Star Wars: The Force Awakens
IBTimes UK counts down the most memorable scenes across the entire Star Wars franchise to commemorate May 4thLucasfilm

With the knowledge that several Star Wars instalments post-The Force Awakens are currently in development under Disney's watchful eye, there's much to look forward to when it comes to the adored sci-fi series. However, seeing as today is none other than Star Wars Day (4 May) IBTimes UK has decided to look back on the franchise and at some of the moments that have made it so great.

From iconic sequences such as the birth of Darth Vader in Revenge Of The Sith and the "I Am Your Father" reveal to purely enjoyable moments like Princess Leia and Han Solo's kiss in The Empire Strikes Back and BB-8's thumbs-up, we count down our favourites. First up...

13. Duel in the Galactic Senate (Revenge Of The Sith)

While many fans of the franchise are quick to dismiss the prequel trilogy, the movies did boast their fair share of impressive action scenes, largely thanks to the fact that what CGI teams could create with special effects was much more fine-tuned than what they could in the 1980s. This is most apparent during the battle between Yoda and Sith Lord Darth Sidious in Revenge Of The Sith.

12. The Battle Of Hoth (The Empire Strikes Back)

During the battle on ice planet Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, the action was really upped when it came to the franchise as a whole, with Imperial AT-AT walkers on the attack and X-wing fighters tearing through the skies. Also, what's better than seeing Carrie Fisher's Leia taking charge and commanding the Rebel Alliance pilots into their mission against the Galactic Empire?

11. Death Star Assault (A New Hope)

There's no denying that the conclusion to A New Hope was nothing short of thrilling. In the 10-minute long scene, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) leads a ragtag rebel fleet towards the Death Star in an attempt to destroy the Empire's planet-killing space station.

10. Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon Jinn v Darth Maul (The Phantom Menace)

While Yoda and Palpatine's lightsaber duel showcased the prequel's worth to followers of the franchise, The Phantom Menace, the first in the trilogy had its fair share of epic fight sequences. Most notably, the three-way battle in which Jedis Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi attempt to take down Darth Maul. While Maul manages to mortally wound Qui-Gon during the fight, he is later bisected by Obi-Wan.

9. BB-8's thumps-up (The Force Awakens)

Before the eagerly anticipated The Force Awakens was even released back in December 2015, everyone fell in love with little round droid BB-8. This love was only amplified when cinemagoers finally got the chance to see the movie and its little flame thumbs-up to Finn (John Boyega) was undoubtedly the cutest and, arguably, one of the film's most memorable snippets.

8. Han shoots first (A New Hope)

In one of the most discussed, and most edited scenes, in the franchise, Luke and Obi-Wan meet Han Solo for the first time and immediately get on the wrong side of the smuggler, who, it's revealed has been charged with the death sentence on 12 systems. On top of the introduction, Obi-Wan chops someone's arm off, we meet Chewbacca. Oh, and Han has an encounter with Greedo and shoots him... first? Let's not even go there...

7. Darth Sidious manipulates Anakin (Revenge Of The Sith)

In a scene which acts as the catalyst for Anakin's eventual decision to join the Dark Side and ultimately become Darth Vader, Darth Sidious as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, manipulates his future apprentice and corrupts him by telling him the benefits of being on the right side.

6. The kiss (The Empire Strikes Back)

The kiss between Leia and Han was a defining moment that changed the dynamic between the two characters, added a romantic spark to the storytelling and made the later events that much more powerful — because it made it even more personal.

5. Rey discovers Luke Skywalker's lightsaber (The Force Awakens)

Unlike the other scenes mentioned in this list, our number five doesn't quite have the same knowledge behind it as we currently don't know what it means - but that makes it all the more intriguing. The latest instalment sees Daisy Ridley's Rey not only introduced to the Force, but to Luke's lightsaber too. It's calling to her, Maz Kanata states? Why? What is the vision she suffers from when she goes near it? We need answers!

4. Han's hibernation/"I love you" (The Empire Strikes Back)

In most adventure movies, the heroes always get away, but that wasn't the case in The Empire Strikes Back when Harrison Ford's Han Solo was frozen in carbonite by Vader leaving his ultimate fate uncertain. The scene is almost doubly interesting too, as just before he is frozen, Leia utters the words "I love you" to Han. His response? "I know." The perfect parting line...

3...And then, Han's unfreezing (Return Of The Jedi)

OK, so he didn't stay frozen for long, but it was worrying knowing whether that was actually the end of Han or not. Also, while the pair are notoriously unromantic, Leia's answer of "Someone who loves you" to a momentarily-blinded Han's "Who are you?" is really quite touching.

2. Birth of Darth Vader (Revenge Of The Sith)

While there are plenty of haters who refuse to believe the prequels had any value in the franchise, no one can pretend that they didn't love seeing Anakin physically transform into Darth Vader when he is put in the black armoured body suit in the Revenge Of The Sith. An incredibly tense and foreboding scene, now that you know all that the Sith Lord did after he was 'born.'

1. The Daddy of all reveals (The Empire Strikes Back)

Undoubtedly one of the most shocking reveals in cinematic history in this second instalment of the franchise, The Empire Strikes Back saw Luke and Vader embark on an epic lightsaber duel, resulting in the villain relentlessly pushing Luke to his physical limits, as the young Jedi-in-training tries to muster his burgeoning abilities. Thanks to the film's iconic line "I am your father," Luke learns not only that Vader is his father, but that his mentor Obi-Wan has been lying to him the entire time. Powerful stuff.