50. Making The Jump To Lightspeed – Episode IV
Nothing beats the first time the Falcon makes the jump to lightspeed in Episode IV, escaping the wrath of the approaching Star Destroyers. No one is sure what was coming. All that was apparent was that the ship was in a bind and things were going to get nasty really quick. Not only that, but Luke and Han, not yet friends, were becoming more and more annoyed by each other by the second.
Then Han introduces the concept of Lightspeed to us. In their galaxy a spaceship through the power of its hyperdrive engine can travel by the speed of light. Han pushes forward the controls and the entire outside of space seems to rush forward on the screen. As the stars scream past on all sides and the Millennium Falcon flashes out of sight, now traveling at the same speed as light, NASA scratches their collective heads.
If only that were possible.
49. Being Pulled Into The Death Star – Episode IV
Getting away with the same trick twice in a movie is boring. The Millennium Falcon comes out of Hyperspace and is met by the debris that once was the planet of Alderaan. Han points out that the planet is gone and Obi-Wan immediately understands that the disturbance he felt in the force earlier was the millions of people who died on the surface. Then a tie fighter swoops down upon them, leading them closer and closer to a metallic moon. ”That’s no moon, it’s a space station.”
Too late. The Falcon gets pulled inside and the audience witnesses once again the awesome force of the Empire. As the tiny ship is pulled into the yawning landing bay aboard the Death Star it becomes even clearer what the good guys are up against. The forces of antagonism had great power, which made the story more meaningful while at the same time giving the audience some of the most incredible special effects shots to date. I still get goosebumps every time I watch that scene.
48. The Trade Federation Invades Naboo – Episode I
This is one of the coolest parts of Episode I (cooler parts to come). The music picks up as giant landing ships begin to touch down on Naboo releasing what looks to be millions of droids. Just the shot of them entering the city alone is enough to show that the Federation means business.
Of course, it’s not exactly clear why they would land on the other side of the planet to get to the city? Is this the only city on the planet? Does the entire army get shut down when “Little Annie” destroys the flagship or is their other flagships, too? Better not ask so many questions. The scene still looked cool.
47. The Pit Of Sarlacc – Episode VI
Easily the oddest of all Star Wars creatures is the thing in the pit of Sarlacc. How huge must this creature be under the sand? It has a hole in the ground that its teeth circle around and a small mouth at the bottom with tentacles. I just keep expecting the surface of Tatooine to erupt and this giant tentacle monster to destroy the entire planet.
When Jabba the Hutt captures the gang while attempting to rescue Han Solo in Return of the Jedi he sentences them to be tossed to this horrific creature. There C-3P0 informs them that they will be slowly digested inside the thing’s stomach for a thousand years. Yeah, whatever man: Boba Fett survived it.
46. “Into the Garbage Chute, Flyboy!” – Episode IV
Such a weird – but great – scene from Episode IV. To escape from the Detention Level, Princess Leia orders them down into the garbage chute. Clearly neither Han nor Luke had a solid plan to rescue her, but then again if they were that cautious then they probably wouldn’t have tried in the first place.
To this day the same question has followed me so long that I try to no longer think about it or it will start eating holes in my brain. What is that one-eyed monster thing? More importantly, how the heck would it get there? Perhaps I don’t want to know the answer to either. I remember thinking when I was seven that you couldn’t go dumpster diving without a blaster.
45. C-3PO Becomes A Battle Droid – Episode II
The first time I saw Attack of the Clones this moment did make me laugh. The hapless C-3PO on the assembly line being turned into a battle droid by having his head loped off. The unlucky droid that winds up with 3PO’s body looks rather odd, but the battle droid with his head is hilarious. The audience roared when he said, “Die, Jedi, die,” taking shots at the good guys in the movie while in the arena battle.
Then again, it makes you wonder: Did 3PO actually kill a Jedi? If so, the lovable golden machine has a lot to answer for.
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