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If there's any fandom that exemplifies the diverse nature of opinions within a selected intellectual property, it has to be Star Wars. Depending on when you came into the fandom, which films you prefer or even something as simple as which order you prefer to watch the films in, you're going to have a unique opinion on what constitutes as the series' best form. Among those important opinions throughout the fandom, there's one that probably places highly on the list of priorities for any fan's rankings, and that's picking out the worst moment in the Star Wars saga.
So naturally, it seems like a good idea to take a sampling of moments from the entire Star Wars galaxy and ask that hard question of ourselves, as well as you, the public. After reading through the nominees for the worst moment from each film, you'll be able to not only vote on that honor from the moments listed, but you'll also be able to discuss any alternate and/or additional candidates in our comments section. The gloves are off and the Star Wars universe is up for grabs, as we run down the nominees for the absolute worst moment in Star Wars history.
The Phantom Menace - "Pee-yousa"
One of the more majestic moments of The Phantom Menace was the introduction of Podracing. With a huge scope, some tender moments between Anakin and Qui-Gon and even a gigantic sounding theme from the legendary John Williams, there's a lot in this sequence to actually admire. But it all comes crashing down in one brief, dismal moment when a local creature lets out a bout of flatulence, and everyone's favorite Gungan to hate, Jar Jar Binks, responds to this happening with one ill-fated word: "Pee-yousa." As if it wasn't bad enough that this character existed, the moments where he dropped special one-liners or implied wisdom only cheapened this film, and made Jar Jar all the more annoying.
Attack Of The Clones - Anakin's Seduction Of Padme By The Lake
Pick-up lines in our galaxy are already cheesy and difficult enough for anyone who dares to use them in their attempts to win a mate. However, if you think you have it rough, you should see how Anakin Skywalker tries to win over Senator Padme in Attack of the Clones. Not knowing much about the universe outside of Tatooine before he became a Jedi, he certainly hasn't seemed to have learned much more between the first two episodes of the Prequel trilogy, as his big pitch for Padme to become his betrothed involves a comparison of her oh-so-smooth skin to the coarse sands of his childhood home. Throw in some awkward line reads courtesy of Hayden Christensen, and you have got a perfect storm of fail.
Revenge Of The Sith - NOOOOOOOOO
If the prequel trilogy was a baseball game, and Darth Vader was a player at bat, he'd never make it past home base. Strike one has to be the young and ridiculously cutesy portrayal that we saw in The Phantom Menace, with that second strike coming from the creepy/whiny Padawan that he becomes in Attack of the Clones. Which leaves Revenge of the Sith to deliver the final, damning strike against the character, and there are so many potential candidates to choose from. But only one can be the straw that broke the Jedi Order, and without question, it has to be the newly suited Vader screaming, "NOOOOOOOOO!" after learning of Padme's death during childbirth. Way to rob a new generation of any sort of respect for the Sith, guys.
A New Hope - Greedo Shoots First
It's the quintessential bad idea that's had Star Wars fans talking for decades. In fact, I'm just going to go ahead and call out the fact that all of the bad ideas in the classic trilogy come from the 1997 Special Editions. Which naturally leads us to one of Uncle George's first big changes to the series: the alteration of Han's meeting with Greedo. Initially, when Han shot Greedo first in the original theatrical cut of Star Wars, it was a sign that showed us just how lethal and cutthroat he was in the underworld of crime that thrived in the days of the Empire. Flash-forward 20 years, and lo and behold, Lucas didn't feel that Han should have that rough and tumble edge anymore, which lead him to retooling the scene to look like either Greedo shot first or the two of them shot at the same time, depending on who you talk to. Either result leads to the same conclusion: George Lucas went soft, and he made Han Solo all the softer because of it.
The Empire Strikes Back - The 1997 Bespin Cloud Car
Want to know how good of a movie The Empire Strikes Back is? It was incredibly hard to find a piece of its total package that spelled 'disaster.' At the same time, the moment we thought back to the Special Edition re-release of the 1980 classic, there was a moment that stuck out as being included for the sake of being able to justify the "Special Edition" label. It's a simple sequence that follows a Cloud Car flying through Bespin, inserted to show off some new special effects that gave us more of an idea as to what the rest of the mining colony looked like. It may not have ruined the series, or the film for that matter, but it's still a pretty noticeable blemish on an otherwise flawless film, as it really doesn't add anything in the process of its inclusion.
Return Of The Jedi - Jedi Rocks
There's two, undeniable facts about Return of the Jedi: it's the one film in the classic trilogy that gets the most flak, and the musicians in Jabba's palace are still a bit of an eye-sore either way they're presented. Those caveats aside, it's hard to argue for the inclusion of another "Special Edition" flourish that includes a brand new, plastic-looking CGI dance number with Sy Snootles and her hype man. It's a moment that potentially scared young children new to the series and caused dyed in the wool fans who prefer the traditional musical number to rage quit this scene altogether.
The Force Awakens - Phasma Punks Out Under Pressure
Going into The Force Awakens, the talk surrounding Gwendolyn Christie's badass Captain Phasma had us all excited for a strong female warrior that would exemplify the effectiveness of Imperial combat training. By the time Phasma is intimidated by Finn, Han, and Chewbacca into lowering the shield generator protecting Starkiller Base, and with minimal coersion to boot, all of those thoughts went out the window. What replaced them was yet another bout of rage, as the Star Wars suits promised one thing and delivered the complete opposite. We were all rooting for you, Phasma.
The Last Jedi - Flying Leia
It's hard to pick one specific moment from The Last Jedi that had Star Wars fans spitting their Mountain Dew in anger, as the entire film seems to be an incendiary masterpiece when it comes to garnering fan negativity. But there's only one moment that's inspired the most utterances of "WTF?!" attached to its very happening. Just when we thought General Leia Organa had bought the farm, we're treated to a CGI-fest that sees her fly back to her ship, all Mary Poppins like, so she can go into a coma and recover for most of the film's running time. Now while the Extended Edition novelization does indeed build this point up a little better with some more explanation, the way it's presented in the film has made it an often scorned moment, and I can kind of see why.
Rogue One - The Bor Gullet Interrogation
Did you really think we were going to leave out the spinoffs? If anything, we could have probably doubled up on each of the Star Wars _Stories due to some interesting choices made in both. One such choice that ended up being the worst of _Rogue One was that really, REALLY odd moment when Saw Gerrera uses his old, tentacled friend Bor Gullet to try and gain "the truth" about Bodhi's status as a Rebel collaborator. Yes, the Star Wars galaxy always tends to pull a weird and dangerous creature out of its flight suit for each passing film, but a simple interrogation would have sufficed here, Saw. It's a creature that not only doesn't fit the moment's true tone, but it's also one of the weird defects that make the first act and a half of this film a bit of a chore to watch.
Solo - Solo's Namesake
Hey, kids! Did you ever wonder how Han Solo got his last name? Well, whether you wanted to know or not, Solo: A Star Wars Story gave you the answers you never knew you didn't want. But at the very least, the answer was a compelling, meaningful moment that lent itself to serious introspection involving the character of Han, right? No, no it wasn't. Seeing as Han has no family, some smart-assed Imperial officer gives him the last name "Solo" when he signs up for the flight academy. How this guy survived through basic training without getting forced choked by Darth Vader himself is beyond us, because if his humor shows itself in his bureaucratic work life, we can only imagine what he's like outside of the uniform.
What's The Worst Moment In Star Wars History?
With the candidates laid out and each film accounted for, I can honestly say I have one moment I just can't let slide in the Star Wars galaxy. That moment is the alteration to Han Solo's character in A New Hope, turning his rough-and-ready smuggler into a Disney-ready anti-hero. While all of these other moments hit me as varying degrees of flawed, most of them are strong, but wrong, choices that could have been refined. Even all of the faults of the Prequels pale in comparison, because at the very least, something new was being attempted. It didn't work, but it was an effort.
Re-writing Han Solo's character in such a fundamental way is a greater sin in the book of Star Wars because it's a sign of George Lucas's caving in to some sort of pressure to make his baby marketable again. Those Special Editions were a light in the tunnel known as the Star Wars dark ages, and for Lucas to use that hope to change a character fans had already known for two decades prior was a pretty shocking betrayal of trust. Screwing up a brand new story in the universe is somewhat tolerable, because it's new and shiny. Botching a key moment of an important character's genesis when you've been telling the same story for 20 years is absolutely unacceptable, as he already knew better, but went ahead and did it anyway.