Generally cynical recap of The Thrawn Trilogy: For the second time, Zahn also sets up information for later novels of his already; this time, mentioning to Pellaeon his plan for creating a clone that will be grown fast to childhood, and then let to grow naturally for the last ten years. Possibly on a hidden, secure planet in the Unknown Regions. People who have not yet read Spectre of the Past and Vision of the Future should take note of this. People who have read them will undoubtedly get that really awesome spine-shiver that is accompanied with an "OMG that's so awesome" feeling. You know the one I'm talking about. Yes you do.
While the sheer impact that this franchise has had on pop culture over the last thirty-something years could be a Moment Of Awesome in and of itself, this page is not about that. This is an exhaustive list of awesome moments within the Star Wars films and its Expanded Universe.
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The Films that started it all
Even if you were spoiled to hell and back by the advertising blitz beforehand: when that door opens, and Darth Maul is standing there looking like Satan himself — and he busts out the double-bladed lightsaber —was there any other reaction than, "Holy crap"?
What happens directly after Maul shows up adds a lot to the awesomeness. When the doors open to reveal Maul, Amidala and her troops look good and ready to wet themselves, until the Jedi step forward...
Qui-Gon Jinn: "We'll handle this."
Amidala:(who can't wait to get the hell away from Maul) "...we'll take the long way (around)."
When Obi Wan jumped out of the shaft in the Theed palace and chopped Darth Maul in half.
Minor example: "I will not condone a course of action that could lead us to war."
A bigger one later: "I will not defer. I've come to you to resolve this conflict now. I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee!"
The pod-race finale. Sure, it was more the folly of Sebulba rather than direct actions on the part of Anakin, but just watching Sebulba's ginormous pod engines smash into an oncoming rock at 500 MPH as Anakin's tiny little thing cruises majestically on by was certainly a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
Obi-Wan out of the gate vs Maul.
The duel between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi & Qui-Gon Jinn is now and will forever remain the Crowning Moment of Lightsaber awesomeness in all of Star Wars.
Little Anakin taking down the Droid Control Ship with nobody but R2-D2 backing him up.
At the very end of the credits, Darth Vader can be heard breathing, foreshadowing what's to come.
Although Yoda's popularity has never waned since the original trilogy, the moment he dropped his cane and pulled out a lightsaber in Attack of the Clones forever cemented him as being as Badass as he is wise.
He doesn't just pull it out, oh no, that's not cool enough. He puts away the cane, then opens his robe and Forces the lightsaber from inside his robe to his open hand. That is what Crowning Moments Of Awesome are made of.
"This party's over.", which is followed by an awesome battle between dozens of Jedi and hundreds of robots (and later clone troopers), in which the one speaking (Mace Windu) defeats another Badass, Jango Fett.
Mace facing down Dooku is awesome but it goes into Crowning Moment Of Awesome territory when it is revealed that dozens of the spectators in the audience are Jedi.You can see why Mace has the initials for "Bad Motherfucker" on his lightsaber.
Let's talk about Count Dooku for a minute. Dude kicked the asses of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi simultaneously, and still had enough juice to give Yoda a decent fight. Granted that he'd probably have lost if the duel had continued, but the number of people who could last even that long has got to be awfully small, and y'know, he's played by Christopher Lee.
The guy salutes Yoda before they go at it.
Yoda hopping around like a demon frog on acid when he was fighting Count Dooku counts too.
The best part was that Yoda wasn't trying to win. He was playing around, trying to buy time for the clones to arrive and save Obi-Wan and Anakin. But he still was winning.
The mere fact that the dwarf Yoda just about bested 6"4" Dooku is awesome
The very end of the film, with the clone troops forming up for review, Palpatine standing on the balcony... cue the Imperial March. That's right, it's a WhamLeitmotif!
The ending of the stadium battle when the Jedi seem defeated, but refuse to surrender.Then Yoda and an entire army of troops appear out of nowhere and save them. The phrase Big Damn Heroes has rarely fit better
Agreed. The whole battle of Geonosis was just awesome to say the least. This makes it even more awesome, in a way.
Padme proved herself awesome in the stadium battle when she climbs up the pillar she is tied to and fights off the nexu. Even getting slashed across the back couldn't stop her. This all happens while the two Jedi look on in wonder. "She seems to be on top of things." No kidding, Obi.
Obi-Wan's fight with Jango Fett including the OhCrap moment of "Oh, not good!".
Towards the beginning of the film, when Obi-Wan and Anakin are chasing after Zam, Anakin takes a short cut. He pulls to a halt, and for a few moments, it looks as though they've lost her. Obi-Wan looks annoyed, but Anakin doesn't. Then Anakin gives his master a casual "excuse me" before jumping over the side of the speeder, free-falling through traffic, and landing on Zam's speeder. And he timed it just right. This scene was obviously made for anyone still in doubt that Anakin is the Chosen One.
The best part: Obi-Wan looks annoyed when he does it, and simply states, "I hate it when he does that." Meaning that this isn't the first time Anakin's pulled an awesome stunt like this.
The quiet opening, a single Star Destroyer rolling across the screen to the sound of lone drumbeats. Two small fighters race across the screen, and the most bombastic and cheer-inducing take on the Force Theme ever blares across the screen. We know exactly who these two Jedi Knights are, we know exactly what they're about to do, and we know in the space of a single scene that this is the movie we've been waiting twenty years for.
To quote the novelization; "Though this is the end of the age of heroes, it has saved its best for last."
The Battle of Coruscant was one big Moment of Awesome for Anakin. He tricks two high-quality homing missiles tailing him into blowing each other up. He is able to pilot his interceptor with such precision that he crushes one of those tiny little buzz droids between his fighter and Obi-Wan's, causing no damage to either vehicle and utterly destroying the droid. And he does this at the risk of getting a buzz droid on his own fighter. When told the hangar shields are still up on the Invisible Hand, he isn't worried at all. He just blasts the generator like nobody's business. Later, he kills Dooku in what quickly becomes single combat. After that, he carries the unconscious Obi-Wan on his back like he's as light as a rag doll, and finally, he safely crash-lands half a cruiser that was never designed to be able to land safely.
The duel with Dooku is made even better in the novelization. It's told from his perspective, and it shows him going from a complete Smug Snake through his Oh, Crap moment when he realizes that Obi-Wan and Anakin aren't fighting like he expected to his final realization of his betrayal by Sidious.
"Under the circumstances I'd say the ability to fly this thing is irrelevant."
Obi-Wan has two: defeating (along with Yoda) an entire clone trooper company, and chopping off three of Anakin's limbs with a single strike.
the entirety of his final duel with General Grievous on Utapau, but especially the climax which saw him hanging over a ledge and he used the Force to shoot the general with a blaster (complete with irreverent comment afterward)? When Luke's hanging over a precipice, it means he's had the stuffing kicked out of him, and he's barely going to survive this encounter. When Obi-Wan is hanging over a precipice, it means he's about to kick ass.
Obi-Wan (teaching Luke to use a lightsaber): "Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age."
Windu also gets one in Revenge of the Sith, in his duel with Palpatine. He even would have won, had Anakin not shown up. The dialogue that preceded was also awesome (for both!):
Mace: In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you are under arrest.
Palpatine: I am the Senate!
Mace: Not yet!
Only Palpatine was most likely toying with Windu the whole time, as he had just butchered the three other Jedi Masters.
The above dialogue is even better in the trailer:
Mace: In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you are under arrest.
Palpatine: Are you threatening me, Master Jedi? *Ignites lightsaber and lunges. Cue the most badass and ominous music ever used in a Star Wars trailer*
Ah, but then we would not have seen Palpatine become the Large Ham he was born to be. Palpatine announces the birth of The Empire and the death of freedom to the Senate... who respond with a standing ovation. Your Majesty, your ascent to Magnificent Bastardhood is complete. The horrified-sounding ominous chorus in the background doesn't hurt, either.
That duel is explained in the EU. The Sith like to use a subversive tactic called Dun Moch, where they mock their Jedi opponents and telepathically push base emotions into their minds, which disrupts their ability to call on the Force. That's why Palpatine laughed at Yoda and hissed at Mace Windu. The mental aspect of Windu's fighting style allowed him to reflect those emotions back at Palpatine, while Yoda had no such defense. Mace had legitimately defeated Palpatine until Anakin showed up. And Mace lived while the other Masters died because his style, Vapaad, made him the absolute best duelist in the galaxy, possibly the best throughout the franchise's entire canon history. Only Dooku and Yoda ever fought him to a standstill, and that was before he made a style so vicious and powerful that an uncautious user would be drawn into the Dark Side. No telling what a Sith could do with it, but Vapaad died with Mace. He actually had to kill the only other two people he taught it to because they couldn't handle it.
In the novelization, it's stated that Palpatine and Mace stalemated, with Anakin being the one to decide the outcome. At one point, Anakin observes and can only make out the blades of their lightsabers, they're moving so fast that The Chosen Onecan't keep up with their movements.
Yoda's decapitating of the clones about to kill him on Kashyyyk. One moment, he's on the floor, seemingly defenseless after feeling the deaths of so many Jedi, and the clones are readying their blasters. The next, the clones are lying dead on the floor and Yoda is deactivating his lightsaber.
How about the fantastic confrontation in Palpatine's office?
Palpatine: At last the Jedi are no more...
Yoda: Not if anything to say about it I have! *Force pushes Palpatine so hard he goes flying across the room and lands ass over head*
Yoda: At an end your rule is... and not short enough it was.
The fact that the unflappable Palpatine tries to run away rather than fight is a good indicator of how badass Yoda is.
Before that, Yoda casually knocks out Palpatine's two guards with a wave of his hand.
Heck, the entire Obi-Wan vs. Anakin and Yoda vs. Palpatine sequence in Revenge of the Sith was a Crowning Moment Of Awesome. Especially considering the former was done in real time, no speed-up required.
According to the special features on the DVD, when Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen finished their fight, the entire crew broke out in applause.
In the Yoda vs. Palpatine fight, when Master Yoda takes that first step to shove the two massive great blobs of Sith lightning back at the guy that fired them, there's a moment, just a moment, when you think that, despite the Foregone Conclusion and all, he might still win, somehow, because he's so awesome he can somehow overwrite Real Life history.
At the end, all it took was Vader taking one deep mechanical breath and every hair on your body stood on end, followed by one of the most heartwrenching Big No's ever. 
Or the look on Vader's face as the mask lowers, eyes widening as he realizes what his world will look like from then on...
Obi-Wan, alone, nearly unarmed and without backup, facing up to a room full of bad guys including one with four Lightsabers. Han Solo would be proud.
His entrance in that scene: "Hello there." Best entrance ever. Then dropping that huge thing on Grievous' guards.
Grievous: "I've been trained in your Jedi arts by Count Dooku." Obi-Wan might have been thinking: "Good, because I trained the Jedi who killed Count Dooku." (In the movie, he might be thinking it. In the novelisation, he says it in his own inimitable Deadpan Snarker way.)
Though Grievous having four arms was slightly spoiled by the cartoon miniseries that bridged Episode II and Episode III, you have to admit that the way he advances towards Obi-Wan on Utapau, four lightsabers in his hands, all four of them spinning like saws as they carve up the floor, is a hell of a way to start a duel.
Let's face it, the entire movie is a CMOA for Palpatine.
The opening shot of the Star Destroyer, which just keeps coming. The producers of Blake's 7 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."
"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!"
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 othertwo members of that group's attitudeson 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-chloreans 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.
Threepio's gotten a reputation as a bit of a Chew Toy, but in the 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 Ben 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 Squardon 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 its 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.
Luke single-handedly taking down an Imperial Walker by using a grappling hook to climb up underneath it, slice it open with his lightsaber, and tossing a thermal detonator inside. When you remember that Luke barely had any training as a Jedi at this point, then you'll realize Emperor Palpatine was right to be scared of Luke and how really powerful he could become if he was fully trained.
Luke informs Yoda that he's just not strong enough in the Force to raise his starfighter from the swamp. Yoda then raises the starfighter out of the swamp, accompanied by triumphant music and spirited beeping from R2-D2.
Luke: I don't believe it!
Yoda: That is why you fail.
"Judge me by my size, do you?"
Yoda has tons of cool lines. Another good one is "Do, or do not. There is no try."
Some of Yoda's lines have made it onto fortune cookies, as "Do or do not, there is no try" has been found along with other Yoda lines.
"I love you." "I know."
Especially since this line was an ad-lib by Harrison Ford.
"No. Iam your father." To this day, still one of the most epic and memorable plot twists in the history of cinema.
This was also Needa'sCrowning Moment Of Awesome. Just out maneuvered and outbluffed by Solo, Needa is tasked with explaining his failure to Vader, and there's no question in anyone's mind how Lord Vader deals with setbacks. What does he do? He flies himself to the Executor to stand before Vader, take full responsibility, and fall on his sword, sparing his ship and crew from the Sith Lord's wrath.
And just in case you don't know the context of the last one, Vader had just force choked the previous Admiral, which was on the other side of the ship from Vader. He gives Piett his promotion before the previous admiral hits the ground.
What happens right after the line "I've just made a deal that'll keep the Empire out of here forever."
It's a Trap!
Darth Vader just force deflecting the blaster shots with his hand, no lightsaber necessary, then snatching Han's gun. You think you're going to be able to just shoot Darth Vader? Please!
Imagine yourself as Han Solo for a moment. You've just outrun a bunch of Imperials and finally made your way to a small out of the way planet for a chance to rest and repair your ship. You've met up with an old friend of yours and are on the way to a nice meal with the possibility of romancing Leia a bit afterwards. And then you open the door to find none other than Darth Vader waiting for you. Do you look in disbelief to the friend who betrayed you? Turn and hightail it out of there with Leia and Chewie in tow? No. Without a single second of hesitation you immediately pull out your gun and start shooting that motherfucker. Further proof that Han is the biggest badass to ever swagger across the galaxy; too bad Vader has more than enough power with the Dark Side to make up for that.
Then there's Chewbacca's truly epic roar. It's a real shame he didn't do that more often in the series.
The entrance of the Executor. We see it casting shadows on Star Destroyers! LIKE THAT BEHEMOTH FROM THE INTRO OF THE PREVIOUS FILM!
See also Visual Effects of Awesome, if only to reiterate the above (which is not hurt at all by the scene being the debut of The Imperial freaking March). A good contender however is a later scene which provides a rear view of the Executor and shows that even its engine exhausts dwarf the nearby Star Destroyers.
"You have failed, your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me." Doesn't matter than the Emperor immediately got lightning happy, that was the moment the Good Guys won. Probably the second greatest Crowning Moment Of Awesome in the entire series.
Looking at the progression of events around that point, that scene is when the tables turned and the good guys started to win. After that declaration, the Shield Generator blew up, Executor was destroyed, and the Death Star Run into the reactor began. Everything began to fall apart for Palpatine.
Just the fact that Luke's personal greatest triumph is then, when he wins without fighting - when he wins by not fighting. We saw earlier that he clearly has the courage to face giant monsters - we see here that he has a depth of emotional courage which runs every bit as deep. By believing, and by not acting, and by trusting in Anakin, he brought his father back.
It's even more awesome when you look at the history of the series. Palpatine has had everything go according to his plan for over 30 years (and, if you go by the Darth Plagueis novel, since he became an adult.) He hasn't suffered a major loss in his entire life, with even the destruction of the first Death Star not taking away his cool. Then Luke came in. He's the first person ever to do something the Emperor never expected-make him lose his cool.
Of course, he's talking to the guy whom he expressly stated he did not foresee being there.
The Force Lightning assault has to be one for Palpatine. He shows up in the movie, and he's just a frail old man. Everyone is terrified of him, but you're never sure why. Then Luke throws his offer back in his face, and: "If you will not be turned...you will be DESTROYED!".
And the best part about that is the way he says it. The entire movie his tone of voice has been, as someone stated previously, like a mockery of a kind old man because he is so assured in his belief that he will win. But when Luke refuses to turn, he drops that tone and so the way he says that line, how it is just dripping in pure cold hatred and evil... classic.
If you watch the films in the order they were made, there's the impact of seeing the lightning for the first time. Palpatine gives some death threats etc, and you expect some big lightsaber fight or force choking or what have you. Instead, out of freaking nowhere he starts shooting LIGHTNING at Luke. While the lightning has been downgraded and made much more commonplace since then, back then not even Darth Vader could do it (now we know why, but the EU wasn't as developed at the time). It made the Emperor a grade-A badass.
According to the novelization, the lightning was nothing less than a straight-up abomination of the Force, Palpatine using his sheer overwhelming hatred to break the very rules that bound the universe together. Consider that even in the prequels, we only see two characters who ever use it: Palpatine and his apprentice, Count Dooku.
After Vader has failed repeatedly to lure his son to the Dark Side, he finally discovers Luke's Berserk Button:
Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for... Sister. So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will.
The music cue that played at that moment especially made it powerful.
Luke's cry of "Never!" and then nearly taking Vader's head off in the duel was also awesome.
Even better. Immediately after Luke's Big "NEVER!", Vader quickly turns in his direction with a rapid Vader Breath... Yes, Luke got Darth Vader to gasp!.
Princess Leia choking Jabba to death in Return of the Jedi. After he objectified her the way he did, she was able to turn the tables. The novelization of this scene makes it clear that she's calling on the Force to help her with it.
The Emperor's arrival at the Death Star in ROTJ with a huge assembly of Imperial officers and stormtroopers awaiting in the hangar, a multitude of TIE fighters flying outside and the John Williams Imperial March blasting loud as his royal guards and then finally he disembarks from his shuttle.
The first point-of -view shot of the ROTJ speeder bike chase.
"Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!"
C3PO has his Crowning Moment Of Awesome... it is, as befits him, rather subdued, but - when the Ewoks capture the "Pitiful little band", and they see their Golden God, and bow down to him - well, that's not it; it's a few moments later, when he speaks to the tribesmen, and Luke asks in surprise "Can you understand what they're saying?" and, of course, Threepio responds: "Oh yes, Master Luke... I am versed in over six million forms of communication!" Don't act so surprised, your highness.
Also, remember that C3PO has been complaining about the adventures he has been in, always being in danger, actually being nearly destroyed several times... but, in the end, he becomes the one that allows the Rebel victory, because it was his presence in all those adventures that allowed him to tell the Ewoks what was going on in the rest of the galaxy.
Luke walking off the plank over the Sarlacc pit, turning, grabbing the edge, flipping back onto the skiff, catching the lightsaber Artoo fires from Jabba's sail barge, igniting it, and proceeding to kick ass.
The buildup in that scene is awesomely constructed, especially the music, which was recycled for the teaser trailers for Phantom Menace, if you recall.
"You should have bargained, Jabba. That's the last mistake you'll ever make." C'mon! How badass is that!?!
THE ENTIRE BATTLE OF ENDOR IN SPACE. Some specific moments are
Lando: Yes, I said closer! Move as close you can, and engage those Star Destroyers at point blank range!
Ackbar: At that range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!
Lando: We'll last longer than we will against that Death Star! And we might just take a few of them with us!
Commander Merrejk's total "Oh God we're dead" moment while Piett's shouting to "intensify the forward batteries" of the Executor and Merrejk sees off in the distance the out of control A-Wing coming straight for them.
Piett: Intensify the forward firepower!
Merrejk: TOO LATE!
With all the Luke/Vader action, it is easy to forget Han. In a flash of genius, he gets the men in the base to come out by pretending the Rebels have surrendered, only to jump them outside.
The Ewoks' Big Damn Heroes moment when they rescue the rebels from the Empire.
Though it must be admitted that the one stormtrooper who manages to actually laserblast one of those damn teddy bears always seems to get a cheer from the audience.
Leia pretending to be badly hurt and luring two stormtroopers near so she could blast them away was awesome. Topped off by a callback of Han telling her he loves her, to which she responds "I know."
Luke's first entrance into Jabba's Palace. The door slowly opens, and a lone robed figure stands there. Then he immediately starts striding purposefully into the darkness, pausing only to casually Force-choke a few guards that get in his way. The sequence is shot in such a way that the viewer knows a full-on Jedi beatdown is about to begin. The Hero's Journey is complete in that moment: Luke Skywalker left Tatooine a naive farmer, but he returned a Jedi.
And then there's more evidence of that journey's impact when Jabba drops Luke into the Rancor pit. The slavering beast sets its sights on Luke, and within three minutes, Luke takes it down. With a bone.
During the battle at the Sarlacc pit, Lando gets thrown off a skiff into the sand. Han, attempting to save him, gets his foot tangled in ropes hanging from the skiff, which keep him from getting thrown down as well. A tentacle grabs Lando and starts pulling him in, when Han gets a blaster from Chewie and blasts it, one-handed, hanging upside-down, and mostly blind.
Chewie along with two Ewoks taking control of a scout walker and turning the tide of the forest battle which had been going badly for the Ewoks. Also it allowed Han to use it to trick the remaining Imperials inside the bunker to open the doors.
Chewie's Walker shooting out the other walker becomes a rallying point for the Ewoks. Whereas they had had trouble dealing with the troops and the walkers, this time around their attacks (making a walker slip and fall over a bunch of logs, doing a "nutcracker" on another) are much more effective. We see a bunch of primitive, tribal creatures actually hold their own against the baddest army in the galaxy. They had every reason to celebrate that night at the victory party.
Remember that awesome "I love you./I know." from the previous episode? Called Back with a role-reverse during the Battle of Endor, and it was every bit as awesomely romantic then, too.
The scene where Luke surrenders himself to Vader in Jedi and addresses him as "Father". When Vader prods Luke that he accepted the truth, Luke firmly responds "I accept the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father." With a simple turn of phrase, Luke shows Vader how he has grown from a boy who was capable of a Heroic BSOD upon hearing Vader's little emotional sucker punch to a mature man who accepts an uncomfortable truth his way.
Still failing to turn his son, Vader watches him get fried by the Emperor, and in a moment of clarity remembers the noble Jedi he was. He then owns the Emperor and seals the victory of the Rebels. Maybe the greatest Crowning Moment Of Awesome in all of Star Wars.
Also, arguably, the only bit Lucas himself has in tying the original series to the prequel trilogy. Watch the death scene again, and it's arguable that Vader finally realizes that he was always whining about other people limiting him, but it was always him — in staring at his ruined stump of a hand, just like Luke's, it's got to be a little apparent to him that Luke's been through almost exactly the same kind of life he had, but worse on every level, all without giving in to the Dark Side.
This is even better in the NPR radio adaptation, with Brock Peters' incredible delivery in this exchange:
Palpatine: Put me down!
Vader: I will put you down. Down the reactor shaft! Down to your death!
Palpatine: I am your master!
Vader: Darth Vader's master, BUT NOT ANAKIN SKYWALKER'S!
Luke gives his father a proper send-off, while the magical musical Force theme plays for the last time, and then we see people across the galaxy celebrating freedom. And two dead Jedi watch in approval... except there are actually three Jedi who can now rest knowing the evil they fought is gone.
"So this is how liberty dies... to thunderous applause." Totally Amidala's moment.
Amidala had a lot of moments. Her and Han Solo were basically the only people who did not have the Force and were still able to keep up with - and sometimes beat - the Jedi and Sith showing off all over the place. Remember the moment in the arena in II where she unlocked her own chains and climbed onto the top of the pole. Awesome.
Force Lightning. While now it is an impressive but fairly standard addition to the Star Wars list of abilities, think back to Return of the Jedi, where the Emperor has been shown to be a thoroughly evil being but nothing more than an emaciated old man who requires a cane to walk. Then he calmly tells Luke "You will be destroyed", raises his arms, and shoots bolts of electricity from his fingers. It's the Dark Side equivalent of Yoda levitating Luke's X-Wing, showing a small glimpse of the true power of the Force, except instead of being inspiring it's utterly terrifying.
Reversed wonderfully during Yoda's battle with Dooku when Dooku tries it and Yoda catches it, squeezes it into a little ball and makes it go bye-bye.
Yoda doesn't squeeze it, he catches it, then reverses it. THREE TIMES - twice for Dooku, once for Palpatine. The first one for Dooku, he reverses. The second one he catches, squeezes into a little ball and then casually extinguishes it by closing his hand:
Yoda: Much to learn, you still have.
Also it was shown being deflected for the first time in Attack of the Clones by Obi Wan. "I don't think so."
Mace Windu takes it one step further by blocking it with his lightsaber and deflecting it back at Palpatine.
Sorta done by Yoda in his fight with Palpatine. Totally done in the alternate ending: 
In a crossover with the Crowning Music indexes, the endings of Episodes II, III, and IV. Episode IV has the Force Theme rearranged in the Throne Room scene. Episode II has, after two movies of teasing, the first prolific use of the Imperial March and it's utterly awesome with the foreshadowing. Finally Episode III is awesome because of the bookend: first Leia's theme, then the Force Theme comes back full writ to recreate the famous Binary Sunset scene and it's a brilliant send off for the final film in the series.
Second the conclusion to episode II. Hearing the Imperial March strangle the Republic Theme was incredible, because up until that point, Yoda's just doing his vaguely insightful shtick. Upon hearing the new mix, it's clear that the Republic's victory is unbelievably hollow, leading directly toward fascism.
Would you believe Crowning Sound Effect of Music? The last portion of the end titles for Episode I is accompanied by Anakin's theme, which mixes a somewhat youthful melody with allusions to Darth Vader's Theme (ending with the latter). Somewhat unsettling on its own, in a minor key, with a slight rest before the last note. And with the last note, a... very familiar raspy breath. Chills down the spine.
And the ending of Episode II would have originally contained the Across the Stars love theme, Anakin' theme from episode 1, and the Imperial March, in the last few bars of the credits (see the soundtrack CD for detail). Why this was removed is a complete mystery.
James Earl Jones' voice is its own Moment of Awesome. Yes, he sounds like he does in other films, but his voice is perfect for calmly talking down to incompetent officers and uppity rebels, issuing commands and threats... It's just perfect.
R2-D2 is a little badass who deserves more love. How many times has has saved the heroes' bacon by calmly fiddling with some computercomponents, usually while a massive firefight is raging around him? Two examples come to mind to start with: Shutting down the compacter in A New Hope, and fixing the hyperdrive on the Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back.
In his very first appearance during Phantom Menace, had he not saved the protagonists, the whole series would've ended right there.
Wedge is a walking, flying Crowning Moment Of Awesome- not only does he survive the Battles of Yavin, Hoth & Endor, all three of which were brutal to the Rebel headcount, but consistently flew rings around the other pilots, saving Luke at least twice, dropping an AT-AT, surviving two attack runs, etc... And he did it all without any voodoo "Force" powers- he's just THAT Awesome.
"Blast it, Biggs, where are you?" shortly before Wedge saves Luke with a head-to-head shoot down of the TIE behind Luke.
"I'm already on my way out".
If we went meta, sending his nephew back/forward in time to become Luke's mentor.
Second Battle of Kuat, the Consortium capturing the Eclipse, a ship so big, it has a turbolaser that is powerful enough to blow a Super Star Destroyer in half, with 1 shot! Just going to town with that weapon is priceless, as it destroys anything that you target with it: IS Ds, Mon Cal cruisers, Space Stations, if it moves it can get blown up by the weapon. You should be cackling with glee when you fire it the first time.
You also own Thrawn to the point of having to retreat in an earlier mission.
"Definition: Love is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope." Now this is a pretty cool line in and of itself, but what makes it awesome is when he clarified his metaphor and it makes sense: "Love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticule, and together, achieving a singular purpose... against statistically long odds."
The last line you get to say before dueling Darth Malak on the Leviathan has the potential to be a crowning moment - you can (and probably will, if you're going Light Side) say "Your power is no match for the light!" Consider it: The Reveal has just occurred - you were Darth Revan. You have every reason to flip out, because everything you know is wrong. And yet, in light of the universe lying to you, in light of discovering that you were a Dark Lord of the Sith, you can still stand fast to your beliefs and proclaim that you now stand with the light, you will never fall into darkness again. That's pretty damn inspirational...
There's an equally awesome line you can say to Malak if you've decided to go Dark Side: "I am the TRUE Dark Lord of the Sith! Now bow down before me!"
The above line actually can be used several times in the game, not just on Malak.
And, in case you want to play it nicely neutral before going either way, as Malak starts gloating about his apparent victory, you have the option of saying "You seem to have forgotten that I'm still alive, Malak!" This line reminds one of Luke in Episode V, where he cockily tells Vader that he's "full of surprises".
Malak saying that expects that all his apprentices and the droids of the Star Forge will not kill Revan, but hopefully they will slow him down.
Malak gets that with Revan in the light side ending along with a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. Revan tells him he's sorry he led Malak to the Dark Side, Malak tells him that it's not Revan's fault, he chose to walk down that path and in the end "I am nothing".
Master Kavar sums it up nicely if you take the Light Side Path on Onderon: "An old student is returning. I don't think the Sith are going to know what hit them."
How about the Dark Side equivalent? "An old student is returning. I fear for us all."
Those two lines are just precursors to the awesome of the Onderon War scene. Charging through entire armies of enemies and diffusing tons of traps that lie in your way between you and the Queen is what comes just after. And best of all, after basically an entire game of Mooks displaying Suicidal Overconfidence and trying stupidly to kill you for the bounty on Jedi, they finally begin to give you a Jedi's due respect and cower at the mere sight of your rampage.
Even the start of the return to Onderon is awesome. Remember those Basilisk War Droids that Canderous mentioned in the first game? Not only do you get to ride one down to Onderon, it's essentially a starfighter mixed with a drop-pod that blows up weapons emplacements as it plummets to the ground, shrugging off AA fire like raindrops. Bonus points for the fact that the last time anyone saw one of those was during the Mandalorian Wars, when hundreds of them would descend on a planet - which any Onderonian soldier would remember. And then Mandalore himself gets out, alongside a Jedi Master, and starts slaughtering every single soldier who opposes them. It's easy to imagine every single Onderonian soldier simultaneously crapping themselves.
Peragus itself is a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for the HK-50s. Arriving on the station unprepared, a single assassin droid manages to improvise, in a matter of days, a way to quietly slaughter practically all organic life in the entire complex.
Mocking Query: Coorta? Coorta? Are you dead yet?
Made more awesome when you consider that the droid did everything indirectly, managing to get everyone killed in ways where the blame was always placed on someone else. A Chessmaster if ever there was.
Preliminary reports indicate that KOTOR II will become even more awesome when The Sith Lords Restoration Project is finally finished. In the meantime, a few moments deserve special mention.
Slaughtering a jungle beast that even Mandalorians try to avoid.
An HK-50 droid gets one if you play through the prologue - even Sephiroth's fire walk isn't this Badass.
Also, the combined hilarity and sheer awesomeness of his interactions with the Exile are possibly the best reason to choose The Dark Side in this game. Read the dialogue below and be awestruck (alternatively: horrified) at the way that a Dark-side Jedi Exile can spread enough suffering and misery to impress even a ruthless assassination droid. Keep in mind that this droid was built by Darth Revan. Darth motherfucking Revan. When he was a Sith Lord.
HK-47: Statement: Master, I must say it is a pleasure working side by side with you.
Exile: If you have a long-winded explanation for why, indulge me.
HK-47: Statement: Just when I believe my photoreceptors have recorded the last potential aspect of your cruelty to my memory core, you commit a new atrocity that leaves me analyzing its impact for days.
HK-47: You are like a delightful random cruelty generator, master, poisoning all you touch with your presence. You are a testament to all organic meatbags everywhere.
Exile: Stick with me - you'll pick up a few things.
HK-47: Statement: I have already learned a great deal, master, and I am anxious to learn more about lying, betrayal, and new ways to harm innocents.
It's a real shame that the HK-50 factory was cut from the game, because the whole thing was an incredible continuous moment of awesome for HK-47.
HK-50 #1: Confused Query: Where are you going?
HK-50 #2: Ineffectual Command: We command you to stop.
HK-47: Statement: But you said so yourself. You have just admitted your own weakness. Conclusion: You have just shown me your soft, meatbag-like underbellies, and said, 'HK-47, please shoot me repeatedly there until I die.' Statement: You cannot stop me, you cannot harm me.
Speaking of the prologue, T3-M4 jury-rigs the crippled Ebon Hawk and brings it in for a safe landing in deserted mining colony...after navigating through an asteroid field. By himself.
Which is then completely disbelieved by his companions, when the droid attempts to explain how they all survived.
When Hanharr is choking Mira, she looks right in his eyes and tells him that if he kills her, her rockets will blow them both right off the planet.
As imperious as he can be, one cannot deny Master Vrook his sheer awesomeness when he's found captured by a band of mercenaries. When you show up to rescue him, this old man chews you out for screwing up his plan, which apparently involved his supposed capture.
G0-T0 maneuvers his way to a powerful position in the Exchange without ever showing himself personally - all anyone ever sees are holograms. Get enough influence with him, and you can learn that this is because he's just a droid. An accountant droid. Then there's his bit on Malachor V: "The galaxy will be reduced to anarchy within years. And if there's one thing I can't stand, it's an untidy galaxy."
"I prefer more predictable games, like galactic economics." That doesn't sound awesome until you think about it: this whole time, galactic economics have been a game to this guy.
It makes manipulating the normally un-manipulatable a little easier if you use methods like 'send twenty assassin droids to blow up this guy's house' at the slightest provocation.
Bao-Dur and his remote droid both get this when Bao-Dur tries to save the day by ordering the droid to reactivate the Mass Shadow Generator and destroy Malachor V for good. Whether this succeeds will depend on which ending you choose.
The Dark Side ending to the first KOTOR. The main character as the returned Darth Revan sending out an effectively infinite, invulnerable fleet of Sith ships to conquer the last remnants of the Republic, led by an apprentice who will guarantee victory in any battle, all to a marching tune of Palpatine's theme. Galactic Conquest never looked so good.
If you're light-sided, the ending is just as awesome! Standing with your True Companions under a clear sky, everyone smiling, Dodonna and Vandar congratulating you. Your party waves to a cheering crowd... Good Feels Good!
Burrowing into Atton's mind and holding his darkest secrets over his head. When the Exile finally gets him to spill the beans, he thinks it will free him from her. She practically mocks him as she tells him how she can make his life a living hell, then dismisses his laughable attempt at escape.
Messing with the Disciple's head by standing right in front of him yet being invisible to his sight, apparently for no other reason than she can. She also robs his memory of the end-game plot when he figures it out. Poor guy's brain is like a library no one returns books to.
On the light-side path, saving Hanharr then forcing him to kneel, putting a berzerker wookiee who's idea of a life-debt is to kill the one he owes it to under her heel.
Contrasted with the relationship a dark side Exile can have with him: eventually they swear to become each others blood brother.
The mere fact that she is able to walk right next to all four masters and not a one of them ever notices unless it's pointed out to him.
Kreia's Heel-Face Turn for Light Side players, which also doubles as Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. After you gather the Jedi Masters on Dantooine, they tell you that you are a liability, and must be cut off from the Force if the Jedi are to have any hope of survival. Once they have you in stasis, in walks Kreia, who is, SURPRISE, still fully Sith. Here's the awesomeness: she Force pushes all three back, pushes Vrook again when he tries to get up, she chews them out, and then kills all three of them at once with Force drain. Then she yells this.
Kreia: Step away! He/She has brought truth, and you condemn it? The arrogance! You will not harm him/her. You will not harm him/her ever again.(...) How could you ever hope to know the threat you face, when you have never walked in the dark places of the galaxy faced war and death on such a scale. If you had traveled far enough, rather than waiting for the echo to reach you, perhaps you would have seen it for what it was. There is a place in the galaxy where the dark side of the Force runs strong. It is something of the Sith, but it was fueled by war. It corrupts all that walks on its surface, drowns them in the power of the dark side, it corrupts all life. And it feeds on death. Revan knew the power of such places and the power in making them. They can be used to break the will of others, of Jedi, promising them power, and turning them to the dark side. The Mandalorian Wars were a series of massacres that masked another war, a war of conversion culminating in a final atrocity that no Jedi could walk away from save one. (Turns to the Exile) And this is what I sought to understand. How one could turn away from such power, give up the Force and still live. But I see what happened now. It is because you were afraid.
If you take the darkside path and kill the Jedi Masters yourself, Kreia sends you off to Dantooine to find the "Last of the Jedi." What you find instead is an empty chamber, since you've just about driven them into extinction. Kreia then enters, explains the situation, and asks if killing the Jedi calmed your rage. Your answer is invariably no. "Then you have failed me," she remarks coldly. "Completely and utterly." She then drains the life from you, and chews you out for leaving nothing but death, destruction, and the end of everything in your wake. All you're left with is the hope that maybe you'll learn something.
Kreia: I have taught you to feel the Force again, shown you the contrast, and yet still you do not understand! This is what you have wrought: countless murderers, slayers, assassins, born of war that has, as always, taught the wrong lesson. You showed them life without the Force — and instead of showing them truth, power, all you showed them was how the galaxy may die. You are responsible for all of this; even now, events spiral towards destruction, and there is nothing that can be done because you refuse to listen, to understand! You have seen the effects you have on those close to you, heard the echoes scream across dead planets, and watched as your strength has grown, yet it is for nothing. To have the Jedi Council brought low by such a failure, there is no victory in that. You have not heard a thing I have taught, and for all I have said, you have never learned to listen.
Vrook was right to come here, though he did not recognize the connection until too late. This place will hide you from the Sith for a time — enough to do what must be done. (Bitterly) You were my last hope; the only one who could change what is to come. And now you have left me with nothing. I shall teach you no longer: our bond remains, but that is all.
Kreia: Stay here and die, apprentice, among the wreckage of all that remains of the Jedi. It is a fitting grave, until the Sith come to end you... to end everything. And as you lie here, I pray that you will listen... and finally awaken.
When you beat her as the final boss, you think you've won. Bam! She's now triple-wielding lightsabers with her mind!
Better yet She wins even if she loses. Her goal is not power but philosophy, to weaken the bounds of morality on the Sith and Jedi who have become narrow minded. Even when she dies, the only Jedi or Sith left are you and your disciples. Aka her disciple. Everything that follows in the entire Star Wars Galaxy is a result of her disciple.
The endgame of KOTOR II is a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for the Exile, who assaults an entire Sith academy, killing numerous Sith Assassins, Marauders, and Lords singlehandedly. Sit down, Palpatine, the Exile is the true master of Force Lightning.
Or Force Wave. Tossing around entire rooms of Sith at the wave of a hand is awesome.
Death Field and Force Scream. Lightning does more pure damage than either, but Death Field makes you functionally invulnerable and Force Scream can hit huge areas even early on (it is infinitely hilarious to kill not only the people in your current room but the next one over). How invulnerable does Death Field make you? You can kill the final boss wearing the dancer's bikini if so you desire (as a female, obviously).
Another badass dark side way to clear Taryus is Insanity followed by Force Crushing everyone in the room. Sure its not very efficient, but nothing says "I'm more powerful than you can possibly imagine" like slowly killing your way through a room of opponents that can't do a thing about it.
Or, using Force Enlightenment to turbo-boost yourself, then marauding through everyone with a lightsaber. Or two.
Playing a "light side" character on the Sith homeworld of Korriban. After infiltrating the Sith academy and watching in bemusement as Master Uthar and his apprentice Yuthura attempt to use you as their pawn to betray each other, the player is given an ultimatum by both as to which one the player will support against the other. Answering, in effect, "I choose neither. I'm not a Sith, you idiots, I'm a Jedi." and then beating both simultaneously — and then, as frequently as not, the entire rest of the Sith Academy — ought to dispel any lingering questions about the ability of good guys to be badass. One of the most joyfully righteous and satisfying moments in RPGs.
Even better, side against Uthar and convert Yuthura back to the light side if you talked to her earlier about why she joined the Sith in the first place. She runs off to the Jedi Academy on Dantooine if it hasn't been blown up yet, leaving you to kick the rest of the academy's collective ass. And that's not even counting the opportunities to mock and sabotage the Sith's efforts earlier on the planet. Basically, Jedi!PC on Korriban demonstrates why the Sith desperately need a Detect Good force power.
Fine, let's count the oppertunities to mock and sabotage the Sith before. Converting Mekel, Dustil, Kel, and Yuthura to the Light and the plain desertion of Dak. Killing off the rest of your class that you don't redeem. Facilitating the escape of defecting Sith students and a droid. Conning Uthar into giving you credit for exactly this. Redeeming effing Ajunta Pall centuries after his death. And this is ignoring the students you kill beforehand and the fact that you wreck the entire academy top to bottom afterwards. Awesome indeed.
One other satisfying example is sticking it with a fellow student in the Sith Academy. From the start you know you're not going to like him: he calls you "freak" and boasts of killing you, among other things. Then along comes the tomb of Ajunta Pall, which gives you three swords, of which one belongs to Ajunta Pall himself, and you have to figure out which is the real one. You're about to exit when this student comes along and tries to bully you into handing over the real sword, intending to get the credit of finding it for himself. Naturally, you can kill him, but that's not as satisfying as giving him one of the fake swords and returning to the Academy to see Master Uthar Force-choking the student to death for failing to verify the sword's identity. And you get no Dark Side points from it! Sure, you do lose the sword, but there are better weapons out there.
On the Star Forge when Malak sends his entire army to attack you. This is an awesome moment because he admits that he isn't sending them at you out of any hope that they'll kill you, because he knows they don't stand a chance against you. He's only doing it to buy time for him to prepare for the final showdown.
It's not often that the player gets to achieve a Crowning Moment Of Awesome in dialogue, but the conversation with Atris allows you to virtually dethrone her on the debating field- whatever way you please. Here's just one way in particular:
Exile: Our teachings do not mean we should stand by and watch others die.
Atris: There was no guarantee that marching to war would have saved the Outer Rim. In fact, quite the opposite.
Exile: We could have waited, but defeating the Mandalorians after they had won would have been difficult.
Atris: There are victories other than physical ones: the real victory lay in th-
Exile: The triumph of the Jedi teachings is a cold thing when there is no one left alive to appreciate them.
Atris: You do not kno-
Exile: You are correct- I do not know. And neither do you.
Atris: (Enraged) How dare you? The Mandalorian Wars should have been your grave and Malachor V is where you should have died!
Exile: Your anger... is it because you secretly wish you'd had the strength to follow me to war?
Atris: (Flustered) What? What do you mean?
Exile: I can see it in you - you wanted to fight by my side, but you were too scared to defy the Council.
When you convince Brianna to become a Jedi, Kreia uses the Force to send Atris a single word: Betrayal. It's chilling and awesome at the same time.
Slightly more awesome is that the Exile can agree to teach her by using Loophole Abuse in their favor. Brianna's vow to Atris states that she can never learn the ways of the Jedi. However, it says nothing about her being forbidden to learn the ways of the Force.
The battle of Dantoonie in the second game, especially if you have Tier 3 versions of stun, horror, or lightning. There's really nothing quite as satisfying as seeing an entire army spring up... then stopping them (quite literally if you use lightning) dead in their tracks. Of course, those three force powers are just awesome by themselves in any crowded room.
In the first game, a PC that has embraced the Dark Side deep enough can actually beat Jorak on Korriban at his own little game by giving the right answer to a trick question he technically has no way of knowing.
Neither. A true Sith never dies.
With The Sith Lords Restoration Mod now out, several very awesome things have been restored. One of them involves Kreia teaching you how to fight. She does this by having you fight against Visas with increasingly difficult limitations: first, with one lightsaber, then with two, and then unarmed. Note that you do all of this without items or Force powers, and Visas heals between each and every fight.
It's possible to actually turn HK-47 to the light side by performing Light-sided actions in front of him while still choosing enough Dark-sided actions to unlock his bonuses. Sure, he still acts the same, but seeing HK with a blue background on the party select screen is something to behold. The same applies for G0-T0.
Choosing Mission for the Leviathan escape. She is a fourteen-year-old Twi'lek girl, sporting no special abilities other than a talent for survival. She's got the lowest hit points of your party. She's surrounded by Sith and stripped to her underwear. But she still mouths off to the guard, picks his pocket, then fights and/or sneaks her way through the deck of a Sith warship crawling with trained enemy soldiers to save a pair of Jedi and a Republic war hero. That, friends, is one Badass teenager!
How badass is the Exile? There's this one scene when he/she's cleaning house and comes across a group of soldiers where he/she gets the option of saying exactly what the player is thinking.
Commander: Run! Run!
Exile: Finally someone has the right idea. Go ahead and run.
The Exile actually manages to turns their own banishment into an awesome moment. After being ordered to relinquish their lightsaber, without saying a word, the Exile defiantly buries the blade into the centre stone of the Council Chamber, before turning around and walking out on them.
Which becomes even better, as despite the Exile essentially telling them exactly where they can shove it, some of the Jedi Masters present appear to be both amused and impressed by this act of defiance.
Killing Sion by actually Talking the Monster to Death. Particular when he questions how they had the strength to defeat him, when they were offered ultimate power after Malachor V, they instead ran away like a coward? The Exile replies that true strength is when offered ultimate power, chosing to walk away from it. To surrender to it only turns a person into it's slave... like Sion is!
When Darth Nihilus attempts to feed on the Exile, they prove to be Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: a Force-void can't eat a Force-void, The attempt even leaves Nihilus doubled over and half-crippled from the pain, clearly wondering What the Hell Are You?.
As Boss and co. close in on Sun Fac, he gets in his star fighter, begins to take off and seemingly out of sheer spite, instead of just making a run for it, he decides it would be fun to hover around and take a few potshots at Delta Squad with his ship's laser cannon. However, just in the nick of time, Sev shoots down the starfighter with his sniper rifle.
Alone, outnumbered, and outgunned on a derelict republic ship, RC-38 still swiftly reacts to a Trandoshan ambush with heavy blaster fire and snark. "You lizards need to learn I'm a lot scarier than you are."
Getting to fire the main gun of an AT-TE walker.
The Deltas blowing up the Trade Federation warship during the final section set aboard the Prosecutor.
Fyyar: Worlds will tremble! Stars will shatter! [Kyle tosses his lightsaber into the shield generator] Kyle: Your shields will fall.
Also, the first time you do the forward jumping attack with the lightsabre on some feckless Stormtrooper. You end up doing this forward front flip with a crazy twist in mid-air, and at the top of your arc, you punch your lightsabre through the top of the guy's head. Yes, it ends up being one of your standard moves after a while, but that first time? INSANITY.
Desann's curb stomp battle when you first encounter him. Then his brilliant Batman Gambit to make Kyle lead Desann to the very place he wants to keep hidden.
Han Solo once said that there are only a few people in the whole galaxy who can take down Boba Fett in a fair fight. Well guess what? Kyle Katarn is one of them.
As well as Jaden, his apprentice.
In the prequel novel to the games, Kyle Katarn is a stalwart Imperial soldier, one of the billions who believes that the Empire really is a just government. As his last test before graduation from the Academy, he leads a squad of stormtroopers in the assault on a Rebel base. Despite heavy casualties, the battle is a success and most of the rebels are killed. Katarn is promoted and given the Imperial equivalent of a Medal of Honor at his graduation ceremony. Soon after, he is informed that his father was killed by rebels, and is given leave to grieve for him. While on a pleasure cruise, he runs into one of the rebels that he spared at the base, a woman named Jan Ors. Through a recording supplied by a rebel propaganda droid, she shows Kyle that the Empire was actually responsible for his father's death. Kyle's response? He doesn't say a word. He just takes the Imperial medal off of his uniform, and throws it down the trash chute.
Back to Jedi Knight II, there's a section of Kejim where an idiot Stormtrooper sets off a volatile container near a bridge. Kyle has to cross the bridge while it starts collapsing from the damage; just as Kyle crosses it, it violently explodes. Cue this exchange:
Jan: What happened? Kyle: Just another day at work, Jan.
Come on. How can people miss out on that one level where Kyle fights a bunch of Reborn alongside Luke Skywalker? The game already does a great job immersing you in the Star Wars universe and playing as a Jedi to boot. But it added icing to an already awesome cake by having you fight alongside one of your boyhood heroes as well.
The entirety of Dark Horse's By the Emperor's Hand is a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Mara Jade, especially the final arc in which she infiltrates Black Nebula's base, fools the villain of the piece into thinking she has incredible technology to help her win consistently in his casino (which he can then buy from her mysterious backers), and eventually kills him with a lightsaber embedded inside a bust of Xizor, to whom he had been the Understudy. But the greatest crowning moment of all has to be issue three, wherein Mara escapes from Ysanne Isard's clutches and makes her and all of Imperial Intelligence look like utter fools. Perhaps the best line to represent this moment is:
Mara Jade: "Ysanne Isard...you've left your datapad plugged in."
The Knights Of The Old Republic comic series (a prequel to the game) is basically a series of incredible awesome punctuated by a ridiculous number of Crowning Moments of Awesome. These include:
In the first story-arc, Commencement, Zayne and Gryph escaping five homicidal Jedi Masters and making it into the underworld of Taris; the Last Resort's escape from the planet; the Last Resort's arrival at the Taris asteroid, rescuing Zayne and Jarael from Zayne's former Master Lucien Draay; and best of all Jarael's rescue of Zayne from all five Masters complete with his lightsaber and ominous red spacesuit. Zayne even gets one in the epilogue when he contacts the Masters, with little trace of the old Comedic Hero about him, and gives them a chilling We Will Meet Again speech, ending with "And if I do end up collapsing the Jedi Order, just remember one thing. You started it."
In the second story-arc, Flashpoint, when the Mandalorians invade the planet and Camper wants to go back for Jarael, Zayne gets their loader droid, Elbee to bring Camper with them by speaking thusly: "Elbee! Cargo: Camper—to the loading ramp!"; later, when attacked by a Mandalorian warrior, he issues another command: "Elbee! Cargo: Mandalorian—to orbit!"
When Rohlan takes over the Last Resort, Camper informs him "This is my ship, Mandie! [brandishes Jarael's energy-staff] And this belong to the girl you took! [hits Rohlan with the energy staff, paralyzing him] Let's trade!"
Then, of course, there's Gryph and Zayne's utterly brilliant, incredibly complicated Batman Gambit to get the Mandalorians off Flashpoint and rescue Jarael and the captured Jedi. It goes perfectly.To an extent... It gives Demagol an opening to switch places with Rohlan for most of the comic's run, leading to the cataclysmic events of the final arc.
In the Vindication Arc, Gryph chews out Q'Anilia for never really understanding Zayne, as well as acknowledging that Zayne's "Prophecy" was his idea, and that he was technically the Sith the masters had seen in their vision. Q'Anilia's shock was absolutely priceless.
When Zayne tries to save Raana Tey in Knight's of Suffering; Think about it; This is the woman who helped kill his friends, framed him for murder, persauded his girlfriend to try and kill him, and who helped destroy his life more then almost all of the other masters (except Lucien). The fact that he was able to forgive her for all of that was just incredible.
Haazen gets one during The Reveal of his plan- he's launched a coup against the Jedi Council, has seized control of of the Republic fleet in orbit and is using it to rain down destruction on his enemies, and LucienDraay has his head against the wall weeping while he calmly explains his masterstroke. Then a bolt from one of the ships blows out the window Haazen is standing by, shredding his cloak and knocking everyone else off their feet, but when the smoke clears Haazen is still standing there, now revealed to be clad in Sith armor and looking like Satan surrounded by the fires of hell.
Haazen: The Prophecy of Five is fulfilled. Let the fire of truth rain down.
Exar Kun in The Sith War - he waltzes into the Galactic Senate while Ulic Qel-Droma is on trial, freezes the entire chamber in place with a Sith spell, forces the head of the Galactic Republic to say they are all weak pawns of the Jedi (and then drops him, possibly dead, into a puddle of his own goo), duels (and trivially murders) his former master on the Senate Floor, is so unimpressed by a former fellow student of his trying to attack him that he just throws her across the room rather than waste his time fighting her, and waltzes right back out again (with Ulic), leaving the entire room still frozen in abject horror. It's pretty difficult to top, as far as 'you are all utterly impotent to stop me' moments go.
In one of the Star Wars: Empire comics, we had Able One Seven Oh Seven, a clone trooper who survived in a jungle for twenty years. That he survived is awesome itself, but he really accounted for himself well when the Rebellion and the Empire landed on his world, and later joined the Alliance.
Star Wars: Legacy issue 4 which is about a squad of Stormtroopers ends with them fighting and killing a ''Sith Lord who's armed with a force whip and lightsaber" by shooting him in the back.
But the shooting's still not as awesome as what happen right before, when one of them, an ex-Mandalorian named Hondo Karr, picks a fight with said Sith Lord with a knife, which provided the distraction for the shooting.
Admiral Gar Stazi turn the trap laid by the Imperial fleet over its head and able to steal the Advanced Star Destroyer in Star Wars: Legacy 21. Him also giving badass retort to Valan's offer to surrender also makes him living up his name of GAR.
Also in Legacy, Cade Skywalker (Luke's great-grandson) gets a hold of a powerful Sith artifact called the Muur Talisman. The Sith Lord whose soul inhabits the talisman offers Cade all the power needed to take over the galaxy... and Cade literally just gives him a big "screw you" before destroying the talisman without a second thought.
Boba Fett clears out a flying Imperial concentration camp for a pittance, just to prove he's Boba motherfucking Fett. He even guns down the Mengele analogue who charges at him with a lightsaber, reminding him that "Jedi weapon doesn't make you Jedi". Then, when the Captain threatens to blow up the ship with them both on it, Fett just turns and walks away, promising to find and kill him later...luring the Captain out of the pilot's seat so Fett can kill him. Boba Fett is badass.
There was also the time that Fett and Vader went Back-to-Back Badasses to slaughter a neverending wave of bounty hunters, mercenaries, and assorted scum looking to make names for themselves. Why didn't Fett join them? Because he is that rare breed of person who doesn't fear Vader, but respects him.
A short story by Alan Moore brought Vader's awesomeness to unknown territories. The story starts with him playing some chess-like game (in which human-scaled pieces are burned on the spot when they're defeated) with some high profile dignitarian. Meanwhile, an assassin gifted with mind controlling powers which allows him to force his victims to kill themselves arrives. Said assassin kills all of Vader's bodyguards with his powers, before facing the Sith Lord... And yet, Vader proves to be way too big a prey for him as he doesn't even feel the assassin's attempts to mind-control him, and fries the assassin using the same device used in the game. Vader then kills the dignitarian who had plotted the assassination attempt. And as the Sith Lord walks away, the only thing that worries him is that he actually liked playing with the traitor.
And the post-Order 66 arc of the Dark Horse Clone Wars comics featured Vader utterly owning a group of at least half a dozen Jedi. With his lightsaber disabled by a cortosis blade...which he takes from the Jedi carrying it, then snaps her spine. Even when his right hand was cut off, he was still able to fight - he picked it up with the Force and hurled it, and the blade it was carrying, into the heart of a Jedi jumping at him.
There's an X-Wing Series comics arc called "Mandatory Retirement", in which Rogue Squadron goes through a daring mission to rescue a high-ranking Imperial defector. One of the pilots, a nonhuman who'd been in the squadron for a long time, dies during this. The defector, who's been an enemy for a long time, complains about the fuss made over "animal filth". Wedge Antilles snaps, does a Neck Lift on the defector, and tells him "Don't make me go Vader on you." It seems like it should be a Punctuated! For! Emphasis! moment, but that's really not a Wedge thing.
In Nomad, Darca Nyl deflected blaster bolt with lightsaber. Seems mundane? Darca Nyl is not a Jedi, is not a force-sensitive, and has no lightsaber training whatsoever. He did it on pure reflex. Also, saving a couple and their farm from a gang with a caravan brought back just in time, and giving the Big Bad a Shut Up, Hannibal! with a bomb.
And realizing that Good Feels Good, and he has a reason to go on living even after killing the guy who murdered his son.
And that the virus is native to Concord Dawn, his homeworld, so he was inoculated in childhood, and that he does have an antidote, but it's in his ship sealed in a case rigged with a self-destruct nodule that will detonate if his heart stops beating. So Dooku better damn well agree to his demands.
The way that Jango kills Vizsla counts, too. After a brutal fight that leaves both men injured and weakened, Jango slashes Vizsla's stomach open with his gauntlet blades. Vizsla, holding his guts in, snarls that a little wound like that won't kill him. To which Jango, lying back in the grass, replies no, but they will. Vizsla turns just in a time to see a nasty lion like creature pouncing on him. Cue off panel screams fading away into a gurgle.
The climax of the Alternate Universe storyStar Wars Infinites: A New Hope has Yoda taking control of the Death Star, shooting a ton of Imperial ships with the superlaser before finally having it Colony Drop right on Palpatine's palace.
Yoda: Coming to see you, I am. Now.
Requiem For A Rogue is commonly seen as a weaker plot for its very Off Model art, some rather pointless deaths, and general weirdness - however, it's hard not to find Wedge's undbending defiance in the face of the Dark Jedi who brought him back to life and could kill him effortlessly awesome.
There's a comic story where Darth Maul is resurrected and fights Darth Vader. Maul completely outfights him, while claiming he lacks the hatred to win. As he goes to finish it, Vader activates his lightsaber so that it goes through him and Maul. Cue this exchange.
Darth Maul: What could you hate enough to destroy me?
Darth Vader: Myself.
A rather chilling Moment of Awesome occurs in the backstory of a rebel general named Roons Sewell. After a hard childhood on the streets, he finds his place in a theater, and meets the love of his life there. Everything goes well until the Empire shuts down the theater mid performance due to the play's "subversive themes". Tension turns to violence and Sewell's lover is killed, though he escapes. The next day, he places her body in a speeder outside of her mother's house and has a neighborhood child deliver the message. Imperial officers immediately burst out of the mother's house and jump in their speeder to chase Sewell down, not noticing the chain wrapped around the speeder's repulsorlift. When it's yanked out, they crash and spill out onto the ground. Sewell approaches one (possibly the officer who had come to the theater), picks up the man's blaster, places it to his temple and says "Perhaps this will give you some appreciation for the classics."
Remember Luke's brief mention of a friend named "Tank" to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru? Tank becomes a full fledged character in the Star Wars: Empire comic series as a junior officer named Janek Sunber. One of his earliest assignments sends him to a primitive jungle world on a routine patrol. Things take a turn for the worse when the natives lay siege to them, and only Sunber's quick thinking and original strategies hold the fort. Throughout the whole arc, he's firmly cemented as a Badass, but his Crowning Moment of Awesome comes when he and his unit are left stranded out in the battlefield when the group behind him retreats due to its cowardly commander. Sunber knows that if he doesn't do something, they'll all die. Spying the wreckage of one of their juggernauts, he primes a thermal detonator, noting to himself all of the ways this desperate gambit could fail. He throws the grenade, miraculously managing to place it so that it detonates the tank's fuel cells as the enemy advances, blasting them into disarray and allowing him and his soldiers to fall back.
Captain Raymus Antilles, the captain of the Tantive IV whom Darth Vader executes at the beginning of A New Hope, scores one in a prequel comic to Episode IV. A merciless Imperial officer has Leia at gunpoint and is planning to shoot her to make a point to her men. Knowing that there's no time to think, Antilles orders the gunners to fire, not at the officer, which would have vaporized Leia as well, but just over him. The shot scorches the man by mere proximity while leaving Leia completely unharmed.
In the non-canon comic Old Wounds, Darth Maul (sporting a pair of cybernetic legs) tracks Obi-Wan down to Tatooine and attacks the Lars homestead to provoke his response. When Uncle Owen tries to shoot him down, Maul uses the Force to grab Owen's blaster rifle and breaks the butt against Owen's face. With Luke in danger, Obi-Wan quickly intervenes and a vicious and altogether Badass fight ensues. Obi-Wan gains the upper hand and holds Maul at his mercy, deactivated lightsaber against his forehead and thumb hovering over the activation plate. Obi-Wan's internal struggle is cut short by the invocation of the Moment of Awesome when a heavily bruised Owen blows Maul's head off with the remains of the blaster.
The recently released Agent of the Empire, starring 'good imperial' Jahan Cross. Though only one issue has come out so far, the very concept behind it (Jahan Cross being the Star Wars equivalent of James Bond) is awesome.
That one issue even includes a few Bond-style lines:
Pew (a parody of Q): The problem with you, Agent Cross, is you almost never return the equipment in the condition it was given you.
Oh, and he's an old friend of Han Solo, from their training days together at the Imperial Academy. That's almost makes Agent Cross a Moment of Awesome simply by association.
Even the text on the front cover comes across as awesome:
Stormtroopers are the Empire's hammer. This man (Agent Cross) is its scalpel.
Speaking of Dark Empire, it's a shame Empatojayos Brand isn't mentioned here. At the climax of Empire's End, Palpatine's spirit departs his dying final clone body and attempts to possess Han's son Anakin. However, Brand (who was mortally wounded by Palpatine moments earlier) throws himself in the way, causing Palpatine to possess him instead. The result is that Palpatine is DRAGGED INTO THE FORCE BY BRAND'S SPIRIT, KILLING HIM. And unlike all of Palpatine's other deaths, this death is PERMANENT and FINAL. Did we mention Brand was an Order 66 survivor?
The X-Wing books are found under Comic Books on the X-Wing Series page.
The Star Wars novel Sacrifice had one. Lumiya's death at the hands of Luke. "I'll never let you fall."
The Catfight between Mara Jade and Lumiya in the middle of the very same novel. One of two awesome Unstoppable RageMama Bear moments for Mara; she beats Lumiya to a bloody pulp and stabs her through the heart (you have to remember she's a Jedi Master by this point, so it's an action she'd not take otherwise). Which also leads to a crowning moment for Lumiya and a sentient ship she's got; not only does she survive that, but she commands the ship (who flew in to rescue Lumiya) to choke Mara, which it does (almost throttling her to death in the process), leaving Mara swearing like a lunatic afterwards (we don't get to see exactly what she says, but you can infer from the passage that it isn't pretty).
As a substitute example for Luke, how about his decapitating Yuuzhan Vong Supreme Overlord Shimraa with his and Anakin's lightsabers in "The Unifying Force".
Also from the New Jedi Order series: Chewbacca, bloodied and dazed, alone among wreckage and corpses on the dying planet of Sernpidal, looked up, stared a falling moon straight on, and loudly dared it to come claim him if it was bold enough to try.
Yet another NJO example: Admiral Pellaeon, Thrawn's former Bastard Understudy gets to deliver this line:
"Although you may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, the Empire will always strike back." (Yes, thatEmpire.)
Grand Admiral Thrawn. Not the ridiculously brilliant strategies for conquering planets, or a Gambit Roulette putting the entire galaxy in terror simply by making it appear that he'd come back from the dead. Rather, it was a fairly quiet moment in The Last Command when everyone expects him to give a mook the You Have Failed Me treatment when a technical issue allows Luke Skywalker to escape his clutches. Instead, he listens to the officer's explanation of how he tried to, and nearly did, overcome the flaw inherent in the system, and promptly promotes the man and assigns him to find a way to deal with the issue. Everyone who witnessed the moment instantly had a personal loyalty and respect for Thrawn that Bad Boss Darth Vader had never inspired. (Sorry, Needa. You were just serving under the wrong guy.)
"[Pellaeon] stood there beside the newly minted lieutenant, feeling the stunned awe pervading the bridge as he watched Thrawn leave. Yesterday, the Chimaera's crew had trusted and respected the Grand Admiral. After today, they would be ready to die for him. And for the first time in five years, Pellaeon finally knew in the deepest level of his being that the old Empire was gone. The new Empire, with Grand Admiral Thrawn at its head, had been born."
In a terrific callback, in the Hand of Thrawn series taking place ten years later, Lando tries the same escape tactic against a Star Destroyer, musing that it had worked so well for Luke ten years earlier... and the Star Destroyer counters it effortlessly. The new lieutenant obviously did his job.
The man even dies with a Crowning Moment Of Awesome. After spending 3 books being an undefeatable master strategist obsessed with the artwork of the species that he's so handily defeating, he's killed simply by a knife stabbed into his back by his bodyguard. Pure white uniform, crimson blossom of blood..
Thrawn: But... it was so artistically done.
He gets a great moment when Joruus takes over his flagship to go capture Leia on Coruscant. Thrawn asks if he has the power to do it and C'baoth asks him if he doubts the power of the Force. Thrawn's response is pure Magnificent Bastard.
Thrawn: Not at all. I merely present the problems you and the Force will have to solve if you continue with this course of action. For instance, do you know where the Coruscant sector fleet is based, or the number and types of ships making it up? Have you thought about how you will neutralize Coruscant's orbital and ground-based defense systems? Do you know who is in command of the planet's defenses at present, and how he or she is likely to deploy the available forces? Have you considered Coruscant's energy field? Do you know how best to use the strategic and tactical capabilities of an Imperial Star Destroyer?
When Thrawn shoots down one of C'baoth's plans, the mad clone attempts to remind Thrawn that the Emperor would never tolerate Thrawn doing that. Thrawn responds by telling C'baoth that on four occasions, he refused to carry out the Emperor's plans on the grounds that they wouldn't work. The first time, the Emperor had Thrawn imprisoned. When the guy who carried out the Emperor's plans in Thrawn's place failed miserably, Thrawn was released and the Emperor never doubted him again.
Admiral Daala is one of the least impressive of the EU's villains, but she arguably gets the best example of this when, having locked the leaders of the warring Imperial faction in a big conference room, and tried in vain to get them to get along, she finally gives up, loudly denounces them, and gives the order to fill the room with poisonous gas, having brought a gas mask and provided Pellaeon with one beforehand, leaving the two of them the leaders of all the remaining Imperial forces.
The X-Wing novels have their share, with a prominent one being in The Bacta War: when the SSD Lusankya realizes that over three hundred proton torpedoes and concussion missiles are locked on it. Stackpole's dialogue left a lot to be desired, but that moment oozed "win."
No computer can stand before me. Gates open for me. Back doors are revealed to me. Knowledge willingly spools itself out for my inspection. I am the Jedi of the electronic world.
I have found evil aboard Tedevium. I have found corruption. Like the Jedi, I shall cut it down.
Examine these files. Test them for integrity. You will find they are the truth.
Go where these files lead you.
Do what you must do, as I do what I must do.
Signed, White Lancer.
But the fact that a book later she almost single-handedly brings down Warlord Zsinj from within his flagship, fools him into a losing gambit, eliminates his alien experimentation program and frees the prisoners, and then has the gall to send a message to General Solo and the rest of the New Republic fleet right under his nose is truly a reason to punch the air and cheer.
Lara Notsil: "Iron Fist is now in the Selaggis system with her hyperdrive inoperable... I recommend you come by and take a look. Oh, bring your fleet too."
She'd be a Mary Sue if not for her very believable character flaws and development (such as borderline insanity, and it getting worse, not better) and the fact that she doesn't completely take over the story, still allowing Wedge and the other heroes to play their parts and achieve victory. Instead she just comes across as an utterly cool and admirable role model (natch, for a Star Wars woman), and all this after doing a Heel-Face Turn.
Myn Donos gets one as well just for rediscovering his sense of humor.
Donos: "Pretty. What do we blow up first?"
Wedge: "Write that down. That should be the Wraith Squadron slogan."
Another moment occurs in Wedge's Gamble, where Wedge and the future Mrs. Winter Celchu hijack a solar mirror orbiting Coruscant from the ground and turn it into a Kill Sat, with spectacular results. The reactions of the hapless mirror crew are just icing on the cake at this point. Say what you will about Stackpole's writing style, but the man knows how to do Stuff Blowing Up properly.
In Wraith Squadron, Kell Tainer and Runt use false signals to trick the enemy into thinking that the Millennium Falcon happens to be damaged and escaping the hidden Folor base being raided. They pull this off long enough to let the last of the personnel transports escape... and then mock the Imperial captain over an open channel.
Kell: "Consider yourselves humiliated. And welcome to Folor. Out."
Later in the same book, Voort "Piggy" saBinring boards an enemy craft solo armed with only a jury-rigged starfighter laser cannon and captures it all by himself.
Not that inconsiderable, considering that Piggy is a 2 meter tall (tall as Chewbacca) much-wider porcine killing machine, and said laser cannon is powerful enough to make all the water in your body flashboil instantly, effectively making you into a wet explosion and passing right on through you like a rock through wet kleenex.
Piggy also scored a another Crowning Moment Of Awesome in Solo Command, when he was in a meeting with Admiral Ackbar. A lieutenant, brainwashed by the Big Bad, came into the room and shot Piggy in the stomach before turning to attack the admiral. Piggy, with a massive burnt gut wound, pulled out his vibroknife and cut the lieutenant's blaster apart. When the lieutenant didn't even care and started to strangle the Admiral, Piggy picked up the Admiral's desk and rammed it against the wall, not only smushing the brainwashed lieutenant's head, but bowing out the other side of the wall, knocking out the ensign leaning on the other side.
Starfighters of Adumar: Wes Janson challenging one of Cartann's pilots before Wedge can... then proceeding to kick his ass after staking the whole fight on blocking the guy's first blow.
A quieter one where Wedge finally tells one of the Blood Sport-obsessed Adumari that what they see as honor is not honorable.
Wedge: "Circular thinking. I'm honorable because I kill the enemy, and I kill the enemy for the honor. There's nothing there, Cheriss. Here's the truth: I kill the enemy so someone, somewhere - probably someone I've never met and never will meet - will be happy. [...] I told you how I lost my parents. Nothing I ever do can make up for that loss. But if I put myself in the way of people just as bad as the ones who killed my family, if I burn them down, then someone else they would have hurt gets to stay happy. That's the only honorable thing about my profession. It's not the killing. It's making the galaxy a little better."
There's a Moment of Awesome for the entire squadron in The Krytos Trap after they're told they won't be able to help the people of Thyferra or go after the prisoners aboard Lusankya. Led by Corran Horn, the entire squdron goes on to quit so they can go ahead and do it anyway.
Speaking of Horn... there are at least TWO incidents in which he essentially comes back from the dead. The first time, during the first X-Wing book, he winds up being saved by a ship that travels much faster than an X-Wing in hyperspace, so not only does he get back home before the rest of the squadron (who, unwillingly, left him to die) but he decides to play a prank on his superior officer with a "Don't feel guilty about leaving me behind" speech. Even coming back from the dead in time to save Tycho from wrongful imprisonment/execution doesn't top that.
Then there's Horn taking on what is essentially a cruiser which decided to take More Dakka to the extreme, dodging twenty turrets just like those mounted on the Millenium Falcon while his own allies fired twenty four missiles at him. He kills the ship by getting close to the cruiser and putting it between his fighter and the missiles just as they catch up to him.
Horn's Astromech 'Whistler' gets his own Crowning Moment Of Awesome there. One of the pilots shot his missiles off too late, so Horn was still going to bite it, just from the allies and not the enemy. He tries to dodge, and finds that the randomisation program he'd had his droid enact to make his movements more erratic meant it was impossible for him to dodge. His reaction? "Whistler! Cut it out!". "Horn then realised that by using the indefinite term "it" he was going to die". Queue a debriefing session later, with Horn very much alive. "When I said cut "it" out, I'd meant the randomisation program. Whistler, being a little more direct in his problem solving, just cut the signal the missiles were using to track me".
Thank you, thank you. Performances every hour, on the hour. Imperial madmen a speciality.
This leads to the second one, where the Wraiths are discovered in a battle, as having been faking Darillian. They destroy all the enemy forces, and turn back aground, reporting to the superiors that they were ambushed, and brilliantly escaped as the only survivors. Since they people who discovered the deception were at the battle, they kept cover. Repeat: They murdered the enemy forces. Turned around, and claimed it was an ambush that only they survived. This is right up there with succesfully arguing for someone to take sympathy that you're an orphan, when you just murdered your parents!
In Shadows of the Empire, Xizor manages to make Darth Vader look like an idiot in front of theEmperor. To elaborate: Xizor tips off Vader about a Rebel base. Vader takes credit for it in front of the Emperor. Vader is sent off to pulverise said Rebel base. Xizor drops in on the Emperor for drinks and casually mentions giving the info to Vader. Vader phones in to report mission accomplished. The Emperor makes Vader thank Xizor. While kneeling.
It was good that they could not see his face when he spoke. "The Empire owes you...thanks, Prince Xizor."
Fortunately, Vader gets his own back when he turns up evidence that Xizor is behind the assassination attempts on Luke Skywalker.
Vader: You have two standard minutes to recall your vessels, and to offer yourself into my custody.
Xizor: I will not! I will take this up with the Emperor.
Vader: He is not here. I speak for The Empire, Xizor.
Xizor: Prince Xizor!
Vader: You may keep the title. [Dramatic Pause] For another two minutes.
Luke, Lando, Chewie, Leia and Dash Rendar all get one for this scene. The group is racing through Xizor's Palace trying to rescue the kidnapped Leia, only to find that she's freed herself. The race starts to escape, but at the same time, Xizor has figured out exactly where they are by watching the disruption of security camera feeds on each level. The rebels are forced into a small room under an overwhelming storm of blasterfire. They're all prepared to make a heroic Last Stand when they remember some of the equipment they bought ahead of time...and come out of the room holding an active thermal detonator.
Then Lando gets his own after the group has threatened their way out of the hopeless situation. Lando pulls out the second detonator, and Xizor sneers at him, saying "You can't blow us up any more with another of those." Lando just grins, sets the timer for five minutes, and drops it down the garbage chute into the basement. Cue hysteria as all of Xizor's Mooks essentially tell him to piss off and scramble for the exits.
While the rebels are escaping Xizor's palace (after the detonator was dropped into the basement), Luke is stopped by Xizor's human replica droid bodyguard/assassin, Guri. She doesn't care about killing all of them, but has been waiting the whole book to challenge a Jedi to hand to hand combat. Given that she can move faster than humanly possible and break durasteel handcuffs just by flexing, this is suicidal for Luke. However, he accepts the challenge. Luke centers himself, and the world slows down around him. When Guri throws the first punch, he dodges underneath and sweeps her legs out from under her. To repeat: Luke essentially goes hand to hand with a Terminator, and wins.
In the last book of the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy, Boba Fett steals a brand-new Star Destroyer from its construction bay and pilots it all by himself for a few minutes, causing significant damage to the rest of the facility in the process.
Although the bombs planted and activated by the KDY executive throughout his shipyard also did a great deal of damage.
Not just a tip. A credit chit worth tens of thousands of credits—equaling the exact bounty that had been placed on the man's head. This story, written before the prequel movies, also becomes Fridge Brilliance in light of Attack of the Clones, when you see why Boba Fett has a soft spot for orphans.
Vergere: ''We are playing the same game we have been playing ever since Myrkr: we are playing "Who is Jacen Solo?"
Jacen: If that's the game, I can end it right now. I know who I am Vergere. No matter what you do to me. No matter what torture you put me through. If I never touch the Force again. It doesn't matter. I know.
Vergere: Do you?
Jacen: Yes. I'm a Jedi.
Jacen's best Crowning Moment Of Awesome occurs earlier in Traitor: when he makes the living armor out of amphistaffs and looks at the Yuuzhan Vong warriors headed towards him, with the immortal line, "I'd like you to meet some friends of mine." Followed by a fantastic Curb-Stomp Battle.
Vergere gets one near the end of Traitor; when she's right about to 'leave' with Nom Anor and when Nom starts boasting about always having a contingency plan, Vergere switches Anakin's captured lightsaber on and holds it inches from his face, going off on a tangent about how elegant the lightsaber is, while Nom Anor is clearly terrified. She finishes it off with responding to Nom's accusation of "You...you said Jacen Solo would steal this ship!" with a theatrical sigh, and "When will you realize, Executor, that everything I tell you is the truth?"
The final battle between Jacen and Onimi in the Unifying Force, when Jacen achieves Oneness with the Force and causes Onimi's own poisons to liquify him from the inside out. Jacen might have been a gary stu by that point, but that sequence was still pretty awesome.
Jaina Solo actually got one in The New Jedi Order, back when the Expanded Universe's current female disenfranchisement complex was still in its infancy. At the climax of Destiny's Way, she took on Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster Tsavong Lah, with the final result that her lightsaber ended up embedded in his neck.
Minor example in The New Rebellion:
Mara: Overconfidence can get a man killed.
Han: I know. I'm counting on it.
Bigger example from The New Rebellion: Wedge, in command of a small taskforce going up against Imperial Star Destroyers, realizes the enemy ships are controlled by droids, and tricks the primitive AI into thinking he's on their side. They move into a defensive position, and then Wedge gives the all-clear to let 'er rip.
Another one from New Rebellion: Leia, at the end, when she takes out Kueller, who her brother had previously been fighting a losing battle against, with a simple blaster shot.
In Planet of Twilight, Leia squared off against a Force-wielding Hutt, Beldorian the Splendid. The result? Hutt kabob.
One for Admiral Gilad Pellaeon at the climax of each of Timothy Zahn's Hand of Thrawn books:
In Specter of the Past, he's waiting for a rendezvous with New Republic General Garm Bel-Iblis to negotiate a peace treaty between the New Republic and The Empire (though he fears Bel-Iblis might not show up.) Traitorous Imperial elements send a pirate fleet to attack Pellaeon's ship and make him think Bel-Iblis has turned him down. In one brilliant maneuver - a Crowning Moment Of Awesome in its own right - Pellaeon demolishes the pirate fleet and proves they were not sent by Bel-Iblis (he used one of Bel-Iblis' own strategies). He then settles back down to wait for the real Bel-Iblis. When his second-in-command asks what they'll do if their unknown adversary comes after them again, Pellaeon responds "Let him try."
In Vision of the Future, just as the Imperial conspirators have General Bel Iblis under their guns, Pellaeon marches onto the bridge of the flagship and exposes the whole plot, bringing the conspiracy to a screeching halt.
Bel Iblis himself gets one just before it - when the conspirators have trapped his borrowed Star Destroyer and foiled the plan to save the New Republic from civil war, his reaction is to prepare to ram them.
Mara also had one in Vision of the Future: remote-control crashing her personal ship, the Jade's Fire, into the Hand of Thrawn complex's hangar bay.
Vision of the Future give an additional one to a character that was not very well respected by most of the main characters manages to talk an officer into using his warship to save Han.
Gavrison I have often heard it said that Calibops are long on words and short on deeds. Sometimes, though, it is the words that must come first.
Chapter 11 of Inferno: Luke finally calling out Jacen on all the stuff he did during the course of the series, including the massacre of the Jedi Academy earlier in the book + basically telling Ben to go assassinate the former leader of the Alliance, and literally rendering him immobile during the conversation (Jacen was force-pushed into his chair and pinned there). Keep in mind that Luke is still grieving over his wife's death and doesn't yet know the full details of that duel.
Mara did find out all this, and it led her to her death in the already-mentioned duel (read Sacrifice for that), but not without a tearjerkingFinal Speech:
Mara: You think...you've won, but Luke will crush you...and I refuse...to let you...destroy the future...for my Ben.
In the very next novel, Fury, we have Jagged Fel tricking Alema Rar into force-snatching his blaster. We then find out it's set to explode if it's taken from him...
Lando pulled a similar trick in Exile in which Alema steals his cane...at which point he orders it to shock her.
The Lusankya (the Super Star Destroyer mentioned above) and its captain, Eldo Davip, get three Moments of Awesome in Aaron Allston's New Jedi Order-era Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand.
The first one occurs when the Lusankya screws up Wedge's plan... by being dragged out of hyperspace in the middle of the enemy fleet, and subsequently decapitating its command structure. Whoops.
And Wedge's plan, by the way? To lose the planet, but do it in a way that would inspire people. That's right- Wedge Antilles tried to lose a battle AND COULDN'T.
The second one, Operation Emperor's Hammer, involved luring the Yuuzhan Vong to beseige their base on Borleias, and then blasting them from orbit.
The third one was called Operation Emperor's Spear. The Lusankya was systematically stripped of its weapons, fitted with an internal reinforced spear along its eleven mile length, and packed with explosives. Then Eldo Davip himself singlehandedly rammed it into the Vong worldship, before escaping in a Y-Wing made of spare parts for this purpose.
From that same book, Wedge Antilles in a damaged droidless ship taking down an entire squadron of coralskippers. An entire squadron! By himself! Jedi can only do that when they have superior firepower or tricks! Blackmoon Eleven: The Greatest Pilot Of All Time.
Made even awesomer (and a CMOF) by current Rogue Squadron (Wedge's old command) Leader Gavin Darklighter (a pilot Wedge trained way back when) not knowing who he's talking to and having the following discussion with his old CO:
Gavin: Blackmoon Eleven, what did you think you were doing going after an entire squadron?
Wedge in general is win in that duology. He's consistently, intensely brilliant, quick on his feet, able to see through deceptions, and daring.
The tactic he needed clicked into Wedge's mind. In the span of a second, he evaluated it, tested it for major weaknesses, dismissed the weaknesses as irrelevant because of the Yuuzhan Vong's current state of confusion, and decided that he could probably use the tactic again - once - at a later time.
Alan Dean Foster's The Approaching Storm has one for Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luminara Unduli, and Barris Offee, when they have to entertain a group of Ansionian trader nomads as part of their diplomatic mission. Barris performs some stunning lightsaber gymnastics, Anakin sings a beautiful melody his mother used to sing him, Obi-Wan tells a spellbinding story, and Luminara does a sand show that ends up with her floating a meter above the ground with a virtual sandstorm swirling around her.
Early in Ambush at Corellia, first book of the Corellian trilogy, Luke gives Leia a new lightsaber signifying that, in his mind, she has achieved the rank of Jedi Knight (something the authors of New Jedi Order conveniently forgot about). He then challenges her to a friendly duelÔ´┐Ż´┐Żin which she disarms him with ease, explaining to her astonished brother that she had, indeed, been practicing.
There's also one for Mon Mothma, where she basically calls Luke out for acting like Leia's the only one who's missed her calling by not becoming a Jedi, and assuming there isn't anything he might be able to learn from her.
The third book, Showdown at Centerpoint has a series of Crowning Moments Of Awesome for Anakin, Jacen and Jaina, ages 7, 9 and 9, respectively. New Republic Intelligence agent Belindi Kalenda sums the list up nicely for the childist Admiral Ossilege:
Kalenda: The plain fact of the matter is that you have a repulsor down there because a seven-and-a-half-year-old boy found it for you, and turned it on. It is no longer in the hands of our enemyÔ´┐Ż´┐Żand our enemy is in the brigÔ´┐Ż´┐Żbecause that boy and his siblings managed to walk through a working force field, repair a disabled starship, fly that ship into space, and shoot down a pursuing spacecraft flown by a professional military pilot.
And, of course, when Centerpoint Station is about to fire a blast that will kill upwards of eight billion people, seven-year-old Anakin manages to align the repulsor and intercept Centerpoint's shot at the last possible moment. Even as a little kid, that boy was Badass.
Don't forget, Han manages to bring an obsolete ship to a survivable landing, if not the most graceful. Bear in mind that half the systems were blown out, and he had to blow some more to make this work.
Matthew Stover's Shatterpoint. All of it, largely due to copious amounts of Mace Windu. To give you some perspective, imagine Jules Winnifield got really Zen, shaved his head and his face, and then someone handed him a lightsaber. Roughly four hundred pages of rich, CorinthianWin ensue.
Highlights include taking himself hostage to reason with his wayward former apprentice, Depa Billaba and getting his butt kicked by Kar Vastor and still coming out ahead. At the end, he incapacitates Vastor with a telekinetically thrown shield, having previously (with the help of the clones and Nick) killed all Vastor's Elite Mooks. Depa is down and catatonic. Nick Rostu is down and badly wounded. Mace remarks "Looks like I'm the last one standing."
Sidekick Nick Rostu also gets one just before that. Vastor is down, but Depa has finally snapped. Despite Mace's pleading, she raises her lightsaber to her temple. Before she activate it and put a blade directly through her brain, Nick—who up to that point appeared dead—summons enough strength and accuracy to shoot the handle out of her hand. That Nick is quite the Badass, and furthermore he lives.
The Battle of Lorshan Pass, and the clones' capture of the spaceport.
The beginning of that battle especially. First, while armed with two lightsabers, Mace captures a gunship hundreds of feet in the air by basically executing a Fastball Special. After Depa Bilaba captures another gunship, he attacks the remaining hundred or so enemy ships before tricking the droid fighters into attacking their allies.
The fact that he more or less single-handedly ended a war that had been raging for decades in less than a week.
Beating up two thieves in the airport shower. Naked. Shortly thereafter, his "negotiation" with Geptun, then breaking the hand of a guy who tries to punch him simply by bowing his head. No Force involved.
Geptun, when Mace realizes just how well he's been played. And again later; "I keep forgetting that he's smarter than I am." And then "Move over, young man, I'll drive."
Taking out a gunship and damaging two more while only using his lightsabers once.
The spy in the opening sequence is made retroactively awesome when Mace realizes what he must've done. He mentally compares the little man's strength to his own. It occurs to him that he might not have been able to do it. He spends a great deal of the book with various serious injuries and he still wins; Decisively.
What Shatterpoint is to Mace Windu, Dark Rendezvous is to Yoda. The whole novel is roughly a 50/50 split between Awesome and Heartwarming.
One of the awesomest moments is at the very end, where Count Dooku's emergency escape plan is revealed to be an orbital missile fired at Chateau Malreaux: simple and effective. Yoda uses his telekinesis to send it off course, which is like the part at the end of Attack of the Clones where he saves Obi-Wan and Anakin from a falling engine cylinder—only about thirty times as epic.
Oh, yeah. The entire Yoda/Dooku double Hannibal Lecture sequence is just 100% concentrated win-sauce.
There's also the way Dooku neutralized Asajj by raising a finger. The woman could stare down a sun, and he makes her blanch before even doing anything. By the time he's finished with her, she's crying. Asajj Ventress. Crying.
Mara Jade, a fan favorite, collects these. Within the trilogy of her introduction, she spent three days shooting vonskrs off Luke's back, flew a Z-95 Headhunter into a Star Destroyer's docking bay just before ejecting, snuck up on Imperial agents trying to kidnap Leia's kids (making them look like total idiots), saved Luke's ass from a clone of himself, and jammed a lightsaber in a Dark Jedi's chest. This was so awesome, that Callista was written out because of fan reactions to it.
Plus she engineered Talon Karrde's escape (with some help from Luke), managing to get the best of Grand Admiral Thrawn in the process.
Crippling, deadly spores in her lungs? Didn't stop her from killing the first Yuuzhan Vong she fought without breaking a sweat.
"The Jade's Fire flies my way, or not at all."
The time that she was coerced into an undercover mission for a greedy industrialist. "Rescue my daughter from the sadistic crime lord, or I'll kill your friends." So she allows herself to be captured by the crime lord, appearing as an average piece of eye candy sent with a gift for him, bides her time in his slime pits harvesting nasty little creatures with the rest of his female slaves, then ruins the crime lord's day and escapes with the girl and her ship.
Tenel Ka is being sadly ignored. Has everyone forgotten how she kicked a Nightsister's ass while unarmed? And, the second time, she did it with one arm!
In the first instance, she and Luke have just infiltrated the Shadow Academy. Tamith Kai confronts her and with one kick to the kneecap, sends her down. Second instance, she and Lowbacca storm a battle platform. She uses the Force to deflect away lightning, tosses her lightsaber into the air and nails a TIE bomber overhead, sending it crashing down, but not before kicking Tamith Kai's ass again-with a single palm strike to her chest.
Made even better by that damaged TIE bomber crashing into Kai's hovercraft, killing her, just after Tenel Ka dived overboard.
Simultaneously a Crowning Moment of Funny, when Han shuts down the arrogant Imperial commander early on in Destiny's Way. She brags about how The Empire would never have had the kinds of problems with the Yuuzhan Vong that the New Republic was having, as they would have mobilized their entire fleet at the first sign of trouble and then would have swiftly and mercilessly crushed the opposition. Han fires back by pointing out that The Empire would have done nothing of the sort and instead would have wasted god knows how much on a massively impractical superweapon that would have either not worked or would have had some design flaw that an enemy ace could exploit and destroy, and would have given it a stupid, grandiose name to boot.
That's not what the Empire would have done, Commander. What the Empire would have done was build a super-colossal Yuuzhan Vong-killing battle machine. They would have called it the Nova Colossus or the Galaxy Destructor or the Nostril of Palpatine or something equally grandiose. They would have spent billions of credits, employed thousands of contractors and subcontractors, and equipped it with the latest in death-dealing technology. And you know what would have happened? It wouldn't have worked. They'd forget to bolt down a metal plate over an access hatch leading to the main reactors, or some other mistake, and a hotshot enemy pilot would drop a bomb down there and blow the whole thing up. Now that's what the Empire would have done.
When Corran takes on Exar Kun and is all but broken from being utterly Mind Raped, Mara Jade strolls in like a Big Damn Hero and saves him by giving Kun an epicShut Up, Hannibal! / "The Reason You Suck" Speech. The most delectable part is when she reels off The Long List of every Imperial baddie she's ever worked with / against, and describes how they would have thought Kun — the undying, ancient Sith Master — to be a total incompetent.
Borsk Fey'la gets one and only one, when he blows himself and 25,000 Vong warriors up with a handheld nuke instead of evacuating. Almost makes up for how badly he screwed up everything else.
In Outbound Flight, Thrawn had a tiny picket force of three small cruisers and seven fighters. He beat two Trade Federation split-ring battleships, each with a massive complement of droid starfighters, and six armed Techno Union Hardcell-class transports, plus seven escort cruisers. Not one Chiss died. See, the Trade Federation remote-controlled their starfighters with comm signals that were supposedly unjammable, because if the enemy jammed one frequency they just shifted to another. No one would dare jam all frequencies, because then no one could communicate with the other ships at all. Except that Thrawn did that and countered the countermeasures. And found the weak points in the larger ships. And rigged up a stolen gravity-well generator so that no one could escape.
The best part? Before then, Thrawn had never seen a Trade Federation ship before.
Chak Fel's painful humility. He doesn't want to give up command, particularly to General Drask, but he's a pilot, not a commando officer, and Drask can command more effectively. Doubled when Drask tells Fel it will be a joint command, for no reason other than that it will let Fel keep a little of his pride.
Jinzler: "I am an electronics technician, like my father before me."
Allegiance: When the Hand of Judgment stormtroopers find out that Luke and Han are with the Rebellion, Han tries to dissemble by telling them that they're only sort of involved; they respond with "So you're only sort of traitors?" Luke reminds them that they are deserters, which is exactly the wrong thing to say, and Han defuses the situation by talking about how he was in their boots once, he left the Empire for similar reasons, how the Empire has betrayed its own ideals, and how the Rebel Alliance isn't out to break down order but to change things the only way that they can be changed. Other things too. He reflects what the stormtroopers had said back at them, and he says various things that actually reflect on him'', and his own uncomfortable semi-participation in the Rebellion. Han in the end manages to get the Hand of Judgment more or less on his and Luke's side.
Another reason it's a great moment is because it sums up the conclusion Han had been reaching throughout the story. He'd originally thought he was been taken for granted and was pretty much a Sour Supporter, but by that point he become a rebel through and through.
Joruus C'Baoth had a few. First up was his opinion on "Power" speech. Next up was using the force to reconfigure a person's mind. Then finally, outsmarting Thrawn and managing to what was basically seizing control of Wayland.
In the collaborative Timothy Zahn - Michael Stackpole novella Side Trip, Grand Admiral Thrawn returns from the Unknown Regions to play dress-up as Jodo Kast, destroy Black Sun's influence on Corellia, and get command of the Noghri from Darth Vader. None of the viewpoint characters know who he is or what he's doing; they think he's a bounty hunter going with the money. But the readers know, and can piece together what he's doing, and it is awesome.
From Legacy of the Force, the things an older Wedge Antilles gets up to are completely, utterly awesome.
In Betrayal he breaks out of an (admittedly cushy and low-security, but still monitored) prison cell using a tumbler of water, a video game, and a wheeled chair. By planning carefully, memorizing how his captors respond to what he does, timing things to the half-second, and moving very quickly when he gets the chance. After that he locks his captors and the security detail into that cell and thinks that now all he has to do is find a locker room, shed these clothes and substitute them for a local uniform, find a hangar, and steal something with a hyperdrive. All while evading members of Intelligence. He calls this task Easy - and it must have been, since his next appearance has him in an X-Wing, easily evading every attack coming at him. And identifying his attacker as his daughter because of her flying style, despite not knowing that she would be there.
Luke Skywalker Face Palmed when he heard that someone had tried to detain Wedge.
Thrackan: "General Antilles, acting as Chief of State and Minister of War for Corellia, I hereby order you to communicate with your daughter Syal and do your genuine best to persuade her to follow whatever course of action I recommend to her. Is that clear enough?"
Wedge: "Go to hell."
Thrackan: "Antilles, you've refused a direct order given during a military crisis, and I have it on record. Should I choose to, I can have security agents haul you away right now. I can conduct your trial within the hour and have you executed by morning."
Wedge: "Of course you can. You could also have me assassinated in a time of peace for having nicer hair than you. If I worried about that sort of thing, I'd never get any sleep."
In Exile, he meets with Jacen, who can't get a good sense of him through the Force - just an impression of confidence and patience. Later he gets fired from being the Admiral controlling the Corellian military because he's too moral, too willing to seek peace and strongly against assassinating good rulers to put bad ones who like Corellia in their place. He makes a complex decision in a quarter second. For a moment he feels panic, but realizes that he's now a target for assassination, which calms him down, so he is able to compose himself and give a smile "like he was a rancor and they were meat". Then he considers the situation, realizes that it would wrap up his story in a narratively tidy way if he was killed just after formally handing his power over to his replacement, and works with his wife, daughter, and family friends to avoid that.
Fury, sadly, has far less Wedge, but he still handpicks a number of Jedi and trusted excellent pilots to form Rakehell Squadron, which later takes on Rogue Squadron. Only one Rogue Leader has ever been killed in action as Rogue Leader - and Wedge was the one to do it.
In Dark Force Rising Leia single-handedly blows open the Empire's horrifyingly cynicalscam to secure their supply of Noghri commandos note Their planet was poisoned by a spaceship crashing during the Clone Wars, and then the Empire made it permanent by secretly modifying the inedible plants so that nothing else would grow. Then they turn around and demand tribute in the form of Noghri commandos in exchange for very slowly cleaning the world of the damage they caused. Assholes.. The sheer righteous fury radiating off of Leia is something to behold.
Between Leia and her brother, in terms of their jobs and talents, Luke takes more after their father, Leia after their mother. In terms of temperament and ego, it's the other way around. Luke isn't very good at righteous fury - and the Noghri don't pick him as the mal'ary'ush, heir to Vader's power.
Hell, in the end Leia is probably the most awesome character in the whole trilogy. First, as mentioned, she turns around the Noghris, who, as should be noted, recently tried to abduct her with her yet unborn children several times. In The Last Command she gives birth to extremely force sensitive twins. Over the next few weeks, she discovers the brilliantly hidden bugging device Thrawn uses and figures out how he produces clones so quickly, then she immediately leaves to help Luke and Mara defeat C'baoth. Thrawn is killed by his Noghri Bodyguard, and without him the Empire is poised to lose the battle and the campaign - thanks to Leia, mostly. Oh, and the rest of the time she's busy doing politics, being of the most important leaders of the new republic.
Speaking of politics, the way she and Karrde manage to stop her main opponent's political career in the midst of a battle and save the other main characters (including her husband and her brother) from getting killed at the same time, also qualifies.
IG-88 becoming the Death Star II in Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88. And then he takes it a step further by opening and shutting doors in front of Palpatine, just to screw with him.
Boba Fett steals the show, however. An IG-88 assassin droid is an armored one-ton droid outfitted from head to toe with blasters, knives, and grenades, and even without those it can still rip people apart with its bare hands. It is bulletproof, fireproof, and has a mind as fast as a supercomputer. Fett casually takes one down with a simple EMP trap, disassembles it, and throws the parts in the junk heap.
Minor example, but in the recent Fate of the Jedi novel Allies, Grand Master Hamner's aide, a young human Padawan, deftly talks him out of personally negotiating with the massive Mandalorian force that has just laid siege to the Jedi Temple with orders to force them to hand over the mad Jedi. She outmaneuvers every argument he tries to make, and convinces him that she's the better person for the job, because nobody could possibly consider her a threat. True, she had no way to know that the Mandalorian commander would summarily execute her because she wasn't completely giving in, but it still qualifies.
In the same series, the trial of Tahiri is becoming more and more of a farce, and it begins to seem impossible that she will not be executed. Despite easily being capable of breaking out at any time, Tahiri refuses to do so, because it would mean turning her back once more on the Light Side.
The showdown between Luke and the Hidden One. Luke manages to show the hidden sect the folly of their isolation, beat the Hidden One in a massive Force battle, and then has his son finish him off with logic.
In Allies, Raynar Thul, perpetual Butt Monkey, executes a awesome one-liner before fighting off five Mandalorian Supercommandos off with a apprentice:
Luke, after meditating for several days (and being quite weak), notices a strike team of Sith Warriors coming to kill him and his son. What do they do? Take them all down.
The battle ends with Luke, in a single, split-second opening, cutting Olaris Rhea (who was leading the squad) into four pieces. She looked away for an instant and that was all she wrote.
In Vortex, a journalist's assistant gets one after said journalist, busy documenting the brutal suppression of a peaceful protest, is herself murdered by the commander of the suppressing army of Mandalorians. This assistant, given orders not to draw attention to himself so that he could complete the broadcast safely, decides to disobey those orders and kicks the Mandalorian commander down a flight of stairs, right into the waiting arms of two Jedi intervening to stop the massacre.
In Conviction, Leia runs to find Allana, who she realizes is acting in accordance with some prophetic dreams she (Allana)'s been having. This leads to Leia having to save Allana's hide from a Sith Saber (Equivalent of a Jedi Knight) leading a force trying to kill her and her mother. The Saber is twenty years Leia's junior, younger, stronger, and quite likely more experienced in combat. In about twenty seconds, he's decapitated without a second thought.
In Inferno, Jacen is making a habit of using the Force to influence warship commanders to follow his instructions. In one engagement, he repeatedly attemps to pressure the New Republic Admiral commanding the task group. Gavin Darklighter - a normal human, former Rogue Leader, understudy of Wedge Antilles - merely ignores his orders, ignores the Force pressure, does things his own way, and easily takes down the enemy. Jacen is forced to swallow his pride, and apologises for any... pressure the Admiral may have felt. Gavin burns him by being dismissive of Jacen. "You're young. You'll learn."
In Death Star, two contractors from the late planet Alderaan are Drowning Their Sorrows when a couple of jubilant stormtroops come in, saying that "the Rebel scum won't be giving us any more trouble after Alderaan, hey?" And one of the Alderaanians (who's smaller than both troopers) decks the motherkriffer, and the bouncer evicts the stormtroopers.
In ''Maul Lockdown: We get to see Maul fighting prowess without using his lightsaber. two moments includes killing a Yuuzhan Vong (While blind) and force feed it the head of its Amphistaff and Quote Ripped three of the large piercings from its right arm and jammed them upward through the lips, bending them back into barb hooks and fastening the mouth shut with the serpent's head still trapped inside. unquote and sensing that it was weakened from the Amphistaff venom he then finished it by headbutted the thing with his horn going through its eyes.
In his next bout he ripped out the heart of a Wampa from it's chest with his own TWO hands!
The entirety of the intro to the first episode. Various scenes of the Republic winning battles.
The Battle of Dantooine is one for Mace Windu. He loses his lightsaber while in the middle of a battle surrounded by Super Battle Droids. He then proceeds to Force the SBD army to death, while also punching and kicking them hard enough to shatter their bodies. After that, he recovers his lightsaber, jumps kilometers into the air onto a kilometer-tall flying droid seismic tank, destroys its control center, and then leaps off of it, jumps another few kilometers through the air to a nearby hilltop, takes a kid's offered canteen and drinks from it, and then jumps right back into the fray.
General Grievous' debut episode, where he slaughters an entire Republic army, then dispatches five Jedi single-handedly. Or rather, two-handedly and one-footedly, since that's how he wields three sabers at once.
Ki-Adi-Mundi, the last Jedi standing, gets his Crowning Moment Of Awesome in the next episode, when a ARC Trooper team comes to the scene, and find him still holding Grievous to a standstill after dueling for who knows how long.
Reaches new levels in the final two episodes, where he essentially proves himself to be the Star Wars equivalent of the Terminator, the Crowning Moment being when his two sabers are locked with those of the two Jedi he's fighting, and he simply reveals his second pair of arms, draws two more sabers, and kills them in seconds.
Shaak Ti evading Grievous by using the Force to tie his cloak to a passing train. Then she pulls a You Shall Not Pass so the other Jedi can escort Chancellor Palpatine to safety, and proceeds to fight 30 Magnaguard droids to a standstill.
The series also gives us Asajj Ventress killing an entire arena full of gladiators, Count Dooku then totally outclassing her in a lightsaber duel, Durge swatting aside dozens of clone troopers, Obi-Wan exploding Durge from the inside, Yoda using the Force to elevate hundreds of droids right into the path of oncoming fighters, followed by causing two massive ships carrying thousands of droids to collide, Anakin demonstrating his legendary piloting skills by destroying an entire weapons platform and hundreds of fighters by himself, Roron Corobb stopping Grievous in his tracks using only his voice, along with many less notable (but still awesome) moments from the ARC troopers.
Mace Windu gets yet another crowning moment just as Grievous returns victoriously to his ship after ripping through Jedi like a monster from a horror flick. He turns to face Windu, who simply crushes his ribcage with the Force, then turns back around and retreats into his ship. This results in him spending most of Revenge of the Sith wheezing and coughing.
Jedi Master Saesee Tiin, during the opening moves of the Battle of Coruscant. An enemy cruiser came out of hyperspace right above his, causing irreparable damage. His solution? Open his cruiser's large hangar, jump through space with his troops towards the nearest enemy ship, and steal it.
Saesee Tiin: PREPARE TO BOARD! Clone Troopers: Hooah!!
A few from the ARC troopers. Walking out of their crashed gunship like they've rehearsed it, taking down droid snipers with an X-ray scope and rocket launcher, massacring droids by the dozen, one taking down an AAT by himself while carrying nothing but a rifle, planting bombs all over a massive artillery cannon and destroying it, blowing Durge's armor right off his body with a hail of fire, revealing two rifles that can only be described as More Dakka, driving off General Grievous himself in a gunship that has the best. paintjob. ever. Oh, and remember that one clone holding a point almost by himself before Yoda arrives during the battle of Coruscant? That's their leader, a few years later. Hell, even their uniforms were badass.
Season 3 begins with the ceremony of Anakin becoming a Jedi Knight.
The Ryan vs. Dorkman films. No plot, no relevance to greater franchise: just two guys, two lightsabers, and some of the best choreography and cinematography in recent history. Plus, the first duel counts as a Moment Of Awesome for Ryan Wieber, who, partially on the strength of the SFX work showcased therein, was eventually hired by LucasArts.
The Star Wars Radio Play, which is performed by some of the voice acting industry's finest actors.
Made by otaking77077, this fan video in anime style, while just a Work in Progress, is something to behold. An Empire victory, which is true homage to the older games like TIE Fighter and classic anime style.
The Star Wars video of the hit song "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. It's awesome because it has the cast's lines used for the lyrics.