15 Most Heartbreaking Moments From The Star Wars Saga

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a group of beloved characters would make us laugh, shock us and break our hearts into millions of pieces. The Star Wars franchise is the fourth highest grossing film series. The series revolves around the Skywalker family, friends and Jedi Knight who battle the evil Sith and other dark forces in the Universe. George Lucas created the franchise. The original trilogy released between 1977 and 1983 was universally critically and commercially acclaimed. The original trilogy contained the films A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi. Nearly 20 years later, George Lucas released a prequel trilogy following Anakin Skywalker and his transition into the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. The prequel trilogy included Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The prequel trilogy received mostly mixed reviews. In 2012, Walt Disney purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas and in the process purchased the right for the Star Wars Franchise. J.J. Abrams directed The Force Awakens to rave reviews. The sequel trilogy will include Episode VIII, to be directed by Rian Johnson and Episode IX, to be directed by Colin Trevorrow. The film series will also include stand-alone films with the first, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, to be released on December 16, 2016.

The Star Wars franchise has created some of the most memorable moments in cinema history. It’s one of the most beloved film series and a cultural phenomenon. The series is known for its several iconic scenes. The series has also made fans all over the world break down and cry with some of the most heartbreaking scenes. Here is a look 15 of the Most Heartbreaking Moments from the Star Wars Saga.

15 The Deaths Of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was the first film in the entire series. The plot revolved around Luke Skywalker beginning his training as a Jedi and joins the Rebel Alliance in their quest to destroy the Galactic Empire’s Death Star. A New Hope was a massive critical and commercial success. George Lucas wrote and directed the film, which was released on May 25, 1977. It starred Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Alec Guinness.

Luke lives with his Uncle Owen (Phil Brown) and Aunt Beru Lars (Shelagh Fraser), on a farm. Luke begins to become disillusioned with the farm life and wants to join the rebellion against the Empire. One day, a droid named R2-D2 shows up with Stormtroopers hot on his trail. The Stormtroopers interrogate Owen and Beru on the whereabouts of the droid. In one of the first heartbreaking moments in Star Wars, Luke returns home to find Owen and Beru murdered and burnt. Luke is devastated but quickly moves on. Obi-Wan Kenobi begins to train Luke in becoming a Jedi Knight. Some online fan speculation points out that it’s very possible that Boba Fett was involved in their deaths. Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru appear in the prequel series played by Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse. Luke returning home remains one of the most iconic scenes in A New Hope.

14 The Death Of Qui-Gon Jinn


Qui-Gon Jinn appears in Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Liam Neeson portrayed the Jedi Knight in the first of the prequels. He is one of the most powerful Jedi Knights in the galaxy. His apprentice is a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. Despite being one of the most powerful Jedi, Qui-Gon is considered an independent minded thinker. Some of his views clash with the views of the Jedi Council. One of those times is when Qui-Gon meets a young Anakin Skywalker and believes he’s the chosen one. Qui-Gon senses the force with Anakin and decides to train Anakin in defiance of the Jedi Council. In the climax of The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan battle the powerful Sith lord Darth Maul. During the battle, Maul kills Jinn but is soon defeated by Obi-Wan. As he dies, Jinn makes Obi-Wan promise that he’ll take Anakin as his apprentice and train him. Later, it’s revealed that Qui-Gon learned how to keep his conscious alive even after death. He taught this to both Obi-Wan and Yoda. Both learn how to do the same and appear to Luke after their deaths.

13 BB-8 Thinks Poe Dameron Died

BB-8 is an adorable little droid that is tough, intelligent and hilarious. He’s not the first adorable droid. R2-D2 is Luke Skywalker's droid and captured the hearts of fans all over the world decades ago. Despite being a droid, BB-8 can break more hearts than Brad Pitt and Justin Bieber combined. Ben Schwartz and Bill Hader provide BB-8’s voice. BB-8 is the droid of X-wing fighter pilot Poe Dameron, portrayed by Oscar Isaac. Both BB-8 and Poe first appear in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Poe sends BB-8 away with a map to the location of Luke Skywalker when Kylo Ren arrives. BB-8 is a great distance away when he hears a giant explosion. His reaction is of sadness with a slight bit of hope that Poe survived. Later, he befriends Rey who begins to help BB-8. At the same time Poe has been taken by Kylo Ren but is freed by a renegade stormtrooper, Finn. Finn and Poe crash and Finn believes Poe died. Finn ends up with Poe’s jacket and BB-8 flips out when he sees Finn wearing it. Finn informs BB-8 that Poe died. BB-8’s heart breaks and he lowers his head. This moment truly pulls on the heartstrings. However, later BB-8 reunites with Poe to the delight of everyone, especially BB-8.

12 The Destruction Of Alderaan


The beautiful planet of Alderaan was once home to Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). The planet appeared briefly in Episode IV: A New Hope, but its brief appearance had a chilling effect. Princess Leia is fearless and brave. She plays a crucial role in the fall of the Galactic Empire. Early in the film Vader and his stormtroopers are chasing Leia. Of course at this point she's completely unaware that Vader is her father. Leia's in possession of plans for the Death Star. However, Leia is able to pass on the plans to R2-D2. Vader and his army then capture Leia. Grand Moff Tarkin wants to show Leia the true power of the Death Star. He destroys the entire planet. The planet is only shown from a great distance. What makes this scene so heartbreaking is Leia’s reaction. Leia is devastated by the loss of life on Alderaan. A similar scene occurs in The Force Awakens when General Armitage Hux orders the destruction of several planets. Once again, it’s the reactions of all the characters that make this scene so heartbreaking.

11 Anakin Skywalker Leaves His Mother

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released on May 19, 1999, nearly 16 years after the first film. It’s the fourth film to be released and the first film chronologically. It takes place 32 years before the events of A New Hope. It follows Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, as they attempt to protect Queen Padme Amidala. They meet a young child named Anakin Skywalker, who aids them on their journey. George Lucas directed the film, which starred Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Jake Lloyd and Natalie Portman. It did well at the box office but received negative reviews from critics. The film did contain several tear jerking moments but one in particular remains memorable. Qui-Gon Jinn realizes that young Anakin has the power of the force and might be the chosen one. However, Anakin and his mother Shmi Skywalker, are slaves. Qui-Gon is able to secure Anakin’s freedom but not Shmi's. She realizes that her son will be better off with Qui-Gon but Anakin is reluctant to go. The parting between mother and son is a heartbreaking moment. The young Anakin doesn’t want to leave his mother but vows that one day he’ll return and free her.

10 The Death Of Nanta

In one of the most heartbreaking and saddest moments of Star Wars, an Ewok gently weeps next to the body of his fallen friend. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was the final film in the original trilogy. George Lucas wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay. Richard Marquand directed the film that was released on May 25, 1983. It starred Mark Hamil, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and Harrison Ford. The plot revolved around the Galactic Empire building a second Death Star while Luke Skywalker attempts to bring his father, Darth Vader, from the Dark Side back to the light. The film contains many heartbreaking moments but one in particular stands out. The Ewoks are first introduced in Return of the Jedi. They are a primitive species that resemble little adorable bears. However, don’t underestimate these tough Ewoks. They live on the forest Moon Endor and are a simple species. They join Leia, Han and Luke in their war with the Galactic Empire. In one of the saddest moments, an Ewok named Nanta is shot and killed by Stormtroopers. His friend Romba, tries to help Nanta up but soon realizes the worst. The image of Romba weeping for his friend, Nanta, remains one of the saddest scenes in Return of the Jedi.

9 The Death Of Obi-Won Kenobi

Episode IV: A New Hope was the first film in the entire Star Wars Universe. It’s the fourth film chronologically. It was the first time we meet Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. Alec Guinness played the role of Obi-Wan in A New Hope. His character is mysterious and little is known about him besides the fact that he knows the way of the force. He also once knew Luke’s father, Anakin. He begins to mentor Luke and becomes a father figure to Luke even in the short time they’re together. However, Obi-Wan sacrifices himself so that Luke and company can escape. In a dangerous mission, Luke, Han Solo, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca and Obi-Wan rescue Princess Leia from Darth Vader. At a pivotal moment, Obi-Wan and Vader come face-to-face for the first time in A New Hope. We find out that they once battled before. Vader points out that he’s much stronger than Kenobi now. Despite only being in A New Hope and only being in the film for a short time, Kenobi’s death was impactful and sad. In part, the sadness came from Luke’s reaction. Millions of hearts broke when Luke witnessed Kenobi’s death. He was full of sadness and anger.

8 The Death Of Yoda

Yoda was one of the most powerful Jedi Masters in the universe. Yoda first appeared in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Luke lands on Dagobah searching for the Jedi Grand Master for training. However, Luke leaves to help his friends on Cloud City and when he returns Yoda is very ill. Yoda dies in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Yoda confirms that Darth Vader is Luke’s father and with his last dying breath, tells Luke that Leia is his sister. This little and adorable yet dangerous Jedi captured the hearts of millions of fans, despite the fact that he only appears in the last two films in the trilogy for only a brief time. Fans all over the world felt a slight crack in their hearts as Yoda died. However, Yoda was able to learn how to keep his conscience alive even after death. Yoda appears after death to Luke, alongside Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, at the end of the original trilogy. Yoda plays a big part in the prequel trilogy and appears in all three films. Puppeteer Frank Oz provided the voice of Yoda in all Star Wars films.

7 Order 66

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the final film in the prequel trilogy and the third film chronologically. The plot shows Anakin’s final transformation to the Dark Side and officially becomes Darth Vader. The prequel trilogy has received mostly mixed reviews. However, Revenge of the Sith is considered the better of the three prequels. The third film contains a pivotal moment that has a long-term effect on the Star Wars Universe. Chancellor Palpatine reveals to Anakin that he is Darth Sidious and promises to keep Padme alive. Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) attempts to arrest Sidious but with Anakin’s help Sidious is able to kill Windu. At this moment Anakin officially becomes Darth Vader. Sidious then places Order 66 into effect. The Grand Army of the Republic betrays the Jedi Knights and one by one each is murdered. It’s intercut with Yoda’s reaction with the pain he can sense. However, perhaps the most heartbreaking moment occurs when Darth Vader kills all the Jedi Younglings in the Jedi Temple.

6 The Death Of Shmi Skywalker


Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was released on May 16, 2002. The plot revolved around the attempted assassination of Padme Amidala. Anakin Skywalker is tasked with protecting her while Obi-Won investigates. George Lucas directed the film that starred Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen. Pernilla August portrayed Shmi Skywalker in the first two-prequel films. Attack of the Clones did very well at the box office but received negative reviews from critics and fans that found it disappointing.

Anakin begins to have intense dreams about his mother’s death. He returns home to find that she was purchased and freed by Cliegg Lars. They married soon after making her Owen Lars' stepmother. Anakin’s intense dreams have some truth behind them as Shmi was kidnapped and tortured by Tusken Raiders. Anakin, against orders, ventures out to find her and is successful. She dies soon after which pushes Anakin to viciously murder every Tusken Raider. It’s a key moment in Anakin eventually becoming Darth Vader.

5 The Death Of Padmé Amidala


Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released on May 19, 2005. The plot followed Anakin Skywalker as he finally gave into the dark forces and becomes the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader. It starred Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid and Samuel L. Jackson. Many fans wondered what exactly could push Anakin over the edge to become Vader. Anakin suffered from intense dreams where he saw Padme’s death, similar to the dreams he had about his mother. As Anakin starts to descend into evil, Padme is disgusted and cannot join Anakin on his quest. On the volcanic Mustafar, Padme attempts to talk to Anakin who at this point is already Darth Vader. Padme is unaware that Obi-Won has hid on her ship. Vader believes she betrayed him and chokes her unconscious. Obi-Won takes Padme to Polis Massa where she gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia. According to the medical droid, Padme’s body began to shut down because she lost the will to live possibly because Anakin became Darth Vader. She then dies fulfilling Anakin’s dream.

4 The Death Of Darth Vader

As Padme Amidala’s body began to shut down, she spoke her final words to Obi-Wan. She told him that she knew there was still good in Anakin.

Darth Vader is one of the most iconic villains in cinema history. Darth Vader is the primary antagonist in the original trilogy and is the main protagonist in the prequel trilogy. Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker has been portrayed by David Prowse, Sebastian Shaw, Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen at different points. James Earl Jones has provided the memorable voice for Darth Vader. Despite not appearing in The Force Awakens, Darth Vader still has an impact on the characters. The evil Sith Lord Darth Vader was once a great Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker. However, he was lured to the Dark Side in part by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine who in reality is the Sith Lord Emperor Darth Sidious. The prequel trilogies follow Anakin and his descent to the Dark Side. In Empire Strikes Back, Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father in one of the most shocking moments in movie history. In Return of the Jedi, Luke attempts to bring his father back to the light. Vader finally does the right thing and saves his son from Darth Sidious.

Despite being a villain, his death is one of the most heartbreaking. Luke removes his father’s helmet and we see Anakin again. In his death, Vader proves that Padme was right. There was still good in Anakin.

3 Han Solo Encased In Carbonite


Han Solo was the best pilot in the entire galaxy. With his trusty best friend Chewbacca by his side, they would fly the universe in the Millennium Falcon. Harrison Ford played Han Solo in all 7 of the Star Wars films.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is set three years after the first film. Irvin Kershner directed the film with the story provided by George Lucas. It was released on May 21, 1980, to rave reviews. In the film, Han, Leia Chewbacca and C-3PO travel to Cloud City to hide from Darth Vader and the Empire. However, Lando Calrissian betrays Han and turns him over to Vader. Han had been on the run from his former employer, Jabba The Hutt. Vader plans to encase Luke in carbonite and decides to test it on Han first. Empire Strikes Back contains one of the most famous scenes in cinema history when Vader tells Luke he’s his father. However, it contains another very memorable scene and heartbreaking moment. Hearts all over the world broke when Han was encased in carbonite. This will keep him alive but essentially in hibernation. As Han Solo is lowered into the carbon freezing Leia tells him, “I Love You”, and Han responses in classic Solo fashion, “I Know”.

2 Obi-Wan’s Goodbye To Anakin Skywalker

In A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi has a showdown with the evil Sith Lord and Obi-Wan’s former apprentice, Darth Vader. In the battle, Vader notes that he’s much more powerful than the last time they fought. Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) first met Vader when he was a nine-year old child and went by the name Anakin Skywalker. Kenobi becomes Anakin’s mentor and trains him in the way of the Jedi. Revenge of the Sith shows Anakin’s change to Vader. After eliminating all of the Jedi, Vader battles Obi-Wan on the volcanic planet Mustafar. The fight scene is one of the most epic in the prequel trilogy. During the battle, Obi-Wan nearly kills Vader, leaving him for dead.

Of course this wouldn't be their last battle. Obi-Wan’s goodbye to his friend Anakin, is one of the saddest in the prequels. We know Anakin’s fate all along yet Obi-Wan’s reaction to the events is chilling. It clearly breaks his heart to do what me must. As Vader is in a great deal of pain he shouts at Obi-Wan, “I hate you!” With great sadness Obi-Wan replies, “You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.”

1 The Death Of Han Solo

As Han Solo walked on the bridge towards his son, Kylo Ren, the feeling of dread filled every Star Wars fan in the universe. It’s like every fan could sense what was about to happen next and there was no way to stop it. Han Solo is one of the most iconic heroes in cinema and has appeared in all seven of the Star Wars films.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released on December 18, 2015, to critical acclaim and universal praise. J.J. Abrams co-wrote and directed the film that starred returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. The film introduced new cast members Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. The Force Awakens is set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The Plot follows scavenger Rey, and her quest to find Luke Skywalker while battling the evil Kylo Ren and The First Order. This heartbreaking moment comes at a pivotal moment in the film. It’s revealed that Kylo Ren is in fact the son of Han and Leia. Han tries to talk sense into his son to stop him from his warpath. However, Kylo has gone too far on the Dark Side. He murders his father in one of the most shocking moments in the film's history. Han's body falls from the bridge into the deep depths of the ship. Chewbacca lets out a great roar of sadness that every audience member felt like doing.


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15 Most Heartbreaking Moments From The Star Wars Saga