12. Han Slices Open His Tauntaun
Film: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Moment: After finding Luke’s nearly frozen body in the wastelands of the Hoth snow desert, Han Solo attempts to find a way to keep his friend warm through the night as they have no way of getting back to the rebel base. Thinking on his feet, Han uses Luke’s lightsaber to slice open the belly of a tauntaun and slides his friend inside of the creature to use the body heat to save him.
Why It’s Memorable: There’s a few things to love about this moment, not the least of which is that it’s the only time in the entire saga that a character other than a Jedi uses a lightsaber. We came close in Episode II when Jango tried to get Obi-Wan’s, but this is the only time that a character other than a Jedi or Sith handles a lightsaber in the films.
And of course it’s Han Solo. As if he wasn’t already the coolest character in the galaxy, he gets this distinct honor. It also shows how smart and quick on his feet Han is — something we knew but saw applied in real time here. Had it not been for this quick thinking by Han, Luke might not have made it. If you want to find out what happened in that scenario, check out the Infinities comic line, as it’s explored interestingly there and also highlighting what a pivotal moment this was.
Next: 11. Anakin Kills A Bunch Of Kids