With the premiere of Andor fast approaching and promising more shocking twists for fans, it’s safe to expect some brutal moments from the spin-off of a movie that went darker than almost any other Star Wars movie had gone before. From Vader slaughtering rebel troops to the deadly climax, some images from Rogue One are still burned into the memories of fans.
That’s not the only time the franchise has surprised everyone with some absolutely brutal moments, however, with even the prequels and The Clone Wars having their fair share of violent surprises despite being primarily aimed at a younger audience. A few have stood out above the rest to Redditors.
Order 66 deserves an honorable mention on its own when it comes to shockingly violent moments in the Star Wars franchise, as the clone troopers turned on the Jedi they had served throughout the war, often killing them without hesitation. In this case, though, it was Yoda who didn’t hesitate in decapitating two clones about to betray him.
RELATED: 10 Star Wars Prequel Characters Who Stole The Spotlight From Anakin
Redditor Error_X admits that this moment “made me go crazy” when they first saw it. The swiftness with which the elderly, peace-loving Jedi turns to murder in the most violent fashion is jarring and many agreed that they had strong reactions to the scene. It’s a reminder that even Yoda will do what he has to in order to survive.
Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi did a great job of teasing the events of the original trilogy and that included showing Owen and Beru acknowledging the risk of raising Luke on their moisture farm on Tatooine. That makes their deaths a little less brutal now but it’s too little too late for those who saw A New Hope without knowing what was coming.
Redditor GByteKnight highlights how impactful it can still be, saying the scene “horrified me as an 6 year old.” A New Hope‘s PG certificate as well as its mystical tone suggest it’s no problem for a younger audience so it’s likely they weren’t the only ones wildly unprepared to see Luke’s innocent uncle and aunt burning in the sand.
Though The Clone Wars targeted a slightly younger demographic in theory, it wasn’t afraid to experiment and test the limits during its 7-season run, and that included a foray into horror territory in season 2. Redditor alolandelcatty voiced a popular opinion when they said “I thought the brain worms episode of TCW was surprisingly dark.”
Specifically, the moment “when Barriss begs Ahsoka to kill her” shocked them. Though Star Wars hasn’t been afraid to use bugs for their creepiness, introducing mind-control as a potential consequence of letting one get you took things to another level. Barriss Offee’s abject terror only makes it more difficult to watch.
One of the biggest steps in Anakin’s transformation into Darth Vader was his final showdown with Obi-Wan on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith. Whilst the “high ground” moment has become an internet in-joke, no one could deny the impact of what comes after as Anakin attempts a dangerous attack and Obi-Wan smoothly slices his limbs off.
Redditor bobbyt327 described it as an “absolute mutilation” and added that “it was the first PG-13 rated installment in the series, and deservingly so.” Not only is there a shock factor in the initial attack but Anakin’s screams as he’s left burning in the ash are genuinely gut-wrenching and don’t get any easier to hear on re-watch.
Disney+’s The Mandalorian told everyone exactly what they could expect from the show and its titular bounty hunter with an opening sequence that left a character cut in half. Redditor adamolupin comments that someone “getting dragged into and then sliced in half by a door” was a very brutal moment “even if you don’t really see anything.”
RELATED: 10 Upcoming Star Wars Movies & TV Shows Redditors Are Excited For
The scene uses lighting to avoid making it too graphic but that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a viscerally violent moment. What really makes it stand out from other moments is that, whereas other shows and movies build up to the violence, The Mandalorian puts it at the top of the show ensuring viewers were not at all ready.
Whilst an ending that saw the heroes sacrifice themselves to get the Death Star plans to the rebel fleet was one of the most heartbreaking in Star Wars history, it was also well set up. It took a very different type of brutal moment to really surprise fans like FakeName124.
They point to a moment when a rebel ship collides with a Star Destroyer in the sky above Scarif because “that guy who slid down the bridge and smacked his head hard on something kind of caught me off guard”. Along with being such a suddenly realistic moment, it was accompanied by a smacking noise that gave it a uniquely sickening impact.
Whilst brain worms made for one of the most horrific moments in The Clone Wars, Ahsoka facing off against the Death See in season 4 after their destruction of an entire village was instead shocking for its violence. Redditor ToodlesXIV admits that the moment when Ahsoka turns and decapitates 4 in a single movie “still stuns me to this day.”
What the Death See did was violence on a larger scale but Ahsoka’s attack was so sudden and conducted in such a swift, thoughtless manner that it had far more impact. In addition, the fact it was Ahsoka who was responsible for it, a character who is most associated with her kindness and optimism, only makes it more surprising.
Attack of the Clones saw Anakin’s hand sliced off by Count Dooku and Windu slicing off Jango Fett’s head with Boba watching so it would take a lot to surprise an audience member with that in mind. Redditor AdmiralScavenger confidently places the “Tusken Massacre” at the top of their list of brutal moments, however.
RELATED: 10 Most Unexpected Things In The Book Of Boba Fett
His mother dying in Anakin’s arms certainly makes for a convincing motivation but it doesn’t lessen the sheer shock value of seeing these small figures sliced to pieces by the enraged Jedi. Given The Book of Boba Fett went some way to flesh out the culture of the Raiders, it only gives the scene even more shocking resonance.
2015’s The Force Awakens may have been criticized for not treading much new ground but it was so well-executed that it’s one of the most re-watchable J.J. Abrams movies of all time. Redditor IamSnokeO_o thinks one moment was particularly well-crafted to be brutal and that’s when Kylo Ren cuts into Finn’s shoulder when the two face off.
They add that “the noise it made just made me shiver in the cinema.” Rather than cutting quickly as audiences have seen a thousand times with lightsabers, Ren slowly lets the blade sink into Finn’s flesh. Along with Finn’s pained screams and the brutal noise, the moment drove home just how cruel of a weapon a lightsaber can be.
Rogue One would already have delivered on its promise had it ended without Vader ever seeing action so fans were pleasantly surprised that he did. Darth Vader is undoubtedly a great villain but arguably that makes it more difficult for him to do much that would shock the audience.
Redditor CrimsonPig argues that he manages just that with his “massacre” of the rebel soldiers at the end. Audiences more used to the clunky movement of Vader in The Original Trilogy were shocked by his swift brutal attacks that decimated the rebels in seconds. It was a moment when Vader truly lived up to the hype.
NEXT: 10 Star Wars Characters Who Would Have Made Great Rebels