Scenes are important in any movie, but as a “space opera” (an opera that takes place in sci-fi settings with fantastical characters and plot devices), the scene is a particularly important unit in each Star Wars movie. Although it was a six-part saga for years, Disney has added several movies to the Star Wars canon in recent years as the Mouse House has purchased Lucasfilm, started up a sequel trilogy to pick up where the original trilogy left off, and also given us a couple of spin-offs under the “Anthology” banner to top it off. Here is The Best Scene In Every Star Wars Movie, Ranked.
10 Solo: The great train robbery
The main criticism of Solo: A Star Wars Story – the only box office bomb in the history of the saga – was that it didn’t feel necessary. Did Han Solo really need an origin story? The answer, obviously, is no. Still, it was a fun trip to everyone’s favorite galaxy far, far away with some riveting set pieces, the greatest of which was the train heist scene. Most Star Wars films are classed as “space operas,” but Solo was more commonly called a “space western,” and no scene places it in this category more than when Han joins Beckett’s crew in robbing a train.
9 Attack of the Clones: Obi-Wan’s fight with Jango Fett on Kamino
This one was a toss-up between the Battle of Geonosis, Yoda’s lightsaber duel with Count Dooku, and Obi-Wan fighting Jango Fett on Kamino. But it’s the latter that takes the crown of the greatest scene in Attack of the Clones, because it brings out the best in both characters. Obi-Wan uses his lightsaber-wielding skills and Force abilities to outgun Fett, while Fett uses his futuristic gadgets and quick wits to hold his own in a combat situation with a Jedi Knight. Plus, the fact that it’s raining (Kamino is a perpetually rainy planet) only adds to the cinematic feel of the scene.
8 The Force Awakens: Rey and Finn escape Jakku in the Millennium Falcon
Although Han’s reunion with Leia and the mysterious final-act appearance of Luke are great scenes, arguably the greatest set piece in The Force Awakens is the one that sees Rey and Finn escape from the First Order in “a piece of junk.” The camera pans over to reveal that this junky ship is, in fact, the Millennium Falcon.
Pursued by a couple of TIE fighters, they escape Jakku through the wreckage of an Imperial Star Destroyer that fell from space during the Battle of Endor. The scene has the perfect blend of intergalactic action, dynamic plot progression, and character moments.
7 The Last Jedi: Luke Skywalker becomes one with the Force
Rian Johnson’s bitter, grizzled characterization of Luke Skywalker was criticized by Star Wars fans, because it didn’t line up with the Luke we know and love. We all remember Luke as the brightest, most optimistic person in the galaxy; the guy who saw the light in the evil tyrant who destroyed planets and dominated civilizations. However, in his final scene in The Last Jedi, he returns to his old heroic self. He projects himself onto Crait to distract Kylo Ren long enough for the Resistance to escape. It turned out to be his last heroic act, because it took all the energy out of him and killed him. Even fans who hated The Last Jedi can’t deny tearing up when Luke became on with the Force.
6 The Phantom Menace: Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s lightsaber duel with Darth Maul
This might be the greatest lightsaber duel in Star Wars history. Fans were disappointed with a lot about The Phantom Menace, because they’d waited 16 years to see George Lucas follow up the Star Wars saga with a prequel, and despite the dark origin story of Darth Vader they were promised, what they got was an adorable little kid talking about angels, Jar Jar Binks, and the line “This is podracing!” However, they did get a terrifying, softly spoken villain with a tattooed face and a double-bladed lightsaber, an effective portrayal of young Obi-Wan Kenobi by Ewan McGregor, and an emotionally affecting new character who acted as his mentor – and all three of these converged in the awesome climactic lightsaber battle, punctuated with John Williams’ breathtaking track “Duel of the Fates.”
5 Rogue One: Darth Vader slaughters a corridor full of Rebel troops
Some could argue that the ending of Rogue One would be even more impactful if Darth Vader’s ominous appearance linked to the main characters’ storyline. They were all going to die anyway, so why not have them slaughtered by Vader instead of the Death Star’s trial run? However, as it stands, the scene is plenty effective. A group of nervous Rebel troops stand guard while Tantive IV collects the Death Star plans and gets ready to depart. Suddenly, amid the corridor’s cloud of fog, Vader ignites his lightsaber, illuminating himself in a frightening red glow. This might be the greatest moment in a Disney-produced Star Wars film to date.
4 Return of the Jedi: Darth Vader is unmasked
Star Wars fans spent the whole original trilogy wondering what was under Darth Vader’s mask. At the end of Return of the Jedi, they had that question answered. Vader redeemed himself by tossing the Emperor into a reactor core to save Luke, but in doing so, he exposed himself to a lethal dose of Force lightning.
Before he died, he wanted to look upon his son with his own eyes, so he removed his mask and shared a tender moment with Luke. For all of the action and spectacle and space battles, sometimes the best Star Wars moments are the quieter ones.
3 Revenge of the Sith: Obi-Wan and Anakin’s battle on Mustafar
The conflict between Obi-Wan and Anakin comes to a head in their lightsaber duel on Mustafar. Anakin has fallen into the arms of the Dark Side, joined Palpatine, murdered all the Jedi’s younglings, and sent Mace Windu flying out of a window, all because he felt underappreciated by Obi-Wan. He thought Obi-Wan looked down on him and didn’t see them as equals. When Obi-Wan beats him in combat and leaves him limbless in a pool of lava, the final nail in the coffin is proving Anakin’s fears to be unfounded: “You were my brother, Anakin!” This is an example of the prequel trilogy adding to the original trilogy where the sequel trilogy detracts from it. It tells us that Darth Vader got his condition from Obi-Wan, and that he’s a tragic hero.
2 The Empire Strikes Back: “No, I am your father!”
At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke senses that his friends are in danger on Cloud City and abandons his training with Yoda to go and save them, Star Wars fans get to see what they’ve been waiting two movies to see: Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader engaging in a lightsaber duel. Luke finds himself hopelessly outmatched by Vader, getting his hand chopped off and being backed out onto a ledge. There, Vader reveals to Luke that he is, in fact, his father. Faced with the decision to join his father in leading the Empire or jump to certain doom, the gallant Luke chooses the latter.
1 A New Hope: Luke blows up the Death Star
The single greatest moment in Star Wars history is also the most obvious one. The characters of the original trilogy each have a three-movie arc, but they each reach a kind of resolution in this moment (except for Leia, who isn’t present). Obi-Wan proves what it means to be “more powerful than you could possibly imagine” when he speaks to Luke from beyond the grave, Han learns the virtues of heroism and boldly returns to blow the TIE fighters off Luke’s tail, and Luke himself focuses his mind and uses the Force to blow up the Death Star. The Rebels haven’t yet won the war, but they’ve won the battle.