Several months ago, I listened to an episode of Full of Sith where Brian and Holly were talking about their favorite tiny moments in Star Wars (mostly the Disney-era films) and it inspired me to write about some of mine. Since I’m re-watching the movies and series in chronological order to prep for Disney’s streaming service launch this fall and The Rise of Skywalker in December, this seemed the perfect time.
I know lots of people have issues with the prequels from a film-making and story standpoint, but there are also things about them that I absolutely love (they are Star Wars, after all, and I love Star Wars). And I’d rather focus on the good things than on something like poor pacing or awkward dialogue moments. I enjoyed re-watching these films so much, especially through the lens of looking for all the wonderful little moments that make me smile, laugh, applaud, and cry.
The Phantom Menace
This is probably my favorite of the prequel films. I was 10 years old when it came out and my parents had seen to it that I was already a fan of the original trilogy before I saw TPM. I was thrilled to get more Star Wars, fell in love with Padmé’s costumes, and drove my mother crazy speaking in Jar Jar Binks’ voice. The things I love about it have changed as I’ve grown up, but I still really like this movie. Here are my favorite moments in The Phantom Menace.
- “I will make it legal.”
- Obi-Wan’s little smile when he says, “The negotiations were short.”
- Qui-Gon casually mind-controlling Boss Nass to get a transport and save Jar Jar.
- Darth Maul’s fist appearance in the hologram. Sith have such a perfect sense of dramatic timing.
- The handmaiden’s flame gowns. One of my favorite costumes ever.
- The look Qui-Gon gives Padmé when he says, “The queen doesn’t need to know.”
- Tiny Anakin calling Seboba “sleemo.” That expression of barely-contained anger echoes down through Haden Christensen’s performance and The Clone Wars Anakin.
- Auura Sing’s cameo, which meant nothing to me until I’d seen The Clone Wars.
- The Tuskan Raiders camped out along the race track. I imagine they find shooting at the podracers highly entertaining.
- Shmi letting her son go gives me all the feels now that I’m old enough to realize what she’s giving up to give him an opportunity to live a better life.
- The beautiful sunset over Cruscant.
- Qui-Gon telling Obi-Wan “I foresee you will become a great Jedi knight” with a fatherly hand on his shoulder. Knowing what’s coming it just makes me want to cry.
- The look Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan exchange when Padmé reveals she’s Queen Amidala.
- The first notes of Duel of the Fates that play when Darth Maul appears behind those doors.
- Yoda waiting to mention that the Jedi Counsel has already granted Obi-Wan permission to train Anakin until after trying to talk Obi-Wan out of it. This sneaky little INFJ actually manipulates people quite a bit by withholding key bits of information.
Attack of The Clones
I adored this film when I first saw it as a kid. I wanted Padmé’s wardrobe, had a huge crush on Hayden Christensen, and thought the plot was exciting. It’s now probably my least favorite of the prequel films, but I still have a soft-spot for Attack of the Clones.
- Padmé saying she thinks Count Dooku is behind her assassination attempt. This ENFJ had the whole thing figured out less than 10 minutes into the film.
- The uncomfortable look on Obi-Wan’s face witnessing Anakin’s awkward flirting.
- Mr. “Don’t-Take-Unnecessary-Risks” and “I-Hate-Flying” Obi-Wan jumping out the window to catch Padmé’s assassin.
- This dialog: “If you spent as much time practicing your saber techniques as you do your wits you would rival master Yoda as a swordsman.” “Haha, I thought I already did.”
- “I hate it when he does that,” as if Anakin just jumps out of speeders all the time in the middle of lectures.
- Obi-Wan casually catching Anakin’s lightsaber after he looses it in the speeder chase
- Obi-Wan following in Qui-Gon’s footsteps with the use of Force suggestion; “You want to go home and rethink your life.”
- Captain Typho telling Obi-Wan “I’d be more concerned about her doing something than him.” I’ve always liked that this line hints at shenanigans in Padmé’s past.
- “If an item doesn’t appear in our records, it doesn’t exist.” One of my cosplay goals for when I’m older is Jocasta Nu. I’ve always liked her for some reason.
- Cute little younglings giggling at Yoda’s joke about Obi-Wan loosing a planet.
- That lake dress! It’s always been one of my favorite of Padmé’s outfits.
- The kiss ❤ Padmé saying “I shouldn’t have done that” and Anakin apologizing. He might be the one pursuing her (incredibly awkwardly) but she’s in control of the situation.
- Anakin teasing Padmé on their picnic.
- The heartbreaking exchange between Anakin and Padmé predicting that living a lie would destroy them. #StarWarsIsTragedy.
- Obi-Wan using the Force to open the door on Kamino when trying to catch up with Jango Fett. Probably wouldn’t have taken any longer to click the “open” button.
- C-3PO calling Anakin, “The Maker.” I find it so amusing that throughout the OT whenever 3PO says, “Thank the Maker he’s referring to a man who’s now Darth Vader.
- Obi-Wan’s greeting in the arena. “I was beginning to wonder if you’d got my message.” So snarky.
- Anakin animal-handling that Reek, Mace Windu’s entrance, and Kit Fitso’s smile.
- Anakin fighting with two ligtsabers, however briefly.
- The first time I saw this film, getting to see Yoda fight was the highlight for me. Absorbing the Force lightning! Master Yoda with a ligtsaber! I think most of it’s nostalgia for how I felt seeing this when I was 13 but I still love this battle.
- “Across The Stars” is my favorite theme John Williams has written for Star Wars.
Revenge of the Sith
I love this movie, especially since watching The Clone Wars added another layer of tragedy to the story. I now cry during Order 66, and I don’t think Anakin’s turn seems quite so abrupt. Plus there are quite a few moments — big and little — that I adore.
- Not exactly a “little” moment, but the opening of ROTS is one of my favorite sequences in Star Wars. My favorite version of Anakin (an ENTJ) is him as a Jedi General, and the opening of ROTS is the only time we see that in live-action.
- Anakin still using spinning as a trick, and his little laugh when it works.
- Obi-Wan jumping out of that crashing ship and igniting his lightsaber midair.
- Anakin defending R2’s blunder with the elevator. “No lose wire jokes. He’s trying.”
- Obi-Wan leaning in the doorway of that transport ship saying, “I’m not brave enough for politics.”
- Anakin being adorable when he learns he’s going to be a father. “This is a happy moment. The happiest moment of my life.”
- The performance art/opera thing going on in the background of the Tragedy of Darth Plageus scene.
- Seeing Kashyyyk. Love the architecture of the command post.
- I love the creature Obi-Wan rides, which StarWars.com calls “an obliging and brave lizard named Boga.”
- The “Hello, there,” entrance and Obi-Wan’s iconic fighting stance.
- “So uncivilized” comment about the blaster.
- The Padmé’s Ruminations scene with how it cuts between her and Anakin. And the music. Such a beautiful and chilling scene. Also love her green dress; it’s my favorite of her ROTS outfits.
- The way the window shatters during Windu and Palpatine’s fight.
- I hate what Anakin does in the Jedi Temple, but the scene where he’s striding in at the head of an army as Lord Vader is so cool.
- Cody handing Obi-Wan his lightsaber. Having seen The Clone Wars it’s so much more meaningful when he does that, and so much more heartbreaking when Cody orders Obi-Wan’s death.
- Anakin crying on Mustafar, hinting that Padmé is right about there being good in him still.
- Obi-Wan and Anakin’s fight (especially the first part) is perhaps my favorite lightsaber battle.
- “You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.” The emotion in Obi-Wan’s face and voice.