The term “fan service” is often used negatively by critics, but a few key Star Wars moments have proven that giving fans what they want isn’t always a bad thing. Nearly half a century in, the Star Wars saga has amassed a huge fan base and a lucrative legacy. Fans have an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for almost everything about George Lucas’ space opera, from the lightsabers to the Millennium Falcon to John Williams’ iconic music.
In recent years, Star Wars’ creative powers have played on that nostalgia with scenes like Darth Vader’s hallway melee in Rogue One and Luke Skywalker’s hallway melee in The Mandalorian.
10 Yoda In Action (Attack Of The Clones)
Set a couple of decades before the original trilogy, the prequels introduced Star Wars fans to Yoda in his prime. The little green Jedi didn’t get in on any of the action in Episode I, but he arrives to save the day near the end of Episode II.
When both Anakin and Obi-Wan are effortlessly defeated by Count Dooku, Yoda takes up his lightsaber and reveals his manic, acrobatic combat style. Dooku struggles to keep up as Yoda flies around the room in a flurry of motion. Fans wanted to see Yoda in action as soon as Lucas introduced his younger self.
9 Emperor Palpatine’s Meme Quotes (The Rise Of Skywalker)
After the underwhelming response to Supreme Leader Snoke’s authority as the Star Wars saga’s new big bad, J.J. Abrams brought back the old big bad, Emperor Palpatine, in The Rise of Skywalker.
Ian McDiarmid reprises his role as the Emperor seamlessly, and Abrams took every opportunity to get the actor to re-read quotes that have since become popular meme templates, like “Do it,” and “The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be… unnatural.”
8 Din Djarin Goes To Tatooine (The Mandalorian)
Din Djarin has traveled to Tatooine – the desolate desert planet where it all began – a couple of times throughout The Mandalorian’s run. In season 1, he went into the infamous “wretched hive of scum and villainy” that is Mos Eisley Spaceport.
Every time Mando goes to Tatooine, there’s a handful of Star Wars Easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans to spot. In season 2, Cobb Vanth rode a recycled part from Anakin’s podracer across the Dune Sea.
7 The Millennium Falcon Arrives On Coruscant (Revenge Of The Sith)
According to Den of Geek, when Lucas was writing Revenge of the Sith, he planned to include a 10-year-old Han Solo living with Chewbacca on the Wookiees’ home planet of Kashyyyk. He eventually decided against this, but Han’s spirit can still be felt in Episode III.
During an early scene, the Millennium Falcon can be seen docking on Coruscant. This is before Han owned the Falcon, but Star Wars fans can’t see the ship without thinking of its most iconic captain.
6 Parsecs (The Force Awakens)
Speaking of the Millennium Falcon, it resurfaces in The Force Awakens when Rey and Finn are looking for a ship in which to escape from Jakku. The ship’s rightful owners, Han and Chewie, manage to recapture it from them.
When Rey realizes the ship she stole is the Falcon, she asks Han, “This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in 14 parsecs?” He corrects her: “12!” This is, of course, a nod to Han’s classic brag from the original movie.
5 Han Shoots First (Solo)
One of the most controversial changes that Lucas made to the original Star Wars movie in the CGI-laden “Special Edition” was adding a shot from Greedo’s blaster right before Han’s shot in the cantina shootout. In the new version of the scene, Han is no longer a cunning sharpshooter; he just got lucky.
Lucasfilm rectified this mistake in the climactic gunfight in Solo: A Star Wars Story between a young Han and his mentor-turned-enemy Tobias Beckett, played by Woody Harrelson. In this shootout, there’s no question of who shot first. Han wastes no time dispatching the villain.
4 Binary Sunset (The Last Jedi)
Rian Johnson’s deconstruction of the Luke Skywalker myth in The Last Jedi rubbed a lot of Star Wars fans the wrong way, but his death scene at the movie’s climax is suitably moving. Luke Force-projects himself onto Crait to distract Kylo Ren long enough to allow the Resistance to escape.
This final act of heroism drains Luke of his lifeforce and kills him. As he passes away, he gazes at Ahch-To’s binary sunset, just like the sunset he saw on Tatooine before jetting off on an intergalactic adventure in the original trilogy.
3 Boba Fett’s Glorious Return To Action (The Mandalorian)
After The Empire Strikes Back introduced Boba Fett as Star Wars’ most exciting side villain, Return of the Jedi (supposedly) killed him off unceremoniously. Four decades later, The Mandalorian finally gave Star Wars fans the Fett action of their dreams. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, “Chapter 14: The Tragedy” sees Boba arriving to collect his armor from Mando. When Stormtroopers show up to abduct Grogu, the two ex-bounty hunters team up to take them down.
Midway through the battle, Boba dons the armor and uses his arsenal of gadgets to eviscerate the Imperial Remnants’ forces. Despite the 40-year wait, his triumphant return to action didn’t disappoint.
2 Darth Vader’s Hallway Attack (Rogue One)
For the most part, Rogue One focuses on new characters, from the Rebel spies who stole the Death Star plans to the Imperial bureaucrat who claimed responsibility for the superweapon, but there’s plenty of fan service involving legacy characters – like a computer-generated Leia Organa saying, “Hope.”
Director Gareth Edwards took every opportunity to show Darth Vader at the height of his powers, particularly in the finale when he illuminates a hallway with the ominous red glow of his lightsaber and massacres a group of terrified Rebel troops.
1 Luke Skywalker Saves The Day (The Mandalorian)
After Rogue One gave Star Wars fans a hallway massacre courtesy of Darth Vader, The Mandalorian’s second-season finale gave them a hallway massacre courtesy of his son, Luke Skywalker.
Just when Mando and his friends are about to be slaughtered by Dark Troopers and all hope is lost, Luke shows up in his X-wing. After effortlessly slaying all the Dark Troopers, he takes Grogu under his wing as an apprentice – possibly priming Skywalker for a larger role in season 3.
NEXT: The Best Thing Every Mandalorian Director Brought To The Show
Revenge Of The Sith: 8 Ways Obi-Wan Steals The Movie
About The Author