6. Luke versus the rancor
At the beginning of Return of the Jedi, Luke appears before Jabba the Hutt much more confident than we saw him at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Clearly, his skills have progressed in the time between films, and he’s quickly forced to use those skills to survive something truly creepy. Jabba forces him into a pit where it’s quickly revealed a massively vicious creature called a rancor lives. After watching the rancor devour a Gammorean guard, Luke tries to hide from the creature. He’s quickly scooped up by the rancor, however, and he has little to fend himself with.
The intensity of the moment is palpable as Luke is faced with the possibility of becoming a meal for this creature. Though he manages to get free and, with incredible luck, kill the creature, the moment was truly unforgettable because of its scare factor. We’re left with not only the image of the rancor impaled by the gate Luke brings down on it, but the realization that someone raised and trained this monster as his keeper mourns the creature’s death.