When it debuted in theaters, Star Wars was regarded as a visual masterpiece, a marriage of mythos and serial drama brimming with fast-talking, quick-witted characters — and it’s impossible to talk about the space saga without quoting some of our favorite celluloid heroes.
Here are some of the finest insults, snappiest comebacks, and greatest quotes that we’re still repeating 40 years on, in order of appearance!
1. “Don’t you call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease!” — C-3PO
When we first meet the snarkiest counterparts this side of the Outer Rim, they’re locked in an epic bickering match that even a hostile takeover by Imperial stormtroopers couldn’t derail.
2. “We’re doomed.” — C-3PO
The perfect overreaction for all of life’s inconveniences, including but not limited to being boarded by Imperials, salvaged by Jawas, and threatened with deactivation or a life of hard labor in the spice mines of Kessel. Thank the maker Threepio is programmed for hyperbole.
3. “But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!” — Luke Skywalker
We’ve all been there, Luke. You think your day is going one way, and the next thing you know you’re on a smuggling freighter headed for a planet that was recently obliterated by the Empire.
4. “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” — Leia Organa
The princess’s heartbreaking plea in the Rebellion’s most desperate hour is the linchpin for everything yet to come.
5.“An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
And no matter what anyone says, it’s also a great match for a blaster if you’re interested in deflecting enemy fire.
6. “I find your lack of faith disturbing.” — Darth Vader
You may have traveled from one end of the galaxy to the other without seeing any evidence of a cosmic power, but we guarantee that being Force choked is a real quick way to turn someone into a believer.
7. “Mos Eisley spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
Old Ben shows he’s also the master of semantics with this brilliant warning. Far superior to “It’s dangerous. Someone could lose an arm!”
8. “You don’t need to see his identification…These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
It’s impossible to quote this line without the requisite wave of the hand, but I think I speak for most of us when I say we’re still trying to master the Jedi mind trick that completes the effect.
9. “It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.” — Han Solo
Sure, she may be confused for garbage from time to time, but make no mistake about it: she’s fast enough for you.
10. “Sorry about the mess.” — Han Solo
Whether you’ve spilled a glass of blue milk or left the smoking carcass of a Rodian bounty hunter lying face-first on your cantina table, a cool coin flip and a quick apology are in order.
11. “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.” — Han Solo
Han doesn’t get defensive about much, but don’t insult his beloved Millennium Falcon.
12. “Governor Tarkin, I should’ve expected to find you holding Vader’s leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board.” — Leia Organa
The princess of Alderaan cowers before no man, as evidenced by this double-edged burn essentially equating the Dark Lord of the Sith to a lapdog while simultaneously insulting the man who literally controls a death ray and is prepared to aim it at her homeworld. Charming, to the last.
13. “I felt a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
Here we get our first glimpse of the greater power of the universe’s binding energy, far more substantial than a few party tricks doled out to misdirect the weak minded.
14. “I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: Let the Wookiee win.” — C-3PO
This should probably be added to Dejarik instruction manual. In terms of strategy, it’s flawless.
15. “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” — Han Solo
Speaking of Chewbacca — who didn’t make the list only because our translator seems to have a slight malfunction — having that walking carpet of a co-pilot on your side doesn’t hurt either.
16. “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
And that was no asteroid collision back there.
17. “Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” – Obi-Wan Kenobi
Kenobi spends the entire film dropping some knowledge, but this gem may be his finest teachable moment. Two parts philosopher with a dash of sass that renders even the scruffiest smuggler speechless.
18. “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” — Leia Organa
This coming from someone who’s under five-feet-tall herself.
19. “Somebody has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, flyboy!” — Leia Organa
Just in case you were unclear about who was in charge of this rescue mission, Leia sets the record straight while simultaneously blasting her way out of a tight spot and trying out the first of many nicknames for everyone’s favorite nerf herder.
20. “I got a bad feeling about this.” — Han Solo
The smell, the garbage monster, the walls closing in. No reward is worth this.
21. “When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.” — Darth Vader
In the years since their parting on Mustafar, modesty is not something Obi-Wan’s former apprentice has been practicing.
22. “If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
Sorry, Lord Vader, but Kenobi is playing the long game here. And he doesn’t even need the high ground this time.
23. “It’s not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they’re not much bigger than 2 meters.” — Luke Skywalker
Our farm boy proves he’s all grown up and ready for his orange flight suit after delivering this humble brag on his sharpshooting prowess. Lucky for the rest of the rebels, their newest recruit is as good as he says…at least, once he turns off the targeting computer and trusts his instincts.
24. “Cover me, Porkins!” — Biggs Darklighter
Red Six would soon be undone, but if there’s one thing we can say about Jek Porkins, it’s that he stayed on target and always had your back.
25. “Use the Force, Luke.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi
Just don’t get too cocky, kid.
How did we do? Tell us your favorite quotes from the original film in the comments below!
Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Follow her on Twitter @KristinBaver.