jump to light speed.

The cut to silence, the close-up streaks of light showing the carnage followed by the wide range explosion. It is stunning.

I don’t care if it pokes holes in cannon, or raises questions about shields, whatever. This event was breathtaking, and still raises goosebumps with the way it was shown by Johnson and his crew.

Number 7

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Personal pick here. I quote this line all the time in life.

But more importantly, this is the moment when Luke Skywalker learns that he has to buy into and truly see the power of the force. Master Yoda demonstrates what can happen with faith and the audience is introduced to how and why this little green fella is a master of the force.

Number 6

Duel of Fates

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)

That dual sided lightsaber Darth Maul has is awesome. I was obsessed with it as a kid and had a toy one I tormented all my stuff animals with. It got violent.

The thing I needed reminding of was that this is the first time we say some truly artful lightsaber fighting. There original trilogy played each duel like it was traditional swords. This new athleticism in this fight was reinvigorating to my young mind.

But as time as gone on, there is no doubting the major highlight of this final duel is the score from John Williams. Duel of Fates is one of Star Wars’ most iconic themes and it comes in one of the series least beloved movies.

Number 5

Rey’s Arrival

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

By FAR the most important scene from the two Skywalker saga movies thus far. Not even close. And thankfully for its importance in the story, this moment delivers all the feels.

Cue up the force theme song, zoom in on Kylo’s face of fear and then let the lightsabers fly.

It also can’t be overstated what this scene meant for a new modern-day wave of Star Wars fans. Rey immediately became the heroine of a generation when she grabbed that lightsaber. With her lighting, so does the idea of a titular fantasy role model for millions of Star Wars fans.

Number 4

“I Know.”

Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Is there anyone cooler than Han Solo in a movie? The answer may honestly be no.

Imagine if someone said this you in real life? There is no way it’d be taken well. But this is Han Solo being his confident self and cutting the drama out of it. Harrison Ford delivers it perfectly and he doesn’t look away from Leia as he’s being lowered into the carbonite chamber. Just charismatic as hell.

Also, the fact one of it’s most iconic lines in movie history was improvised? A wonderful touch. Ford knew the character and ran with it.

Number 3

Darth Vader Slaughtering

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Oh, you bet your ass that I geeked out when I first heard the machined breath and saw the red lightsaber emerge in the smokey corridor. I straight up squealed with glee.

He force suspended someone on the ceiling then cut him in half!!

In this closing sequence, there are no punches pulled with how evil and power Darth Vader is. He is mowing men down with ease. He is playing with them. Rogue One manages to become the best of the modern-day Star Wars movies due in large part to its visual grittiness and realism. One can feel the terror of those poor rebels who stand zero shot.

When I walked out of the theater after seeing Rogue One, the first thing I did was see if there was an illegal version of this scene I could watch online. I wanted to have the movie theater rewind it so I can do experience it all again.

Number 2

“Binary Sunset”

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Is this the most used scene for Star Wars promotional material of all time? It might be. Someone please pursue a scientific study on that for me.

Luke Skywalker is staring off into the dual sunset, wishing there was a larger calling for him to leave Tatooine. Little does he know that his fate is to embark on one of the greatest heroes journeys of all time.

What makes this scene so wonderful is the score. John Williams, just take my emotions and lock them in a safe because you have them forever. The sweeping overture is iconic and two shots of the suns and then look of Skywalker’s wanderlust are unforgettable. Magic!

Number 1

“I Am Your Father.”

Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back (1980)

I wish I was alive in 1980 when The Empire Strikes Back came out so I could have been part of the unbelievable hoopla that surrounded this moment. It flipped the script of and was a perfect plot-twisting capstone in one of the greatest sequels ever made.

Imagine being a part of society when this came out. No social media. No Internet for theories or think pieces. It’s all just reckless impatience surrounding the most identifiable villain in the largest cinematic cultural phenomena ever.

The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie for many reasons.  This moment puts an exclamation point at the end of it, and to this day it remains one of the most iconic scenes in film history.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Pod racing sequence – A Phantom Menace
  • Execute Order 66 – Revenge Of The Sith
  • Mace Windu vs. Emperor Palpatine – Revenge Of The Sith
  • The opera dialogue between Palpatine and Anakin – Revenge Of The Sith
  • Putting together of Darth Vader – Revenge Of The Sith
  • Darth Vader’s entrance – A New Hope
  • Han shot first (and you know he did) – ­A New Hope
  • “Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi – you’re our only hope.” – A New Hope
  • “I find your lack of faith disturbing” – A New Hope
  • “These aren’t the droids you are looking for” – A New Hope
  • Darth Vader surprise in Cloud City – Empire Strikes Back
  • Hoth battle sequence – Empire Strikes Back
  • Removing of Vader’s helmet ­– Return Of The Jedi
  • Han Solo and Chewbacca emerging – The Force Awakens
  • Kylo and Rey joining forces in the throne room – The Last Jedi

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