Monday, February 02, 2009

Top Ten Star Wars Moments

So here is the plan. This week I intend on making three blog post (3 in one week? Crazy isn't it, usually I am lucky to get three in a month). All three of these blog posts are going to be about Star Wars. Why? Because that is how I roll.

A good while ago (like Septemberish, Star Wars Insider ran a top ten list of the best "Star Wars moments". At the time I thought I should make my own list, but that didn't happen then, but here it is now. So here is my list of the top ten moments from all these Star Wars that best capture what makes Star Wars so awesome.

10. Darth Maul vs. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan (TPM)
This is the token Episode 1 entry. It really pains me, but Episode 1 is not very good. I appreciate the subtle plotting of Palpatine and I think that Qui-Gon Jinn is a very cool character. However Jar-Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd's atrocious acting, and an over-reliance on CGI was one sin to many. That being said, I think nearly all of us left the theater upon seeing the movie for the first time completely "wowed" and that is primarily because of this fight. Until this moment it had been sixteen years since a lightsaber fight and this fight fulfilled all nerdgasm fantasies. To bad it was stuck at the tail end of The Phantom Menace.

9. Imperial March (ESB)
This short scene is one of my favorites. In Empire Strikes Back, the first time the Imperial March is played, the scene begins with a Star Destroyer. This Star destroyer is slowly covered in a shadow. The camera pans out to reveal the HUGE Executor Super Star Destroyer. The music continues to grow as the camera cuts to the bridge to see Darth Vader staring out into space, and that this point The Imperial March has reached its high point. It is hard to describe but this short scene cements the fearful power of the Empire.

8. Battle of Genosis (AotC)
I like Attack of the clones. There are some rather embarrassing acting performances, and few script missteps, but the pay-off of this battle is worth it. The Jedi fight in the arena is cool, but I really like after that when the clones and droids face off.

7. Battle of Yavin IV (ANH)
I feel guilty putting this scene so low on the list, as it is quintessential Star Wars. The Battle of Yavin is probably one of the few scenes I actually like more in The Special Edition than the original release. The Computer graphics really allowed for more dynamic shots of the X-wing vs. Tie Fighter dog fights.

6. Battle of Hoth (ESB)
The battle of Hoth finishes out this battle trifecta. There was a time when every single Star Wars video game made featured a Hoth level, and for good reason. It is awesome! The music complements the fight perfectly. The high point of this battle is when Wedge takes out the AT-AT with the tow cable.

5. Binary Sunset (ANH)

Binary Sunset is the name of the song that goes along with this scene from the original Star Wars. It is hard to explain this scene, so watch the video. In my opinion there has never been a movie soundtrack that so perfectly captures the image being displayed as this scene:

4. Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker (RotJ)
This is another scene where the music really makes it. Darth Vader taunts Luke till he attacks. The music swells as we see silhouettes of Darth Vader and and Luke Skywalker fight with lightsabers clashing. Finally Luke Skywalker beats Darth vader and cuts off his hand. At this point he remembers his own cybernetic hand. The Emperor comes down clapping and orders Luke to kill Vader. Luke controls his anger and throws his lightsaber away proclaiming he will never join the dark side. At this point the Emperor is alive and the death star is a threat, but the Star Wars saga has reached its hight point and good just won.

3. "I Know" (ESB)
Empire Strikes Back is my favorite Star Wars movie, and this is my favorite scene from it. Han Solo is about to be frozen in Carbonite and Princess Leia proclaims "I love you". As he is being lowered to his fate Han simply tells her "I know." I have never been able to put my finger on why, but this scene is one of the most emotionally powerful ones from the history of cinema. ever.

2. Mos Eisley Catina (ANH)
As good as the Star Wars story is, I honestly love Star Wars much more for the universe it is set in, and no scene capture the feel of that universe more than the Catina scene. When watching it one gets a sense that many of these aliens present have a story to tell, and Star Wars lore has ran with it. Nearly every alien shown in the Catina scene has a name and a back story. Sad but true, at one point in my life I knew them all.

1. Obi-Wan vs. Anikan (RotS)
It is my opinion that the fight between Obi-Wan and Anikan on Mustafar is the scene that best captures what makes Star Wars awesome. It has lightsabers. It has an epic battle. It takes place in an exotic, alien environment. It is emotionally charged. And finally it has an epic soundtrack. Seriously watch it, it is awesome:


Blogger Justin Dohoney said...

This was a good post. I think if I were making the list, I'd have to add the unmasking of Darth Vader and/or Vader saving Luke from the Emperor, both from RotJ. I also think your "musical" moments (Binary Sunset and Imperial March) are both incredibly emotional moments from the film. The only other one that I think rivals those two is when Yoda uses the Force to pull the X-Wing out of the swamp on Dagobah in ESB. As far as prequel moments, I may have to disagree with your number 1, and even though I generally did think Ep. 3 was a good movie, I thought the end was a bit of a let down. My favorite moments from Ep. 3 are the Emperor's manipulation of Anakin at the opera and the carrying out of Order 66. I can't help but think that even this last one would have had so much more impact had we ever actually gotten to know any of the other Jedi. Other than the obviously bad acting/dialogue/love-story, I've been trying to put my finger on my over-arching problem with the prequels and I think it boils down to the fact that it just wasn't "Jedi-centric" enough. That scene should have been among the most emotionally excruciating scenes to watch, and for me it mostly wasn't.

1:41 PM  
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8:03 AM  

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