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- In the Death Star novel, we find out "Stand by... Stand by..." wasn't simply a pacing issue or a device to give Luke more time to blow up the Death Star. After Alderaan, the guy who fired the superlaser felt sick to his core over what he had done, and never wanted to blow up another planet again. But he knew that he couldn't do anything about it; if he refused orders, he'd just end up arrested and executed, and it would take them all of two minutes to drag him away and bring in somebody else to fire the gun, so it wouldn't accomplish anything. "Stand by..." was him trying to put off killing more people as long as he possibly could.
- Chewbacca's death and Han's ensuing Heroic BSoD. It Was His Sled applies.
- Anakin Solo's death in New Jedi Order: Star by Star. Leia's shutting down emotionally and Han's anger especially.
- X-Wing Series:
- The death of Ton Phanan in Iron Fist. Aaron Allston is really good both at funny and tears. The author said on his site: "Although he feared death, although he struggled against it, Ton Phanan, deep down, didn't want to live." Also, a little earlier, when he is confessing to Face that he feels like his Emergency Transformation ate his future, and he's getting farther and farther from who he once was.
- Also, Tycho's Return monologue at the ruins of Alderaan.Tycho: I am Tycho Celchu, son of Alderaan, now orphan of the galaxy. I have come to this place of my birth to pay homage to who I was and those I knew. And those I loved and love still. It is my wish that when life abandons me, I am returned here to be among you, so that for eternity we may be together as we should have been in life. These gifts are but insufficient tokens of the love for you all that still burns within me. This fighter is another. It bears the colors of the Alderaanian Guard and transmits their code. It is my pledge to you, not of vengeance, but of vigilance. I hope you rest well knowing you will rest alone, because it is my life's work to see to it that no one else suffers as you have. I won't rest until this quest is complete. Rest easy. I miss you all.
- Mara Jade Skywalker's death in Sacrifice. Just the description of Luke knowing instantly through the Force that "his whole world was gone". And after he manages to get his X-wing into port, he's numb and out of it. Someone has to call his name three times to get him to hear them.
- The Cestus Deception, in which a clone is given a real name, learns to think of himself as more than just part of the army, then gives up his newly valued life to save millions, leaving behind the woman he'd fallen in love with, with a message including the following: "Know that more than anything else in the world, I was a soldier. And know that you, and no one else in the galaxy, held this soldier's heart in your hands."
- "But, it was so artistically done...."
- This exchange in the Hand of Thrawn duology:Pellaeon: Thrawn wasn't human, you know, no matter how human he might have looked. He was an alien, with alien thoughts and purposes and agendas. Perhaps I was never more to him than just one more tool he could use in reaching his goal.
Ardiff: [hesitates, reaches out and touches Pellaeon's arm] It's been a long road, sir. Long and hard and discouraging. For all of us, but mostly for you. If there's anything I can do...
- Zannah's ordeal with the death of Laa. Made almost worse by the fact that the Jedi she immediately kills were only trying to protect her. And that they killed the only sane Bouncer left on Ruusan.
- Order 66. The bit just after Etain dies after being cut down accidentally by a panicking Jedi Padawan who then falls victim to Skirata going berserk with rage, when everyone's dealing with what happened and trying not to break down completly. Darman's reaction and Skirata torturing himself afterwards with how badly he treated her.
Scout: Oh, thanks, but I'm a Jedi. I can still be a Jedi, can't I? It's all I ever wanted to be.
- The young Jedi Scout from Yoda: Dark Rendezvous wasn't strong in the Force, but she believed in her cause and tried to make up for it in other ways. Being a Jedi—everything about her boiled down to that. Order 66 tells us that after her culture was annihilated/driven underground she got sent off to the Agricultural Corps (where weak-with-the-Force, failed Jedi go). Once rescued by the Mandalorians and brought to Mandalore, Scout was offered the chance to become a Mandalorians if she wanted to and she turned them down.
Mij Gilamar (Mandalorian): Of course you can.
- The ending of Outbound Flight. Lorana and Thrass die to save the last survivors, and no one ever knows what they did.
- There's a quiet one in Star Wars: Allegiance, when the Emperor's Hand Mara Jade "buries" her companion, a smuggler she was working with and had promised a pardon to, out in space as he'd requested. He'd come to trust her. Typically of Zahn, it briefly and economically hints at her character, emotional state, and her hidden awareness that Palpatine is bad, for all that she thinks of him as a "good and wise man" in his presence.The Emperor had little patience with memorials, Mara knew, with extra contempt for the practice of saying words over the fallen. Mara said a few words anyway, half remembered ones from her childhood, before consigning Tannis's body to the emptiness of space.
- The end of the novelization of Revenge of the Sith. Starting from, "This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker, forever," until the end.And then in one blazing moment you realise that there was no dragon. There was no Vader. That there was only you. Only Anakin Skywalker. That it was all you. Is you. You did it. You killed her. ... It is in this blazing moment that you finally understand the trap of the dark side, the final cruelty of the Sith...
Because now yourself is all you will ever have.
- The prologue, with the dispirited populace and the children saying "Skywalker and Kenobi will come". Also meta because if you're geeky enough to be reading the novelization, you know what's coming later and the entire section talking about what their brotherhood means to everyone is all the more powerful. Doubles as heartwarming and awesome (when they actually do come)... and awesome even more because this is the moment when you know the novel is going to be as awesome or better than the movie.
- When Obi-Wan finds out the full extent of Order 66, he spends more than a page-and-a-half shaking uncontrollably with grief and despair before he pulls himself back together again. In fact, pretty much any time Obi-Wan allows himself to react to the tragedy is a guaranteed tearjerker, as he is obviously heading towards the Despair Event Horizon. And it only gets worse when he discovers Anakin's involvement...
- A lesser example, but the novelization gives us a look inside the head of General Grievous and reminds us that once upon a time, the General was an actual living being who had things to care about. "He remembers joy. He remembers sorrow and he remembers hate. He doesn't actually feel any of them. Not anymore. He's not designed for it."
- Anakin's death at the end of the Return of the Jedi novelisation. Anakin's death scene is mostly told from his point of view, emphasizing both his guilt and horror at what he's done, while also his wonder at feeling, seeing, and tasting for the first time in twenty years without the aid of his suit.Yes, there...he felt a raindrop on his lips. He licked the delicate droplet...but wait, it wasn't sweetwater, it was salty, it was...a teardrop. He focused on Luke once again, and saw his son was crying. Yes, that was it, he was tasting his boy's grief—because he looked so horrible; because he was so horrible. But he wanted to make it all right for Luke, he wanted Luke to know he wasn't really ugly like this, not deep inside, not all together...
- In the young adult series Jedi Apprentice, set before The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn and Tahl, a Jedi that he grew up with, finally admit their love for each other after years of close friendship. Immediately afterwards, she gets captured and tortured to death, nearly bringing Qui-Gon to the Dark Side in his grief-stricken rage.
- Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi - Redemption issue 5. You're really going to cry when Ulic dies.
- Jedi Healer Hosk Trey'lis's death in Legacy is very powerful. Though he's a Jedi the guy's no warrior, and he's been captured by an Anti-Hero bounty hunter and handed over to the Sith, who proceeded to torture him for months. In the end, he's brought before the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Krayt, who wants Cade Skywalker (the above bounty hunter) to kill Hosk in cold blood to save his own life, completing his slide towards the dark side. Despite knowing full well what's going on, Hosk finds in within himself to forgive first Cade and then Krayt himself before accepting death at the Dark Lord's hands with quiet dignity. The whole scene exhibits what a Jedi should be so powerfully that even Cade is moved to snap out of his Start of Darkness long enough to get one of his few Crowning Moments of Awesome by defeating Krayt and his elite and escaping.
- The ending of "Jedi vs. Sith". Most of the Jedi are dead, many of them imprisoned for a thousand years in a Force prison, but it's the fates of the three main characters that really brings out the sadness. Hardin dies horribly, Darovit is broken by a series of hard lessons from Real Life, and Zannah loses her innocence, becomes a murderer and then apprentices to the last—and worst—of the Sith Lords. The Jedi may have defeated the Sith, but there are no winners...except, ironically, Darth Bane, who wanted the Sith culled of its weak and stupid.
- Dark Times gives us Resa Greenbark's fate—and when the tears finally stop you will want to give Dezono Qua over to the Yuuzhan Vong.
- Star Wars Empire: In the Shadows of their Fathers has Luke, just a few months after ANH, visit Jabiim to try to support their anti-Imperial forces and bring them over to the Rebel side. But when he tells them who he is and who his father is, they all but lynch him—Anakin Skywalker had led Republic forces there during the Clone Wars and gave the order to abandon the planet at the worst possible time, so the resistance movement still hates him with a passion. Luke is rescued before they can beat him to death, but it's the first time he'd heard his Jedi father described like this, and when he asks about it◊... You know that he must have gone through worse after ESB, but without someone sympathetic to try and paint it in a slightly better light.
- Chewbacca's tribute comic is a combination of Crowning Moments of Awesome, Heartwarming Moments, even Funny Moments, and TearJerkers. But there are two back to back instances that stand out the most for the Tear Jerkers.
- The first is Luke's talk about Chewbacca. Luke, talking to C-3PO and R2-D2, who are preparing a memorial for the fallen hero, remembers his early life, the first time he met Chewbacca, and what he felt when the Wookiee died.The Death Star. C'baoth. The Emperor Reborn. All I ever do is destroy! And the one time I could've done something good, save a friend—if this war needed a sacrifice, why didn't it take me!? ...Do you remember Alderaan, Threepio? I didn't feel anything then, but I remember Ben's words. "A great disturbance in the Force." I felt Sernpidal break and suffocate. Now I know what Alderaan was like. I felt Chewie's passing, too. No planet can compare.
- These last words are accompanied by a half-page panel of Han weeping bitterly alone in the Falcon's cockpit, and a small panel of Luke looking as old as Yoda.
- The second Tear Jerker follows the first, and concludes the comic series. Han is in the Falcon, cleaning and repairing his ship, and forgets for a moment that Chewbacca isn't there anymore. When 3PO and R2 arrive, he sits down and shows them some keepsakes: a brush, some junk, and a twig from the trees of his homeworld. Han embarks on a short tale of a time that Chewie rescued his young daughter:[Jaina] made him a drawing that day. She told him with that smile of hers—"I love you, Chewie." "I love you, Chewie." I should have told him that myself! He saved my children! He was always there for them, he died for them! And I never told him.
- The first is Luke's talk about Chewbacca. Luke, talking to C-3PO and R2-D2, who are preparing a memorial for the fallen hero, remembers his early life, the first time he met Chewbacca, and what he felt when the Wookiee died.
- Vader comes across an old friend on Bespin.◊
- Proof that there can be unintentional tearjerkers; in one of the old Marvel Star Wars annuals, Darth Vader finds a rebel wannabe that found his mother's dead body, which is tearjerking enough. Vader walks up to him and sympathizes, telling him that he himself was once in that position. What makes this unintentional is that we're meant to think Vader's lying to gain his trust...but after Attack of the Clones came out, it looks more like he's reliving the horrible memories of his mother dying in his arms, and he really does feel his pain after all...
- Legacy is just...painful. 137 years after a farm boy blew up a super weapon to bring freedom and peace to the galaxy, and even after all that time, there could be no peace for the galaxy, and in time his last living descendant even rejected the force.