There’s little doubt that we can officially crown Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the funniest of all the Star Wars movies. There are just so many memorable moments – some are call-backs to previous films in the series, while others are just plain funny on their own. Of course, humor is a contentious subject for Star Wars fans, especially when it comes to George Lucas insinuating his brand of humor into the prequels, from Jar Jar Binks’ slapstick shenanigans to the pod race announcers’ goofy banter. Most fans who weren’t seven at the time of their release find these elements decidedly unfunny, so it was refreshing to see quality humor again in the franchise.
While humor can be subjective, this list is about the 10 Funniest Moments in The Force Awakens!
* Warning: There will be SPOILERS in case you’re on of the 10 people who hasn’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet *
10. “I know how to run without you holding my hand!”
Rey and Finn have just met on Jakku. We can’t not quickly acknowledge a funny line from their first conversation: When asked if he’s with the Resistance, Finn awkwardly lies, “Obviously. Yes. I am. I’m with the Resistance, yeah. I’m with the Resistance.” Somehow Rey buys that before BB-8 suddenly alerts them to a couple of Stormtroopers pointing their way. Finn immediately shows some ill-advised chivalry, grabbing Rey’s hand and running away.
He quickly learns Rey is no damsel in distress. She’s as concerned by the baddies chasing them as she is by the hand holding. “Let go of me!” she cries. “I know how to run without you holding my hand!” He lets go and they find a brief hiding spot. But when Finn hears something, he grabs her hand again and she yells, “Stop taking my hand!”
9. “I can do this!”
There are a few of funny scenes in The Force Awakens involving the Millennium Falcon (the funniest, and earliest, is still to come on this list). This one occurs just after they climb aboard Han Solo and Chewbacca’s beloved old starship, while still on Jakku. First we see Rey in the cockpit, frantically flipping switches and pushing buttons in an attempt to get the ship going. She takes a stab at self-motivation, urgently chanting to herself, “I can do this! I can do this!”
That in itself was kind of heartwarming, but the humor springs out in the edit. Immediately after Rey’s self-motivational chant, we see Finn down in the gun turret, swinging around in the chair and trying to figure out how to keep the thing stable enough to get clean shots off at the attacking TIE Fighters. And guess what he’s saying to himself? “I can do this! I can do this!”
8. 14 parsecs?
This is one of the many A New Hope callback jokes in Episode VII. Any true Star Wars fan remembers well that in Episode IV, Han Solo was shocked that Luke and Obi-Wan had never heard of his prized ship, bragging, “You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.” Star Wars lore has it that the Kessel Run is a particularly tough smuggling route, so Han’s record was especially impressive. Of course, science-minded folks will tell you that that boast makes no sense, because a parsec is a unit of distance, not time. (Actually, even more science-y people have figured out how it could make sense.)
So having the 12-parsec record in our heads all these years, it was funny to hear that the legend had been passed down to the younger generation in The Force Awakens. While in the Falcon with Han and Chewie, an awestruck Rey tells Finn, “This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in 14 parsecs!” Ever-protective of his achievements, Han overhears and calls out, “12!” and then mutters incredulously, “14.”
7. “So who talks first?”
The very first sequence of the movie establishes that we may very well be in for some quality, well-delivered humor in The Force Awakens, after the lackluster mirth we endured in the prequels. It takes place, of course, on the desert planet Jakku, when Kylo Ren and his First Order Stormtroopers terrorize a village, in search of the map to Luke Skywalker’s whereabouts. Poe had been in possession of the map, but gave it to BB-8, who ran off with it.
When Poe tries to blast Ren away, the dark side Force-user freezes not only the blast, but also Poe himself, and Stormtroopers bring him to Ren. They stare at each other for a few beats before Poe actor Oscar Isaac calmly, brilliantly mocks the moment by saying, “So who talks first? You talk first?” Not at all what you’d expect from a man staring into Kylo Ren’s intimidating mask. But then he goes on to mock even that mask, complaining, “It’s just very hard to understand you with all the… apparatus.” For the audience, it provided some comic relief to a very tense early scene.
6. Chewbacca is a big baby
There are a number of funny moments between old pals Han Solo and Chewbacca in The Force Awakens. For example, after decades together, Han finally decides to try out Chewie’s awesome bowcaster. When he first blasts away a few Stormtroopers, in the heat of battle he breathlessly, playfully acknowledges, “I like this thing.”
But arguably the funniest moments between these two are the ones that portray Chewie as (although still a total badass warrior) a big, furry baby. First, the Wookiee is shot in the shoulder while trying to escape the gang members they encounter. Once safely on the Falcon, Chewie seems to moan something about not doing a good job because he got hurt and Han has to constantly remind him to rest. Once at the Resistance Base, a doctor tends to Chewie, who appears to be recounting the battle that left him injured. The doctor responds in patronizingly funny fashion, “That sounds very scary. You must be so brave.”
5. The trash compactor gag
Way back in A New Hope, our gang of Rebels get stuck in a trash compactor while trying to bust Princess Leia out of the Death Star. It’s a memorable scene mostly for its tension and strange, mostly unseen tentacled monster lurking in its watery depths. And our heroes narrowly escape being crushed to death.
They call back to this classic scene with humor in The Force Awakens. After Han, Chewbacca and Finn are finished interrogating Captain Phasma on Starkiller Base, they don’t know what to do with her. So Han asks Finn (who’s familiar with Starkiller Base), “Is there a garbage chute? Trash compactor?” And Finn exclaims with a broad smile, almost like he’s in on the joke in a meta kind of way, “Yeah, there is!” Because, of course, there’s a trash compactor on every planet-destroying base.
4. “That one’s garbage.”
Director J.J. Abrams pulls off a clever bit of editing to land an early joke in The Force Awakens. Rey and Finn are running from attacking TIE Fighters on Jakku when Rey decides that they’ll need to find a ship to get to safety. Finn points toward a ship and asks, “What about that one?” But Abrams doesn’t show us the ship, even when Rey responds, “That one’s garbage.”
She has spotted the ship she wants and they’re running towards it when it’s suddenly blown to bits by TIE Fighter blasts. We then get a bit of a chuckle when Rey’s reaction is to say, “The garbage’ll do.” The repetition of the word “garbage” only serves to emphasize how shoddy she thinks the unseen ship is. They run toward the garbage ship and then Abrams gives us the hilarious reveal: the hunk of junk is our beloved Millennium Falcon!
3. “That’s not how the Force works.”
Han, Finn and Chewie have arrived at Starkiller Base to rescue Rey and confront Kylo Ren. Before they left the Resistance Base, Finn had confirmed to Han that he could figure out how to disable Starkiller Base’s shields, so the Resistance fighters could get in and blow the thing up. Despite being a little awkward about it, Finn proved himself once again to be a convincing liar, prompting Han to say, “I like this guy.”
But when they get to the bad guys’ lair, Han begins questioning Finn, learning that he was a sanitation worker before he defected. “Sanitation?” questions Han. “Then how do you know how to disable the shields?” Finn replies, “I don’t. I’m just here to get Rey.” He goes on to add, naively, like it’s nothing, like he’s being helpful, “We’ll use the Force!” To which Han replies, exasperated, saying what Star Wars fans know to be true: “That’s not how the Force works!”
2. BB-8’s thumbs up
The Star Wars films are filled with Laurel and Hardy style comedy bits between R2-D2 and C-3P0. And R2 always seems to have just the right tool inside his little body to get the job done. Those two recurring themes come together in the form of the galaxy’s newest goofy droid, BB-8, in The Force Awakens.
It comes during a funny scene where Rey is down below in the Falcon, making some repairs, and asks Finn where the Resistance Base is. Finn still doesn’t want to give away that he’s not part of the Resistance, rather a defected Stormtrooper, so he tries to get BB-8 to tell Rey where the base is. He does confide in the droid that he’s not part of the Resistance, and that, along with some whispered begging, seems to win points with the little round droid. Finally, he beeps the location to Rey, then Finn responds with a thumbs up. In response, BB-8 cracks up the audience by extending his welding torch, R2-style, and pops up a flame: his version of a thumbs up!
1. Stormtroopers want no part of Kylo Ren’s freakout
Kylo Ren has brought Rey to his intimidating interrogation room at Starkiller Base and has a frustratingly hard time reading her. He gets something out of her, but she gets something from him, too. After he leaves, she’s guarded by a single stormtrooper. What follows is a chuckle-worthy scene on its own, as she initially tries and fails to use a Jedi mind trick on the trooper. But finally she succeeds and gets away and, on her way out, comically orders the trooper to drop his weapon.
When the impetuous Kylo Ren discovers that she’s gone, he freaks right out – his second such fit of rage in the movie. He unleashes his lightsaber and we only hear the destruction he’s unleashing inside the interrogation room, while we see a couple of troopers rounding a corner, possibly headed to check on the prisoner. But, upon hearing the madness, they know exactly what’s up and hilariously turn on their heels and go back the other way. It’s an almost goofy reaction, totally played for laughs – like something you might see in a Lego Star Wars cartoon. But it works because, let’s face it, we all would do the exact same thing if we were in their shoes.
Can you think of any other funny moments in Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Let us know in the comments!