19. Luke Turns Heel on Darth Vader
Film: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
The Moment: After fighting Vader and for the most part losing, Luke tries to center his emotions as Vader stalks the corridor of the Emperor, hunting for his son. Through that power of the Force, Vader senses that Luke has discovered that he has a sister — Leia. He uses this to stoke the emotional coals, which prompts Luke to go ham and nearly kill his father in a fit of rage.
Why It’s Memorable: What’s most interesting about this moment is that it appears that it wasn’t wrapped up neatly in Return of the Jedi like we were shown. Luke cuts off Vader’s hand, see it’s mechanical wires smoldering and looks at his own mechanical hand putting two and two metaphorically together.
But while Luke doesn’t bow to the Emperor, everything we know about The Force Awakens seems to suggest that Luke is losing his mind dealing with the emotional fallout from this memorable moment. It also shows that timid Luke was capable of turning heel at the flip of a coin, which was a dangerous element of his psyche but wasn’t dug into the way it probably should have been.
Next: 18. Leia Tells Han She Loves Him