Whether it be the original Star Wars trilogy, the prequels or the sequels to this point, the franchise has always done its best to catch audiences off guard and ensure they leave the movie theatre reeling. And with the Rise of Skywalker promising to give us a satisfying conclusion to the saga with plenty of twists and turns along the way, there is an expectancy that more of the same lies ahead.
With that in mind, we now take a look at the biggest and most shocking revelation from every blockbuster to date. And we’re not just looking at the eight chapters of the Skywalker saga, but also the two spin-offs Rogue One and Solo as well...
10 The Phantom Menace: Darth Maul’s Death
Prior to the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, much of the marketing focused on the mysterious character of Darth Maul. In the original trilogy, Darth Vader had been the big villain of the series but it was time for a new bad guy to take center stage. And Maul, with his tattooed face, devil horns, and double-bladed lightsaber, certainly generated a fair bit of excitement.
It was, therefore, surprising that he was killed off at the end of The Phantom Menace. Many expected Maul to vill the void until Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the dark side but that wasn’t the case, with Obi-Wan Kenobi axing him half. It was a decision that sparked criticism among fans and Maul would eventually be brought back to life in the animated series, The Clone Wars.
9 Attack Of The Clones: Jango Fett’s Death
While lightsabers were prominent throughout the original Star Wars trilogy, what with the weapon being used by the likes of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the prequels saw scenes involving them grow increasingly more frequent. And it was in Attack Of The Clones where we first saw a lightsaber used to chop somebody’s head off.
That happens on the planet of Geonosis, when Mace Windu eliminates bounty hunter Jango Fett amid a huge battle inside the arena. It was a surprising moment because nobody expected Jango to die given how much he was seen on screen. Alas, George Lucas threw a spanner into the works by having Jango die, following in the footsteps of fellow villain Maul in the process.
8 Revenge Of The Sith: Palpatine Tells The Story Of Darth Plagueis
Everybody knew that Sheev Palpatine would become the Emperor and persuade Anakin Skywalker to serve under him during 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. However, the biggest twist in the movie is when Palpatine relays to Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise and how he was able to use the force to stop those he cared about from dying.
This moment was huge as it revealed that the force is actually capable of immortalising people, while also being the reason for Anakin’s transformation at the same time. It’s also led to theories that Palpatine learnt the same power from his master, therefore paving the way for his return in The Rise of Skywalker. If anybody’s powerful enough to achieve such a feat, it would be the galaxy’s former ruler.
7 Solo: Qi’ra Works For Darth Maul
At the end of Solo, it looks as if Han Solo has stumbled across the finish line. He’d been triumphant in his battle against Dryden Vos, managed to befriend Lando Calrissian and shot mentor Tobias Beckett during a one-on-one showdown. It looks as if he would strut off into the sunset with love interest Qi’ra but, at the last minute, she leaves him behind.
And what’s so surprising is the reason why. At this point, it’s revealed that she’s in cahoots with Darth Maul, who sits atop of criminal syndicate Crimson Dawn, and tied to the organization despite previously murdering Vos. This revelation is why a section of the fan base would love to see a Solo 2, despite the fact the movie failed to live up to expectations at the Box Office.
6 Rogue One: Everybody Dies
Part of us went into Rogue One knowing that, most likely, a fair chunk of the characters involved would have to meet their end. After all, if they're not ever mentioned or seen during the original trilogy, that’s the only thing that makes narrative sense. However, despite that, it didn’t stop the mass casualties at the end of the blockbuster being any less surprising.
Jinn Erso and Cassian Andor perish on Scarif after Chirut Imwe, Baze Malbus and K2SO had all previously met their end. It’s arguably the most emotional scene from the entire series and Diego Luna, who plays Cassian in the movie, recently admitted he was left devastated by the decision that none of the heroes would live to see another day.
5 A New Hope: Obi-Wan Kenobi Dies
A New Hope was the first-ever Star Wars movie, releasing in 1977 and sending audiences across the globe wild. And one of the most surprising moments was the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi (or Ben as he was known at that point in time) when the Jedi falls at the hands of the villainous Darth Vader.
Given how prominent Kenobi was during the movie, it didn’t seem like he would meet his end. But he does, sacrificing himself in order to allow Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa, C3PO and R2D2 to flee from the stormtroopers trying to capture them. Fortunately for fans of the character, he would return for both The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi in force-ghost form.
4 The Empire Strikes Back: I Am Your Father
While seeing Kenobi return from the dead, learning of Yoda’s existence, the code of the Jedi and Lando Calrissian’s treachery in The Empire Strikes Back were all big moments, nothing comes close to being surprising in comparison to Darth Vader’s revelation to Luke Skywalker that he was his father, despite Obi-Wan insisting his father had died many years ago.
This twist ranks among the greatest from not just the saga, but the movie industry itself. It generated mass excitement for Return of the Jedi because nobody saw it coming whatsoever. George Lucas wanted to keep it under wraps so badly he even failed to divulge the information to many of the cast and crew.
3 Return Of The Jedi: Luke And Leia Are Siblings
Lucas had one last surprise in store when it came to the original trilogy, and that was revealing that Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker were actually siblings, despite them initially appearing likely to be involved romantically. Yoda mentions ‘there is another’ on Dagobah in the previous movie but nobody expected that to be Leia.
It even surprises her when she learns of the truth shortly before Luke’s final showdown with Vader. Vader, too, becomes aware of it and nearly forces Luke to turn to the dark side when he taunts his son about it on the second Death Star. Fortunately, both characters see out the trilogy and it frees up Leia to settle down with Han Solo.
2 The Force Awakens: Kylo Ren’s Identity
When Disney bought Star Wars and released The Force Awakens in 2015, they produced a movie packed with twists. Whether it be that Luke Skywalker was missing, that Han Solo and Leia Organa had split up or the death of Han himself, it’s a blockbuster brimming with surprises. However, the biggest is when it’s revealed that Kylo Ren, AKA Darth Vader 2.0, was the scoundrel and Leia’s son.
This is revealed when Supreme Leader Snoke encourages his apprentice to capture BB8, who is carrying a map to Luke Skywalker that the First Order crave. It’s a huge moment and Kylo’s origins and slide to the dark side will still have people hooked for when the Rise of Skywalker comes out later this year. There’s certainly more in the story to come.
1 The Last Jedi: Supreme Leader Snoke’s Death
For The Last Jedi, we’re torn between the decisions to kill off Luke Skywalker or Supreme Leader Snoke. But we’ve gone with the latter because, while Luke dying was unexpected for the most part, just about everybody expected Snoke to see out not just the movie but near enough the entire sequel trilogy.
After all, this was a character who had a great resemblance to Emperor Palpatine, who appeared to possess great control over Kylo Ren and who actor Andy Serkis had described as being the most powerful dark side user in history. It was hugely shocking, therefore, when Kylo tricked and killed his master just as he appears set to murder Rey instead. Will he be back for the Rise of Skywalker? That’s a question we can’t wait to see answered...