Welcome back to MEMORABLE MOVIE QUOTES, that column where we look at memorable quotes from some really cool movies. Up today, on the heels of the hype of the latest STAR WARS movie and first stand alone film in the series, ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (2016), we look at quotes from the movie that started it all, STAR WARS (1977).
Those of us old enough to have seen STAR WARS when it first exploded across theaters back in 1977 remember fondly that back then it was simply known as STAR WARS and not STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE.
Ah, the good old days, when the Force was young!
So, without further hesitation, here are some cool quotes from the original STAR WARS, screenplay by George Lucas.
To begin with, there are a lot of classic quotes from STAR WARS, enough to fill several columns, and so today we’ll just be looking at some of them. I’d rather write multiple columns in order to give all the quotes their due rather than jampack them all into one crowded piece. Hmm. I just might have to do that.
A lot of my favorite quotes from STAR WARS come from Han Solo (Harrison Ford), the wise-cracking pilot of the Millennium Falcon, such as in this sequence where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Han discover that Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is being held prisoner on the Death Star, and Luke tries to convince Han to help him rescue her. Let’s listen:
LUKE SKYWALKER: They’re gonna execute her! Look, a few minutes ago you said you didn’t want to just wait here to be captured. Now all you want to do is stay?
HAN SOLO: Marching into a detention area is not what I had in mind.
LUKE SKYWALKER: But they’re gonna kill her!
HAN SOLO: Better her than me!
But Luke won’t give up:
LUKE SKYWALKER: She’s rich.
HAN SOLO: Rich?
LUKE SKYWALKER: Rich, powerful. Listen, if you were to rescue her, the reward would be…
HAN SOLO: What?
LUKE SKYWALKER: Well, more wealth than you can imagine!
HAN SOLO: I don’t know, I can imagine quite a bit.
Later, when they actually do attempt to rescue the princess, Han finds himself on the wrong end of a communication device. After he and Chewy had taken out the Stormtroopers guarding Princess Leia, the intercom beeps and an official wants to know what exactly is going on there. Han has no choice but to answer:
HAN SOLO: Uh, everything’s under control. Situation normal.
VOICE: What happened?
HAN SOLO: Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh… everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?
Han Solo even gets philosophical when Luke questions him about his lack of belief in the Force:
LUKE SKYWALKER: You don’t believe in the Force, do you?
HAN SOLO: Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. ‘Cause no mystical energy field controls my destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.
Speaking of the Force, another character with lots of memorable lines in STAR WARS is Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). In this now classic exchange with a troop of Stormtroopers, Ben uses the Force, the now infamous Jedi mind trick, to circumvent the Stormtroopers’ checkpoint. Let’s have a listen to the Jedi Master:
STORMTROOPER: Let me see your identification.
BEN OBI-WAN KENOBI (waves his hand): You don’t need to see his identification.
STORMTROOPER: We don’t need to see his identification.
BEN OBI-WAN KENOBI: These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
STORMTROOPER: These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.
Which led to years later, a hilarious T-shirt photo of a Stormtrooper sitting forlornly with his head buried in his hands with the caption: “Those were the droids you were looking for!”
Ben Kenobi also has one of the more ominous lines in the movie and perhaps the entire series when the Millenium Falcon approaches the Death Star for the first time, and Han announces they’re approaching a small moon, to which Ben says gravely,
BEN OBI-WAN KENOBI: That’s no moon. It’s a space station.
And later, when he finally meets Darth Vader in a duel to the death, he has this exchange with his former pupil:
DARTH VADER: Your powers are weak, old man.
BEN OBI-WAN KENOBI: You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.
I remember my reaction when I first saw this scene in 1977. I thought, what is he talking about? And after Darth Vader struck him down, I thought, Well, that was wishful thinking on his part. But then, miraculously, his dead body is not present, and I immediately changed my tune. Hmm. Maybe he had something there. And of course, Kenobi’s “spirit” is on hand for the next two STAR WARS movies, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980), and THE RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983).
One character I haven’t mentioned is the main character in STAR WARS, Luke Skywalker. Luke has his share of memorable lines as well, like in this banter with Han Solo and Princess Leia:
PRINCESS LEIA: It’s not over yet.
HAN SOLO: It is for me, sister. Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, Princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.
PRINCESS LEIA: You needn’t worry about your reward. If money is all that you love, then that’s what you’ll receive. (To LUKE) Your friend is quite the mercenary. I wonder if he really cares about anything. Or anybody.
LUKE SKYWALKER: I care. (To HAN) So, what do you think of her, Han?
HAN SOLO: I’m tryin’ not to, kid.
LUKE SKYWALKER: Good.
HAN SOLO: Still, she’s got a lot of spirit. I don’t know, whaddya think? You think a princess and a guy like me—.
LUKE SKYWALKER: No.
Then there’s this lively exchange as Luke arrives to rescue the princess:
LUKE SKYWALKER: I’m Luke Skywalker. I’m here to rescue you.
PRINCESS LEIA: You’re who?
LUKE SKYWALKER: I’m here to rescue you. I’ve got your R2 unit. I’m here with Ben Kenobi.
PRINCESS LEIA: Ben Kenobi? Where is he?
LUKE SKYWALKER: Come on!
And then there’s these prophetic lines, when Luke finally decides he’s ready to follow Obi-Wan Kenobi:
LUKE SKYWALKER: I want to come with you to Alderaan. There’s nothing for me here now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father.
Luke also gets to utter the line, along with many other characters in subesequent movies, which would become a STAR WARS catch phrase:
LUKE SKYWALKER: I have a very bad feeling about this.
Of course, the most famous catch phrase and line to come out of STAR WARS is the now iconic “May the Force be with you.”
So, that’s it for now. I’m sure I will follow this up at some point with another column on more memorable quotes from STAR WARS, especially when in this edition we heard nary a word from one Darth Vader.
Thanks for reading, and join me again next time when we look at more memorable quotes from another classic movie.