Drafting Star Wars

by Fresh Out The Deli (@FreshOutTheD)

With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” being released worldwide Thursday night, Fresh Out The Deli decided to celebrate with a Star Wars draft: six participants, seven rounds, and no holds barred. Whether it’s your favorite character, a magnificent scene or quote that has stood the test of time, or something everyone loves to hate in the prequels, we drafted the things that we feel make the first six Star Wars movies great.

Round 1

R2-D2

R2D2

Nicholas Cicale (@nickcicale): A few of the times when, if R2-D2 didn’t exist, the galaxy would never have been saved:

– Fixes the Naboo cruiser
– Shuts off little Anakin’s auto pilot
– Saves Padma from being melted in the droid factory
– Kills the buzz droids on Anakin’s starship
– Carries the Death Star plans and Leia’s message
– Finds Old Ben
– Stops the trash compactor
– Opens the doors on Cloud City
– Fixes the hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon
– Gives Luke his lightsaber on Jabba’s barge
– Cuts everyone out of the Ewok trap

Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Alex Perdomo (@TheAlexPerdomo): The American Film Institute ranked Darth Vader the third-greatest villain of all time. The entire saga is about his rise, fall and redemption. Without Vader, there is no Star Wars. From his chilling first appearance on Tantive IV, to his final whispered words “you were right,” Vader entertains, frightens and moves us through the story.

Wedge Antilles

Wedge Antillies

Nick Alberico (@MeadowsLeague): This ace pilot has the chops to serve as Red Leader in the assault on Death Star II, and is the epitome of first-round talent. With a rock steady temperament and commitment to service, Wedge is most certainly a substance-over-style character who can easily be built around.

Emperor Palpatine

palpaten

Dylan Cicale (@dylanc97): Who could possibly be better than the ultimate bad guy, the mastermind behind all things evil in the Star Wars Universe? Palpatine has the most on screen Jedi kills with 3, and he does this with ease.

Yoda (Puppet)

yoda puppet

Bryan Cicale (@Bryanc94): There’s nothing Yoda can’t do. He gets into fights with robots, and he can lift spaceships out of swamps, even at age 900.

Qui-Gon Jinn

qui gon jinn

Andre Canellas (@AndreCanellas): He’s the only thing keeping the first movie afloat, he’s Liam Neeson, and he’s the first person to back Anakin.

Round 2

The Legend of Jango Fett

Andre : Look, as a kid I had the Slave 1 lego ship too, but c’mon, this guy is all hype without results. He kills one Jedi before getting trampled by that rhinoceros-looking thing and then is easily disposed of by Mace Windu.

Pear

pear

Bryan: The importance of this piece of fruit is undeniable. Without it, Anakin Skywalker may have never impressed the Queen enough to win her over; the subsequent chain of events is the basis for the entire movie series. The pear is also a metaphor, representing Padme and Anakin’s relationship. Much like their love, the pear is manipulated by the force, eventually leading to its destruction.

Scene: Inside The Asteroid Worm

Dylan: Not only is this is where Han and Leia have their first kiss, the scene shows how vast the galaxy is and the creatures it holds, while keeping the audience at the edge of their seats.

Scene: Luke and Vader’s First Fight

Nick: An anxious and emotionally tense battle, Luke and Vader’s fight at Cloud City is a masterclass in gripping cinema. The cold, mechanical environment sets the scene, while the smoky, dark atmosphere adds to Vader’s aesthetic: he is every bit as imposing as his reputation lets on. The actual lightsaber fighting doesn’t need to be all too flashy because the seen isn’t about the fight itself, rather, the conflicts told throughout the first two films coming to a head.

Scene: Han Rescues Luke In The Death Star Trench

Alex: While Episode IV has never been my favorite, this is one of my favorite scenes in the series. The entire rebellion hangs in the balance; Luke is the last fighter left and the only one who can stop the Empire. Vader closes in, hand on the trigger, locked onto Luke. It seems like Luke’s luck has run out, when one of the fighters protecting Vader explodes. Vader’s exclamation, “WHAT?” echoes through audience’s mind, as the presumed long-gone Han Solo flys in to save the day. To this day the excitement of that scene brings me back to being a little kid watching those movies for the first time.

Scene: The Trash Compactor

Nicholas: A perfect mix of horror and humor. You have Han shooting his blaster at the door and it ricocheting off the walls, Chewy banging and growling at the door. The dianoga coming out of nowhere and taking Luke away, and the walls closing in and them screaming for their lives. It’s an over-the-top chaotic moment, but the tension makes it almost funny. Then, after being saved just in the nick of time, C3PO mistakes their cheers of joy for screams pain and delivers a gem of a line, “Listen to them, they’re dying R2!”

Round 3

“Right now, I feel like I can take on the whole Empire myself!” – Dak Ralter

Nicholas: Well, it’s a story about love, deception, greed, lust and unbridled enthusiasm. That’s what led to Dak Ralter’s downfall. You see, Dak was a simple country boy, some might say a cockeyed optimist, who got caught up in the dirty game of world diplomacy and intergalactic intrigue.

“NOOOoooooo.” – Darth Vader

Alex: The funniest moment in all 6 movies. It’s been lampooned multiple times in popular culture and in a way represents the failure of the prequels. In Return of the Jedi (the original version), we see Vader silently standing there watching his son be tortured.  We feel his anguish even through the mask.  In the prequels, instead of a silent figure in pain, we get this ridiculous, out-of-character moaning from “the dark lord of the Sith.” Instead of being a somber reflective moment, (at least in my house) it turns into an all-out laugh fest.

“Only what you take with you.” – Yoda

Nick:  This is my favorite quote from the whole series. It greatly adds to the mystery of The Cave, and serves as reminder to Luke that if he lets his anger take hold, he will become too weak to resist the temptations of the Dark Side.

Watto

watto

Dylan: The only character in the Phantom Menace that’s actually funny (sorry Jar-Jar). He even bests Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn’s Jedi mind tricks.

Scene: Luke Cuts Off Vader’s Hand

Bryan: There’s a ton of tension leading up to this moment, which climaxes with Luke hacking off his own father’s hand. As Luke looks down and realizes that he’s going down the same path that Vader did, it’s hard not to get goosebumps.

“It’s a trap!” – Admiral Ackbar

Andre: Probably the second-most quoted line from  Star Wars, but it’s hard to understand why (which makes it interesting). It shouldn’t stick in your head, but it does.

Round 4

Podracing

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 3.00.56 PM

Andre: Before recently re-watching episodes 1-3, the only scene I could remember from the prequels was this 45-minute NASCAR-esque race won by an adolescent boy. That has to count for something.

Scene: Darth Maul vs. Obi Wan

Bryan: What I love about this scene is the decision not to include any music until Obi-Wan finds himself dangling in the generator shaft. It adds tension, as Kenobi duels the man who just killed his master.

“I am your father.” – Darth Vader

Dylan: The most well-known Star Wars quote of all time.

“Yippee” – Little Anakin Skywalker

Nick: I had to take this quote just because it does a great job of putting the inferiority of the prequels in perspective. “Yippee” is meant to be an exclamation of joy or excited anticipation. Yet, when Anakin’s mother allows him to hang out with Qui-Gon and Co., all I feel is my fight-or-flight response kicking in. My body simply refuses to accept that I’ll be stuck watching this twerp for the next two hours.

Scene: The Emperor’s “It was I,” Speech

Alex: Not only is it a deep scene where the hero of the movie is tempted by evil, but its also full of dark, humorous dialogue. The Emperor coldly tells Luke that everyone he loves is going to die and there is nothing he can do and reveals the rebel plan was “all according to his design.” It is such a great “Oh Shit” moment for the audience. His condescending statement, as if talking to a young child, that the deflector shield would be “quite operational” makes our blood boil just like Luke’s.

Darth Maul’s Kicks

Nicholas: There are five time that Darth Maul gains the upper hand in his fight against Obi Wan and Qui Gon thanks to his kicking ability. His double-sided lightsaber might be a hindrance, but Maul more than makes up for it with his marshal arts training.

Round 5

Lando takes Han Solo’s wardrobe

lando and han

Nicholas: Lando may not have Han’s sense of style, but he does has Han’s ship, wookie, friends and wardrobe by the end of Episode V.

“I love you,” “I Know,” – Leia and Han

Perdomo: For two movies, Princess Leia adamantly expresses her hatred of Han, calling him everything from a scoundrel to a “scruffy looking nerf-herder.” Deep down, we know the princess loves Han but the best part is so does he. This might be the last time they ever see each other and instead of saying I love you back to the princess who finally admits her feelings, like the bad ass he is, he responds with “I know.”

“NoooOOOOO” – Darth Vader (special edition Episode VI)

Nick: While a lot is said about how unnecessary adding CGI creatures to the original trilogy was, the Special Edition’s greatest disservice to the source material was definitely Vader’s ridiculous “NooOOOO” as he throws the Emperor to his demise. If you legitimately needed this to take place to understand what’s going through Vader’s head, maybe you’re better suited watching the prequels. More CGI dinosaurs!

Scene – Darth Vader Force Chokes Admiral Motti

Dylan: This was the first instance the audience sees the true power of Darth Vader and the force, and wonder what other things can be achieved from using the force.

Padme’s White Outfit

padma

Bryan: Oh, you liked Leia’s metal bikini in Empire Strikes Back? Try Natalie Portman in Attack of the Clones.

Blatant Racial Parallels With The Trade Federation

Andre: Whether it’s their manipulating of the trading laws or more blatant Asian-American accents, it sure seems like these guys are representing the Chinese. If this movie came out today, there would be a protest somewhere.

Round 6

C3PO

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 12.27.16 AM

Andre: I regretted this pick right after the draft. It’s like when you’re at the end of your fantasy football draft and Joe Flacco is staring you in the face. Everyone knows his name, but there’s no reason to draft him.

Duel Of The Fates

Bryan: Thank you, John Williams. This song is so good that after its debut during the duel at the end of Phantom Menace, it was also thrown into both Attack of the Clones AND Revenge of the Sith. Da Da Dadada Da Da Dadada Da Da Dadada Da Da Dadada.

Scene: The Clones Save The Jedi On Geonosis

Dylan: This is the first time we see the clones in action, and the first time we see a large number of Jedi in the same place attacking an enemies. This whole scene gives the audience a sense of the Galactic Republic’s power.

Arvel Crynyd, AKA The Guy Who Flys The A Wing Into The Bridge Of The Executor Star Destroyer

Nick: This brave pilot sacrificed his life to take down the Executor, the flagship of the Imperial fleet. The Imperial officer’s exclamation of “Too late!” always made me laugh. Though, shouldn’t the most important part of your most important ship have a bit more protection? Why do you need windows on a spaceship of this magnitude anyway?

Scene: Obi Wan Gives Luke The Lightsaber

Alex: Every great hero has his weapon. Frodo had Sting, King Arthur had Excalibur and Indiana Jones had his whip. The lightsaber is quintessential Star Wars and this is when we know that Star Wars is going to be a different type of movie. Ask any Star Wars fan what he’d want from the movies and he’d tell you it’s a lightsaber (or at least a close second to Jedi mind tricks for getting girls).

Obi Wan evades the Empire for 20 years by changing his name to Ben

Nicholas: Even the greatest Sith could never match a Jedi’s intellect, and it’s never more apparent than in the Empire’s search for Obi Wan Kenobi.
Obi Wan Kenobi goes into hiding after the creation of the Empire, and being the wise Jedi that he is, knows he’ll have to create an alias to evade the Empire. However, maybe showing his arrogance, he simple changes his first name to Ben, and decided to roam the countryside still as a Kenobi.
Luke puts the pieces together pretty quickly. At first mention of Kenobi, he immediately thinks of old Ben, because, let’s face it, Kenobi isn’t too popular of a name. But somehow, in Vader, Palpatine, and the Empire’s tireless search to eradicate the remaining known Jedi, no one ever suggested doing a Google search of the last name to see if something would pop up.

Round 7

Obligatory “Duel of the Fates” sequence in Episode 2

Nicholas: This is one of the better scenes in Attack of the Clones. Anakin flies around on a speeder, pretending to be angry, to the tune of “Duel of the Fates.” Everyone get’s excited when the song kicks in, and it adds a feeling of tension and urgency. However, without the music, it isn’t intense at all. Fans see some cool desert structures, a sunset, and a Jawa, but that’s it. The scene could easily have been removed, but Lucas knew fans would get in a tizzy if he gave them the song somewhere in the film (and that there would be a riot if it wasn’t in the movie at all). The result is a masterful 33 seconds.

Scene: Luke meets Yoda on Dagobah

Alex: Besides the idea that this scene is meant to teach Luke a lesson about judging by appearances, it’s just plain funny. Watching this great Jedi Master play with a lamp like a two year old is just plain old hilarious. The juxtaposition of this great ascetic warrior monk beating R2-D2 with a cane shouting mine like a dementia addled old man from Florida is just one of the funniest scenes in the whole saga.

Sand

Nick: It’s coarse, rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere.

Anakin vs. Obi Wan

Dylan: This whole sequence is the only time in the prequels that actually shows emotion.

“That is why you fail,” – Yoda

Bryan: This little green guy just lifted a spaceship?! This quote epitomizes some of the main themes in Star Wars, and the delivery of the line is epic.

Ineffectiveness Of The Double-sided Lightsaber

Andre: All you had to do was use one of the play versions to realize how stupid the idea was. Whenever you would try to swing it someone, the other side would slice you.

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