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The 50 greatest Star Wars scenes

So long Jabba

The Scene: Princess Leia gets revenge on the slug-like wretch who imprisoned her in Return Of The Jedi. Using the very chains that are binding her, Leia gets behind Jabba The Hutt and strangles him to death.

The Awesome: Leia goes full cycle from the damsel in distress of the first film to total badass.

The opening crawl

The Scene: Not so much a scene as a sequence, but still an integral part of the Star Wars movies. The opening crawl in front of all six Star Wars films helps fill in the gaps between movies, while simultaneously lulling us into this far away galaxy. What will they say on The Force Awakens?

The Awesome: Lucas took an out-moded narrative device and made it super-cool. Also it gives us a chance to enjoy John Williams music without getting distracted by shiny images.

War over Coruscant

The Scene: Now this is how you open a movie. A queasy one-minute single shot follows Obi-Wan and Anakin as they steer through an epic battle over Coruscant at the beginning of Revenge Of The Sith.

The Awesome: Its CGI-heavy and all that, but this opening scene looks and feels absolutely amazing.

The trench run

The Scene: As A New Hope soars to a close, Luke pilots an X-Wing and attempts to blow up the Death Star. With Obi-Wans voice ringing in his ears, he uses the Force instead of his ships technology to blow up the dreaded space station.

The Awesome: Overcoming evil, a farmboy becoming a hero, Alec Guinness' voice. All amazing.

"It's a trap!"

The Scene: In Return Of The Jedi, Admiral Ackbar hollers Its a trap after his planned stealth attack on the Death Stars energy shield generator is turned upside by expectant Imperial forces, who knew the Rebels were coming all along.

The Awesome: The lines so iconic that Family Guy used it as the title of their Jedi spoof.

Little green man

The Scene: Luke meets Yoda on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back, and at first shrugs him off as an annoying little nuisance. Found someone you have, Id say, giggles Yoda, as he first toys with the young Jedi, then grows deadly serious.

The Awesome: Lucas plays around with expectations, turning what could have been an aggravating puppet into a franchise favourite.

"You are not a Jedi yet"

The Scene: The Force is with you, young Skywalker, says Darth Vader in Empire, as he prepares to battle Luke in the carbonite freezing chamber on Bespin. But you are not a Jedi yet.

The Awesome: Vaders appearance in silhouette is nothing short of shiver-inducing, while the confrontation between Vader and Luke was a long time coming and didnt disappoint.

"I know..."

The Scene: Another big one for The Empire Strikes Back, and one that had Harrison Ford channelling Solo during filming to find a pitch-perfect line. Hans heading off to be frozen in carbonite and possibly perish in the process. Leia seizes the moment to tell him that she loves him. His response? I know.

The Awesome: The fact that Ford improvised the line speaks volumes about his insight into the character.

The Battle of Hoth

The Scene: Giant AT-ATs, flying rebel fighters, snow explosions The Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back has it all including Luke chucking a bomb into an AT-AT to bring it down. Talk about hands on.

The Awesome: Empire s first act goes out with a bang, this sequence showing that the scale is going to be even more expansive on Episode V than it was on Episode IV.

"I am your father"

The Scene: The big tamale. At the climax of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke discovers the horrifying truth about Darth Vader - he didn't kill his father, he IS his father.

The Awesome: Its one of the biggest twists in cinematic history, and entirely changes the franchise as a whole. From now on, this is personal.

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.