Tear Jerker / A New Hope

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"I can't believe he's gone..."
  • Obi-Wan looking back upon the Old Republic has gotten more melancholic after the prequel trilogy and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
    Obi-Wan: For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire...
  • When Vader says "You should not have come back" to Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan gets this look on his face of utter sadness that his apprentice has gone so far astray.
  • The Binary Sunset scene. You know the one. It probably has something to do with the music, or the sense of longing to do great things and being tied down by duty. That, people, is why a forty-year-old movie is still making us cry.
    • Even worse is Luke's conflict when Obi-Wan asks him to help deliver the droids to Alderaan, protesting he has to stay and help his family, even if he knows the Empire is evil and the Rebellion needs them. Even if that weren't the case, Obi-Wan knows Luke's potential is being wasted. Still, he doesn't protest, sadly saying "You must do what you think is right, of course..."
    • Harsher in Hindsight: The Last Jedi features the death of Luke Skywalker, The Hero of the franchise as a whole. How does this happen? He becomes one with the Force whilst gazing upon a beautiful twin sunset, with the Force theme swelling in the background. The original scene is absolutely heartbreaking if you know what awaits him...
  • A deleted scene where Luke meets his friend Biggs before Biggs goes off to join the rebellion. According to Wookieepedia, it was cut because the other friends-of-Luke scenes were cut. Those were cut for pacing and because Lucas was teased about making "American Graffiti in space". It's still a good scene.
  • Luke returns home and sees the smoldering skeletons of his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru after they were attacked by Stormtroopers. In the novelization Luke falls to his knees in shock and crying. Add the fact that by the end of the movie, Luke has lost pretty much everything. His aunt and uncle are dead and he can't go back to the farm (the only home he's ever known) because he would have been killed even before the Death Star incident thanks to the droids. His mentor dies, and Biggs, his best friend (Luke was constantly picked on by the other members of his peer group), dies being a human shield protecting him during the Battle of Yavin. This all takes place over the course of one maybe two days tops. A few expanded universe novels imply that the only thing that got Luke though was the adrenaline and the fact that he was given practically no downtime for him to think about it.
  • Often forgotten, but the Destruction of Alderaan is as heartbreaking as it is horrifying. Dated special effects notwithstanding, this is still a moment where billions of innocent people are murdered on an apocalyptic scale, while their most beloved child is forced to watch and is helpless to stop it. Ben Kenobi's statement that "Millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced" only served to heighten the appalling enormity of their loss. The manga goes so far as to show the inhabitants of Alderaan looking up to the sky with worried expressions as the Death Star arrives. They don't know it, but they only have minutes left to live... Though the manga is from the 1990s, the scene is eerily reminiscent of Hosnian Prime in The Force Awakens.
    • Even more heartbreaking if you go by the Legends continuity, where barely a hundred thousand Alderaanians remain alive for the sheer luck of having been offworld at the time of its destruction. The asteroid field that now occupies the place of their former home became known as "The Graveyard" and is now considered sacred space by the surviving inhabitants, nearly all of whom had nothing left now but the destruction of their enemies who had slaughtered their loved ones as a pure show of force to the galaxy, eventually going on to forge a new home in the image of their lost world.
      • Things get worse when taking into consideration the events of Rogue One, after seeing the destruction of the Holy city of Jedha and so many lives having been lost at the Battle of Scarif, it's rather awful watching the Death Star claiming one last world before its ultimate destruction.
      • The original expanded universe really digs the dagger in with the story of Tycho Celchu, an Alderaan native and future ace Rebel pilot. At the time of Alderaan's destruction, he was a young Imperial TIE pilot on Star Destroyer assignment. He was video-calling his family, friends, and fiancee back on Alderaan for his 21st birthday party the exact moment the planet was destroyed. The worst part is that he had no idea what had happened, and thought it was just a loss of signal that'd he'd mess with his dad over later; learning that the Empire had destroyed Alderaan ended up causing his defection to the Rebellion.
    • In the short story Eclipse, we are shown Bail Organa and his wife Queen Breha's last moments before Alderaan is destroyed. The Death Star's arrival causes it to eclipse Alderaan's sun, from which Bail realizes that death is only moments away. Worse, at the time he and his wife were unaware of their adopted daughter's fate, having heard that the Tantive IV was destroyed. They die hoping that their daughter is still alive.
      • Worse still, in Rogue One, we see Senator Organa (who is, incidentally, the only human character from the prequels to make an appearance in the film) learning about the Death Star and about two thirds of the way through he says he has to go back to Alderaan. You desperately want to say "No, don't!" because you already know what happens to him.
  • How about Biggs' death? This guy is pretty much Luke's best friend since childhood, yet he's shot down while making sure Luke makes it to the Death Star. Seeing Luke having to swallow his grief for the sake of the Rebellion is just heart rending.
  • Garven Dreis (Red Leader)'s death is also quite the Tear Jerker, especially seeing as how he knew he was finished and urged on all remaining pilots to let him draw Vader's attention for the sake of the Rebellion. More heartbreaking if you followed the Legends continuity: Garven was a friend of Anakin Skywalker (Vader's original identity). This was also his actor's last role, as he had to retire due to manic depression.
  • Obi-Wan letting himself get cut down by Vader but not before giving a smile to Luke who was about to escape. Yeah he became one with the Force and returned later as a ghost, but audiences watching the movie for the first time in 1977 didn't know that. Interestingly, that scene (and in fact, Obi-Wan's death happening at all) arose from the fact that Sir Alec Guinness absolutely hated the script for Star Wars, to the point where he wanted his part to be smaller and shorter. He convinced Lucas to make that scene end in the character's death so that he'd have very little to do with the rest of the film, and any potential sequels that might have resulted from it as Lucas had already been speculating the possibility of sequels, which is also interestingly why the character Darth Vader wasn't killed in the first film (which was the original idea in the script—Darth Vader, being killed). Rather odd and hilariously ironic inversion going on there, eh?
  • Watching R2 get blasted by Vader with a blast from his TIE Fighter. This shortly after Threepio had told R2 to be careful. Even worse when you remember that R2 used to have a friendship and close connection with Anakin before Mustafar. He's now being shot at by his old friend and (unlike 3PO) is fully aware who he is.
  • The utter destruction of Gold Squadron at Vader's hands. The looks on Garven and Luke's faces really sums up how disastrous their loss was. However, they have no time to mourn and Dreis orders Red Squadron to finish the job their comrades started. It gets Harsher in Hindsight thanks to Rogue One, as we see there was also a Blue Squadron that was completely wiped out at the Battle of Scarif, while Red and Gold Squadrons both suffered massive losses. Which explains why there were just 30 Rebel starfighters at the Battle of Yavin.
  • Of those 30 starfighters that left Yavin base, only three of them survive the battle: Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, and Keyan Farlander/Evaan Verlain (depending on which continuity you follow).
  • The destruction of the Death Star, in light of Rogue One, can definitely give us Tears of Joy, moreso if one watches the films in chronological order. After all the pain the members of the titular squad went trough, as well as the climatic mission which ultimately cost them their lives, not to mention it also resulted in the deaths of nearly all those present at the battle of Scarif, it is indeed now a lot more satisfactory to see the monstrous space station get obliterated by Luke's shot, knowing well that their sacrifice was definitely not in vain.


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