May the fourth be with you: 20 of our favorite moments from the Star Wars franchise

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Episode V: “No, I am your father.”

You knew it was coming. The Episode V showdown between Luke and Vader has become an iconic moment in the Star Wars saga, so much so that even people who haven’t seen the films can quote it. After so many years, the twist feels inevitable now. But the first time we watched it, Vader’s words packed a punch. And once the words “No, I am your father” leave his mouth, so many things make sense — including his relationship with Obi-Wan.

The fight scene leading up to this reveal is an epic one, one that shows off Luke’s blossoming skills with a lightsaber. Stakes are high when Vader slices Luke’s arm from his body, and his insistence that Luke is meant to follow in his footsteps presents a new conflict that persists for the rest of the series. The possibility of Luke turning to the dark side is always present, and it leads his actions through Return of the Jedi and the newer films as well.

Episode V: Han’s carbonite freeze

Now that The Empire Strikes Back has been out for such a long time, fans rarely think of Han’s carbonite freeze as an intense or fearful moment. In hindsight, we know that he’ll be fine. But the first time watching The Empire Strikes Back, most of us were pretty worried about our favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder. And given the emotion coming from Leia, Chewie and Lando in the moment, who can blame us?

This scene is also when he and Leia share their famous moment. Leia admits to Han that she loves him, to which he responds: “I know.” This is perfectly in character for Han, and it makes the moment even more heartbreaking the first time around. Add in Chewie’s cries as Han enters the machine, and this is definitely one of the most intense moments from the original trilogy.