50 Greatest Star Wars Scenes

50. The Arena

The Scene: In Attack Of The Clones, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme are all tied to towering stone columns in a colossal colosseum. Then giant monsters are released into the arena. To think Russell Crowe only had to fight tigers…

The Awesome: It’s Episode II’s Rancor moment, and a neat little set-piece that includes Padme saving herself instead of waiting for the boys to rescue her.

49. Torture

The Scene: In The Empire Strikes Back, Vader and his evil minions hold Han Solo hostage and torture him with very pointy things. His screams will give you chills all over.

The Awesome: There’s no end to Vader’s evil, and this is just one example of how far he’s willing to go in order to acquire information.

The Story Behind The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars nearly killed George Lucas.

The director’s ambitious space saga, which nobody understood nor cared about (not even its cast) looked set to be a disaster of intergalactic proportions. During production in 1976, the special effects department was struggling with its groundbreaking technologies, while unbearable heat in Tunisia had tempers rising…

“People were looking at the first screenplay and saying, ‘What is this? Is this camp – or what is going on here?’ They didn’t get it and it’s not their fault,” star Mark Hamill said in an interview with Rona Barrett’s Hollywood Super Special: Winter 1978.

It came to a head when Lucas suffered chest pains during filming of his opus. The director, diagnosed with hyper-tension and exhaustion, was advised by doctors to take things easy. He all-but refused.

And, somewhat fortuitously, the 1977 release of the soon-to-be-retitled Episode IV gave Lucas a new hope. The cold cynicism and disheartening apathy that plagued the film ahead of its cinematic debut changed overnight as Star Wars was welcomed by movie fans of all shapes and sizes.

“Star Wars is one of the best word-of-mouth movies in history,” Hamill noted. And he wasn’t wrong. With the archetype-heavy fantasy updating sci-fi TV serials (like Flash Gordon) for the big screen generation, Star Wars was a hit. As the fans multiplied and the box office sang with receipts, one thing was clear: everybody wanted more…

This was the day that Wars

Duh duh duh dum duh-duh dum duh-duh… Amazing how an iconic John Williams score is recognisable even in word form. Speaking of, it’s national Star Wars Day! (May the 4th be with you and all that.) In celebration, Lucas and co announced all the spangly, heart-quickening details about the upcoming Star Wars blu-ray release, including the full list of special features. There’s a lot of them, including a raft of audio commentaries, an entire disc dedicated to Star Wars documentaries and a ton of stuff besides to geek-out over. (Shame they decided to omit Space Balls.)

None of which can surely beat this mind-boggling SW tribute video, which projects Star Wars off into an entire new galaxy of absurd amazingness (cheers to Dan for the heads up)…