Ranking the best moments of modern day Star Wars: Numbers 41-45

On Twitter, Bryan Young recently asked his followers what their favorite moment of the modern Star Wars era (the Disney era) is, and there are too many great ones to count.  Inspired by that, we’ll be taking a look at this author’s top 50 moments from recent Star Wars material.  Today, we look at numbers 41-45.

45. Ahsoka and Rex

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Ahsoka reunites with Commander Rex (Rebels season 2, Episode 4: “Relics of the Old Republic”)

Fans of The Clone Wars TV show surely fell in love with Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex, and both of them were brought back in Rebels.  Ahsoka joined the Rebellion as the informant Fulcrum, and early in season two she sent the Ghost crew on a mission to retrieve an old friend.  Kanan Jarrus was surprised and angry to find that these friends were clones, remembering the days when he saw clone troopers turn on and kill his master in Order 66.  But the clones explain that they removed the chips from their heads and didn’t turn on their Jedi.  After helping the clones repel an Imperial assault, Rex returns to the Ghost crew to reunite with Ahsoka.  “You got old,” Rex says as he sees Ahoska, and she responds, “Had to happen sometime, Rex.”  Then she embraces the clone Captain in a big hug, and from that point on Rex is an ally of the Rebellion – eventually even fighting for them in the Battle of Endor.  His reunion with Ahsoka is a touching moment and a real favorite for those who got to know the characters so well in The Clone Wars.

44. The Apprentice Lives

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Darth Vader realizes Ahsoka is alive (Rebels season 2, Episode 2: “The Siege of Lothal”)

In a stunning move, Darth Vader flies his TIE Advanced to engage the Phoenix fleet… alone.  Vader successfully takes out several fighters and damages the command ship, causing Hera and the Ghost crew – plus Ahsoka – to take to the Ghost in an attempt to repel the fighter.  Ahsoka realizes that the Force is strong with the pilot, so she and Kanan attempt to use the Force to figure out more information.  Ezra then chimes in that he feels the same cold that he felt when he and Kanan confronted the Sith Lord earlier, and Vader then senses it too.  Vader exclaims, “The apprentice lives!” and Ahsoka then screams and passes out.  Distracted by Ahsoka, however, Vader turns his attention to the Ghost, which escapes thanks to some ineptitude from Vader’s reinforcements.  But he discovered that his apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, was alive.  Ahsoka, meanwhile, begins to suspect the worst – though she initially isn’t certain and/or doesn’t want to believe it, she knows that Vader is her former master.  This leads to their epic showdown later on, but it’s a great moment in its own right, as Vader discovers that Ahsoka is still alive – and as Ahsoka discovers that her master is the evil Sith Lord.

43. Reunited

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Han and Leia together again (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

In many fairy tales, the story simply ends with the phrase, ” and they lived happily ever after.”  As we know, however, that’s not necessarily true in real life.  And that’s what makes the relationship of Han and Leia especially emotional: we know that it’s far closer to reality than we often like to think.  The two fell in love during the original trilogy and were married on Endor following the destruction of the second Death Star.  A year after the Battle of Endor, their son, Ben, was born.  Han and Leia were very much in love, even though their focus remained on different things: Leia on politics, and Han on, well, not politics!  The two would spend considerable time apart, with Han running a shipping company and overseeing a race, and with Leia very involved in the politics of the New Republic.  They sent their son to train with Luke Skywalker, but eventually, Ben was seduced by Snoke and turned to the dark side.  That led to a considerable strain on Han and Leia’s relationship, with Leia turning to politics and Han turning to smuggling to fill the void.  By the time of The Force Awakens, they are living separate lives.  But as the Resistance arrives to help Han and the gang on Takodana, Leia arrives in a Resistance transport – to the sight of Han Solo waiting to meet her.  C-3PO of course interrupts the moment, and Chewie gives Leia a hug, but it’s Han and Leia as we’re used to: banter.  “You changed your hair,” Han says, to which Leia responds, “Same jacket.”  Han tells her that he saw their son, and they travel back to D’Qar together.  Han tries to help (which leads to the great Leia line: “And don’t say the Death Star”), and they share an emotional conversation about their son and how they want him back.  After Han comes up with a plan to infiltrate Starkiller Base, the two share a touching goodbye: “No matter how much we fought, I’ve always hated watching you leave.”  Leia tells Han that she did miss him and they reminisce on good times, and as they hug Leia tells Han that if he sees Ben, bring him home.  We know, of course, that Ben would kill his father (and Leia feels it through the Force), making this the last conversation Han and Leia ever had.  It’s great to see these scenes of Han and Leia together again, seeing that no matter how many hard times they had the love is still there.

42. Yoda’s mistaken assumption

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Yoda wants to train Leia (“From a Certain Point of View”: “There is Another ,” by Gary D. Schmidt)

It’s interesting to think about Yoda’s exile on Dagobah, from the years in-between Revenge of the Sith and The Empire Strikes Back.  What was he up to?  Well, a whole lot of nothing.  And a whole lot of meditation in the Force.  He communed with Qui-Gon Jinn, and he pondered how things may have been different.  In Gary D. Schmidt’s short story in “From a Certain Point of View,” we get a glimpse as to Yoda’s life on Dagobah, and what he can sense in the Force.  But what is most interesting – and most exciting – is his conversation with a recently deceased Obi-Wan Kenobi, who appears in Yoda’s hut after returning from the netherworld of the Force, and the two have a conversation.  Yoda had previously been thinking about how he wished to train young Skywalker, and now Obi-Wan asked him to do just that!  Yoda was thrilled, and he immediately agreed to it.  “Long have I wanted to train her,” Yoda responds.  But Obi-Wan clarifies that he meant Luke, not Leia, and Yoda immediately refuses that request: “No. … That is not the one.  Not ready is he. … Not him.  Her.”  Eventually, however, Obi-Wan persuades Yoda to take on Luke as a padawan, with Yoda telling Obi-Wan to send Luke to him.  But it’s really interesting to think of the possibility of Yoda wanting to train Leia rather than Luke, and it’s not hard to see why: Leia possessed resolve and will of her own, so she didn’t need a Jedi Master watching over her.  Luke was reckless, but Leia was ready.  So, when Obi-Wan told Yoda that the time had come to train one of Skywalker’s offspring, Yoda assumed it was Leia.  He was wrong.  But it’s wonderful to see the Grand Master’s thought process and how he wished to train Leia.  Of course, we know how things turned out with Yoda training Luke, but it makes perfect sense why Leia would be the more prized pupil of the two for Yoda.

41. The start of a friendship

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Han meets Chewbacca (Solo: A Star Wars Story)

Han Solo is an Imperial infantry trooper on Mimban.  After getting kicked out of the Imperial flight academy for having a mind of his own, Han wound up fighting for the Empire in the war zone.  Trying not to die, Han follows ‘Captain’ Tobias Beckett and his crew.  He soon realizes that they’re actually imposters, though, and threatens to tell on them if they don’t let him go with them.  Beckett simply laughs and then tells on Han first, saying that he’s a deserter.  Han is taken away and is thrown into a mudpit, to be fed to the beast.  As Han tries to escape (and as two Imperial soldiers watch), the beast emerges: it’s a Wookiee, covered in mud.  The Wookiee begins to fight Han and seems to beat him quite easily (“he killed him too quickly,” one of the stormtroopers grumbles), but as Chewbacca is shoving Han into the mud, Han lets out a series of muffled grumbles.  The Wookiee stops, shocked, that this human actually speaks Shyriiwook (“yeah, I speak a little,” Han says), and Han tells Chewbacca that if they stage a fight, they could knock one of the support beams out.  They do so, and they wind up escaping.  The two begin to go separate ways, but since they’re still chained together it doesn’t work.  Han tells Chewbacca of some friends he has leaving, and they manage to catch Beckett’s crew before they leave, being brought on board.  And thus, a lifelong friendship is born.

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