1. Darth Vader Reveals He Is Luke’s Father
Film: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Moment: After losing his hand and crawling onto a ledge above a garbage chute, Darth Vader asks Luke to join him in the empire and together they can rule the galaxy. Luke refuses, telling Vader that Obi-Wan informed him about how his father was killed by the Sith Lord. Vader replies that Obi-Wan didn’t tell him the whole truth, and the he is Luke’s father.
Why It’s Memorable: This is one of the biggest and most shocking plot twists in cinema history. Even people who haven’t seen Star Wars know that Vader is Luke’s father as it’s been used so many times in pop culture that it’s not even a twist anymore. But at the time, this was something that was so shocking that George Lucas didn’t even dub the real line in until post-production.
It’s not entirely known how planned this twist was, but it’s the genesis for the foundation that the saga’s story was laid upon. This is where Star Wars stopped being about Luke saving the galaxy and started being about the downfall of Anakin Skywalker and his quest for redemption. It’s a moment that added layers upon layers of story and context to Star Wars — which beyond the shock value of it makes this the most important moment in Star Wars history.