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SIOUX CITY |  "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" began showing nationwide Thursday evening, and people in Siouxland were among those who flocked to theaters.

The second installment in the third trilogy was raptly awaited. Now, people are beginning to consume the film and debate whether "The Last Jedi" lived up to (admittedly high) expectations of fans.

The arrival of the eighth "Star Wars" film in the main saga (excluding the extra fare such as "Rogue One") also means people will be thinking back to the prior movies to make comparisons. That means it is a perfect time to look back at the best scenes ever in the first seven movies prior to "The Last Jedi."

The first six "Star War" films were released in two trilogies from 1977 to 1983 and then 1999 to 2005 in prequels that weren't as beloved as the first crop.

These are scenes that even casual movie fans likely know about the film series, and which can still swell the hearts of some who are captivated by "Star Wars."

5. The prequels were stodgy fare overall, but things finally kicked into gear in the final segments in the 2005 film "Revenge of the Sith." The very extended lightsaber fight between Anakin Skywalker and his mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi, went through several venues. After a climactic moment where severe injuries to limbs were dished out, the suiting up of Darth Vader followed.

4. Darth Vader became conflicted over time on whether his son, Luke, needed to be destroyed or should get a father's help. He makes his final decision in the 1983 film, "Return of the Jedi," then shortly thereafter a reveal of what's under Vader's black mask is shown.

3. There were inklings throughout the 2015 film "The Force Awakens" that new character Rey had some cursory abilities with the Force. In a scene near the rousing conclusion, villain Kylo Ren is about to face off with Rey, and he attempts to pull a lightsaber out of a snowbank. The lightsaber is tugged out by the Force, but flies instead to a surprising hand. Boom.

2. Jedi master Yoda taught key things about how the Force works to Luke Skywalker in the 1980 dark film "The Empire Strikes Back," the best film in the series. On swampy Dagobah, Luke isn't always eager to take in the lessons. Yoda aired some of his best lines in passages near the time before Luke left, including "Do or do not, there is no try," and his retort to Luke's exclamation, "I don't believe it!"

Yoda: "That is why you failed." Then to prove his point, Yoda lifts the huge downed X-wing of Luke that was sunk in a quagmire.

1. Also from "The Empire Strikes Back," Luke learns an unexpected truth during a lightsaber duel with Vader. A huge plot twist occurs, in a line that's become embedded in American pop culture history. Luke loses his hand in a lightsaber strike, hears Vader discuss some of Luke's background, then Luke says what he knows Obi Wan shared about his parentage.

Luke hears from Vader, “No, I am your father," then disbelievingly ponders what the reveal means.


County and education reporter

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