Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been criticized for its humor, which some feel is a bit hit-or-miss and is sometimes a distraction. Whether this is the case is up for debate. But what’s not debatable is the fact that every single Star Wars movie has always utilized humor in some fashion.
Indeed, the saga is full of hilarious scenes, from the original 1977 film all the way to The Last Jedi. With the latest sequel reigniting the conversation about Star Wars humor, here’s our ranking of the 10 funniest scenes in the entire Star Wars series.
10. “Good job.” — Attack of the Clones
The comedy in the Star Wars prequels is kind of a mixed bag. A lot of it is clearly aimed at kids, such as all of the physical humor involving Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace. If you don’t find it really funny to watch Jar Jar step in poop or get farted on, you’re going to be cringing a lot.
But some comedy in the prequels really does work, especially when George Lucas gives Obi-Wan Kenobi a laugh moment. Ewan McGregor really nails the comedic dialogue. Case in point: The funniest Obi-Wan scene in the prequels comes during Attack of the Clones‘ climactic arena sequence. At this point in the movie, Obi-Wan has been captured. Anakin and Padme come to save him, only to get themselves captured, too.
So when Anakin arrives at the arena where they are to be killed, he tells Obi-Wan that he and Padme “decided to come and rescue you.” Obi-Wan looks up, using his eyes to point to his chains, and lets out a sarcastic, “Good job!”
It’s a simple joke, but the timing is perfect and always gets a laugh.
Next: This is easily the funniest C-3PO moment in the series.
9. “They’re dying, R2!” — A New Hope
C-3PO is a great source of comedy in the original trilogy, mainly because he’s so profoundly worried and flustered at all times. One of the classic 3PO moments ever comes in the original Star Wars.
This is during the scene in which R2-D2 is attempting to shut off the trash compactor in order to save Luke, Han, and Leia. He’s finally successful, able to turn it off right as the three of them are about to be crushed. Luke, Leia, and Han are so happy and relieved to be saved that they begin loudly celebrating and screaming for joy.
But those sounds are severely misinterpreted by C-3P0. Because he can’t see Luke, Leia, or Han, he thinks that they’re screaming because they’re dying in the trash compactor, not because they’re happy that they survived. “Listen to them,” he exclaims. “They’re dying, R2! Curse my metal body, I wasn’t fast enough. It’s all my fault!”
This is the ultimate example of humor coming as a relief after a suspenseful sequence. Because the audience was so tense moments earlier, they’re ready to laugh at a joke even more than they otherwise would be. As a result, the gag is always a big hit.
Next: This is the funniest moment from Revenge of the Sith and from the prequels in general.
8. “How did this happen? We’re smarter than this.” — Revenge of the Sith
In the original Star Wars, Obi-Wan tells Luke that his father, Anakin Skywalker, was a “good friend.” Yet in Attack of the Clones, we don’t really get a sense of that. There are some lines referencing fun adventures they’ve apparently had together. But otherwise, we don’t leave the movie feeling like Obi-Wan and Anakin had this amazing bond before Anakin turned to the Dark Side.
Revenge of the Sith attempts to correct this in the opening sequence. As Anakin and Obi-Wan go on a mission to rescue Palpatine and kill Dooku, it’s like a mini buddy-cop movie.There’s a lot of genuinely amusing lines throughout this opening, which is refreshing considering the prequels had previously relied on a lot of physical comedy for the humor.
The funniest moment comes when Obi-Wan and Anakin are trying to escape from the Invisible Hand with Palpatine after having killed Dooku. They’re running down the hallway when, out of nowhere, ray shields come down from the ceiling and trap them.
“Wait a minute, how did this happen?” Obi-Wan asks. “We’re smarter than this.” Anakin replies, “Apparently not.”
It’s an endlessly quotable line, and exactly the kind of thing we could have used more of in the prequels.
Next: One of Han Solo’s most memorable lines in the original trilogy.
7. “That bad, huh?” — Return of the Jedi
Not all of the humor in Return of the Jedi lands as well as it should. By the end of the original trilogy, we can see the saga drifting towards the kind of jokes that will end up characterizing the prequels. However, there are still plenty of successful moments of comedy throughout.
One of the funniest isn’t really a gag but just a hilarious and memorable little exchange. It comes in the early part of the movie when Luke has arrived at Jabba’s Palace to rescue Han. By this point, Luke’s rescue mission has not been going well, and he has gotten himself captured. Jabba has both Luke and Han brought before him, and this is the first time the two have seen each other since The Empire Strikes Back.
“How we doing?” Han asks. “Same as always,” Luke says. Han responds, “That bad, huh?”It’s a brief little joke that is still incredibly effective and one of the great Return of the Jedi quotes.
Looking ahead to Solo: A Star Wars Story, which reportedly had some trouble during production due to Han being too Jim Carrey-esque, this is exactly the kind of joke that Lucasfilm should look at. It’s an example of one that is both funny and in keeping with Han’s character.
Next: This moment is one of the highlights of The Force Awakens.
6. BB-8 gives a thumbs up — The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens is consistently hilarious, with J.J. Abrams establishing the tone right away when Poe asks Kylo Ren, “Who talks first?” From there, there are dozens of fantastic comic beats, from the stormtroopers turning around when they hear Kylo freaking out to Han frustratingly exclaiming, “That’s not how the Force works!”
But the film’s funniest joke proves that sometimes, the best humor in Star Wars is non-verbal. The scene comes as Rey is asking Finn, whom she has been led to believe is with the Resistance, where the group’s base is. In reality, Finn has no idea where it is, as he’s lying to Rey about being with the Resistance.
So Finn turns to BB-8, asking him where it is and telling him he’s not really with the Resistance. Immediately, BB-8 rolls back in shock. Moments later, Rey again asks where the base is, and BB-8 is faced with a moral dilemma of whether to help Finn lie. He looks back and forth between Rey and Finn in a scene straight out of a cartoon, finally giving in and telling Rey the location.
Finn, excited that he got out of that situation, gives BB-8 a thumbs up. And in the scene’s final punchline, BB-8 gives him a “thumbs up” in return. It is the finest instance in Star Wars history of mining humor out of a non-speaking character, and one of the greatest moments in the whole film.
Next: This gag in The Last Jedi took everyone by surprise.
5. The steam iron gag — The Last Jedi
Many of the big moments of comedy in The Last Jedi are dialogue-based, such as the opening exchange between Hux and Poe. But one of the funniest jokes is one where there aren’t even any characters present for it; it’s purely visual.
In one sequence, Rian Johnson cuts to a shot that appears to be of a First Order ship landing. The John Williams score is sinister and clearly fits in with a standard Star Wars scene of a villain’s ship making its approach. But then Johnson cuts back to reveal that we were actually just watching a close-up of an iron descending onto clothing.
This gag is unlike anything we’ve seen in Star Wars before, but it works for the same reason a lot of The Last Jedi works: because it subverts what we expect to see in a Star Wars movie in a way that is profoundly satisfying. In addition to being hysterical on its own, this is actually a shout-out to Hardware Wars, a 1978 Star Wars parody that opens with an iron flying through space. Rian Johnson has confirmed that he intended this to be a reference.
At the same time, the gag isn’t completely unnecessary; it’s also there to show where Finn, Rose, and DJ get First Order uniforms. Therefore, Johnson turns what could have been a boring establishing shot into one that leaves the whole theater busting a gut.
Next: This hilarious line was actually improvised by the actor.
4. “Are you kidding me? I’m blind!” — Rogue One
Despite being the darkest of Disney’s new Star Wars movies, Rogue One is not lacking in the humor department. One of the funniest lines in the whole movie unexpectedly comes after the gang has been captured and they’re being taken to Saw Gerrera. Saw’s men put masks over everyone so they can’t see where his hideout is, and they even put a mask on Chirrut Imwe.
This is something Chirrut finds ridiculous, and he says, “Are you kidding me? I’m blind!” The scene instantly ends after he gets the line out, with the sudden cut making the joke land even harder.
The scene somehow becomes even better when you find out that this line was improvised by Donnie Yen. Yen explained in an interview, “From the very beginning, I wanted my character to have a sense of humor and Disney agreed to it…And when they put the mask over me, I just felt ridiculous, and [I said], ‘Are you kidding me? I’m blind!'”
Yen went on to say that he asked after they filmed the take if it was okay to add that line. He waited to receive approval, only to find out that Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, liked it. “It became one of the best lines, I guess,” Yen concluded. It sure did.
Next: A total masterpiece of a scene from The Empire Strikes Back, which has several memorable gags in it.
3. “Who’s scruffy-looking?” — The Empire Strikes Back
In The Empire Strikes Back, one scene in the early part of the movie is just over a minute long, yet it contains at least four huge laughs. This is the classic sequence in which Luke is recovering after the Battle of Hoth, and Han is told it’s too dangerous for his ship to leave the system.
Han proposes that Leia made this up because she loves him, to which she responds, “I don’t know where you get your delusions, laser brain.” Chewbacca seems to find this amusing. In response, an annoyed Han shoots at him, “Laugh it up, fuzzball!”
Han won’t let it go, saying that Leia expressed her true feelings for him earlier. Leia has had enough. She yells, “Why you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” Han doesn’t seem to have a problem with any of these descriptors except for one. “Who’s scruffy looking?” he asks. R2-D2 lets out a beep right after this, which serves almost like a laugh track in a sitcom.
That’s not even the end of it. To stick it to Han, Leia kisses Luke, after which Luke puts his arms behind his head and smiles. It’s an absolute masterpiece of a scene and just one of many examples of the character interactions that help make The Empire Strikes Back the best Star Wars movie.
Next: This is by far the funniest joke in The Last Jedi.
2. “Reach out.” — The Last Jedi
There has been some debate about which jokes in The Last Jedi work and which don’t. But there’s one that everyone seems to think works. It comes in the first act when Luke is teaching Rey about the Force.
During their first lesson, Luke asks her to “reach out,” as in with her feelings. Of course, Rey, knowing as little about the Force as she does, literally reaches out her hand while closing her eyes. Luke is frustrated, but he quickly decides he’s going to mess with Rey by tickling her hand with a leaf.
In what is legitimately one of Daisy Ridley’s finest line-readings in the entire film, Rey lets out an excited gasp and says, “I felt something!” Luke tells her that this is the Force, to which Rey responds, “Really?” But after getting Rey even more worked up by declaring that the Force must be really strong in her, Luke finally slaps her hand, at which point Rey suddenly realizes what happened.
It’s Rey’s pure innocence and delightful enthusiasm contrasted with Luke’s “I’m too old for this” attitude that makes the scene as uproarious as it is. And this type of thing also fits within the Star Wars continuity, mirroring Yoda messing with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back.
Next: The funniest joke in all of Star Wars is actually in the first movie.
1. “How are you?” — A New Hope
Yes, the funniest Star Wars scene goes all the way back to the first 80 minutes of the franchise. The humor in A New Hope reaches its peak during the Death Star escape sequence. Seeing Luke and Han fumble through their plan to rescue the princess never ceases to entertain. They’re hardly the gallant, confident heroes we would expect, and Leia eventually has to step up and save them since they’re so out of their element.
But the funniest moment in this sequence, and indeed in the entire movie, comes when Han, Luke, and Chewbacca take out a room full of stormtroopers guarding the detention block. As the sirens blare, Han attempts to fend off more stormtroopers by declaring into the intercom, “Everything’s under control. Situation normal.”
When asked what happened, Han struggles to come up with a believable explanation. “Uhh, hit a slight weapons malfunction,” he says. “But uh, everything’s perfectly alright now, we’re fine. We’re all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?”
When he’s asked for his operating number, Han finally just shoots the intercom, as if that’s going to do anything. “Boring conversation anyway,” he adds. What really makes the scene a classic is Ford totally selling the fact that Han is losing control over the conversation. He says “uhh” eight times in about 30 seconds.
But best of all is the look on his face after he says “How are you,” as if he’s in pain having just heard those words come out of his mouth. It’s a reminder that even as far back as the original 1977 movie, George Lucas never wanted us to take Star Wars too seriously.
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