Pooya | Sep 23, 2020 | 0
Top 5 Best Moments From the ‘Star Wars’ Saga
3.) Darth Vader’s Attack (“Rogue One”)
According to the reports, this scene was thought up of by the editor. I think we’re all aware from how different the trailers were that there were massive reshoots on “Rogue One.” Some thought they should have downplayed the connections more and for some I agree, (C-3P0 and R2-D2’s cameo) but I’ll take all that I can get with Vader. Especially after all of his whining and… being Hayden Christensen, it was SO cool to see the Darth Vader I grew up watching. Honestly, I would have been excited enough with the earlier scene. We got to see his castle which has been referenced in Extended Universe stuff, he was voiced by James Earl Jones again. They even went the extra mile and made his costume look exactly how it did in “A New Hope.” Complete with the red tinted lenses.
That may not seem all that impressive, but remember when Lucas himself put Vader in the suit for the first time in “Revenge of the Sith” the costume was based on how it looked in the later films. Making his visual appearance in “A New Hope” stick out that much more. But then this scene happened, I had heard Vader was going to do something amazing before seeing the film. At this point I assumed they were talking about the earlier scene which was cool, but not “all is forgiven for the prequels” good like the person had described. What I really love about this scene is how this future war movie suddenly turns into a horror film for one scene. People complain about inconsistent tones throughout a film and while it can be bad there are times where it’s called for. You feel just how powerful and dangerous not just Vader, but the entire empire is from the perspective of the rebels. I don’t even care if this slightly messes with continuity with “A New Hope.” He’s so brutal and no one can even touch him the only option they have is to run. THAT’S the Vader I like seeing.
2.) Luke and Vader’s Final Fight (“Return of the Jedi”)
I think I mentioned this before, William Goldman said that the 2 greatest sword fights in all of film are in “The Princess Bride.” The one with Wesley and Inigo which represents the greatest (at the time) in form and fighting style. The other one with Inigo vs the 6 Fingered Man in which represents the greatest in emotion. I’ll almost always take an emotional climax over an action one. The lightsaber duels in the prequels are incredible feats in fight choreography, but you never care THAT much because those films fumbled the character part of the stories for the most part. Being possibly (at the time) the last Star Wars film ever, “Return of the Jedi” could have fallen into that trap for its final duel between Luke and Vader. When you look at it it’s really not much more impressive than any of the other lightsaber fights in the last couple of films. Heck it’s not even that long. The reason it even lasts the climax is because the inter-cutting with the other missions of other characters. And even then Vader and Luke still stop the fight multiple times to talk and debate whether there’s still good in Vader.
From that description it may sound like a poor ending for a trilogy. What makes it work is how much we care about the characters. In that earlier example, they wisely landed more on the Inigo/6 Fingered Man type fight. You not only have Luke trying to reach Vader’s humanity, but also the opposite with Vader trying to appeal to all the bad parts of Luke’s personality. Add to that the tension of what the Emperor (who presides over this fight like the Devil over Hell) will eventually do and you have a very tense sequence that uses its characters to create it over special effects. It finally comes to a point where Vader finally gets Luke’s blood pumping by saying after this, he’s going to go after Leia. Once again the fighting isn’t all that impressive after all that build up all things considered. However, our series MVP John Williams creates one of the darkest sounding cues in the score. He uses a choir which almost makes it sounds like the souls of all those who died at the hand of the Sith and will continue to die if Luke fails. The moment feels all the more important and emotional. God, I love John Williams and the good work that he does!
1.) Yoda Raises the X-Wing (“Empire Strikes Back”)
Kind of like with my best MCU moments I’m trying to limit myself to one moment from each film so as not to basically fill the entire list with moments from just one film. So deciding on the best moment of all from “Empire Strikes Back” was challenging to say the least. The “I am your father” scene is iconic, the carbonate scene contains one of the best romantic lines of all-time plus my favorite shot of the whole series, but in the end I had to go with this moment. I’m almost ashamed to admit it now, but there was time (before the prequels) where “Jedi” was my favorite and “Empire” was my least favorite. It had some great parts, but the darker atmosphere didn’t appeal to young Eric. Plus I felt that the middle of the film, especially the Yoda scenes dragged on and where ultimately boring. As I got older I found the middle of “Jedi” to be more boring and this film’s middle to be better and better. I guess I was too young to appreciate it.
Luke has crashed his X-wing into the Dagobah swamp and throughout his training with Yoda it’s been sinking more and more. Yoda suggests that Luke move it with the Force, at first scoffing at it he gives it a try and fails. Claiming it’s too large to lift, Yoda then does it for him. Luke and the audience are amazed by this feat. From that description it may not sound terribly interesting. It’s one of those scenes where just every conceivable thing comes together to work. The acting from Mark Hamill and Frank Oz is on point. This is the first time we’re truly shown how powerful Yoda is. Up until this scene he’s mostly been quirky, mysterious or just giving speeches. Here, we are shown in no uncertain terms that he is a master. And of course one of the true backbones of the whole series John Williams delivers with one of his most beautiful sounding cues of music as the X-wing floats through the air out of the swamp.
I may have sounded dismissive of Yoda’s dialog before, so let me fix that. It’s full of great lines from him like “No, try not! Do or do not, there is no try.” However, nothing perhaps in the whole series can compete with when Yoda talks about the Force to Luke.
“Size matters not, look at me. Judge me by my size do you? And where you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us, binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the force around you.”
I think what really gets me about this quote is just how big and wondrous it makes the Force sound. It makes me almost want to believe in the Force in real-life. That it’s as amazing as the real wonders of the galaxy and the higher powers will still struggle to comprehend (assuming they’re real). I think it’s the moment when this series truly transcended into something greater than just a film. Ending with a killer final line to the disbelieving Luke, “That is why you fail.”
May the force be with you.