/Answers: Our Favorite ‘Star Wars’ Moments

Ethan Anderton: The Empire’s Surprise Ambush on Cloud City

Just as we’re starting to trust and like Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back, we have the rug pulled out from under us when we see he’s betrayed Han Solo, Leia Organa and Chewbacca by selling them out to Darth Vader and the Empire. The sheer surprise of this scene is one of the reasons that I love it so much. It’s one of a few twists that come from this influential sequel. But what I really love about this scene is something that is so cool that it became a meme.

As the meme famously states, when Darth Vader is standing there in the dining room after Lando opens the door, “Han doesn’t look incredulously at Lando; he doesn’t duck or run away. What does Han do? He starts shooting at the motherfucker.” That’s exactly right. There is no hesitation from Han Solo to take this opportunity to take out Darth Vader. He draws his blaster and just starts firing away. It’s a truly badass moment for the character in a long line of badass moments.

Outside of that, I also love how cool Darth Vader plays it too. He just uses the Force to snatch the blaster and asks them to sit down and eat with him. Oh, how I would love to see that scene play out, especially because we’ve never seen Darth Vader (in his current form) eat anything. Does he even have to eat? Maybe he just has vitamins and nutrients fed into his system through his suit. I’m sure there’s an answer to this question, but this train of thought is too fun for me to go find the answer.

Hoai-Tran Bui: “I am One With the Force, the Force is With Me”

I would be the first to admit that I didn’t love Rogue One. I loved what it was a trying to be: a grim war movie about unsung heroes. But for the majority of the movie, Rogue One seemed to forget about those unsung heroes it was trying to showcase, burying their pivotal character moments and arcs beneath convoluted plot development and way too much planet-jumping. Because of that, the core crew of Jyn, Cassian, Chirrut, Baze, and Bodhi remained flat archetypes — until the final moments of the film.

Yes, we’ve heard everyone rave about that rapturous third act of Rogue One: the heart-pounding battle that saved the movie from mediocrity. But it wasn’t the space battles that caught my eye, but the delicate moment of pure, unadultered faith from the blind Force-sensitive warrior, Chirrut (Donnie Yen). Cornered in a battlefield where hope of stealing the Death Star plans from the Empire is slowly dimming, Chirrut takes drastic action. “I am one with the force, the force is with me,” he apprehensively chants, repeating his familiar mantra that takes on a whole new meaning in this scene. The din of the battle fades away as Chirrut slowly walks to the switch that opens communication to the Rebel feets. It’s the first of the film’s few moments of clarity into the characters, underlining Chirrut’s enduring hope and trust in a greater cause (and by extent, the Force), and the acceptance of his tragic fate. In that moment, I caught a glimpse of the movie Rogue One wanted to be: a portrait of hope in the face of overwhelming odds, and of the oh-so-human willingness to sacrifice life for the greater good.

Matt Donato: Han Solo, Frozen in Carbonite

My entry this week is going to be shorter than usual because, frankly, my “favorite” Star Wars moment isn’t particularly happy. It’s morbid and dark, but when I think Star Wars, for some reason the image of Han Solo frozen in carbonite is all I see. Right after responding to Leia’s “I love you” proclamation with “I know,” we see it A gigantic hunk of frozen space-stud stuck writhing in pain; an agonized pose from the galaxy’s top rugged rambler. It’s a huge creative gamble that, with inherent gloom, pays off.

We’re so used to Han being the epitome of cool, calm and lucky – not a scared, glorified chunk of granite. The Empire surely strikes back and steals an adoring character in the process. In that moment, watching for the first time, we’re unsure of how things will play out. Chewy, Lando and the rest watching Han act as Darth Vader’s test dummy to see if carbonite freezing will kill him. It’s just heavy, man. Like, emotionally – not just the physical Han slab.

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