5. Darth Vader Kills Obi-Wan
Film: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
The Moment: Darth Vader senses that his old master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, is aboard the Death Star and hunts him down. They engage in a lightsaber battle that creates a diversion which allows Han, Luke and Leia to make a mad dash for the Millennium Falcon. Obi-Wan sees Luke watching and in an unintended lesson, gives himself up and allows Vader to kill him, transferring Obi-Wan’s soul to the force netherworld.
Why It’s Memorable: This was the first death of a major character in the original trilogy and was the physical death of a character we had grown close to — with or without the prequels for context. Obi-Wan was a fan favorite from the first frame he was in, and his death was a shock to us all when it happened.
Beyond the shock factor, it served great purpose to the story, as it allowed Obi-wan to help Luke more than he ever would have been able to had he lived on in the physical world. Obi-Wan returned a handful of times the remainder of the original trilogy and aided Luke in ways that only a true Jedi master who sacrificed himself could. That’s how wise Obi-Wan was, and that was displayed in this moment.
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