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STAR WARS – The Goosebumps Scenes (Part II)

December 16, 2015


Some of you may have heard…there is a new Star Wars movie coming out on Dec. 18. Trailers for the J.J. Abrams-helmed The Force Awakens look promising, and full of wonder. Hope springs eternal, and the very thought of a new Star Wars episode comes with the palpable hope that we will experience something worthy of the fabled original trilogy.

Speaking of that original trilogy, New Hollywood’s Holy Triumvirate, what is there really left to say about it? Probably not a whole lot, but that won’t stop me from trying. However, instead of the hundred-thousandth traditional write-up for these movies, this will be a space to single out a few key moments from each film. These moments might be considered the greatest cinematic moments in the trilogy—the goosebumps-inducing moments that will never get old. Without further ado…

The 9 best moments from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

1. Return of the Force

The mystery of the Force is strung along very effectively throughout Star Wars. Another breadcrumb is laid down early on in Empire, when Luke is attacked by the wampa and hung upside down in an ice cave, his feet frozen to the ceiling. Luke doesn’t see the grisly fate that awaits him, but he can hear it. Trouble is, he can’t find his lightsaber. Then, Luke spots his salvation. He locates his lightsaber protruding from a snowbank just beyond his reach. He doesn’t have much time. He feels the Force, and a little adrenaline no doubt, and summons the lightsaber into his waiting hand just in time to fend off the hungry wampa. This rousing sequence is capped off by Luke encountering a vision of Obi-Wan. Hallucination? No. A special directive for continuing education? Yes.



2. The Romance of Echo Base

Not a specific moment per se, but Echo Base comprises some beautiful sets. Low lighting, close quarters, constant ambient beeping and booping from the seemingly endless computer banks… Who would have thought an underground base carved out of ice could feel so warm and alive?




3. The First Imperial March

John Williams outdid himself once again with The Imperial March. What an incredible piece of music. As for the film itself, Darth Vader’s helmet has never been shinier, and the empire reveals that even after the loss of the Death Star, it is not without toys. Behold, the super star destroyer-class Executor. 

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4. “Stop that. My hands are dirty.”

Echo Base was romantic, but the low-lit close quarters seem to follow Leia and Han around for the entirety of the film. Hiding from the empire in an asteroid field, and needing a few quick repairs to the Millennium Falcon, the romantic tension finally boils over.


5. “Bounty hunters. We don’t need their scum.”


It’s rich little moments like this that inspires lists like these. This scene flaunts some great creature and costume design, but also delivers compact, memorable characterization. In one line, the bounty hunters assembled to track down the Millennium Falcon are established as the worst of the worst, and the cattiness of the Imperial officers is further exposed. The exchange between the officers is just strange enough that it makes everything feel a bit more real and relatable. Great stuff! It’s a testament to the talent and vision of Lucas & Co. that the whole trilogy is populated with bits like this.

6. “Do or do not. There is not try.”

In addition to being one of the lines most quoted by middle school teachers, the scene in which Yoda proves to Luke that “size matters not” is a true spine-tingler. Early in his training with Yoda, Luke’s bad attitude crops up again. He needs to really see something to believe it. Distracted by his X-Wing sinking almost completely into the Dagobah swamp, Luke all but gives up on ever retrieving it. “It’s too big,” he says. Then the Green Muppet serenely lifts the spacecraft with with his mind, John Williams’ score swells, and we melt.


7. Uninvited Dinner Guests

We knew Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO were being tracked by some hardcore baddies, but it’s still a shock when Han enters the dining room and finds Vader sitting at the head.

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8. Carbonite


The carbon-freezing chamber beneath the surface of Cloud City is glorious. The cocktail of red uplighting, blue ambiance, and steam billowing from just about everywhere sets off the nightmarish mood just right. Even without hearing Han’s parting shot to Leia, everything about this scene ensures you know that it will be devastating.



9. Oedipus Skywalker (a.k.a. “No! I am you father.)


Superficially, this scene has got to be on the short list of the most ubiquitous movie cliches. Every time I hear someone botch Vader’s iconic line, I can’t help but groan. Perhaps this just means that Empire is better seen than quoted. For what it lacks in acrobatics (a la the prequel trilogy), this showdown between Luke and Darth Vader has more than enough emotion to cover. The intensity is dialed up by the direction and the production design. Watching this film, this scene in particular, every once in a while instantly washes away the bad taste of endless misquoting.



Return of the Jedi coming soon! Have you read Star Wars: A New Hope?


From → Lists, Star Wars

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