The Star Wars films are famous for their action, set pieces, epic space imagery, and stirring music. They’re also full of classic quotes. You don’t need to have bullseyed many womp rats in a T-16 to know one or two lines from Star Wars.
The first Star Wars movie didn’t just change cinema when it was released in 1977⏤it found an immediate place in pop culture that it has never left. While the scripts and their quotability vary, the Skywalker saga and its tie-in movies have inspired everything from other films to songs to the internet memes we all see every day.
Star Wars quotes aren’t restricted to the franchise’s big players. Brilliantly, some of its greatest lines fall to minor characters. These famous lines are just part of the magic that helped the original trilogy define what film could be for a generation of cinemagoers.
The franchise has struggled to live up to its reputation for quotes in recent years, but unlike an Imperial officer, we have to have faith that Star Wars will add to this list in the future. Here are the most famous quotes from Star Wars.
“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” – Princess Leia, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
The words that launched a franchise. There would never have been a Star Wars without a certain princess entrusting R2D2 with this message.
“Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Legendary Jedi Master Yoda sure took his time revealing his identity on Dagobah. But when he did, his distinctive, wise, and infuriating lines were instantly quotable.
“That’s no moon — it’s a space station.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Obi-Wan’s throwaway line is designed to demonstrate just how terrifying the Death Star is. It subsequently became one of the original film’s most quoted lines and a shorthand for misdirection in all media. You may have heard it repurposed in shows like Doctor Who, Farscape, and The Simpsons.
“I have a bad feeling about this.” – Most Star Wars Movies
Luke Skywalker’s response to his Jedi mentor as they arrive at the Empire’s greatest weapon must have sounded familiar. It’s a line Obi-Wan uses on his first appearance in the prequel trilogy, and he’s not the only one. A running gag sees the line used in almost every Star Wars movie, including one brilliantly interrupted attempt in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” – Princess Leia, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Leia is one of the most reluctant damsels in distress in movie history, and Carrie Fisher’s sharp dialogue is a vital part of the saga and her character’s lasting appeal. We don’t know how she’s connected to the small stormtrooper at the time, but it sets the tone for the dynamics that run through the original trilogy.
“It’s a trap!” – Admiral Ackbar, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Admiral Ackbar only appears for about three minutes across three Star Wars films, but the Mon Calamari military leader is most famous for this line, launching a thousand memes in the process.
“If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Obi Wan’s final words while holding a lightsaber. They were delivered when the mysterious Force had just been introduced. Nobody expected what happened next, not even Vader.
“Stay on target.” – Gold 5, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
The original Star Wars trilogy brilliantly matched big moments with succinct dialogue. This quick quote is a great example. During the Battle of Yavin, experienced Y-Wing pilot Gold 5 uttered it to his squadron mates as a desperate instruction. The polar trench run may have led to the destruction of the first Death Star, but not before Darth Vader dealt with the veteran pilot. At least he left us with a quote that can be used in everyday life.
“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
The fall to the Dark Side is the backbone of the prequel trilogy, and no one sums up the dark path, and Anakin’s fate, like Grand Master Yoda.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” – Darth Vader, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Best delivered in an understated way while projecting some Force punishment, this early glimpse of Darth Vader’s menacing power set him up as a Hollywood villain for all time.
“I know.” – Han Solo, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Han and Leia’s love affair deserves its place in movie history. In her final screenplay, Leigh Brackett, the legendary screenwriter of noir classics The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, added a sting to their relationship alongside Lawrence Kasdan. But the line that cemented the romance, and is often thought to have been improvised, was thought up by Harrison Ford, who discussed it with director Irvin Kershner before committing it to film. The rest is history.
“No, I am your father.” – Darth Vader, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The emotional crux of the original trilogy, Darth Vader’s revelation forces Luke Skywalker’s plummet into the Cloud City reactor shaft, but it stands as one of the most famous cliffhangers in movie history. It’s also one of the most misquoted lines, having taken on a life of its own in pop culture.
“May the Force be with you.” – Every Star Wars movie
Over the decades, it’s the line that’s never lost its power. It’s the most famous and most-quoted line in Star Wars and probably the history of film.