The Star Wars franchise has elicited such adoration from fans that it has pretty much reached a point where creative decisions are heavily influenced by—perhaps even run by—fan approval.
The money has been rolling in ever since Star Wars: A New Hope became a smash hit at the box office and Alex Guinness received his Oscar nomination for playing Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Since then, every moment in the Star Wars canon—in the films and in the more modern TV series—has been scrutinized. Fortunately, plenty of these scenes ended up being what they needed to be.
Here are my picks for the most emotional scenes throughout the Star Wars movies and TV shows that prove the franchise has heart and soul.
10. Order 66 (Revenge of the Sith)
"Execute order 66" is all that had to be said. Watching as the Jedi are slain by the Clone Army, many of whom thought the Clones were on their side, is a tragic and horrific moment in the Star Wars saga.
Seeing so many fall to the hands of the troops is something that fans will never forget, and being there in 2005 to witness the deaths of several incredible characters was an unforgettably emotional experience.
9. Obi-Wan Leaves Anakin to Die (Revenge of the Sith)
One of the best fight sequences in Star Wars history sees Jedi Master up against his former Apprentice in personal combat, all against the backdrop of the lava planet Mustafar.
When Obi-Wan beats Anakin and leaves him dismembered on the bank of the fiery river, it brings all our emotions flooding to the surface.
Obi-Wan can't contain his anger and pain at what Anakin has become, and his last lines spoken to his former friend make for an intense scene that still leaves fans in tears upon rewatch.
8. Yoda's Death (Return of the Jedi)
"Unfortunate that not ready for the burden were you" are among the last words spoken by Yoda, the wisest of Jedi Masters.
As Luke looks to confirm Darth Vader's shocking revelation, Yoda expresses how unfortunate it is for Luke to learn the truth of his heritage—not because of the tragedy of Anakin, but because Luke wasn't yet ready to bear the burden of it.
Even as he passes away, with Luke beside him, Yoda still manages to be the wisest of the Jedi, using his final breath to guide Luke on his path to defeating the Sith and bringing balance back to the Force.
7. Obi-Wan's Death (A New Hope)
The first time we see Obi-Wan against Darth Vader, it's actually the third time they've clashed as Master against former Apprentice.
In this scene, Obi-Wan understands two important things: first, he can't escape Vader on the Death Star, and second, Luke must get away.
After a ferocious fight that leaves Obi-Wan trapped, he looks to Luke and—with a knowing smile—allows Vader to strike him down. In the process, Obi-Wan becomes one with the Force.
Luke screams as Obi-Wan is taken from him, and it's a pain that's felt by fans to this day as we think about the history and relationship between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
6. Darth Vader's Death (Return of the Jedi)
After Darth Vader redeemed himself and turned back into Anakin Skywalker, Luke tries to drag his father from the Death Star to a ship.
It's futile, however, and Anakin ends up dying there. But before he does, Anakin looks at his son with his own eyes for the first time.
Watching as Luke lose his father so soon after bringing him back to the light is a gripping sequence that still hurts after all these years.
5. Han Solo's Death (The Force Awakens)
Once Han Solo went onto the bridge to confront his son, everybody knew the lovable rogue wasn't coming back from it. However, that didn't stop it from being the best scene of the entire sequel trilogy.
When Ben Solo pushes his saber through his father Han, what hits hardest is seeing the pained reactions by both Chewie and Rey from the sidelines, who are powerless to save him.
4. Obi-Wan's Apology (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
The Obi-Wan Kenobi series showed us the second canonical clash between Jedi Master and former Apprentice, with Obi-Wan engaging Anakin in an effort to protect Leia from the monster her father has become.
As the shadow of Darth Vader looms over Obi-Wan, the pair engage in a furious battle from which Obi-Wan emerges victorious.
During the melee, Obi-Wan cracked open half of Vader's helmet, revealing Anakin's face. When Obi-Wan sees Anakin, he's immediately overcome by emotion and starts to apologize for "all of it."
But in Anakin's response, Obi-Wan comes to a realization: the reason Anakin died wasn't him, but Vader. The scene leaves Obi-Wan heartbroken, who loses Anakin a second time.
3. Grogu Leaves Din Djarin (The Mandalorian)
For all the adventures shared by Din Djarin and Grogu, we all knew it had to end at some point. After all, Din Djarin's mission was to guide Grogu to his rightful place.
It's a bittersweet success, however, when Luke Skywalker shows up to take Grogu away. The moment is tearful as Din Djarin takes off his helmet—breaking the sacred code of his people—to say goodbye.
He watches Grogu with tears in his eyes and a look on his face that betrays how much restraint he's showing in letting him go.
2. The Binary Sunset (A New Hope)
There's something serenely beautiful about the Binary Sunset scene that makes the original Star Wars such a special film.
Magic exists in John Williams's score to the setting of Tatooine's twin suns, with Luke gazing at the horizon, determined to get away. In hindsight, this moment means everything.
Knowing where all of this leads, the journey ahead that's fraught with danger and loss, it's hard not to get teary-eyed upon rewatch.
1. No, I Am Your Father (The Empire Strikes Back)
The revelation of Darth Vader as Luke Skywalker's father one of cinema's most famous scenes, the kind of spoiler that people around the world know about even if they've never seen the film.
It's an absolute pity that people today will never be able to experience what viewers did back in 1980, to be utterly shocked with an experience unlike any other in cinema at the time.
As Luke screams in pain, knowing deep down that what Vader just said is true. It's a tragic gut-punch that's made worse by the twisted Sith Lord's attempts to recruit Luke in joining him as rulers of the galaxy.
It's not just one of the most emotional moments in Star Wars, but one of the most iconic and memorable scenes of all time.