As the Force Awakens heads for cinemas, it’s time for a Star Wars refresher course. We’ve pulled together some of the biggest, most significant moments from each of the six films to whet your appetite – from that first opening shot of an Imperial Star Destroyer rumbling into view, to a kick-ass triple lightsabre battle – and then it’s time to head over to Sky Movies’ dedicated Star Wars channel where can you watch the entire saga again…
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Now that’s what I call pod racing
“Now this is pod racing!” yells a young Anakin Skywalker as he speeds around the track at Boonta Eve, Tatooine’s answer to Silverstone. The boy who would be Vader finds the perfect opportunity to show off his flying skills as he clashes with Sebulba, causing high drama in the desert and earning his freedom to train as a Jedi.
Three-way lightsaber battle
Phantom Menace gave us with one of the best action scenes in Star Wars history – the lightsabers of Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn and Ewan MacGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi against the double-bladed staff of Ray Park’s Sith Lord Darth Maul.
Whether it’s the peerless score (Duel of the Fates is one of John Williams’ finest), the evolved choreography and martial arts prowess of the actors, or simply the fact that Maul keeps kicking the Jedi in the face, it’s a stand-out sequence. Such a shame the dark lord wasn’t around for another Maul-ing.
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Yoda versus Count Dooku
We knew The Force was incredibly strong with him thanks to his exploits with Luke in the Star Wars trilogy, so we were all rather eager to see how Yoda would fare with a lightsaber (especially given how vertically challenged he is). He finally had his moment against Christopher Lee’s evil Count Dooku in Episode II…
Jango Fett loses his head
The death of Count Dooku’s right-hand man Jango Fett is swift and brutal as Mace Windu uses his lightsaber to deflect Fett’s laser fire then, in one smooth, effortless motion, lops the head from the bounty hunter’s shoulders. It’s a shocking moment, and cool as hell. Although Dooku and Fett’s son Boba don’t look too impressed…
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Anakin versus Obi-Wan
The dramatic lightsaber duel between Anakin Skywalker and his former master Obi-Wan Kenobi is a marathon battle set against the backdrop of a river of molten rock, and ends with a gruesome fate for the young Skywalker…
Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader
This was the scene we were all waiting for – the moment when the battered and injured Anakin Skywalker became the fearsome Darth Vader, and took his first laboured breath.
With the iconic voice of James Earl Jones booming out from behind his mask, the curiously vulnerable Vader held on to a shred of his humanity even in his new form – only to lose it at the news of his wife’s death. Finally, the circle of the Star Wars trilogies was complete.
Episode IV: A New Hope
Enter the Imperial Star Destroyer
The first ever frames of the Star Wars franchise have as good a claim as any to be labeled iconic. As the gigantic Imperial Star Destroyer rumbles ominously into view in pursuit of a blockade runner, the tone and scale are set for the biggest space opera in cinema history.
Attack on the Death Star
The defining moment of the first Star Wars film sees the rebel alliance converge on the Death Star for a space battle royale before young Luke Skywalker comes of age, finally channeling his newfound use of the Force to pinpoint the exhaust port with a photon torpedo that sees the Death Star explode in a dazzling ball of flame.
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Han Solo is put into the deep freeze
It’s an affecting moment as Han Solo is lined up as a guinea pig for Darth Vader’s new carbon freezing technique, while Princess Leia looks on. But the cockiest man in the galaxy is still playing it pretty cool, and when she tells him “I love you”, he simply replies “I know”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0aeKwVe9wU “I am your father”
The plot twist of the Star Wars franchise, revealed with a phrase that has echoed through pop culture ever since. Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker…
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Sarlacc Pit battle
After the events of episode V, Luke has really grown into his Jedi powers and as our heroes find themselves in the clutches of Jabba the Hutt, about to become dinner for the deadly Sarlacc, he kicks off an escape plan with a nifty springboard somersault….
Luke tells Leia she is his sister
Is everyone in Star Wars related? After Darth Vader’s shock revelation in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke has one of his own for Leia – they are brother and sister…
Watch the entire Star Wars saga on Sky Movies Star Wars or on demand
Catch up with every Star Wars film to date, as well as the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, go behind the scenes on The Force Awakens, watch the world premiere live and learn about the special effects magic that brings the movies to life