- Capt. Antilles gets his throat crushed by Darth Vader with a sickening crackling sound. OUCH!
- The sight of the charred, skinless corpses of Owen and Beru (shown right). It is very briefly shown in the movie itself; you could easily miss it; but once you actually do see it, you can never unsee it.
- And look closely at the positions of the skeletons; they are sprawled out over the front of the yard, one even draped over a rock. However they were set afire, Beru and Owen were able to AMBULATE FOR SOME TIME before they eventually succumbed. They must have been in agonizing pain for several seconds before expiring.
- The IT-O interrogator droid used to interrogate Leia. Interesting euphemism, "interrogator droid". The radio adaptation actually shows us Vader's mind probe-assisted interrogation of Leia, and it's terrifying. First, he tries to convince her he's another rebel who needs to know where the Death Star plans are, before just causing her horrible pain.
- During this moment in the NPR version, Vader attempts to invoke her loyalty to her father. If you've seen the movies and know the truth, it's rather chilling.
- Perhaps the most chilling example is Obi Wan's new Krayt Dragon call in the 2011 Blu ray edition. This version sounds like someone being tortured in Hell.
- When Luke finds R2 in the middle of the Jundland Wastes, R2 warns him of several creatures approaching. Luke then tries to have a look with his binoculars and spots several sand people. Then suddenly one of them emerges right in front of him and attacks him.
- Ben Kenobi slicing off a patron's arm in the Mos Eisley Cantina, mostly because of how it's one of the few scenes in the whole saga where we actually see blood, plus said patron's realistic reaction to having his arm cut off.
- Even more disturbing was how little time it took the patrons to go right back to what they were doing, as if what took place was entirely routine. Though then again, Obi-Wan did say Mos Eisley was "the most wretched hive of scum and villainy"...
- In the scene itself, Cornelius Evazan's appearance. An Ax-Crazy Serial Killer who brags to Luke Skywalker that his crimes have given him the death sentence in twelve systems.
- The dianoga — that is, the amorphous tentacled creature in the trash compactor. We don't know anything about it, we don't even really see it, but really, it's a shapeless lurking predator that lives in filth and is trying to drag the heroes under the rubbish to eat them alive. That's plenty scary.
- Tarkin coldly ordering the instant destruction of Alderaan by way of the Death Star's superlaser. A civilization and planet, gone, in less than five seconds. And he gives zero fucks.
- Making things worse, we actually get to see a younger Tarkin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, where he stands out for his commentary that he believes the Jedi Council simply aren't effective generals, because they aren't willing to go to what lengths he considers necessary. Well, the Death Star is the embodiment of his philosophy about "necessary lengths", This is the man who honestly believes the Death Star is "going far enough".
- "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced."
- Rogue One makes it worse, overlapping with Harsher in Hindsight. It turns out the Death Star has settings — you can have a shot from a single reactor. Tarkin could have simply wiped out a few cities if he wanted, leaving some Alderannians to barter with him, but no — he opted for full power out of nothing but spite. To be sure, even a shot from a single reactor would have killed a huge amount of people and permanently devastated Alderaan's environment.
- Admiral Motti starts taunting Vader about how he hasn't been able to find the lost data tapes despite his outdated religion - then Vader makes a gesture and Motti is cut off as he's choked by an invisible force as we can hear a low creepy ambience. Tagge is visibly disturbed and even Tarkin, of all people, looks put off. Not only is this the first sign for the audience that the Force actually, really exists, but it's also quite different from Ben's description as 'life-giving energy'. Plus Vader's simple line, calm on the surface but with real rage underneath: "I find your lack of faith disturbing."
- The scene is made much worse in Legends, for two reasons:
- The original novelization hints this was actually a set-up: Tarkin and Vader wanted to establish their authority over the joint chiefs, supposedly their peers though subjected to them as they were on Tarkin's ship, so Vader seeked for a provocation and choked the idiot who gave it to him, and Tarkin, after a few moments to let things sink in, called Vader off. Thus their authority was established beyond any doubt by Vader being able and willing to murder them all without even touching them and Tarkin being the only one who Vader would listen.
- In Legends, Motti was the cousin of Tarkin's wife. Tarkin and Motti were in-laws, and yet Tarkin was more than willing to set him up for this.
- The scene is made much worse in Legends, for two reasons:
- Vader's murder of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Consider the scene: the two are in heated, tense combat, with their struggle spilling out into the Death Star's hangar bay, in full view of the heroes and a contingent of Stormtroopers. Suddenly, Kenobi smiles and drops his guard and Vader, with zero hesitation, swings with the full intent to cut his old mentor and friend in half. Granted, when they last met, Obi-Wan did horribly maim him and leave him to burn, but the way Vader instantly jumps to slay a defenseless old man whom he once considered a father and/or brother figure is rather horrific when you think about it. Oh, and Vader later virtually does a happy dance when bragging about it to Tarkin later.
- Vader systematically taking out the Ace Rebel Pilots during the Trench Run was not only an intense moment but there's something chilling about how casual Vader looked while doing it. The fact that the Awesome Moment section indicate that taking out Ace pilots is something Vader does for fun makes that whole scene even more nerve wrecking.
- And to cap it all off... The Death Star itself. A battlestation capable of blowing up a planet with a single shot, a feat that otherwise would require half the Empire's starfleet, and with enough overkill to do it through a planetary shield and still scatter the planet's remains at immense speed.
- Worse still? There's actually a valid military justification for the thing: planetary shields take weeks of concentrated effort from entire fleets to defeat, and something like the Death Star's superlaser can do it in an instant, provided it's toned down or well aimed. They could have used it to sell the Death Star to the Senate had Palpatine not found an excuse to dissolve it right as the station came online...
Nightmare Fuel / A New Hope