We rank the 50 most memorable Star Wars deaths ever

43 of 51

9. Bail Organa

When Did They Die: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Who Were They: A senator in the Imperial Senate and adoptive father of Leia Skywalker/Organa

How Did They Die: Blown up by the first Death Star’s superlaser, along with the rest of his home planet Alderaan

The reason for Bail Organa’s death is one part revenge, one part leverage and one part target practice.

The Empire needed to know where Princess Leia had stashed the plans for the Death Star and the usual torture droids just weren’t doing the trick. What else could be done to get the Rebel leader to spill?

By (un)happy coincidence, Leia was imprisoned aboard the very weapon she was attempting to conceal the plans of. What’s more, it was only recently operational and needed to be field tested before it could be brought to bear against the Rebels proper. Why not kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and show the petulant princess just what the Empire was willing and able to do while also getting a little target practice for their new toy.

So it was, then, that Leia’s home planet was targeted, along with Bail Organa, her father, who himself was recently discovered to be an important Rebel leader. His death – along with the rest of Alderaan – was precisely what the Empire needed to convince Leia to talk and also send a powerful message to the rest of the galaxy.

Next: 8. Fake Darth Vader