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Top 10 'Star Wars' Moments

6/17/2014 Gregory Ellwood
Top 10 'Star Wars' Moments © 20th Century Fox Top 10 'Star Wars' Moments

By Gregory Ellwood
Special to MSN Entertainment

One of cinema's greatest sagas came to an end with the release of "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," which can now be seen on DVD. Now you can watch Anakin Skywalker's journey to the Dark Side and his transformation into Darth Vader in the comfort of your living room. So, how do the great moments from "Sith" measure up the rest of the series? We've listed our favorites.

10. Obi-Wan vs. Jango Fett
Episode: 'II -- Attack of the Clones'

Why: Ever since his first appearance in "The Empire Strikes Back," fans had been salivating to see just what that cool Boba Fett action figure, err, character could do. They partially got their wish in 'Episode II.' When Obi-Wan visits the planet Kamino, he discovers an army cloned from the genes of bounty hunter Jango Fett has been built to service the Republic. In addition to a large sum of money, Jango has received a clone of himself that will age naturally. (The soldiers' aging has been accelerated.) He is raising him as his son, Boba Fett. Realizing Obi-Wan might find out more than he should, Jango and Boba attempt to escape. Their rain-drenched encounter showcases the cool aspects of Jango's jet pack and some quick thinking by Obi-Wan. For many fans, the long wait to see a Fett in action was well worth it.

Cheese Factor: Having the young Boba Fett fire on Obi-Wan, while helping Jango fight, was a little goofy, but certainly showed he was a gene off the old block.

Memorable Line:
Obi-Wan: "Oh, not good." 
9. The Pod Race
Episode: 'I -- The Phantom Menace'

Why: This is arguably the most effective scene in "The Phantom Menace," and it is also one of the few with genuine tension. Showing off the technical jump in CGI special effects, the pod race stands as a beautifully rendered showcase for young Anakin's skills as a pilot and machinist. Half video game simulation and half plot point, Anakin's triumph against the shifty Dug Sebulba frees him from junk shop proprietor Watto's enslavement. It also allows him to leave Tatooine with Qui-Gon and Padmé to begin his journey as a Jedi.

Cheese Factor: Where to begin! From Anakin's silly alien racers to the two-headed American sports style announcing team, this scene is full of moments where someone should have told Lucas, "George, stop the insanity!"

8. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul

Episode: 'I -- The Phantom Menace'

Why: No moment showed what a great leap the live action fights were going to take in the three new episodes than this climactic showdown within Naboo's Theed Royal Palace. Fighting with his two-bladed Sith lightsaber, the mysterious Darth Maul takes on both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan in spectacular fashion. Separated from each other, Obi-Wan watches in horror as Qui-Gon is taken down by the Sith lord. Obi-Wan avenges his death by slicing Maul in half -- much to the Sith lord's surprise. Qui-Gon's sacrifice is the first sign that a truly dark time is coming. Fans ended up loving Maul much more than Lucas had anticipated. In retrospect, even Lucas would admit his death may have been somewhat premature.

Cheese Factor: The concurrent scene of Padmé and her security forces attempting to recapture her palace intercut with this fight are typical examples of Lucas' stiff direction in the first two episodes, but the battle itself is well done.

Memorable Line:
Qui-Gon: "We'll handle this."

7. The Escape from Jabba at the Sarlaac Pit

Episode: ' VI -- Return of the Jedi'

Why: Fun and action packed, this scene showed the influence of old movie serials on Lucas' storytelling. Nothing was cooler than realizing Luke Skywalker had become so confident and powerful as a Jedi that even as he was seemingly being thrown from a galley plank to his death, he was still completely in control. A blinded Han Solo's banter and physical comedy with Chewbacca are also highlights. Occurring at the end of the first act, the scene foreshadows that the rebels' luck is not as bad as it was in "The Empire Strikes Back." And who didn't love the skimpy outfit Lucas convinced Carrie Fisher to wear as Leia?

Cheese Factor: None.

Memorable Line:
Luke: "Jabba, this is your last chance. Free us or die."

6. Yoda vs. Dooku

Episode: 'II -- Attack of the Clones'

Why: Yoda had been a fan favorite since Frank Oz began voicing and manipulating him in puppet form in "The Empire Strikes Back," but by 2002 digital effects allowed Yoda to do things Oz could never accomplish. The smallest Jedi shows just how strong the Force can be in his battle against the dark Count Dooku, played by geek favorite Christopher Lee. Yoda's whirling dervish attack elicited cheers of joy from many fans when they first saw it. You always knew Yoda could kick some butt and this fight was worth the price of the ticket alone. Now if only it was a bit longer...

Cheese Factor: None. It's the coolest thing Lucas has directed in the new episodes so far.

Memorable Line:
Dooku: "It's obvious this that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the force, but by our skills with a lightsaber."

5. Lando Calrissian Betrays Han and Leia

Episode: 'V -- The Empire Strikes Back'

Why: One of the few true surprises in the series, Calrissian's duping of the rebels into Vader's grasp cut like a knife. You knew things were going to get bad, but this event felt incredibly ominous. It also was just another sign of how few characters in the "Star Wars" universe could be trusted, though to the delight of many Calrissian makes up for his mistake later on in the film and later leads the rebel attack fleet in "Return of the Jedi."

Cheese Factor: Darth Vader at a formal dinner table is a bit odd...

Memorable Line:
Lando: "I'm sorry."
Han Solo: "I'm sorry too."

4. Luke vs. Vader vs. the Emperor

Episode: 'VI -- Return of the Jedi'

Why: Luke resists the temptation to join the Dark Side and then makes a heroic sacrifice in order to save his father. Lucas had slowly been hinting that Vader's feelings for his son were conflicted and his turning on the Emperor is one of the best moments in the film. In light of the long history between Anakin Skywalker and the Emperor chronicled in the first three episodes, this scene will only become more poignant over time. Ian McDiarmid's deliciously devilish performance as the Emperor is a highlight.

Cheese Factor: The Emperor gets a little too zealous zapping "young Skywalker" and creeps around like the Wicked Witch of the West from the "Wizard of Oz," but he is supposed to be evil.

Memorable Lines:
The Emperor: "Now young Skywalker, you will die."
Luke: "Father!!"

3. Luke Destroys the Death Star

Episode: 'IV -- A New Hope'

Why: Luke's willingness to turn off the automatic guidance system, "search his feelings" and take his chances with "The Force" is a metaphor for modern day faith. In the context of the film's initial release in 1977, it was perceived as an anti-establishment call that soon became part of the pop culture vernacular. It also hints at how powerful this young Jedi from Tatooine will become.

Cheese Factor: A lever from a 1977 television editing console is used to try and destroy the rebel base at Yavin, but they only had so big a budget back then.

Memorable Line:
Obi-Wan: "Use the force, Luke."
2. Leia Admits Her Love Before Han Freezes

Episode: 'V -- The Empire Strikes Back'

Why: Lucas had hinted at a love triangle between Luke, Han and Leia in "A New Hope," but one of best sub plots of "Empire" is the growing Hepburn/Tracy-esque love affair between Han and Leia. When Vader is about to drop Han into the carbon-freezing chamber, Leia's true feelings are revealed and audience's allegiances start to drift away from the stoic young Jedi and toward the separated lovebirds.

Cheese Factor: None. It's a finely directed and compelling scene.

Memorable Lines:
Leia: "I love you."
Han: "I know."

1. Hey, Luke, Who's Your Daddy?

Episode: 'V -- The Empire Strikes Back'

Why: At the time, Darth Vader's revelation to Luke Skywalker that he was his father was the biggest shocker since the "Who shot J.R.?" cliffhanger on the TV series "Dallas." The scene set up an epic confrontation for the third film and three long years for fans to wonder if it was true or just a ruse for Vader to draw Luke to the Dark Side. (Imagine the scuttlebutt if the internet had existed back then.) In the context of the three new episodes, the relationship mirrored the struggles that would lead Anakin Skywalker into becoming Darth Vader. Luke's ability to resist that calling and free his father (in "Return of the Jedi") only illustrates what a stronger Jedi and man he was. But it all began here.

Cheese Factor:Mark Hamill's line reading when discovering Vader is his pop is whiney... but when compared to some of the more recent Lucas-directed performances, it's really not that bad.

Memorable Lines:
Darth Vader: "No, I am your father."
Luke: "That's not true! That's impossible!"

Honorable Mentions:
- Luke saves Leia from chasing storm troopers by swinging through the Death Star like a hero from a '30's serial. ('Episode IV -- A New Hope')

- R2-D2 sends a message to Obi-Wan, but Luke gets it instead... and the action begins ('Episode IV -- A New Hope')

- The Millennium Falcon hides in an asteroid that surprisingly turns out to be alive. ('Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back')

Gregory Ellwood writes Hollywood Hitlist, a weekly column for MSN Movies. He's worked in the movie industry for almost a decade and lives in Los Angeles.

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