The Star Wars franchise is full of unforgettable moments that have endured for decades. From “No, I am your father” to “I love you”/”I know,” several scenes are frozen in time as part of the permanent pop culture landscape.
Not only has “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” broken just about every box office record there is to break, it’s added to the list of these immortal moments. The J.J. Abrams-directed film has evoked gasps, laughter and cheers throughout theaters all over the world. The first new entry in the franchise in more than 10 years, “The Force Awakens” was made by Star Wars lovers with fans in mind, and is filled with scenes destined to become legendary. Here’s a breakdown of just a few of those crowd-pleasing moments that made “The Force Awakens” such a special experience. (And of course — major spoilers if you’ve impressively avoided plot details up until now.)
‘There has Been an Awakening’
In the latest “Star Wars” film, the Force wasn’t the only thing that awakened. When fans were first reunited with R2-D2, the beloved droid was in “low-power mode,” presumably in a state of grief over the disappearance of his master, Luke Skywalker. It seemed like the beloved R2 unit’s time may have passed given the movie’s spunky new droid (BB-8), but when that famous light came on and that familiar beeping filled the theater, the fan relief was palpable. Not only was our old friend awake, he carried a vital clue in finding his master and potentially provided the plot device that will kick off “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” Welcome back, R2-D2, you were missed. (Note: the images accompanying the moments in this article aren’t a 100 percent match, since visuals available for a film still in release are limited, but are intended to be evocative of the scene and the characters involved.)
Who can forget the moment Han Solo and General Leia Organa locked eyes after so many years? For fans, it had been decades since the galaxy’s favorite couple shared the screen, but there they were, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, a little older, a lot wiser, and with the same charisma that charmed generations of Star Wars fans. It was a moment of pure emotion made even better by the arrival of another Star Wars favorite: C-3P0. He might have had a (for now) unexplained red arm, but the same 3P0/Han/Leia dynamic established in “The Empire Strikes Back” was on full display as three old favorites were reunited once again.
The Falcon Flies Again
It may be a “hunk of junk,” but the Millennium Falcon might also be the most beloved spaceship in film history. When BB-8, Finn and Rey were on the run from the First Order, it was a dire moment as these engaging new characters were about to be swooped up by Kylo Ren’s troops — until fans saw a familiar sight when the Millennium Falcon came into view. The three new heroes boarded the broken-down ship and everything old was new again, as viewers were off on another scintillating Millennium Falcon escape.
Along with Han’s blaster and Luke’s lightsaber, one of the iconic weapons in the Star Wars saga is Chewbacca’s bowcaster. Yet, for a weapon that appeared in so many famous images, the darn thing is hardly used at all in the original trilogy. That all changed when Han Solo fired his first mate’s weapon, using it to inflict mayhem on the First Order. Not only was it a wink and a nod to the fans that remember Chewie’s famous weapon, it also represented a return to Han Solo’s Original Trilogy humor that made so many fall in love with the saga in the first place.
Safe AT-AT Home
Rey lived a pretty lonely life. Scavenging remnants of old battles in exchange for just-add-water muffins, sitting in her little hovel playing with X-Wing pilot helmets and rag dolls wearing Luke Skywalker-like clothes. But she also lived in a freakin’ AT-AT, which is objectively awesome. An audible gasp filled the theatre when the camera revealed that Rey’s hovel was one of the iconic walkers that attacked Hoth so many years ago. This detail provided another thread back to the classic trilogy and made for a breathtaking shot, when it was revealed that one of the deadliest weapons of the galaxy was being used as shelter by a very brave and very lonely young woman.
Luke Removing the Hood
It felt so good to see so many old friends again, but one very important original cast member was conspicuously absent for 99.9 percent of “The Force Awakens.” It was something of a melancholy moment, sure, as Luke looked a little broken — but it was also a moment that again connected “The Force Awakens” to the past, as well as providing the promise of things to come in 2017’s “Episode VIII.” With Luke finally back on screen, the nostalgic, fan-pleasing circle was finally complete.
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