15. The battles
There are some truly epic, goosebump-inducing battles throughout the entire Game of Thrones series. The Battle of the Bastards and the Battle of Winterfell are among the most thrilling, and the Fall of King’s Landing at the end of the series is part chilling wish fulfillment and part horrific conclusion to eight seasons of buildup.
But there’s just something a bit more special about the battles in Star Wars. Maybe it’s because they’re all so different and story-defining. Maybe it’s because many are in space. Either way, the franchise with “war” in its title reigns supreme when it comes to the game of battles.
Arguably the greatest battle in Star Wars is the Battle of Endor. It’s the ultimate fight pitting the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire and the one where the rebels finally defeat the Empire.
Avid Star Wars fans know that the war continued on a smaller stage for nearly a year after the Battle of Endor, but this defeat of the Empire and the second Death Star was a franchise-defining moment. It also concluded the original trilogy of films, wrapping up the story of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker and solidifying his son Luke Skywalker as a Jedi to be reckoned with.
There’s also the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, which introduced us to iconic Imperial walking weapons, the AT-ATs and the AT-STs. It’s an intense battle being waged on the blinding white, snow-covered planet of Hoth and shows a crucial blow to the rebels, forcing them to abandon their Echo Base.
Besides the battles in the films, there’s also the heartbreaking Siege of Mandalore and horrifying Operation Cinder and the Clone Wars-starting Battle of Geonosis, and the hope-filled Battle of Scarif, among many others.
Part of the appeal of Star Wars’ battles is their ability to portray the intensity and emotion felt by a single combatant while also showing how the fight connects to the overarching story. Game of Thrones does that as well in some of its battles (Battle of the Bastards), but some fall flat when they fail to show both a massive scale and an individual’s experience (Battle of the Whispering Wood).