All of the Star Wars movies are packed with exhilarating action sequences, from the destruction of the Death Star to the saga’s many lightsaber duels. Due to the characters’ use of spacecraft and landspeeders, a lot of those action sequences are chases. There have even been some great chases on foot in this galaxy far, far away.
Although the fan reception has dipped up and down from the original trilogy to the prequel trilogy to the sequel trilogy, one thing is apparent in all three: exciting well-crafted action sequences. So, here are The 10 Most Thrilling Chase Sequences In The Star Wars Saga, Ranked.
10 Obi-Wan chasing General Grievous’ wheelbike on a varactyl
Few Star Wars fans would argue that Revenge of the Sith is the best prequel. When Obi-Wan arrives at General Grievous’ base on Utapau, he’s faced with four MagnaGuards, and while they seem to be a threat at first, he manages to crush three of them by dislodging an air vent above them with the Force before decapitating the fourth. Then, he faces Grievous himself.
After severing a few of Grievous’ robotic limbs, the General relents and hops on his wheelbike. Obi-Wan won’t let him get away, so he hops on his varactyl, Boga, and chases him through the wilderness of Utapau.
9 TIE fighters chasing the Millennium Falcon away from the Death Star
Against all odds, Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie, and the droids managed to escape from the Death Star – albeit without Obi-Wan, who died fighting Darth Vader – after rescuing the princess from captivity and retrieving the plans for the Rebels. As they left in the Millennium Falcon, they were pursued by a couple of TIE fighters.
Luke and Han went down to fire the blaster cannons on the bottom of the ship at them, and managed to pick them off. When Luke managed to blow up one of the TIE fighters, he bragged about it, until Han uttered the immortal words, “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.”
8 Anakin’s podrace
“Now, this is podracing!” While this is technically more of a race than a chase, it is an exhilarating vehicular sequence involving two opposing parties, so it’s basically a chase. As soon as the podrace boils down to Anakin and Sebulba’s intense rivalry, it becomes a chase.
A lot of Star Wars fans were disappointed with The Phantom Menace, because it took their childhood and reduced it to political commentary on trade deals, but as the movie’s big action sequence at its midpoint, the podrace is pretty exciting – and it also introduced the idea of spectator sports in the Star Wars universe, which was an interesting development.
7 TIE fighters chasing the Millennium Falcon through the wreckage of a Star Destroyer
The distinction of the airborne action sequences in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is that they take place in the skies of various planets as opposed to space. Whether the Resistance was blowing up Starkiller Base from inside its atmosphere or arriving to battle the First Order at Maz Kanata’s castle, the dogfights looked more like real dogfights, because they took place in the skies.
Another example is when Rey and Finn flee Jakku in the Millennium Falcon and get pursued through the downed wreckage of an Imperial Star Destroyer by a couple of TIE fighters. It was a spectacular sequence.
6 Anakin and Obi-Wan chasing Zam Wesell across Coruscant
Despite being mostly maligned by the Star Wars fan base, Attack of the Clones has a few great action sequences, like the scene in which a captured Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme are forced to fight malicious alien creatures in a gladiatorial arena. One of the early sequences sees Anakin and Obi-Wan chasing a bounty hunter named Zam Wesell across the urban landscapes of Coruscant.
With neo-noir visuals inspired by Blade Runner and whizzing camera movements, George Lucas created a chase scene that’s as beautiful as it is thrilling. It also builds on Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship as a Padawan and his Master.
5 Jango Fett chasing Obi-Wan from Kamino
Obi-Wan heads to the rainy planet of Kamino when he discovers that it has been erased from the Jedi Archives. There, he finds that the bounty hunter Jango Fett has been cloned to create a mysterious army. Jango and his son, Boba, pursue Obi-Wan through an asteroid field and Obi-Wan manages to avoid Jango’s detection by landing on the side of an asteroid and hiding in plain sight.
Boba takes note of this, and it explains how he later knows that Han Solo had landed the Millennium Falcon on the side of a Star Destroyer to avoid being captured by the Empire.
4 The Death Star trench run
In his quest to destroy the Death Star, Luke Skywalker was pursued by a couple of TIE fighters along the superweapon’s trenches. These TIE fighters included an experimental TIE fighter prototype piloted by Darth Vader. Vader was able to use the ship’s blaster cannons combined with the Force to obliterate a bunch of Rebel ships – but not Luke’s.
At one point, it seemed like Luke might not make it to the air shaft he needed to shoot in order to blow the thing up, but then Han and Chewie gloriously returned to show off their newfound heroism and shoot the TIE fighters off Luke’s tail.
3 Han and Qi’ra escape Corellia in a speeder
Although Solo: A Star Wars Story was criticized by fans because its existence wasn’t strictly necessary, it was a rollicking intergalactic adventure set in everyone’s favorite galaxy far, far away, so why complain? The movie opens with Alden Ehrenreich’s young Han Solo and Emilia Clarke’s femme fatale Qi’ra escaping from a Corellian gang that they owe money to by hopping into a speeder and gunning it out of there.
The scene was great fun – like a Star Wars-ian car chase – with the only downside being that it led to the two splitting up to fight for Imperial forces, which dragged down the movie’s second act.
2 The speeder bike chase through the forests of Endor
Luke spends a lot of the final battle in Return of the Jedi up on the second Death Star, dueling with his father in the Emperor’s throne room. However, when it all kicks off, he’s down on the surface of Endor.
The Rebels have to take out a couple of Scout Troopers that are guarding the Empire’s tech, and part of this involves Luke and Leia hopping on a couple of speeder bikes and racing the troops through the woods. The bad guys all end up crashing into trees or flying from their speeder bikes, but Luke and Leia’s Force sensitivity keeps them safe.
1 The Empire pursuing the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field
Despite the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field being 3,720 to one, as C-3PO points out, Han Solo decides to try his luck. The Empire is close on the Millennium Falcon’s tail and the chances of making it out alive are looking slim, so Han decides to give navigating an asteroid field a go.
Most of the TIE fighters don’t make it through to the other side, but then TIE fighter pilots don’t tend to be as skilled at the controls of a starship as Han Solo. The Empire Strikes Back is full of exciting action sequences – this is just one of them.