20 Star Wars Moments That Made Us Cry

When it comes to Star Wars, we are used to big fights and action sequences that keep us entertained and engrossed in the story. But we’ve also come to know the franchise for emotionally destroying our hearts. It’s gotten even worse in recent years, with Star Wars just constantly bringing tears to our eyes with each new Star Wars movie. That love and attachment we have for the franchise has led to some incredibly heartbreaking and heartwarming moments. 

So, let’s break down some of the best moments in the Star Wars series that made us cry uncontrollably. And yes, quite a few of them are just Din and Grogu trying to figure out how their dynamic is going to work together. (I will only be talking about live-action moments in Star Wars but know that I would love to add the Obi-Wan/Darth Maul battle from Rebels as well as Ahsoka seeing Anakin as Vader.) 

Mando saying goodbye to Grogu

Courtesy of Lucasfilm

We knew heading into season 2 of The Mandalorian that Din Djarin was trying to get Grogu back to his people. He didn’t know what that meant but he knew that he couldn’t train Grogu on his own so he began searching for where the child needed to be. So we should have been prepared for Din and Grogu to have to say goodbye to each other and yet it still hit me like an emotional semi-truck when I watched the finale. 

Din is trying to protect Grogu and get answers but when things seem dire, Grogu suddenly feels a shift and we hear talk of an X-Wing. For many of us, we instantly knew what that meant, and watching as Luke Skywalker took Grogu away from a crying Din is seared in my brain for every and always. Just full-on tears first thing in the morning because a little green baby had to say goodbye to his dad.

Ben Solo shrugging like his dad

ben solo shrug
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

I am not the biggest fan of Kylo Ren. For reasons outside of my wish that he was inspired by Jacen Solo of the Star Wars EU. Mainly because I am a very big fan of Han Solo so having Ben instantly cause the death of his father in The Force Awakens didn’t exactly warm him to me. But I will fully admit to realizing during The Rise of Skywalker that I wanted an entire arc of just Ben Solo after he shrugged just like his father did. 

Ben Solo struggled with his power and understanding his family, just as every Skywalker does, and it resulted in him trusting the wrong people (just as his grandfather before him did). But he managed to use the power of both his mother and father to come back to the light and watching as Ben Solo got his lightsaber and SHRUGGED like Han did? It had me crying in the theater in a way I never expected.

Leia watching her planet blow up

leia watching
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

The first time we meet Leia Organa, she’s a prisoner of Darth Vader. And she also has to stand and watch as her entire planet is destroyed, including her parents, right before her eyes. And yet Leia remains strong so no one sees her weakness and there’s something about that entire sequence that just breaks my heart. It isn’t that she watches her planet get destroyed. That’s just inherently sad anyway. It’s that she can’t react. 

She’s a prisoner and showing that what he did broke her would give Vader power and Leia doesn’t let it happen. She stays strong to show him that he can’t hurt her and that’s what hurts. Leia can’t even react to her family being killed because it will mean that Vader won and she doesn’t even know at that point that he’s her father. It’s a lot to unpack and it is a brilliant display of Leia’s strength but it does mean the rest of us can cry.

Obi-Wan and Anakin on Mustafar

obi wan anakin
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

I am but a humble servant of the 2005 movie Revenge of the Sith, meaning I can quote Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s dialogue from Mustafar in my sleep. But the scene itself is incredibly sad, especially when Obi-Wan has taken the high ground and won the battle against Anakin. He’s crying as he tells him that he was his brother and Anakin is screaming back at him that he hates him. The two are struggling to understand why the other would “betray” them and it’s hard to watch.

Anakin and Obi-Wan love each other. That much has always been clear but they also struggle with understanding the decisions the other makes and it all comes to a head in this scene and fully breaks down the characters to their bare emotions, which we rarely get to see out of the Jedi. And hopefully, we get to unpack more of this pain in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series.

Han being betrayed by Qi’ra

qira betrayal
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Han Solo is a hermit who cannot talk to women. We’ve seen it with Leia and we’ve seen it in how he reacts to other people in general. If he could, he’d just travel through all of space with Chewie and that’d be that. But that reaction to others stems from a betrayal that hit Han and stayed with him (clearly). That’s because of Qi’ra.

In Solo: A Star Wars Story, we watched as Han tried to escape from Corellia with his childhood sweetheart. She got stuck behind and when he went to travel, was given a surname in Solo. He’s alone. Thinking he has to go back to get her one day, he starts to work to save money only to discover that she got out and the two team-up. But, as we saw at the end of the movie, she betrays him, and when you know how Han reacts to others and how he doesn’t trust? That’s heartbreaking

Jyn and Cassian holding each other

jyn cassian
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story felt doomed from the start. Not the movie itself, it’s one of my favorite additions to the world of Star Wars. I’m talking about the characters. These rebels took to stealing the plans of the Death Star but then we never see them in the original trilogy at all? It felt too good to be true that we’d watch this movie and everything would end up fine. And so it shouldn’t have been a shock when the planet was destroyed by the same Death Star they were trying to take down but it was.

Seeing as Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor clung to each other, knowing that these were their last moments on earth before they were consumed with the rest of the planet was one of the most shocking and upsetting things I’ve seen in a Star Wars property and it stuck with me in my love for these characters. 

Obi-Wan watching Qui-Gon Jinn die

qui gon jinn
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

While we were all dancing around to the jam that “Duel of the Fates” is, we also had just watched Obi-Wan Kenobi screaming as his mentor and master was murdered in front of him while he was trapped behind a laser door. So….really explains how we all function as Star Wars fans to be honest. In Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn are fighting Darth Maul but there are obstacles in their way that keep them separated from time to time.

When Obi-Wan doesn’t make it through the last door in time, he’s standing watching Qui-Gon fight Darth Maul and doesn’t make it out in time before his master is killed by the Sith. It’s sad because it’s the first time we see Obi-Wan experience this pain of loss that follows him into the Old Ben Kenobi we see in A New Hope. He’s frustrated and angry but he doesn’t know what to do and that pain comes across in his scream.

“I am one with the Force”

rogue one
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Chirrut Îmwe, played by Donnie Yen, in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story believed in the Force when no one else did. The world was in turmoil and they heard tell of the Jedi that Darth Vader destroyed to become a Sith and they knew of the power the Force could have but no one believed in it. Except for Chirrut. He was mocked for it, teased, and yet he used the Force to help get the Death Star plans to the rebellion. 

As Chirrut is fighting off their enemy and repeatedly saying “I am one with the Force and the Force is with me”, it is one of the most inspiring and yet heartbreaking moments. We know he’s not going to survive, there’s just too many of them. But he uses his connection to the Force to do what needs to be done and help get the plans out there and he succeeds before his death and oh no, I’m crying again.

Leia getting a saber

leia lightsaber
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Leia Organa not getting to train as a Jedi despite Obi-Wan knowing who she was and not telling anyone is something that has hurt me as a Leia fan throughout my life. Mainly because I knew why he couldn’t say anything but I also knew that Leia had to have the same power that Luke did when it came to the Force. What I did like about Rise of Skywalker even though it felt a little cheap to me was that Leia was training using the Force and had her own lightsaber.

Leia was always smart and savvy and the most like Padme out of the two but she also was Anakin’s daughter too. So having her not use the Force didn’t feel right and yet I was not emotionally prepared for her having her own lightsaber. Leia deserved more and she still could have a story where we see her training with Luke more but knowing she had a lightsaber was incredibly emotional.

Han and Ben on the bridge

han ben bridge
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Han Solo clearly loved his son. He was never good at showing emotions but we know that he cared for those around him. And the most Han Solo has ever acted as an authority figure is when he used his dad voice to yell at Ben Solo in Force Awakens. Kylo Ren is there and is trying to cut off his connections that are keeping him from fully committing to the dark side of the Force. Those connections? His parents.

Han approaches him on the bridge and the interaction between the two prior to his death is one that shows how much the two care about each other even if they can’t express it. And then watching as Chewbacca stands in the rafters and just has to watch his friend die without being able to stop it? That’s something that will forever live in my mind as one of the saddest things in Star Wars.

Leia flying through the sky in The Last Jedi

leia in space
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Carrie Fisher passed away in December of 2016. Eleven days after Rogue One came out and we saw a young Leia talk about hope. She had finished filming The Last Jedi and that point but when the movie came out a year later, watching Leia fly through the sky to her safety hit in a way that probably wouldn’t have prior to Fisher’s death. We always knew Leia could use the Force, it was obvious. But seeing it in the flesh a year after we lost Carrie Fisher just broke so many of our hearts.

Leia means a lot to so many of us but I also look to Carrie Fisher as my hero. That moment, for me, was a marriage between the two and I was seeing Leia and Carrie as one. They were both powerful and strong and that moment in The Last Jedi showed us that and after losing Carrie, it was a lot to take in.

Poe and Finn being reunited

poe and finn
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

If you don’t ship Finn and Poe Dameron together, I guess that’s fine. I think you’re wrong for it but to each their own. So when Finn thought Poe Dameron was dead and took his jacket in memory of him, that was one thing. When the two were reunited later in Force Awakens and instantly hugged each other? That was another emotionally destructive moment that sealed my love for these two characters.

Finn thinks Poe is dead and so when he sees him, the two run to each other and hug despite barely knowing one another. They helped each other escape and to them, that has bonded them, and having that dynamic between two characters right out the gate in the sequel trilogy was something that I wish they had explored more. They were instant companions and wanted to be there for each other, it was beautiful and this reunion showed that to us.

Paige Tico’s death

paige tico
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

We start The Last Jedi off with quite the emotional punch. Paige Tico is struggling to complete her task and she succeeds by sacrificing herself, something that instantly influences how we look at Rose Tico because we know that she is in pain. She is struggling and she lost her sister and while we might not have known that same pain, many of us can relate to the struggling of carrying on after something horrible has happened. 

Paige Tico was a hero and that’s something that Rose has to now live up to. Her sister gave her life for the resistance and Rose, in her honor, dedicates her time to the same cause. The two deserved more time and I wish we could have known more about Paige and Rose alike but this first moment, watching what Paige was willing to do to save the resistance told us a lot about the Tico sisters and I love them.

Mando seeing Grogu with Luke

grogu and luke
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

In The Book of Boba Fett, Din Djarin agrees to help Boba after he goes to see his tiny friend. But when he gets there, Din realizes that he can’t stop Grogu from training. He’s standing with Ahsoka, the two are looking at Luke and Grogu training and he’s contemplating his life and choices in regards to Grogu. Somehow, that moment is one of the saddest things that has ever happened in Star Wars.

The two clearly want to be together. Din sees Grogu as his son and Grogu sees Din as the only father he’s known. They have a history together and the fact that they came back together by the end of the show and realized that their bond is too strong is beautiful. Grogu chose his father over his training and it will be interesting to see how their dynamic will grow in the future of The Mandalorian.

Ahsoka talking about Anakin on the Mandalorian

ahsoka and din
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

While fans of The Clone Wars and Rebels know about the relationship between Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker. The Padawan and Master were close but when Anakin turned to the dark side, Ahsoka was left without him. The two see each other throughout the animated world but when it comes to their relationship in live-action, the first glimpse we got of it was in The Mandalorian when Din Djarin goes in search of Ahsoka.

But Ahsoka says something to Din that drives home her feelings on what happened with Anakin and it’s heartbreaking. She says she won’t train Grogu because she’s seen what happens when a Jedi has strong connections and feelings and how it can destroy them. She was talking about Anakin and it is clear that her pain isn’t gone. She misses him and it’s sad to know that she had to watch her Master lose himself and there wasn’t anything she could do.

Anakin and Padme’s wedding

anakin padme wedding
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Anakin Skywalker and Padme broke the rules and maybe inspired an entire generation to do the same but that’s a different conversation. But they were not supposed to be in love. The two were destined to be separated from each other but found ways to come back to one another time and time again so when they finally got married on Naboo, it was emotional in a way that was shocking for many fans.

Padme and Anakin set in motion the rest of the Star Wars history we knew and loved. Without them, we wouldn’t have Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. But it also means that their love was always doomed because we saw what happened to Anakin Skywalker. So this wedding is both beautiful and upsetting because we know something happens and we know they’re not a happily ever after kind of romance. But still, at least we can all listen to Across the Stars and cry.

Bail Organa bringing Leia to Alderaan

bail organa
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Bail Organa was a character we didn’t really know much about prior to the prequels. We knew that Leia was adopted by the Organa’s and that she was a princess there but that’s about it but then we got Jimmy Smits bringing Bail Organa to life in the prequels and Rogue One and suddenly, we all were a lot more interested in the life and history of the Organa family. A moment that really connected the two worlds together in the Star Wars franchise though was when Bail Organa brought Leia home to Breha Organa in Revenge of the Sith

The twins have to be separated for their protection (with Anakin only knowing he had one child and not two) and giving Bail and Breha the daughter they always wanted. So to finally get to see Leia on Alderaan with her parents? That was emotional since we never got to see her there before.

Leia and Han on Hoth

leia han hoth
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Leia Organa and Han Solo on Hoth isn’t inherently sad but it does set up a relationship that means a lot to me. So watching their flirtation back is something that makes me sad to think about given what we know happens to both Han and Leia. The two have a bit of a fiery relationship, fighting with each other constantly but clearly caring about one another. We see it in the future of Star Wars and we saw it back then in Empire Strikes Back

So their turn into their emotions and trying to unpack their feelings is emotional and sad now because we know how Leia felt about Han when Ben killed him, we know how connected they were and how their relationship fell apart. But we also know that they always had a love for each other, no matter what and that’s what makes this scene so special.

Chewie when Han dies

Courtesy of Lucasfilm

I talked briefly about Chewbacca watching Han Solo die but I want to get into it more because the dynamic between Han and Chewie is an important part of the Star Wars franchise. The two were bonded through a life debt but Chewbacca loved Han outside of that. That was his best friend and vice versa. The two would have died for each other time and time again and we saw their ability to sacrifice themselves for the other throughout the franchise.

But having Chewbacca being too far away to do anything as Han walks to his death? That’s what hurts the most. He had to just watch as the boy Han raised, the boy that he (Chewie) knew killed his father and there was nothing he could have done about it. Right then and there, Chewie could have returned to his family and left this all behind but he stayed with the Falcon and with Rey because he knew that’s what Han would have wanted and THAT is what hurts too.

Din taking his helmet off to get information on Grogu

din the believer
Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Din Djarin is a man of his word and his word kept him from taking his helmet off for anyone or anything. He was supposed to keep himself hidden. This is the way. But when it came to protecting Grogu and keeping his Mandalorian creed, he did what he had to. Meaning he took his helmet off in order to get information about his son. In the episode titled “The Believer”, Din’s beliefs are questioned and he starts to look at his life as a Mandalorian differently. 

Watching him take his helmet off without a second thought in order to protect Grogu is emotional and given that he still turns his body as if he’s wearing the helmet while sitting at a table shows just how uncomfortable he is. But he does it because he wanted to get his kid back and he was willing to do whatever it took to get there. 

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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Image Credit: Lucasfilm. 

Rachel Leishman

Rachel Leishman is a writer based in New York City.  She specializes in yelling about her favorite properties. A real-life Leslie Knope, she loves her fictional characters and knows probably too much about Harrison Ford’s career.