40 things that made Star Wars great – Part 2

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21 Hands off

Speaking of Ponda Baba, this was also the first time a character loses a limb in a Star Wars movie, a recurring theme in all the other movies as well.

22 Chewbacca

UHUUUUURRRR ahrrr arrrrr urrr ohrrr arrrr ARRRRR! (Translation: You may not understand me, and you may think I’m a walking carpet, but deep down, you just want a great big Wookie hug!)

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Han Solo and Chewbacca, a friendship to last the ages.

23 Han Solo

Did he shoot first? Who cares? Harrison Ford’s scruffy-looking nerf-herder is still one of the best characters in the entire Star Wars franchise. Luke was the one we were rooting for, but Han was the one we all wanted to be.

24 The Millennium Falcon

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It may look like a hamburger patty, but the Millennium Falcon is still the coolest ship in the Star Wars franchise.

The fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy may look like a flying hamburger patty, but the Millennium Falcon is without a single doubt, THE coolest space craft in the entire Star War franchise.

25 The power of the Force

“It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together”. Obi-Wan’s suitably vague explanation gives the Force a certain degree of mysticism that really doesn’t need any further detail (not least the midi-chlorian nonsense Lucas tried to introduce in The Phantom Menace).

26 ‘You may fire when ready’

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Han and Luke’s rescue of Leia was not going to plan. Because they didn’t really have one.

Poor Leia. As if being tortured was not enough, she had to go through the grief of watching her home planet Alderaan getting blown up. At that moment, it became clear just how powerful the Death Star was, as we realised he just used it to destroy AN ENTIRE PLANET.

27 ‘I have a very bad feeling about this’

The Millennium Falcon jumps out of hyperspace near what’s left of Alderaan, and while chasing a lone TIE fighter, they spot a “moon”. Only it’s “no moon” …

“I have a very bad feeling about this”, says Luke, perfectly encapsulating the moment, and marking the first utterance of a line featured in every Star Wars movie ever since.

28 ‘Into the garbage chute, flyboy!’

Han, Luke and Chewbacca decide to rescue the princess from the detention cells, but they didn’t really think the rescue though. So, it’s up to Leia herself to save them all, further proving just how much of a royal badass this princess is, and how good she is at discovering “incredible smells” by going down garbage chutes.

29 The bumbling Stormtrooper

A blooper that is also one of the franchise’s funniest moments – a Stormtrooper bonks his head on the door frame as he enters to confront R2-D2 and C-3PO.

30 The Death Star escape

From Luke and Leia swinging across a massive chasm, to Han Solo chasing down a troop of Stormtroopers only to be chased back by a larger troop, the gang’s escape from the Death Star was a whole lot of fun. Too bad it had to end with …

31 Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader

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The first ever lightsaber fight, between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.

The franchise’s first ever lightsaber fight was memorable for three things – Vader finally revealing his red, yes RED, lightsaber, and the old Jedi sacrificing himself so that Luke and his friends could escape. The fight also ended in a strange mystery (at the time) – “Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you can ever imagine,” Obi-Wan says, and as Vader’s lightsaber cuts through him, the old Jedi somehow just vanishes into thin air…

32 The Rebel base

The danger’s not over yet though – the Death Star is on its way to Yavin to destroy the Rebel base, and the Rebels formulate a desperate plan to fight back by targeting the one weakness the space station has – a two metre-wide small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port that leads directly to the reactor system.

33 ‘May the Force be with you’

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Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi. His life may have ended in A New Hope, but his legend was only just beginning.

Contrary to popular belief, it was not Obi-Wan Kenobi who first uttered this iconic phrase. Rather, it was actually General Jan Dodonna of the Rebel Alliance who first said it. On Yavin, after explaining the plan to destroy the first Death Star, Dodonna says, “May the Force be with you” to the pilots who would be taking the fight to the Death Star.

34 ‘Lock S-foils in attack position’

And as the X-Wing fighters’ wings opened up into an X, we all changed our “future career” option to “X-Wing pilot”.

35 The Battle Of Yavin

X-Wings! Y-Wings! TIE Fighters! Star Destroyers! THIS was the “Wars” in “Star Wars” we had been waiting for, and it did not disappoint. Even today, the final dogfight above the Death Star still ranks as one of the most exciting battles sequences in the entire franchise.


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The X-Wing fighters lock their S-foils in attack position as they prepare to attack the Death Star.

36 Luke’s trench run

The Rebel’s first run at the exhaust port failed miserably, and it is Luke’s turn inside the trench. As his wingmen Wedge and Biggs get taken out one after another, it is up to him alone to finish the mission off once and for all …

37 ‘The Force is strong with this one’

Another iconic line that is used throughout the franchise, uttered for the first time by none other than Darth Vader himself, as he pilots his Advanced TIE Fighter in pursuit of Luke’s X-Wing inside the Death Star trench.

38 Use the Force, Luke …

Luke finally uses the Force for the first time, stowing his targeting system and putting his faith in a “hokey religion” to guide him as he lines up his torpedoes, and fires them directly into the Death Star’s exhaust port!

39 Kaboom!

When the Death Star finally blows up, it signalled the end of one of the most exhilarating movies we had ever seen. Little did we know that this was not the end …

40 The medal ceremony

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Poor Chewie was not pleased with his lack of a medal.

Han’s wink, Leia’s radiant smile, and the general joyous occasion was a great but cheesy way to cap the movie. Just one thing though – why didn’t Chewie get a medal too?

Speaking of awards, did you know that Star Wars was also the first science fiction film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards?

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