There’s been an awakening…can you feel it?
In it’s almost forty year history, Star Wars has been a huge influential part of sci-fi/fantasy. It’s a true global phenomenon and there aren’t too many places you can go where someone doesn’t recognize one it’s of it’s iconic characters or the main title theme conducted by John Williams. So we have decided to celebrate in our own way by sharing some great Star Wars moments from a few of the staff here!
Since the moment Luke hit a button on a metal tube and with a hum the lightsaber took its place in my heart. “A more elegant weapon from a more civilized age.” indeed. They quickly became the coolest thing ever. While the movies may have kept the colors to a few, the video games, comics, and books went wild with every color possible for them. A colorful energy beam that can cut through anything and makes fun noises, of course it appeals to me.
I remember looking in comics and other Star Wars art to see what everyone’s lightsaber looked like. There’s a lot of variety for a cylinder and sometimes they’d get really weird like lightwhips. I remember crafting my own at home, that was the final step toward becoming a Jedi, after all. Though red is my favorite color, when I first saw Luke’s green lightsaber in Return of the Jedi, I knew what crystal I’d be using for my blade. – Dr. Bustos
The “short” version is that the summer that Star Wars came out in 1977 (back then it wasn’t called “A New Hope” yet), my parents took my sister and me to see it in the theater, which was a real treat because we didn’t go to movies very often back then. I was not quite seven years old and the movie captured my imagination, as it did with most kids my age at that time. I really got into the story and the characters, and my mom noticed this fascination of mine. She was always really good at picking up on this kind of thing, even though she herself wasn’t all that taken with the story. A short time later, I came home after school that fall to find two 3-packs of comics on my bed: Issues #1-3 and Issues #4-6 of Marvel Comics’ Star Wars series, which told the story of the movie over those six issues. These were my first comic books I’d ever seen or read, although I was of course familiar with superheroes from Saturday Morning cartoons and the Batman show airing in syndication. But these comics were about my favorite thing ever – Star Wars! I read those six issues over and over again, until they were a bit dog-eared. But I loved them just the same.
Things grew almost exponentially from there. The movie was re-released into theaters that Christmas and my dad took me to see it one night during Christmas vacation, and that was the absolute biggest treat ever because it was the first time that I’d ever seen a movie twice in the theater. I didn’t even realize you were allowed to do that! I came back from the movie more interested in Star Wars than ever. The drive-in theater a few blocks from our house started showing Star Wars and I would sit up late at night in my window, watching the movie on the 2/3 of the screen I could see through the trees across the street, even though I couldn’t hear anything. Then Marvel did the most amazing thing – they published more comic books! My mom bought Issues #7 – #15 for me, but then suddenly stopped for some reason. But it didn’t matter – I read those over and over again and loved how the stories could continue beyond the movie. My mom was great and saved a lot of her hard-earned money to buy me Star Wars story books through the Scholastic program at school, and she bought the soundtrack on vinyl. She bought me the sheet music because I was taking piano lessons and she knew I’d want to learn how to play the song. She cut newspaper articles out of the paper whenever one of the cast or crew was interviewed or when there was a bit of information on the upcoming sequel. And of course I had a huge collection of Star Wars figures, trading cards, breakfast cereal, McDonald’s special drinking glasses, and a Jawa t-shirt. I was hooked and continued with my obsession up through my 20s when the Grand Admiral Thrawn trilogy by Timothy Zahn was released, and I stood in line to see the midnight showing of The Phantom Menace (a mistake I didn’t make for the next two prequels).
“I have some very fond memories of the original trilogy from when I was a kid. One of those moments is tied directly to some of my first experiences of Home Video Entertainment via a medium that has probably been all but forgotten, assuming you even knew that these existed. The CED. CED stands for Capacitance Electronic Disc. Basically these were 12” vinyl discs encased in a plastic caddies. Think of them as a 12” version of the 3.5” floppy disk, assuming you remember what those were as well.
Picture it. It was 1985. The entire trilogy had already made their respective theatrical runs by then and the home video market was still in its infancy. Our household did not own a VCR or a Betamax. My mother decided we should hop on the bandwagon and enjoy a movie at home, so she rented this strange machine from our local video store. It was a CED player. Along with that she had CEDs of The Empire Strikes Back and Superman III.
After helping mom out with cooking some Jiffy Pop on the stove and cracking open a couple of glass Coca-Cola bottles, the family gathered in the living room and we were collectively blown away by what we were watching. Well, that was until the film was interrupted 60 minutes into viewing it by the need to pull the CED out to flip the disc over and reinsert it to resume play so we could watch the remainder of the movie. There’s a reason CEDs never took off, folks. Still, The Empire Strikes Back will always hold a special place in my heart because of that first viewing aside from the fact that it is arguably the best of all the Star Wars movies. Darth Vader and the Imperial Fleet had left quite an impression on 7 year old me.” – SpidermanGeek
As a kid I was one of those guys that has seen the original trilogy more times than should be humanly possible. The entire mythos drew me in like it did millions of others to where I was using quotes from the movies in everyday conversation. But the best part of the story was that it didn’t end with the films.
Thanks to Dark Horse Comics, Star Wars: Dark Empire hit the stands and fans like me went crazy for it! This story was post Return of the Jedi and blew me away with the idea that Luke Skywalker would willfully go to the Dark Side. Not only that but it also referenced the infamous Clone Wars (which was still shrouded in mystery back then) and tied it into the return of Emperor Palpatine. We also got to see the son of Han and Leia, Anikan Solo. A particular bounty hunter everyone thought was dead also returned but he’s not too important. Dark Empire was epic in the true sense of the word!
Dark Horse Comics helped to renew my excitement for the franchise along with the novels which I absorbed just as fast as they came out. I still stay that The Thrawn Trilogy and the introduction of Mara Jade were some of the top moments to happen post ROTJ. – Infinite Speech
Celebrating it’s 30th anniversary last year, The Ewok Adventure now mostly remains a footnote or faded memory in the minds of Star Wars fans of yesteryear. For those who actually don’t know, George Lucas authorized three Ewok TV films, two of which actually came to fruition! The first film, The Ewok Adventure was broadcast on TV in November 1984, and released in movie theaters across Europe in December the same year. Limited accompanying merchandise was made but nothing truly note worthy (although I grew up with a cherished hardcover children’s book that adapts this first film).
The Ewok Adventure spin-off is actually a prequel taking place before the Empire invaded Endor. A spaceship crashes and two children, Mace and his little sister Cindel, become stranded as their parents taken by a monster known as Gorax. Luckily, they are befriended by the Ewoks whom form a caravan and along with the children face the numerous dangers as they attempt to rescue the parents.
The plot is straight forward, but never the less highly entertaining. Produced post-Return of the Jedi, it was the height of Ewok-mania as they had their own successful cartoon series and such. The Ewok Adventure is the best example of Ewoks as a solid entry into the Star Wars universe and not something to dismiss as kiddie-fair, as many have. In fact, the film and its sequel stand on their own and actually have a cult following of folks who have never seen any of the Star Wars trilogy films, yet have some how seen and love these ones (mostly due their exposure of being re-run on Disney Channel in the early-90s and every Blockbuster in the country once upon a time having them on video). The Ewok Adventure and its sequel received a DVD release a chunk of years back but is out of print now. it can still be hunted down for the right price though if you look. – Drew
My favorite moment from the Star Wars franchise is the final showdown between Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi.
Everything about that moment is absolutely perfect. The darkly ominous music looms in the background as Emperor Palpatine taunts and angers Luke, manipulating him toward the dark side, and swells into this choral performance that mirrors the sorrow, anger, and general out-pouring of emotion occuring on-screen.
The scene is so dark, visually mirroring the bleakness and seemingly hopeless dispair of the situation, with only occasional lights from various terminals washing the black metal set in a deep blue, and the only other lights coming from the tragic combatants lightsabers (and eventually Palpatine’s lightning).
Which brings me to the next reason to praise this moment. Up until now, viewers only knew that Palpatine was some evil hand-wringing villain that everyone was afraid of, at least skilled in scheming, manipulating and apparently predicting the future, but with no indications of any physical threats.
And then he suddenly hurls lightning out of his hands! Fans were astonished and amazed the first time they saw this happen!
But I get ahead of myself. Before the lightning, during the darkly lit duel, Luke is forced into a possible battle to the death with his father, the man whose soul he’s desperately trying to save.
There’s a moment where Luke hides away, hoping to talk sense into his father, who still cannot be swayed. Luke’s face is half-lit, representing his own struggle to stay with the Light Side of the Force, as his situation becomes increasingly depressing and infuriating, pushing him toward the Dark Side.
His father’s final threats of corrupting Luke’s sister, Princess Leia, to the Dark Side send Luke into a rage, as he bursts from the shadows screaming “Never!”
There’s no finesse or slick overblown choreography for this final attack. Just a gritty, brutal, frenzy as Luke physically beats his own father into submission.
Luke cuts Vader’s hand off, a repeat of Vader cutting Luke’s hand off in the previous film. And as Luke stares at his own hand, he realizes that he’s playing directly into Palpatine’s hands, physically and figuratively becoming the broken and corrupted man his father became.
He spares his father’s life and is willing to sacrifice his own in order to keep from being turned to the Dark Side, and in doing so honoring the man his father once was: “I am a Jedi, like my father before me”.
After Palpatine seizes this moment, nearly killing Luke with the lightning, Vader finally manages to overcome the hold the Dark Side has on him, and kills the Emperor, sacrificing himself to save his son and the galaxy.
Luke, knowing his father is dying has one final moment with him, removing his mask so his father can look at him for the first and only time with his own eyes.
It’s absolutely the most tragically beautiful moment in the Star Wars Saga, even moreso when you look at the story of ALL SIX movies and not just the original trilogy.
Because with the the Prequel Trilogy, we see Darth Vader slowly manipulated and corrupted by Palpatine from this wide-eyed boy full of hope to a bitter man full of sorrow and darkness.
Furthermore, we learn that Darth Vader was born a slave. And after being freed by the Jedi, only to be enslaved again by a sense of duty, a need for secrecy, and finally by The Emperor and the Dark Side.
And in his final act of redemption, he finds himself truly free for the first time in his entire life. – Aaron
Thanks for hanging out with us on this Force Friday and sharing some of these great Star Wars moments! Hopefully the Force was with you as you went out in search of all of the Star Wars toys, accessories, and tech you were looking for. So if you feel so inclined go ahead and share some of your own Star Wars moments in the comments.
May the Force be with you!