On Star Wars Day, a look at the most iconic moments from the films: Throwback Thursday

FP Staff

May 04, 2017 12:52:35 IST

Today is 4th May, which means a certain pun is echoing across social media around the world: "May the Fourth be with you”. The celebration is held every year for all lovers of the Skywalkers, the Resistance and Yoda’s wise words.

The tradition started rather organically, chosen by fans as a day to celebrate their love for the Star Wars films and expanded universe. ('May the Fourth' rhymes with 'May the Force,' and you can figure out the rest out from there.) Grassroots fandom perpetuated the pun, until the first large organised event for the day took place on 4 May 2011 in the Toronto Underground Cinema. Screenings of the movies were accompanied by a costume contest judged by local radio hosts and TV stars, but while it may have been the first commercial Star Wars Day gathering, it certainly wasn’t the first time people had connected the day with the films.

That goes all the way back to 1979, just two years after the original Star Wars hit theater screens. Britain’s Conservative Party, celebrating the election of new Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, put out a full-page ad in the London Evening News at the time which reportedly read, "May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations."

History lessons apart, this is also the first Star Wars Day since the death of Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the films.

Since fans have already been excited for the release of the new Star Wars film, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, after Disney has released a trailer ahead of its December 2017 release, here are the top five moments from the Star Wars franchise which makes it so unique:

"Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi!  you’re my only hope !" (From Episode IV: A New Hope)

In just eight words, Princess Leia Organa promised a whole universe of adventure. Luke Skywalker’s discovery of the hidden holographic message stored within his newly purchased astromech droid R2-D2 served as a sort of magic spell, the 'open sesame' that unlocked all the excitement to come.

"Luke, I am your father" (From Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

The light saber duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader was easily the most anticipated moment in the first of the Star Wars sequels, and it lived up to the hype: Vader relentlessly pushes Luke to his physical limits, while the young Jedi does his best to combat him. And then there's the moment that stunned audiences and elevated the franchise into the realm of tragedy: Luke learns simultaneously of both his mentor Obi-Wan's deception and his  lineage when Darth Vader says, "I am your father."

Fun Fact: James Earl Jones refused a credit as Darth Vader’s voice after controversy surrounding praise for the voice of the devil in The Exorcist.

The Death Star Battle scene (From A New Hope)

When it came to Hope's climactic battle, in which a ragtag rebel fleet attempts to destroy the Empire's planet-killing space station, George Lucas wanted to emulate the feel of the aerial dogfights he had seen in World War II films. And how he succeeded: the clash between the rebel and Imperial fighters is more dynamic than any space battle seen on the screen before.

Obi-Wan and Darth Vader's Final Battle (From A New Hope)

What's more iconic than Star Wars' 'Luke I am your father ' scene?

The iconic battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. The master and his star pupil reunite and Obi-Wan makes the ultimate sacrifice as he and Darth Vader clash in the corridors of the Death Star. Their final contest takes on a different meaning when placed alongside their apocalyptic battle in Revenge of the Sith, but this one is still a bigger fan favourite.

The Star Wars opening sequence

Each film opens with the static text, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....", followed by the Star Wars logo shrinking in front of a field of stars then the crawl text begins, starting with film's episode number and subtitle and followed by a three-paragraph prologue to the film.

This is one of the most recognised and iconic features of the Star Wars series, and has been parodied in countless films and series.

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Updated Date: May 04, 2017 12:52:35 IST