WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS.
By now you’ve (hopefully) seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens at least once. Or twice. Or three times.
I’m going for my third time tomorrow, and I still can’t stop thinking about this film. I wrote a spoiler-free review of the film, but now it’s time to dive into those juicy spoilers and talk about the ten best scenes from the movie.
10. “That’s not how it works” – Han, Chewie, and Finn on Starkiller Base
It’s not the most memorable or all-important scene, but the quips between Han, Chewie, and Finn when they’re on Starkiller Base in the last act of the film are great. From former non-believer Han telling Finn that’s not how the Force works, to indignantly exclaiming at Chewie for complaining about being cold, and Finn getting frustrated with Han’s head nods, it’s a great sequence with some fun character moments.
9. Opening Scene on Jakku
The first scene is great for a lot of reasons. It sets up the dynamic between our good guys and our bad guys, and reveals just how powerful the First Order really is, as led by Kylo Ren. Not only does he stop Poe Dameron’s blaster, but he doesn’t need to focus on it to keep it frozen in mid-air.
Plus, it also shows early on that this film will have something very important – humor. As Poe and Kylo come face-to-face, and Poe snarks, “So who’s going to talk first? You’re going to talk first, I’m going to talk first?”, you know the wit from the original trilogy is back.
8. First Han and Leia Scene
As Han peers through the Resistance members, you know who he’s looking for. And when Leia steps off the ship and sees Han, it’s hard not to feel a little overwhelmed with emotion. I could have definitely used more of the General and scoundrel, but I appreciated how the film depicted the many layers of their relationship in just a few scenes.
With this first scene, everything becomes clearer when Han says with a strained voice, “I saw him. I saw our son.” This, and how Kylo Ren has affected their relationship, is explained more later on, but a lot happens with their body language and facial expressions in this one scene.
(Bonus moment: Chewie hugging Leia. Not bonus moment: C-3PO. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t miss him, nor need him back, until he popped up.)
7. Rey and Finn on the Millennium Falcon
As soon as Rey calls the off-screen ship a piece of garbage, you know what she’s talking about. What follows is one of the greatest flight sequences this franchise has ever seen. Watching the Falcon out-maneuver two TIE Fighters is thrilling, and also sets up the end of the film to make Rey becoming the new co-pilot of the Falcon far more satisfying. She may call it a piece of garbage at first, but she clearly comes to appreciate it. It’s also a fun way to show Finn and Rey bonding.
6. Rey’s Vision
A lot happens in Rey’s vision when she first finds and touches Luke’s lightsaber. After two viewings, I’m sure I still missed something. It reveals a lot in bits and pieces about the story that will be told as this trilogy unfolds, like where Rey came from and why the lightsaber called to her. (I’m with everyone else in thinking she’s Luke’s daughter, but that’s still a very big rumor.)
It’s a scene that’s ripe for fan speculation and how cool is it that they got Frank Oz and Ewan McGregor (as well as a soundclip from Alec Guinness) to do voiceovers as Yoda and Obi-Wan, for the vision!
5. Last Scene with Rey and Luke
Say what you want about the panning shot, but the second the music started swelling and Luke slowly removed his hood, I was all but freaking out in my seat. Seeing Luke again, looking haggard but still the hero we know and love, was a lot for this Star Wars fan. Add in the possibility of Rey being his daughter, and whether or not he recognizes her, and this scene packs a huge emotional punch. I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
4. Han’s Death
I know it’s painful, but it was inevitable. It wasn’t perfectly done, but most of my problems with his death are what surrounds it, not the scene itself. Episode VIII, if they want to give this moment the respect it deserves, will give us some closure. It seems odd because for such an important character, once it’s done, it seems to be done for good.
However, the scene itself is great. From the conflicting red and white lights bathing the shot, to Harrison Ford and Adam Driver’s excellent performances, it’s a wonderfully constructed scene. I want Han to get closure, but I was wholly satisfied with how Han went out. He dies pleading with his son because Leia believed in him. In an earlier scene, Han expresses doubt at getting to turn Kylo back into their son, Ben, because if Luke couldn’t do it, how could he? And Leia responds: “Luke is a Jedi. You’re his father.” And that was what made his death scene as great as it was for me.
It’s even richer in the novelization of the film, where Kylo feels stunned by his own action.
3. Rey vs Kylo Ren
The final battle of the film is an epic lightsaber duel between Kylo Ren and Rey. It is a torrent of emotions and wild fighting and it’s exciting. Kylo, the more powerful and trained of the two (as of now, at least), is wounded and emotional, he pleads with Rey that she needs a teacher, and is a snarling beast with his blade. Rey, on the other hand, is still trying to get the hang of things, and seems to beat Kylo out of sheer determination, not because she knows exactly what to do with her Force powers yet.
It’s also revealed in the novel that Kylo mutters, “It is you,” when the lightsaber flies into Rey’s hand. More proof they’re cousins?
People are claiming Rey is “too” powerful, but I don’t buy that. If she’s a Skywalker, like Kylo, she has an immense amount of power in her already. Plus, if she’s Luke’s daughter, there’s a possibility she was trained before being sent away. Also, we saw her wield her staff on Jakku and how skilled she was with that. Rey’s a fighter – she can handle herself and the haters.
2. Finn and Poe Steal a TIE Fighter
From Finn pulling Poe aside to tell him he’s going to help him escape, to Poe showing off his mad skills as a pilot and giving Finn his name, this was one of the most exciting and enjoyable sequences of the whole film. Their chemistry is natural, the scene is paced well, and I could easily watch a two-hour buddy film with these two. In fact, can the next film just be a galaxy road trip film with them and Rey? Please?
1. Rey Meets Kylo Ren
There’s a reason my top three scenes are all focused on the new characters, because they’re the best part of this film. And this scene, where Kylo has captured Rey, is the scene I keep returning to when I think about this film. It’s a captivating scene, with some quality performances.
It shifted into one of the best scenes in the film for me when Kylo removes his helmet, revealing to Rey that this creature hunting her is just a human, nothing more. What follows is a battle of the Force, where Rey comes out the victor by telling Kylo his biggest fear, and Kylo realizes just how powerful this girl is. It’s a solid character moment for both of them, and sets up what are sure to be great dynamics in the future films.
Plus then we get that great scene of Rey testing her Force powers with the stormtrooper – who just happens to be played by Daniel Craig!
What are your favorite scenes and moments from The Force Awakens? Let us know in the comments!