Star Wars is the biggest franchise in the world at the moment, having given us the number one box office movie in 2015, and again in 2016. It’ll undoubtedly do the same when The Last Jedi comes out at the end of 2017, too.
Because of this totemic place it holds in pop culture, there aren’t many people around who wouldn’t recognize the mask of Darth Vader, or the iconic swish of a lightsaber. But then there are us fans who are really into our Star Wars – those of us who can list the members of Red Squadron, who can recount who shot first and in which version, and who bring strong opinions to bear every time the word ‘Gungan’ is uttered.
If that describes you, you’ll love the following memes we’ve gathered from around the internet, which recall beloved moments from the original trilogy, poke fun at some questionable lines from the prequels, theorize about what’s to come in the sequels, and more.
And if you don’t get all the references, no need to worry – we’ll explain some of the more obscure gags for you. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun with these fifteen hilarious Star Wars memes.
To the most devoted fans, the Star Wars galaxy has a whole revered history and mythology, and there’s a massive amount of it – at least, there was.
Many of us grew up with the novels, comics and games of the Expanded Universe, which had been telling the tales of that galaxy far, far away since 1978, the first spin-off novel coming out only a year after the first film. And then, when Disney bought Lucasfilm, they rebooted the universe, wiping all those beloved childhood memories out of canon in what some saw as a Sith-level masterstroke.
Still, the reverent way in which The Force Awakens treated Star Wars history acknowledges the importance of that mythology. Don’t be a cynical Han; canon or not, those stories still exist in our fan hearts.
14 Rogue Spelling
The first of Disney’s line of spin-off movies, Rogue One seemed to please a majority of fandom with its gritty tale of the theft of the Death Star plans, but it was a trying time for pedants on the internet.
For a start, they had to deal with everyone asking “but didn’t the original trilogy already say that the Bothans stole the plans?” – no, those were the ones for the Second Death Star. And then there was the fact that an alarming amount of people seemed unable to spell the word ‘rogue’.
To be really arsey about it, since the common misspelling ‘rouge’ is in fact French for ‘red’, would ‘rouge one’ not refer to the leader of A New Hope’s Red Squadron, and thus an already existing Star Wars character?
13 Is Porkins Snoke?
The Force Awakens kicked off a new era of the Star Wars saga and left many threads dangling for its two sequels to pick up on, not least being the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke.
Fans have come up with endless theories. Is he Darth Plagueis? Or a reincarnation of Palpatine? Maybe he’s even Mace Windu, scarred and embittered by his encounter with force lightning? When that last idea emerged, it became clear just how outlandish the Snoke theories were getting.
Some fans have since taken the whole thing less seriously, having fun choosing obscure characters who are unlikely candidates to be Snoke. For example, could X-Wing pilot Jek Porkins have survived the Battle of Yavin and gone on to lead the First Order? It sounds ridiculous, but you never know...
12 Chewie’s Medal
The Star Wars galaxy is full of injustices, from the Empire’s oppression of enslaved species to the Hutt cartels’ mafia-like grip over the Outer Rim. But one of the most mistreated citizens of all has to be Chewbacca.
He plays an important role in the events of A New Hope, being vital to the rescue of Princess Leia and co-piloting the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Yavin. And yet the Rebel Alliance doesn’t see fit to give him a medal for his service.
This poor decision has become Star Wars legend, with the memes more than making up for Chewie’s lack of recognition at the time. Perhaps the best theory, as this image posits, is that the Alliance simply made a mistake akin to Steve Harvey awarding the Miss Universe 2015 title to the wrong contestant.
11 Grievous’ Collection
Grievous was far from the best villain of the Star Wars films, seemingly existing only because George Lucas decided to see how many lightsabers he could get the animation team to give one character before they all quit.
But the Expanded Universe gave Grievous a tragic backstory; he was mortally wounded in a war in which the Jedi sided with the opposing species. This led to his hatred of the Jedi and his obsession with collecting lightsabers as kill trophies.
So you never knew when Grievous could pop up and nab your saber. Not even Rey was safe, apparently. Though in fact, the very lightsaber that Rey is holding in this iconic The Force Awakens scene was held by Grievous once before – he briefly confiscated it from Anakin Skywalker at the beginning of Episode III.
10 The Thing You Swore To Destroy
Ah, the prequels. They may have made us cringe at the time, but in the long term, they’ve done a lot of good in terms of providing material for online humor.
Looking at Episodes I to III, there are a lot of competitors for the title of worst line of dialogue. Anything that mentions midi-chlorians or begins with “meesa” is a prime contender, though the real winner comes from one of the cringe-heavy romance scenes, when Anakin Skywalker, who was raised in the desert, declares: "I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth."
Just one movie later, however, he turns to the dark side, and becomes the very thing he hated...
9 So Much Green
We’ve addressed the dialogue, but another major flaw of the prequel movies was the overuse of CGI. Out was the believable, worn-down look of the original trilogy’s galaxy, and in was the oversaturated computer game of George Lucas’s mind.
If you’ve watched any behind the scenes videos from these movies, you’ll no doubt have seen clips of actors standing in front of greenscreens, with the entire sets and even other characters to be added in later.
The Force Awakens, on the other hand, went back to a practical effects-led approach, knowing that fans were fed up by too much greenscreen. It appears Rey was too, if this quote (actually spoken when she steps onto forest planet Takodana for the first time) is to be interpreted that way.
8 C-3PO's Witnesses
Love them or hate them, the Ewoks are one of the most memorable species of the original Star Wars films. The teddy bear-esque residents of the Forest Moon of Endor were deemed adorable enough to get their own spin-off TV movies and cartoon.
But it’s easy to forget they have a dark side of their own, almost killing our heroes and eating them at a banquet. They only stop because C-3PO, who has been dubbed their new god, orders them to. The Ewoks then go on to play a vital role in defeating the Empire.
Despite these heroics, though, many fans still find them annoying. Just as it can be annoying when Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on your door to tell you about their faith – so perhaps this comparison is very appropriate.
7 Darth Fire Extinguisher
Don’t you hate it when you go to the theater and the people sitting near you chat through the whole show? In Revenge of the Sith’s opera scene, Palpatine does just this, telling Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise.
Darth P, it turns out, had worked out how to use the Force to create life, and prolong the life of others. It was implied that he in fact created Anakin – either a very clever piece of backstory or a tedious and irrelevant piece of exposition, depending on your mindset.
But Plagueis ended up killed by his own apprentice, which Palpatine summed up as “Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.” It’s another... erm... memorable piece of prequel dialogue that is best utilised as a caption for memes.
6 Maybe Snoke Is This Trooper?
OK, we’re taking your criticisms from the earlier entry – it’s too unlikely that Porkins is Snoke. This theory, however, could be plausible. Right?
In a famous moment from A New Hope, a stormtrooper accidentally bangs his head on a Death Star doorway. The editors could presumably have used another take of this shot, but the gaffe was kept in. It went down in Star Wars legend; a sound effect was added in the special edition to draw attention to the bump, and it was even homaged with Jango Fett doing the same in Episode II.
But what if the biggest homage is yet to come, in the reveal that this trooper went on to lead the First Order? That bump could’ve left a lasting injury, which would only worsen into Snoke’s cranial scar, and which would embitter him into becoming truly evil...
5 Born In The High Ground
We keep coming back to the prequels... they’re just too easy. Another famously mocked line comes at the end of Revenge of the Sith, when Obi-Wan and Anakin have been dueling for a while; Obi-Wan thinks he’s secured the victory, simply because he’s standing on a hill.
“It’s over, Anakin,” he shouts, “I have the high ground!” Though it doesn’t make any real sense, Obi-Wan’s predilection for ‘the high ground’ has become the thing of meme-makers’ dreams.
Even in this scene from The Phantom Menace where Maul looks to have the high ground over Obi-Wan (and in a way which genuinely does give him an advantage), Kenobi can always win out when it comes to ground elevation. The quote from The Dark Knight Rises only exemplifies that.
4 Stormtrooper Life
Though we see a lot of stormtroopers throughout the original trilogy, the stories focus on a more elite group of characters, and we don’t get much of an idea of what it’s like to live your everyday life in the Imperial armed forces.
Perhaps that’s for the best, as if we got to know the troopers too closely, we’d feel bad for them when they all got blown up on the Death Star. There are people inside those suits of armor, after all.
This take on the ‘What People Think I Do/What I Really Do’ meme, on the other hand, gives us a good insight into the stormtrooper psyche. It should come as no surprise that the job actually involves a lot of standing around – the Death Star doesn’t get infiltrated every day.
3 A Diplomatic Mission?
One thing a lot of people liked about Rogue One was the way its ending tied in with the opening of A New Hope – the Tantive IV escapes with the Death Star plans, leading directly into the iconic scene where the ship is intercepted above Tatooine by Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer.
But those two scenes don’t mesh together too well, after all. How can Captain Antilles’s excuses about being on a diplomatic mission stand up when it’s clear this is the ship that just escaped Vader over Scarif?
There may be an explanation; perhaps the crew changed whatever the space equivalent of a license plate is, and somehow made it not obvious that this was the same ship. But still, the captain’s words are pretty obvious lies.
2 Shooting In Space
This guy here (the one on the top) is Colin Trevorrow, who directed the box office-smashing Jurassic World and is soon to give us his take on the Star Wars galaxy as the man in charge of Episode IX.
In January of last year, the news emerged that Trevorrow had, inspired by Christopher Nolan’s use of NASA footage in Interstellar, submitted a request to send an IMAX camera to the International Space Station and shoot some starscapes for use in Episode IX.
It’s an ambitious idea, though perhaps too ambitious – starscapes are one thing that CGI can do pretty well, and this would probably cost way more than it would be worth. Darth Vader’s warning, a direct quote from Rogue One, would be well heeded.
1 Order 66
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably enough of a nerd to know what Order 66 was, but just in case – it was the command hardwired into the clone troopers so that, when issued by Palpatine, they’d turn on and execute all the Jedi.
Of course, psychic programming is only one of many ways to execute an order, and we have to wonder what would happen if the phrase ‘order 66’ came up while a clone trooper and Palpatine happened to be in a takeaway together.
It’s not actually been chronicled what the first 65 orders did, though an Expanded Universe novel established that Order 65 allowed the troopers to detain the Chancellor if he became unfit for command. Not sure why Palpatine would have that programmed into them.