With Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens due out in less than a few months, I thought I’d write more articles that are based off the hit franchise! Star Wars fans will happily tell you their most favorite scenes from the films. Whether it’s the Death Star trench run, the Battle of Hoth, the Battle of Endor, or even the more subtle settings like the entire Cantina scene from Episode IV: A New Hope, all these scenes encompass what Star Wars is: an epic sci-fi adventure around every corner of the galaxy. While you have all of the major battle scenes as well as the romantic ones between Han and Leia (and dare I say Anakin and Padme), there are also those set pieces where absolutely little to no dialogue is needed.
Sometimes the greatest or most impressive scenes are the ones where nobody says a word. For these reasons, I want to give you my list of “Top 10 Impactful Star Wars Scenes That Need No Dialogue.” When I say that these scenes are “impactful,” I’m referring to the notion that these scenes thrive by having little to no dialogue at all. In this case and point to my article, actions really do speak louder than words. Once again this list was EXTREMELY tough to make and order from “least favorite” to favorite so bear with me here.
#10. The Throne Room: Episode IV A New Hope
After the destruction of the first Death Star, Han and Luke are awarded a medal for their bravery. The entire scene is told by John William’s brilliant score as it has a very uplifting and triumphant melody. The scene perfectly embodies the accomplishments of the Rebellion as they were successful in critically wounding the Empire. Like the rest of the scenes on this list, there is no dialogue other than a few quips from C-3PO and R2-D2 and of course everyone’s favorite hairy beast Chewie. And can someone please tell me why the hell Chewie didn’t receive a medal??? I believe that’s a question we will never have an answer to.
#9. The Great Pit of Carkoon: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
The PERFECT stand off between Luke and Jabba the Hutt. Right before he is placed on the edge of the plank, Luke tells Jabba to “Free us or die!” Jabba should have listened. Skywalker is then put into position when the scene I am now referring to takes place. The greatest part of this setting is actually the camerawork that is involved along with (of course) John Williams score. The camera pans around every one of the main characters showing the audience that sh** is about to go down. Luke then raises his hand and salutes to R2-D2 to let loose his lightsaber that he has been storing for him. It’s a great scene that is short lived once R2-D2 releases his lightsaber in the air and the battle begins. Jabba should have listened to Luke in the first place. Now he and the other creatures have to pay the price.
#8. Admiral Ackbar is Relieved: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
“Concentrate all fire on that Super Star Destroyer!” Tim Rose will be replaying his role as the amphibious Mon Calamarian in this years Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and I cannot be more excited for his return. Will he still be an admiral? At this point nobody knows but what an impact he had in Return of the Jedi. Obviously everyone knows his famous line “It’s a trap!” but it’s the scene towards the end of the battle over the forest moon of Endor shortly after the Rebels took down the Super Star Destroyer that stands out.
After the A-Wing pilot crashes directly into the Super Star Destroyer, it begins to fall and crashes into the Death Star. Immediately you hear all of the Mon Calamarians celebrate their victory and watch as Ackbar falls right into his chair. It’s one of those “phew, that was close” moments but it’s also a sense of prosperity. His own kind has joined this epic battle leading the Rebellion to hopefully obliterate the Empire for good. The scene may only be a few seconds long, but it shows a great deal of courage and perseverance. It takes place around the 35 second mark.
#7. Padme’s Ruminations: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
We all know that George Lucas is not the best director when speaking about the dialogue. That’s why when it comes to scenes like this, he is a genius. This is arguably the best scene in this film. There’s absolutely NO dialogue whatsoever and it’s full of emotion. This scene sets up what’s to come perfectly. Anakin is at a loss here. He has already disobeyed the Jedi Order many times including getting married while also having children.
This setting scored masterfully by John Williams presents us with eerie music along with a gloomy atmosphere. Anakin is having a hard time making up his mind. Should he listen to Palpatine fully knowing he’s the Sith Lord? Or should he do what’s right and have him arrested for his crimes? Even the scenes with Padme are full of emotion as she also does not know what to do with herself. The senate has fallen apart while the Galactic Empire is in full control.
#6. “Size Matters Not:” Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
“Judge me by my size do you?” No Yoda, not after this scene we don’t. Yoda may be small, but it’s clear that “size matters not” to him. In one of the best scenes in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda shows Luke that it does not matter how big something may be, but if you don’t believe you will always fail. As part of Luke’s training, Yoda tells him; “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you…”
If you don’t believe, you won’t succeed. Here, Luke learns a valuable lesson as Yoda uses the Force to lift his X-Wing out of the murky swamp. Lukes’ reaction is priceless as he gazes upon Yoda’s prime example. Immediately Luke exclaims, “I don’t believe it!” Yoda looks him straight in the eye and states, “That is why you fail.” This scene was both impactful for the audience as well as our lead character.
#5. Yoda scarred by Order 66: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Order 66 brought a devastating blow to the Jedi Order. The Jedi were wiped out across the galaxy mostly by the hands of their own stormtrooper unit. Sadly for Yoda, he felt every one of those deaths. Master Yoda brought up and trained a lot of these Jedi so all of them were near and dear to his heart. It should be no surprise then that he was able to feel all of their deaths to an extent. He knew something was wrong immediately as he could no longer stand up straight. Around the 1:30 mark, Yoda drops his cane and places his hand directly over his heart.
While this scene is very emotional on its own, the part that hurts us the most (other than the younglings getting slaughtered by Anakin) is when we see Yoda collapsing on the ground. As the viewer we see all of these Jedi deaths unfold, but Yoda was not there when they happened. There’s that emotional attachment towards his students that make us all want to comfort him as we see him in a state of agony. That is what makes this scene so touching because we as an audience understand that those Jedi are basically his children.
#4. Anakin grieves over his mother’s death by slaughtering the Sand People: Episode II Attack of the Clones
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a video immediately after his mother’s death, but this will have to do. Anakin’s turn to the darkside may have officially started at this very moment. Excluding one of the worst scenes of dialogue I have ever seen (you fans know what seen I’m referring to), Hayden Christensen does a phenomenal job of showing his characters rage. Before going back to the Lars home, Anakin slaughters all of the Tusken Raiders including the children. The entire sequence is brilliantly shot with multiple takes and once again no dialogue is needed to be effective. Shmi’s death left a major impact on Anakin as he leans closer and closer towards the dark side.
#3. Anakin gazes over the grim world of Mustafar: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
After Palpatine initiates Order 66, he sends Anakin on a quest to exterminate the remaining Separatist forces on the planet Mustafar. As Anakin is killing all of the Seperatists, we see his pupils turn to a dark yellow symbolizing his change to the dark side. Once again we see Anakin’s rage at play here. Hayden Christensen is clearly at his best when he has no dialogue to say. What makes this particular scene amazing is when Lucas chooses to go back and forth between what’s going on in Coruscant as well as Mustafar. However, the very end of the massacre is what I want to focus on.
The music accompanied by John Williams score, shows a panoramic view of the desolate landscape of Mustafar. As the camera zooms in closer to Anakin, we see him slowly shed a tear as it streams down his face. Anakin knows that what he has done was pure evil but in spite of it all, he is doing it to save Padme’s life. Twisted by the dark side, Lord Sidious has lied to him claiming he can save people from certain death. Anakin has truly fallen to the dark side at this point with no sign of turning back. This is one of those scenes that Lucas placed there that shows Anakin still has emotion and it couldn’t have been portrayed any better.
#2. Luke glares into the Suns on Tatooine: Episode IV A New Hope
Luke is not exactly sure what his future holds and that is what makes this scene so effective. The movie is titled Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope for a reason (even though it was originally known as just Star Wars). Luke is that “New Hope” for the Rebel Alliance and is why he is the one who was able to take down and destroy the Death Star. This scene has my all time favorite Star Wars score called ‘Binary Sunset’ (which is utilized once again in my number one choice on this list). The way the music slowly builds up is just awesome. It’s all about the timing for the music in this scene and man does Williams knock it out of the park.
What makes this scene very impactful is the fact that he doesn’t know how important his character will become as the saga continues. He is the hope for the Rebellion to take down the Empire for good. Luke wants to do what’s right if given the chance. This has become one of my all time favorite Star Wars movie scenes but it was extremely tough not to put this in my number one spot. So what scene could possibly be numero uno? Read on to find out!
#1. Luke burns his father’s body: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Yes this scene is the most impactful Star Wars moment. Shortly after his brief conversation with his father, Vader slowly passes away on the Death Star. Instead of leaving him there, Luke brings him to the forest moon of Endor where he burns his body. This scene is nothing short of emotional especially if the audience has watched the prequels while also including the Clone Wars tv series (which expands more on the Anakin Skywalker lore) . Give the prequels some credit here because we have now understood Vader’s motivations throughout the years. We saw him grow up from a young boy on Tatooine only to be taken over by the dark side.
The story comes full circle here. The prophecy has finally come true. Anakin truly was the chosen one to defeat the Sith. Luke fought the ultimate temptation towards the dark side and his father saved him from certain death. As Luke is gazing at his father’s body you can’t help by shed a few tears here. Luke finally spoke with his father face to face just moments ago. Vader’s story has come to a close with Luke now beginning his very own. Vader succumbed to the dark side but Luke was able to fight and in turn saved his father.
So that caps of the list of my “Top 10 Impactful Star Wars Scenes That Need No Dialogue.” December 17 is just around the corner! Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens will take place approximately 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. It will be interesting to see what type of story will take place and how much back story will be given to us in the film. I cannot be more excited for the release of this film as we inch ever closer.
Did you agree with my list? What other scenes that had little to no dialogue impacted you more? I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts and please share and comment below!