Skip to main content

The 50 greatest Star Wars scenes

Mind-bending

The Scene: These are not the droids youre looking for. Stopped by Imperial forces who are searching for R2-D2 (in Episode IV), Obi-Wan shows how easy it is for a Jedi to manipulate the weak-minded.

The Awesome: Its one of the earliest demonstrations of what the Force is capable of, and a nice little moment for Alec Guinness.

Flip, flip hooray!

The Scene: It divided audiences, but we loved it. Yes, its the bit in Attack Of The Clones when Yoda throws down his walking stick, uses the Force to unclip his lightsaber, and then flips about like a frog on acid as he fights the evil Count Dooku.

The Awesome: Its Yoda. Fighting! It doesnt get much more awesome than this.

Think of the younglings

The Scene: The most disturbing scene from Episode III, as Anakin Skywalker enters the Jedi Temple and finds the Younglings hiding. When they come out to greet him, assuming hes there to rescue them, Anakin coolly extends his lightsaber

The Awesome: It's a brave and genuinely surprising move from the normally kid-friendly Lucas.

The very first shot

The Scene: The first shot of A New Hope and Star Wars as a whole. High above Tatooine, Darth Vaders Star Destroyer, Devastator, emerges at the top of the screen and just keeps going and going, showing off its massive size.

The Awesome: Wondering what sort of scale Lucas film would be working on? Heres your answer: epic. The fact that its all contained in one opening shot is impressive in itself. Sci-fi cinema would never be the same again...

Making a grand entrance

The Scene: In A New Hope, Darth Vader makes his iconic entrance, sweeping into a white corridor and filling the room with his mechanical breathing and imposing stature. An icon is born.

The Awesome: Few movie villains can attest to being even an eighth as cool as Darth Vader, and his entrance is a defining moment.

The podrace

The Scene: A zippy set-piece that enlivens The Phantom Menace, the podrace sequence thrills with its breakneck pacing and vertigo-inducing camera angles. Nine minutes of movie heaven that looked fantastic on the big screen.

The Awesome: Its the most thrilling thing in The Phantom Menace, a certain red-faced Sith lord aside. If only the whole film had been this good...

Tatooine's binary sunset

The Scene: Luke watches the suns set in A New Hope as John Williams operatic score soars. Theres loads going on here, not least inside Luke, and the scene works as a visual and aural demonstration of Lukes inner longing.

The Awesome: Its a moment in which all things are in harmony the gorgeous visual, Williams emotive music, Mark Hamills wistful look. Beautiful.

Time for a Maulin'

The Scene: The best scene in The Phantom Menace, and possibly in any of the prequels, as Darth Maul faces off against Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn. Its one of the franchises coolest lightsaber duels, and makes us wish Maul had had more of a part to play in the prequels.

The Awesome: Darth Maul has a double lightsaber. Now that is awesome.

Bikini thrill

The Scene: Fanboy jaws dropped when Princess Leia appeared in Return Of The Jedi wearing nothing but a very skimpy gold bikini.

The Awesome: Do we have to spell it out for you?

The man in the mask

The Scene: On Dagboah, Luke ventures into a cave to face down his own darkside, and comes face-to-mask with a conjuration of Vader. Its dark stuff, not least when Luke chops Vaders head off, only for his own dead face to stare up out of the broken visor.

The Awesome: Lucas does psychology and foreboding at the same time.

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.