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The 50 greatest Star Wars scenes

"That is why you fail"

The Scene: Size matters not, says Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, then proves it as the tiny green one uses the Force to levitate Lukes X-Wing out of the swamps of Dagobah. Slack-jawed, Luke utters, I dont believe it. Yodas reply? That is why you fail.

The Awesome: Yodas teaching style is fantastic he takes show and tell to a whole new level.

The asteroid field

The Scene: Chased by Imperial forces, Han steers the Millennium Falcon into an asteroid field, manoeuvring the space craft around the giant rocks as the ships on his tail are blown to smithereens.

The Awesome: The chase is complemented by this exchange: Leia: Youre not actually going into an asteroid field? Han: Theyd be crazy to follow us.

Alderaan's destruction

The Scene: As dark as Episode III is, Episode IV has its own nasty ideas including this one, in which Alderaan is destroyed by the Death Star. The disturbance in the Force is so huge that it has a massive impact on Obi-Wan.

The Awesome: Thats a whole planet, gone in seconds. Even Fantastic Four villain Galactus would struggle to beat it.

Chop chop

The Scene: Anakin uses a scissor move with two lightsabres in order to behead Count Dooku at the beginning of Revenge Of the Sith, an act that not many Jedi would agree with.

The Awesome: It furthers Anakins slip into the darkside, while Palpatines undisguised pleasure at the evil deed is brilliant.

Tusken raiders

The Scene: Anakins slide into the dark side is signalled for the first time when, in Attack Of The Clones, he murders in cold blood the Tusken raiders who kidnapped his mother.

The Awesome: Its an edgy hint at things to come, and shows us just what makes Anakin tick. How does a man become a monster? It all starts here.

Death to the Death Star

The Scene: Our hope in all that is good is restored when the Death Star goes kablooey in Episode IV. Now thats what we call explosive.

The Awesome: Who cares if explosions like that can't happen in space (there being no oxygen and all)? Were all pumping our fists in the air too much to care.

Father versus son

The Scene: Theres no hiding this time, as Luke and Darth Vader go saber-to-saber at the climax of Return Of The Jedi. Unlike Empire, Lukes now a fully-fledged Jedi, and it shows in the fight as the pair are almost a total match in skill and dexterity.

The Awesome: After the revelation in Empire that Vader is Lukes pa, we all knew this had to happen, and its power is only enhanced by that knowledge.

Parting shot

The Scene: The closing shot of The Empire Strikes Back holds all kind of emotional weight. Lukes got a metal hand. Hans been frozen in carbonite. Vaders more powerful than ever. Where the end of A New Hope was a celebration, this one is a black hole of sucking depression and we love it.

The Awesome: Star Wars is always best when it does dark, and this moment of reflection is pregnant with the promise of darker things yet to come.

Order 66

The Scene: The time has come, growls Palpatine in Episode III. Execute Order 66. Cue a montage of scenes in which various Jedi are turned on by the clone army.

The Awesome: Its the scene that tips Revenge Of The Sith into total darkness for a sucker-punch of a finale.

"That's no moon it's a space station."

The Scene: Look at him, hes heading for that small moon, says Luke of an Imperial ship in A New Hope. Except thats no moon its a space station.

The Awesome: The ultimate weapon had to be something amazing, and the Death Star is just that. Great reveal, too.

Will Salmon
Will Salmon

Will is a freelance film and TV journalist, whose words have appeared in publications including GamesRadar, Total Film, SFX Magazine, The Quietus, and the Radio Times. He is also a podcast producer, and runs the cassette music label, Modern Aviation. Will is also a former Future journalist, working on Special Editions for the Future Film Group, the Comic Heroes magazine, and others.