2. Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie in the Death Star trash compactor
After freeing Leia from the detention block on the Death Star in A New Hope, Luke, Han Solo, and Chewbacca try to make their escape with the princess but instead find themselves in a watery garbage compactor. If getting out of the compactor wasn’t challenging enough, it soon becomes clear that the murky water has something swimming in it around their feet. The suspense of the scene is driven by Luke and company’s lack of knowledge about exactly what they’re dealing with. And then Luke is dragged under the water, and the other three can’t find him, fearful they’ve just lost Luke and any chance of survival themselves.
Luke, however, gets free, but their relief is short-lived as the trash compactor walls begin closing in. They try to wedge something between the walls to stop them from moving, but the walls are too strong. They’ll be flattened in minutes if they can’t find a way out. Though they’re able to contact C-3PO and R2-D2 and have them stop the compactor in the nick of time, there’s still a moment when all seems lost, which makes the scene one of the most intense of the film.