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Unintentionally Hilarious Things In Star Wars

Star Wars is one of the most popular movie franchises in cinema history, a vast pop culture empire that's reached far beyond the big screen and into the lives of millions of fans around the world. It's spawned a massive merchandising juggernaut, drawn ticket buyers to literally camp outside of theaters, and branched out into everything from books and video games to TV series and theme parks. Star Wars is so universal, so beloved by so many people, that a great many fans literally can't imagine life without it. It's that popular and that influential.

Those of us who've lived our whole lives with stories from a galaxy far, far away also know that, in many cases, Star Wars is pretty silly. Over the course of its many feature film adventures, the franchise has delivered an equal helping of epic moments and genuinely funny scenes, but there are also lots of places where Star Wars just ended up being goofy when it was trying to play it straight. Well, it's time celebrate the silliest parts of the galaxy. These are some of our favorite unintentionally funny moments from the Star Wars franchise.

Anakin's line about sand is just plain awful

The primary narrative thrust of the Star Wars prequels is the journey of Anakin Skywalker from promising young boy on Tatooine to Jedi legend to the ultimate Sith traitor. That's a tough arc to pull off for anyone, and while George Lucas got certain things about Anakin's evolution very right, other things didn't go so well. 

For example, by the time Episode II: Attack of the Clones rolled around, Lucas and star Hayden Christensen found a way to accurately and often thrillingly show us a version of Anakin who was as cocky as he was gifted in the ways of the Force. But then there was Anakin the Lover, a version of the character with ... less skill. 

A big chunk of Episode II follows the love story of Anakin and Padme as they finally become romantically entangled during what's supposed to be a safety-driven trip to Naboo. This is a key part of Anakin's arc, but the poor kid gets stuck saying lines like "I don't like sand" in an effort to describe how much better his life is with Padme around. We absolutely get where he's coming from, but these clumsy lines, delivered with a lackluster drone, never once felt like the way to a woman's heart. It's a wonder Padme didn't just burst out laughing and ask Anakin if he said that to all the girls.

Senator Jar Jar is one of the silliest things in Star Wars

While the Star Wars prequels are largely geared toward showing us how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, the films also spend a good deal of time covering the slippery slope that led to the rise of Emperor Palpatine and the conversion of the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire. What begins with a carefully orchestrated trade dispute soon evolves into a war, with Palpatine playing both sides, and George Lucas does his best to illustrate how quickly fear can lead to authoritarianism.

This shift includes a crucial moment in Attack of the Clones when Palpatine asks the Republic Senate for new emergency powers to fight the ongoing Separatist threat in the galaxy. The problem? The senator that enters the proposal into the Senate record is none other than Jar Jar Binks.

Now, while Jar Jar certainly still has his defenders, this moment just feels like George Lucas flat-out daring his audience to stay mad about the character they so hated from Episode I. It very much feels like Lucas saying, "Oh yeah? You don't like him? Well now I'm gonna make him a politician!" Whether you appreciate the irony in that or just think it's goofy, it gets a laugh.

The Palpatine head turn gets funnier each time

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has the very difficult task of convincing us that Anakin Skywalker can go from angry but generally good young man into to full-on Dark Lord, and certain parts of that conversion work better than others. For example, one of the most important scenes in the entire film is the moment when Chancellor Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, plants the seed in Anakin's mind that the Dark Side of the Force could teach him how to keep the people he loves from dying.

The problem? Lucas chose to set the scene in the middle of a strange galactic opera performance, and he placed Palpatine and Anakin next to each other in two front-facing chairs. The underlying idea is that they're having this rather alarming conversation discreetly in full public view, but the setting also means that neither actor is able to get up, walk around, or even gesticulate in any major way. So Palpatine has to make do by emphasizing each of his major points with a very pronounced slow head turn and a sly smile. It works under the circumstances, but the repetition of it just makes it funnier each time.

Anakin's opinion is unintentionally hilarious

One of the most compelling and rewarding relationships in the Star Wars prequels is that between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. What begins as a friendship kindled in tragedy — as they both mourn the death of Qui-Gon Jinn — progresses to a master/teacher relationship and then a friendship again. It's clear that the two men love each other, which makes it hurt all the more when you remember that, oh yeah, these two are on a collision course. By the end of Revenge of the Sith, the stage is set for the ultimate lightsaber duel between two masters of the Force ... but not before Anakin steps on it a bit with some clunky dialogue.

The setup for the fight is simple enough. George Lucas arranges events so that Anakin and Obi-Wan can clash on the awesome lava planet Mustafar, and when they finally face off, Kenobi does his best to talk his friend and former apprentice down first. It's a futile effort, but Kenobi at least tries to tell Anakin that his new master, Palpatine, is an evil man. That's when Anakin replies with a sentence construction most of us remember from that time we had to write an argumentative essay in sixth grade: "From my point of view the Jedi are evil!"

It doesn't land as a rebuke or an insult or even a clever riff on Obi-Wan's "from a certain point of view" line. It just falls with a thud, and you can't help but laugh.

Why does anyone in Star Wars care about the high ground?

Once the war of words is over and the actual fighting begins, Anakin and Obi-Wan have one of the best lightsaber fights in the entire saga, apart from a couple of odd moments. Their lava planet surroundings add to the visual allure, their fight choreography is on point, and both Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor are clearly giving it everything they've got both physically and emotionally. It's two guys leaving it all on the field, and it's a thrill to watch, even though we basically know how it's going to end.

Then comes the moment, the moment we're pretty sure the whole movie's been building to. Obi-Wan has to make a hard choice after a long fight that just seems to be a stalemate. Does he offer his friend mercy, or does he end it the hard way? It's a big emotional idea in theory, but in practice, Obi-Wan gives voice to this by saying, "It's over, Anakin. I have the high ground!"

The prequels are full of scenes of Jedi Knights doing amazing things, from running faster than any human should to surviving falls from great heights without injury. This is a trilogy in which Yoda throws aside his cane and does backflips because of the Force. And yet the conceit of this moment is that one of these super-athletic, super-powered guys happens to be standing on a higher surface than the other. It's just silly.

Vader's rage is an absurd Star Wars moment

It takes most of three movies, but by the final minutes of Revenge of the Sith, the moment we've all been waiting for has arrived at last. Anakin Skywalker has grown up and evolved before our very eyes, he's been incapacitated by Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Emperor Palpatine is ready to put him through his transformation. It's time for the birth of Darth Vader.

For the most part, this moment unfolds with the same level of awesome pomp that it does in the trailers. We see the mask come down across Anakin's ruined face, see the gurney he's strapped to tilt upward, and we hear Palpatine's commanding voice. Then, Vader has to speak.

Now, this was obviously one of those moments that someone somewhere was always going to find fault with no matter how well it was executed, because it's been built up in our heads for so long. With that in mind, Anakin asking where his wife is because he's been out of it for a while is an understandable way to start. After that, though, upon learning she's dead, the scene could've gone in any number of directions. Vader could've just exploded in Force rage. Instead, he lets out his own version of one of the biggest cliches of melodrama ever: the extended "noooooo." For some Star Wars fans, no matter how many times we hear it, it still gets a laugh.

Han and Greedo just keep getting goofier

In 1997, 20 years after the release of the first film in the Star Wars saga, George Lucas unveiled the "Special Editions" of his original trilogy. At the time, there was a great deal of excitement around the release of the new versions, which promised to use digital technology to expand and enrich Star Wars so the films looked more like Lucas had always intended for them to look. In some cases, these changes were actually quite cool, from more creatures and starships in the backgrounds of various shots to digital cleanups of key space battle sequences. 

But in other cases ... they weren't so cool.

Of course, if we're talking about poorly received Special Edition revisions, there's one change that reigns supreme in terms of fan hatred. It comes in the Mos Eisley cantina sequence, when George Lucas decided he needed to try to make Han Solo look a little more noble and have him shoot Greedo only after Greedo fired the first shot. It's not a terrible idea in theory, but in practice, it meant having Greedo, whose literal job is threatening people with guns, miss Solo from just a few feet away. Plus, to make it extra comical, a little digital jerk to the right was added to Solo's head. Throw in the even later addition of the word "Maclunkey," and you've got a truly silly scene.

Fett's death is unintentionally hilarious in hindsight

Boba Fett is one of the most beloved and enigmatic supporting characters in the Star Wars franchise. His enduring popularity and influence is the reason we've since gotten such cool Mandalorian characters on shows like The Clone Wars, and there's now a whole series built around a guy who looks a lot like Boba Fett with The Mandalorian. He's a popular character with a great look and a sense of mystique that is, ultimately, completely undercut by his death scene in Return of the Jedi.

Up until the moment of his death, everything about Boba Fett tells you he's a cool dude who you don't mess with. He's got an awesome helmet, a jet pack, a cool blaster, and an amazing starship he uses to track the Millennium Falcon. When flies into battle on Jabba's yacht, you think you're about to be in for something amazing.

And then Han Solo accidentally knocks him into the Sarlacc pit, and that's it for out friend Boba.

In retrospect, it seems pretty clear that George Lucas and company didn't necessarily think Boba Fett was a character fans would latch onto in such a huge way, which helps explain why various stories have shown him escaping from the Sarlacc to fight another day. That said, this moment is still especially funny because it's basically Star Wars' version of a Roadrunner cartoon.

Starkiller sizing

The Star Wars sequel trilogy was always going to be a tricky proposition no matter which filmmakers took on the task of following in George Lucas' footsteps. For The Force Awakens, director and co-writer J.J. Abrams took a bit of "going backwards to go forward" approach to reviving the franchise, crafting a film that seems to rhyme with the original trilogy in a number of ways.

We got a new hotshot pilot, a new idealistic kid on a desert planet, a new black-clad villain with a red lightsaber, and a new massive evil superweapon in the form of Starkiller Base. The First Order's latest planet killer is the size of a planet itself and capable of wiping out entire star systems. Just in case we didn't get that by watching it in action, though, the film provides a helpful visual aid. In an effort to illustrate just what an extreme new weapon the base is, Poe Dameron uses a Resistance console to show the size difference. When the tiny Death Star hologram transitions into the massive Starkiller Base one, it's such an on-the-nose, "look how huge this movie is" moment that it's hard not to find it a little funny.

Snoke's backstory is an unbelievably silly Star Wars moment

When The Force Awakens was first released back in 2015, it was a time of tremendous excitement for Star Wars fans, in no small part because there was just so much new stuff to dig into. We had new characters, new planets, new ships, and so much more, and all of it carried an air of mystery that we hadn't felt in years. That was true of a lot of characters, but it seemed especially true of Supreme Leader Snoke.

Even after The Force Awakens came and went, fans were trying to parse the mystery of Snoke. Where did he come from? How did he rise to power? How did he become so strong in the Force? And, perhaps most importantly, was he connected to any major Dark Side figure of the past?

We finally got the answer to that question in The Rise of Skywalker. In the opening minutes, a resurrected Palpatine utters the words, "I made Snoke." For a moment, we think he's speaking metaphorically, and then a camera pans over to a giant tank filled with what are presumably rejected versions of Snoke. It's a very literal, very obvious attempt to fill in story gaps in a matter of seconds, and it's extremely funny.

All those planet killers are just plain ridiculous

Star Wars may have spaceships and laser guns and hyperspace travel, but in many ways, it's far removed from the kind of hard science fiction many fans of the genre love. The stories often function more like fairy tales, presenting epic struggles between good and evil in the form of princesses, knights, and wizards fighting for supremacy across a vast field of stars. They're meant to be big, so big that outside of the context of Star Wars, some of the concepts seem ludicrous. That's why we have things like a space station that blows up entire planets

Taken too far, though, even the concepts within Star Wars start to sound ridiculous to actual Star Wars fans. We accepted the planet-killing space station and then the second planet-killing space station and even the planet-sized space station that could kill multiple planets at once. Then, in The Rise of Skywalker, the franchise hit us with a fleet of thousands of secret Star Destroyers, all of which had their own planet-killing lasers right on the underside, ready to obliterate the galaxy. At a certain point, you come a little too close to "don't push that button or we all die," and this felt like that point with Star Wars.