13. Anakin Kills Mace Windu
Film: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The Moment: After realizing that he needs Palpatine alive, Anakin goes to the Chancellor’s chambers to rescue him from Mace Windu and the team of Jedi who are there to arrest him. He arrives with only Mace still alive, Anakin pleads with the Jedi Master to spare Palpatine’s life. When Mace refuses and moves to kill the Chancellor, Anakin cuts his arm off. This allows Palpatine to finish Mace by throwing him out the window using force lightning.
Why It’s Memorable: There are stages to Anakin slipping into the dark side’s clutches, and this is the moment of no return. It’s not the worst thing that he does, but this is the definitive moment where Darth Vader is born and Anakin Skywalker begins to die. There’s no turning back from killing Mace Windu — Anakin knows this and gives in to the dark side in a moment of rebirth that is brutal to endure.
Let’s also not skate over the fact that this is the death of Mace Windu. We were wondering when and how Mace would have his story arc wrapped up in the prequels, and he went out in a blaze of insanity. If you were going in with virgin eyes, this took you entirely by surprise.
Next: 12. Han Thought They Only Smelled Bad On The Outside