Still from Return of the Jedi (1983). Image is a screengrab via 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm
4. Leia’s “I know” moment
Oh man, wasn’t this so delicious to see? Wasn’t it nice to have that residual annoyance of Han Solo finally paid off? This is one of the funniest moments in the whole trilogy, and one of the funniest running bits in any film series.
I don’t know exactly where the shift happened with Han Solo’s character. Maybe it was when Leia saved him, or maybe it was when he realized how she could put differences aside to fight a common cause (like with Lando). Maybe he saw how self-sufficient she is on Endor, and that’s what caused a change. Either way, Solo has a palpably greater respect for Leia in this film that was not there before. So when this moment comes, it’s not only really funny, it’s actually quite sweet.
Also, kudos to Lucas and the writing team for having the foresight to do that. Over the years it was believed that the original line from The Empire Strikes Back was improvised by Harrison Ford, but actually it was not. It was just a weird response they wrote in. Well, I appreciate that someone had the foresight to give that cocky response back to Leia.