37. Han Saves Lando From Sarlacc Pit
Film: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
The Moment: Lando is knocked off one of the barge ships during the battle outside of Jabba’s palace yacht and begins slipping towards the mouth of the sarlacc pit. As he claws his way back up shore, he is grabbed by a tentacle of the garlic and begins to be pulled into its mouth. Han thinks quick and while mostly blinded from the carbon unfreezing, manages to shoot the tentacle and save his friend.
Why It’s Memorable: This wasn’t just Han saving Lando — it was Han forgiving Lando and saving him. The last real encounter they had was Lando selling Han and the group out in Cloud City, which wasn’t the best last impression to give someone who can save you from being digested over the course of the next 1,000 years.
But Han’s character shone through in a big way, and he let bygones be bygones in a pretty significant way. We also need to remember that upon first viewing of Return of the Jedi, we didn’t know who was going to live and who wasn’t going to make it out of the film alive. Lando was at the to of the for chain when it came to characters that were possibly expendable, and this was his first brush with death we weren’t certain he’d survive.
Next: 36. Count Dooku Cuts Off Anakin's Arm