Star Wars is officially 40 years old! To celebrate this important milestone in cinema history, we thought we’d list off our 40 favorite moments from the film that started it all, 1977’s A New Hope. Written and directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, Star Wars began life as a big-budget indie that no one, including the crew, had much faith in, but it would go on to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and spawn a franchise that has grossed over $7.5 billiion dollars worldwide at the box office. It’s a film that you’ve probably watched countless times by now, so all of the following GIFS will probably look quite familiar.
Here are our favorite 40 moments in Star Wars:
1. Arguably one of the greatest openings in cinema history, this shot conveys so much about the war between the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire. Basically, the Rebels are heavily outmatched!
2. Say hello to everyone’s favorite worrisome protocol droid, C-3PO, who is introduced doing what he does best: making a fuss.
3. We’re also introduced to C-3PO’s closest friend (if it’s possible for droids to have friends) R2-D2, who as you can see has no time for his counterpart’s nonsense. This will be a common theme throughout the franchise.
4. Now-iconic villain Darth Vader makes his grand entrance, after his men have already done all the dirty work. We like his style.
5. Here’s Princess Leia holding a blaster with an absurdly-long barrel. Even if the weapon she’s holding makes little sense, this is still a great shot. You can tell right away that Leia is no damsel in distress, as she straight up kills a Stormtrooper in the very next shot. Unfortunately, she gets captured soon after, but at least she put up a fight.
6. Leia’s resolve doesn’t break after being captured and brought before Darth Vader himself. She talks to him like he’s a moron and it’s glorious. This would also be a running theme throughout the original trilogy, as Leia’s position as the only prominent female character means she has to put up a strong front to deal with all the men around her …
7. … And as you can see, Vader is no fan of women who speak their minds.
8. We’ve already been introduced to the cowardly side of C-3PO, but we’d soon find out that he’s also full of sass. Naturally, the target of most of these insults ends up being R2. Honestly, we don’t know how he put up with it.
9. We feel ya, R2.
10. Series protagonist Luke Skywalker went onto become a powerful, confident Jedi knight, making it easy to forget that he started out as kind of a whiny jerk. Here, he’s complaining about doing a simple job for his Uncle Owen, who’s just a moisture farmer trying to make ends meet. Understandably, Luke wants more out of life than to be stuck on a desert planet with two suns, but does he really have to complain so much?
11. Okay, it’s hard to stay mad at Luke when he’s giving the camera his best “I want adventure in the great white somewhere” look. The sweeping John Williams score also doesn’t hurt. This is a helluva scene.
12. Fortunately for Luke, it doesn’t take long for him to find a way out of his circumstances, as he discovers that his new droids are hiding quite the secret. “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope,” the hologram of Leia pleads, while an awestruck Luke can only muster a “she’s beautiful.” Dude, that’s your sister!
13. It’s easy to understand why Luke wants Tatooine when these guys could come around at any moment to ruin your day. That being said, it’s hard to be too upset with Mr. Tusken Raider here. Just look how happy he is to have put the beat down on a scrawny farm kid!
14. Hello yourself, Mr. Kenobi. Old Obi-Wan sure knows how to make an entrance (and how to rock a set of robes).
15. It’s not long before Old Ben reveals true identity to Luke, telling him of the legendary Jedi knights and also letting Luke test out his father’s lightsaber. And thus, viewers got their first taste of one of the coolest fictional weapons ever.
16. This film does such a great job of teasing out what Jedi are really capable of. At first, you think they just wave fancy laser swords around but as Obi-Wan proves here, he can also make Stormtroopers do whatever he wants just by waving his hand. In case it isn’t clear by now, Obi-Wan is a total boss.
17. Han Shot First. ‘Nuff said.
18. If the Empire had a workers’ union, it wouldn’t stand for this kind of on-the-job physical abuse … but they don’t, so Vader is free to choke out whomever he wants!
19. When you let the wookie win, everyone is happy. Especially Chewbacca.
20. Luke getting his first real taste of Jedi training. Strangely, this would be the first and only time we’d see him use this training droid, which seems like a more practical way to get better with a lightsaber than carrying Yoda around on your back through the swamps of Dagobah.
21. Leia with some choice words for Grand Moff Tarkin. Carrie Fisher really was the best, wasn’t she?
22. Tarkin is mildly amused by Leia’s wit …
23. … And gets even with her by blowing up her home planet and all of her people. Tarks, don’t you think you’re overreacting a bit?
24. This may not be the most memorable line in A New Hope, but it’s arguably the best. Han Solo may be able to charm the ladies, but he can’t improvise a conversation to save his life.
25. How great is this scene? Remember, Leia has been sentenced to death at this point and Luke finds her lounging casually in her cell, at the ready with a fresh quip to dish out. Move over Threepio, Leia is the true queen err, princess of sass.
26. Leia is not pleased with her would-be rescuers’ lack of a plan and is forced to take matters into her own hands. It’s fair to wager that this is the point where Han falls for her.
27. After surviving the horrors of the Death Star’s garbage compactor, Han is feeling like he can take on the whole Empire by himself.
28. …Or not.
29. The Easter egg that really requires no introduction. No wonder Stormtroopers get no respect.
30. Vader always has something to boast about.
31. Fortunately, Obi-Wan isn’t intimidated by Vader’s boasts and claims that even in death he’ll be the better warrior. In hindsight, we’re not really sure that wandering around the galaxy as a Force ghost qualifies as “unimaginable power” but it would still be a pretty cool ability to have.
32. Luke’s quite pleased with himself for taking out a TIE Fighter, but Han’s at the ready to temper any illusions of grandeur.
34. Wookies are always down to hug it out with a princess. Force Awakens Chewie could learn a lot from his past self.
35. Gee Han, thanks for the vote of confidence.
36. A third act so good, Star Wars would return to it not once, but twice in future installments.
37. Don’t worry, guys. Porkins has this.
38. Nope, nevermind.
39. Most of the Rebel fleet has been destroyed at this point, but the Millennium Falcon arrives with the last minute save. Thanks Han, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal!