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STAR WARS – The Goosebumps Scenes (Part III)

January 22, 2016

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Well, the Force has awakened. It’s a Star Wars world and we are all just living in it. The Force Awakens turned out pretty great in a lot of ways. J.J. done good. The seventh live-action Star Wars film adhered closely to the original trilogy (maybe even to a fault), and it ultimately delivered on its promise to return the franchise to a place of wonder.

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 VI: Return of the Jedi

1. Doubling Efforts

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This is another one of those scenes that tends to get lost when fans geek out. This is the first scene of Return of the Jedi, the one where Darth Vader arrives aboard the still-under-construction Death Star II, and gently prompts the command that they ought to finish up before the Emperor gets there. This scene is a great setup for the Emperor by demonstrating that even Vader must do someone’s bidding, and that this person is about to come for a visit. Oh, and by the way, there’s a second Death Star and it’s almost finished. The rebellion has its work cut out for it once more.

2. “Someone who loves you.”

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After rendezvousing with everybody’s favorite dark father, we take another trip to Tatooine to see how the rescue of Han Solo is proceeding. Jabba’s palace makes for another quintessential Star Wars environment. A colorful cast of alien fauna populates the subterranean dungeony interior. There, hanging on the wall, as an unsavory crowd vibes out to the musical stylings of Max Rebo, is Solo in his block of carbonite. Then, one evening, a mysterious bounty hunter releases him from his prison. The shrouded figure removes her helmet, and it’s Leia! If you’ve seen it a few dozen times then the tension might not really be there, but her reveal is a truly cathartic moment.

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3. “Free us or die.”

Even with the gang reunited at Jabba’s palace, none of their increasingly competent extraction attempts pan out. But Luke and R2 have one last gambit up their sleeves. This brazen last-ditch effort is one of the saga’s best set pieces. Even if the stakes don’t feel as high as they should, the theater on display is delightful.

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4. “Fly casual.”

For a rag-tag team, the rebellion seems to have some pretty cool toys. This briefing scene is wonderful and is a big step up compared to the corresponding scene in the original Star Wars.

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It’s not just the briefing, but the ensuing sequence where Han conditionally lends the Millennium Falcon to Lando, and Han’s immortal line to Chewie as our heroes covertly approach Endor right under the nose of the Empire. This entire run-up to battle consists entirely of memorable bits.

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5. Speeder Bikes

Speeder bikes. Fun to say. Fun to do. How anyone can drive something so fast in such a dense forest I’ll never know. It’s a thrill to watch. While not really a pivotal scene, the speeder bike chase is one of the ultimate Star Wars touchstones.

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6. Meet the Ewoks

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The Ewoks are the most divisive part of Return of the Jedi. While they contribute to Jedi feeling tonally at odds with its forebears, this never really bugged me. Surely they aren’t in Jar Jar Binks territory, are they? And even more surely, they aren’t as horrendous as some of the “special edition” changes made to this film over the past decade. Whether Ewoks are silly or not (debatable), they are hardly a transgression. The scene in which Leia meets Wicket is memorable, and it prepares us for that very dope scene later on when C-3PO tells the Ewoks of the grand journey that brought this rebel crew to Endor.

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7. “It’s a trap!”

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The superlatively named Admiral Akbar steals the whole space battle over Endor, and this is saying something because that is a very cool space battle.

 

8. Like Son, Like Father

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After an emotional lightsaber duel with his son, Darth Vader seemed content to let the Emperor finish off the younger Skywalker. As Luke laid there, in the Emperor’s chamber of the second Death Star, writhing in a tortuous lightning bath, something in Vader changed. The moment when he intervenes on the Emperor’s sadism is the emotional climax of the original trilogy.

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9. The Funeral Pyre

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This is the emotional denouement following the Skywalker reunion. How does one put to rest a man who had a hand in killing most of the people who ever meant anything to him? A Viking funeral, obviously. Well-told redemption stories are complicated, but always satisfying. And Pagan imagery is fun.

Find the other rest of our Star Wars coverage here:

Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars: THE FORCE AWAKENS Review

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From → Lists, Star Wars

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