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All The Opening Battle Scenes From Star Wars Movies, Ranked

Updated February 22, 2018 3.8k votes 625 voters 10.5k views9 items

List RulesVote up the best opening sequences from the Star Wars franchise.

As a film franchise with the word "wars" in the title, Star Wars naturally revolves around some scale of conflict, and opening battles in Star Wars help to set the scene in a galaxy far, far away. The best battle scenes in Star Wars range from grand-scale confrontations between space fleets to intimate but high-stakes matches between two light saber-wielding foes. Depending on their scale and level of conflict, Star Wars opening battle scenes help provide the tone for a given episode. Like lightsaber duels, no Star Wars opening battle sequence follows the same trajectory. Naturally, a film such as The Last Jedi, the last to feature characters like Leia Organa, requires much more gravitas and drama than a filler episode like Attack of the Clones.

Because of this, certain Star Wars opening sequences feel much more compelling than others, and it's up to you to settle the score. It comes down to whether you prefer a low-key opening sequence or an epic fight in the depths of space. Unlike the general consensus on Jar-Jar Binks, the best Star Wars opening battle is not as easy to select.

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  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
    Video: YouTube

    Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker head to Coruscant to rescue Senator Palpatine from General Grievous. Featuring battles between spacecrafts and more intimate conflicts between Jedi, the battle over Coruscant gives the viewers a little bit of everything.

    • Actors: Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Hayden Christensen
    • Released: 2005
    • Directed by: George Lucas
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  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    Video: YouTube

    When Vader discovers the Resistance's new base on Hoth, he dispatches troops to destroy it in one of the franchise's most recognizable fights. During this battle, viewers witness the Imperial Walkers for the first time, who lumber across the frozen landscape like monstrous mammoths.

    • Actors: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Irvin Kershner
    382
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  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
    Video: YouTube

    The scene that started it all, this battle sets the stage for all future Star Wars battles. Stormtroopers, rebels, Darth Vader, and the nervous observations of quirky robots quickly became a winning formula for the franchise.

    • Actors: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness
    • Released: 1977
    • Directed by: George Lucas
    331
    97
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  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi
    Video: YouTube

    One of the lighter openings in Star Wars, the gang must escape from the clutches of Jabba the Hut. With all the heroes sticking it to a mutual foe together, it's hard not to root for them, especially Leia as she gets revenge against the breathing big toe that enslaved her.

    • Actors: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness
    • Released: 1983
    • Directed by: Richard Marquand
    272
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