And we don't mean blowing up the Death Star.
A memorable scene in the Star Wars galaxy doesn’t always have to require an exploding space station, a laser-laden dogfight, or a lightsaber duel. There are plenty of moments to choose from with less-than-obvious reasons for appreciation; StarWars.com scoured through the live-action Star Wars films and series, and gathered a quintet of scenes that should be long remembered.
1. Obi-Wan Powers Down the Tractor Beam (Star Wars: A New Hope)
While Luke, Han, Chewie, and Leia find themselves stuck in the Death Star’s trash compactor, Obi-Wan Kenobi disables the tractor beam, located high above the space station’s cavernous shaft. The scene includes one of the film’s most visually stunning shots. Thanks to a matte painting, the shaft resembles a bottomless pit. It’s dark and dangerous with most of the illumination coming from the narrow, oval lights lining its walls. Kenobi must carefully scoot along a narrow ledge to reach the controls on the tractor beam terminal. One wrong step, and he’s Jedi toast. He manages to pull the appropriate levers before sneaking out of the shaft. But first he must distract some incoming stormtroopers by using the Force to make a little noise. This causes the bucketheads to look in the opposite direction, and Obi-Wan slinks away. Although it lasts only a few seconds of screen time, the scene is arguably as important as Kenobi’s lightsaber showdown with Darth Vader. Shutting down the beam allows the Millennium Falcon and its crew the opportunity to escape the Death Star. No escape, and no Rebellion win at the Battle of Yavin.
2. A Day in the Life of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Hermit (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
This scene does a fantastic job answering the question: What’s Luke Skywalker been up to for the last 30 years? For a bit of that time he’s been in exile on the remote planet of Ahch-To, home of the first Jedi Temple. When Rey arrives and begs Luke to help defend the Resistance against the First Order, Luke brushes off the request, telling Rey to leave. Instead she stays and watches Luke go about his business. What follows is a scene with some slice-of-life action and amazing visuals set amid the island’s jagged cliffs and crashing waves. Luke may be grizzled and graying, but he still has that Skywalker Jedi agility. Stepping off of the edge of a cliff, Luke hops on a giant pole that’s seemingly stationary in the water below. After using the pole to vault from one side of the cliff to the other, he raises it out of the water, revealing that it’s actually a fishing spear. A moment later, he uses it to swiftly catch his dinner. This glimpse at an older Luke brings us up to speed in grand Star Wars style.
3. Losing Our Minds Over Bor Gullet (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
Star Wars films are no stranger to creature feature scares, but this scene wraps its tentacles around the viewer and doesn’t let go. Bodhi Rook, a defecting Imperial pilot, has the best of intentions. He travels to Jedha to deliver a holographic message to rebel extremist Saw Gerrera from Galen Erso, a scientist whose work was exploited to create the Death Star’s superlaser. Yet the intensely skeptical Saw doesn’t trust Bodhi, believing it to be a trap. Inside Saw’s catacombs, he interrogates the pilot by enlisting the help of Bor Gullet, a massive, tentacled being with a talent for reading minds with torturous results. The scene of Bor Gullet at work may be brief, but proves terrifyingly impactful. “Bor Gullet will know the truth,” Saw explains. “The unfortunate side-effect is that one tends to lose one's mind." The camera’s slow zoom shows a frightened Bodhi panicking as he sees the creature slithering out of the darkness. A tension-building flashing light reveals Bor Gullet’s slimy, wrinkled skin, waving tentacles, and cold eyes. Once Bor Gullet reaches Bodhi, it eerily wraps its tentacles around the pilot’s arms, waist, chest, and neck. The tentacles eventually attach to either side of Bodhi’s head, enabling Bor Gullet to seep inside the pilot’s subconscious. An impressive blend of practical puppet and CG effects, Bor Gullet provides one of the creepiest moments in Star Wars cinema where horror collides with science fiction.
4. Return to Tosche Station (The Book of Boba Fett, "Chapter 2: The Tribes of Tatooine")
Flashbacks help fill in the blanks of Boba’s backstory in the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett. This one includes a quiet callback, resurrecting a pair of characters off of the cutting room floor and into Star Wars screen lore. In order to equip his newly found Tusken Raider family to better defend themselves from a drive-by train attack, Boba visits a certain Tatooine establishment Luke Skywalker quickly mentions in Star Wars: A New Hope: Tosche Station. No, Boba’s not shopping for power converters. He’s looking to lift some speeder bikes from a gang of Nikto baddies. At this power station and one-stop-machine-shop, patrons can have a drink and play games while they wait. And it seems that Fixer and Camie, a pair of Luke’s old friends, are still waiting for something after all of these years. The Niktos, in the midst of some raucous revelry, intimidate the nervous couple by downing Fixer’s drink and munching on his bar snacks. When Fixer stands up to defend himself, the gang overtakes him and Camie. That’s before Boba Fett enters, gaffi stick in hand, resulting in a high-intensity rumble that leaves broken glass and bruised Niktos in its wake. While the excitement level alone makes this scene noteworthy, it’s the inclusion of Camie and Fixer that warrants serious appreciation for longtime fans. A Tosche Station scene featuring the pair, along with Luke and his pilot buddy Biggs, was cut from A New Hope. Thanks to this moment in The Book of Boba Fett, die-hard Star Wars fans finally get to see Fixer and Camie in an official capacity. Those interested in taking a peek at the characters’ original appearance can check out the deleted scene in A New Hope’s extras section on Disney+.
5. Meeting with the Tuskens (The Mandalorian, "Chapter 5: The Gunslinger")
Although this scene proves entertaining and memorable on the surface, sift a little deeper through the sand and some special significance rises to the top. When aspiring bounty hunter Toro Calican gets the Mandalorian to help him track down legendary mercenary Fennec Shand, the pair find themselves encountering Tusken Raiders amid the Tatooine desert. Thanks to Mando’s knowledge of Tusken sign language, he’s able to negotiate with a pair of these Sand People, allowing him and Calican safe passage through Tusken turf. Unfortunately for Calican, he has to forgo his brand-new binocs as part of the deal. Here viewers get a new look at Tusken Raiders and a first glimpse at their hand-signal communication. Although his face is obscured by Tusken gear, Tusken Scout #1 is portrayed by Oscar-winning actor Troy Kotsur, who took home a 2022 Best Supporting Actor prize for his role in CODA, making him the first deaf man to ever win an Academy Award. Additionally, Kotsur helped develop the Tusken sign language used in this series and later in The Book of Boba Fett.