Tear Jerker / A New Hope

  • Obi-Wan looking back upon the Old Republic have gotten more melancholy 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...
    • And then Luke asks how his father died. Obi-Wan pauses, dealing not only with painful memories, but with the dilemma of what to tell the boy, before giving an answer that's true From a Certain Point of View.
  • 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 thirty-year old movie is still making us cry.
  • 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, 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 a couple 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 helpless to stop it. Ben Kenobi's statmenent that "A million voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced" only served heighten the appalling enormity of their loss.
  • 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 tearjerker if you followed Legends continuity: Garven was a friend of Anakin Skywalker (Vader's original identity).
  • 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.