Awesome: A New Hope

  • The opening Star Destroyer shot.
  • Vader's introductory scene - storming a rebel ship and interrogating someone (with a one-handed Neck Lift) on the spot. It's the bearing of someone in command. Then in his next scene, he teaches Admiral Motti to respect the Force. Casual, effortless choking from across the room, with some Deadpan Snark on top; everyone else in the room, with the exception of Tarkin, is rightly scared of him.
    I find your lack of faith disturbing.
  • The first appearance of the lightsaber.
  • The Falcon first goes to light speed.
  • Leia shooting out a grate and snapping that "Somebody has to save our skins!".
    • In that one moment, she utterly demolishes the Damsel in Distress image in favor of being an Action Girl equally participating in her own rescue.
  • Luke and Leia swinging across a bottomless pit.
  • The duel between Vader and Obi-Wan.
    • "I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master."
    • "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
  • Vader runs a successful Batman Gambit to reveal the location of the Rebel base, which involves allowing Luke and Han to stage Leia's rescue. Then he's the only one smart enough to realize the Rebels' attack might work. Then he personally gets into the dogfight in his customized TIE fighter and blows away enemy fighters right and left. Empire would've crushed the Rebels if he was in charge.
  • During the Death Star battle, Luke has an enemy on his tail. Does Wedge come up behind the bad guy and blow him up? No. He comes at them head on and weaves between Luke and the TIE fighter to take his shot.
  • The dive toward the Death Star trench, done twice, and awesome both times.
  • Luke taking charge during the final Trench Run. Consider that his wingmates are Biggs (his best friend and a much more experienced pilot) and Wedge (described in the EU as being so Badass that Imperial pilots are known to wet their beds during nightmares of being chased by him), and the inexperienced farm-boy with no more experience than varmint-hunting manages to tell them what to do. Wedge even calls him "boss."
  • Han's Big Damn Heroes moment.
    Han: You're all clear, kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home!
  • Han's big character establishing moment where he quickly and calmly kills Greedo.
    • "Sorry about the mess."
  • Commander Daine Jir criticizing Vader's decisions to his face and living to tell the tale. Expanded Universe explains that he was willing to be blunt and honest with Vader, but still carry out orders and do his job quite effectively, earning Vader's respect.
  • ''Use the Force, Luke...let go, Luke..." "The Force is strong with this one..." "Luke, trust me..."
  • When the Death Star goes boom!
  • The award ceremony. Crosses over with Heartwarming.
  • The opening shot of the Star Destroyer, which just keeps coming. The producers of Blakes Seven saw that scene and realized that there was no way they could ever beat that on a police procedural budget.
    • Made more impressive by setting up a contrast. First, we see the Blockade Runner go by, and it looks big and cool. And then we see what's chasing it...and the baseline for both "big" and, arguably, "cool" just got blown out of the water.
    • Amusingly, George Lucas has stated that he knew he couldn't afford to do good special effects for every shot in the movie, so for the most part, he just did very fast, very short shots that would keep people from seeing the wires or anything along those lines... except that he deliberately spent a huge amount of money on getting the best possible special effects work he could for the opening shot, because he knew, in his own words, "If the audience bought that shot, then I had them."
  • "Sorry about the mess."
  • "I have you now." (Though awesome, the Millennium Falcon intervenes a second later)
  • "I've been waiting for you Obi Wan; we meet again at last. The circle is now complete; when I left you I was but the learner, now I am the master."
    • "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
      • Even better if you have the Original Trilogy Delux Edition and you learn the ENTIRE quote:
    "Should my blade find its mark, you shall cease to exist, but if you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine"
  • "You're all clear, kid, now let's blow this thing and go home!" Welcome to the Rebel Alliance, Han Solo.
    • The best part is when you realize that up until he turned around, Han Solo saw all the rebels on that base as walking corpses and his last scene with Luke was a goodbye to a dead man. That Crowning Moment of Awesome was probably the first time Han had felt optimism in years.
    • One word, two syllables: Kaboom. This was on Luke's official first day of joining the Rebel Alliance. "So, I took out a squadron of stormtroopers on my first day. What did you do?" "Oh, nothing much. I just blew up the fracking Death Star."
  • Princess Leia Organa, barely a minute out of her cell, taking over her own rescue: "Somebody has to save our skins." "Into the garbage chute, flyboy!"
  • "Stand by. Stand by."
  • Vader during the Moff meeting aboard the Death Star. The only thing that we've seen him do so far is strangle a guy and yell at a young woman. After "the man in black" decries the Death Star as insignificant next to the Force, Admiral Conan Antonio Motti decides to insult his beliefs. Vader merely lifts a hand and the guy starts choking, saying that "I find your lack of faith disturbing." We see in this that despite first impressions, Vader is actually dangerous, not just Tarkin's lackey.
    • Remember, this was the first use of the Force in film, after it was introduced, which made it all the more intimidating in the day. Obi-wan calls it "an energy field" surrounding people, binds the galaxy, and other pseudo-religious harmonious fluff, and the audience was like, "Oh okay, old guy, that's cool, let's get back to the space opera", then an Imperial officer starts talking smack, and Vader suddenly introduces practical villainous applications of said energy field. Dark Side of the Force indeed.
    • And the story it's from is one of Sci-Fi's Big Three. Given that the other two members of that group's attitudes on religion were often condescending at best (and one of them might still be at times), this moment can feel really darn satisfying if you're religious. Even in science fiction, religion and mysticism can still have a place in the world, and its practitioners can not only be justified in it (midi-chlorians debatably aside), but powerful by it as well.
    • Also Tarkin's reaction: first a sort of intellectual curiosity at seeing Vader in action, then he decides enough is enough and yanks him back into line.
      • And Vader's reaction to Tarkin: the subtext being not that of an inferior responding to the order of a superior, but of grudging respect: "I would really just as soon choke Motti to death as look at him, but I have to work with you, so I'll honor your request to lay off."
    • How about Tarkin having the balls to actually threaten Darth Vader, implying that something bad will happen if Vader's plan to let the Falcon lead them to the Rebel base doesn't work.
    • Motti himself *does* have a point, though. Vader hasn't found the data tapes with the Force - although he does successfully kill Obi-Wan Kenobi simply by sensing him there, which is something of a win for the Empire.
  • Threepio's gotten a reputation as a bit of a Chew Toy, but in Episode Four he really shows a great deal of competence. Despite his constant complaining, when the chips are down he's able to pull it together and get him and his comrades out of danger. When meeting Uncle Owen and Luke Skywalker for the first time, Threepio calmly manages to not only get himself sold but also bring Artoo into the Skywalker household, all without resorting to hysterics. Then, on the Death Star, after being discovered by the Imperial Force, Threepio manages to perform a Bavarian Fire Drill which allows him and Artoo to escape once again. He may be a bit over emotional and frantic, but Threepio is still dependable when he needs to be.
  • Vader wiping out most of the Rebel Fighters during the Assault on The Death Star. We know he's skilled with a lightsaber with his battle against Obi-Wan, but we then go out and see him in his personal TIE fighter and effortlessly destroy the fighters in Gold and Red Squadron, including the leader of the squads and Biggs, without breaking a sweat. Only Luke had the skill with the Force to avoid his blasts.
    • And it's revealed in novels like Shadows of the Empire that he goes and does this on missions for fun. Blasting and destroying ace Rebel pilots with zero effort. Dogfighting is his way of relaxing, and he normally has a dozen kills under his belt once he's done, it's said.