Later this year, we will once again return to a galaxy far, far away when Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker lightspeeds into cinemas around the world. This will be the last film based around the Skywalker story and while we’re expecting it to feature some iconic moments, over the last 40 years, George Lucas’s space saga has given us incredible lightsaber duels, shocking family reveals, breath-taking intergalactic battles, and creatures/droids we wish we could own as pets.
But which Star Wars moments are the best? Here, we list our 6 favourites.
1. Darth Vader reveal Luke’s lineage, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Widely regarded as one of the greatest twists in cinematic history. After Luke abandons his Jedi training to rescue his friends on Cloud City – despite warnings from both Yoda and the ghost of Obi-Wan – he ends up locked in a duel with the Sith Lord. Their fight ends with the loss of Luke’s right hand and easily the most famous movie quote of all time; ‘No, I am your father’.
2. Leia and Han saying ‘I love you.’ ‘I know.’, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
As Han is lowered into the carbonite mold at the end of Empire, Leia cries out ‘’I love you’’, to which the dry-witted smuggler responds ‘’I know’’. The script reportedly had Han responding with a generic, ‘’I love you too’’ but Harrison Ford, who plays Han, felt the cocky scoundrel would have a cheekier response and improvised this quip.
3. Vader unmasked, Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Darth Vader was one of the most-feared villains in all the galaxy, so the unmasking of the Sith Lord was always going to be a major moment in the Star Wars franchise. As Vader draws his last breaths, Luke removes his mask, revealing the face of a remorseful and disfigured Anakin Skywalker.
4. Han flies in to save the day, Episode IV – A New Hope
Luke is on a mission to take down the Death Star but Vader and his squadron of TIE fighters are doing everything in their will to prevent the young Skywalker from becoming the greatest hero in the galaxy. However, Han shows up in the Millennium Falcon to return fire on the Imperial ships.
5. Vader rescues Luke from the Emperor, Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
For a being so consumed with the Dark Side, this was the moment we saw that there was still some good left in Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker. He sacrifices himself to save his son, Luke, from the Emperor. He throws the Emperor down the Death Star reactor shaft but the Force lightning that surges through his body when he picks up the Emperor ultimately kills him.
6. ‘Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope’, Episode IV – A New Hope
A moment that delivered one of the most meme-able lines; Princess Leia is about to be captured by Darth Vader’s stormtroopers but manages to send an S.O.S to the only person she knows can help her; the ageing Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, who’s hiding on the desert planet Tatooine.