‘Star Wars’: 20 Memorable Quotes From the Iconic Films (2023)

Even if they’ve never seen a single minute of a Star Wars movie, it’s likely that most people could come up with at least one quote from George Lucas’ iconic films. After all, the franchise even has its own holiday in honor of the phrase “may the Force be with you.”

For a franchise that has existed for nearly 50 years across 11 live-action films (and several television shows), there is no shortage of memorable lines that have cemented themselves in the landscape of pop culture today.

Star Wars has become a fixture not only in science-fiction, but in the evolution of modern cinema, influencing several of the special effects and long-running franchises today. It’s also found its way into more than a few memes since the inception of the internet.

In celebrating the iconic films, The Hollywood Reporter rounded up the top 20 most memorable lines from Lucas’ epic saga.

  • “May the Force be with you.”

    ‘Star Wars’: 20 Memorable Quotes From the Iconic Films (1)

    In what is likely the most quoted Star Wars line of all time, this iconic phrase has ascended beyond the Star Wars franchise itself. It’s a line that has come to embody sci-fi pop culture, with fans and non-fans alike immediately recognizing the words. From this quote came the unofficial Star Wars holiday — May 4th, or “May the Fourth Be With You.”

    From Jedi masters to Rebel leaders, the phrase has been said countless times by countless characters throughout the Star Wars films, usually as a well-wishing or a goodbye before embarking on a difficult journey.

  • “I have a bad feeling about this.”

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    It’s another iconic line that pops up throughout the franchise, often said by different characters. The phrase is first uttered by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, as the Millennium Falcon approaches the Empire’s Death Star. Over the years, it’s become somewhat of a running gag throughout the film, with at least one character per film warning against the danger to come with this memorable phrase.

  • “Hello there!”

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    Fan-favorite character Obi-Wan Kenobi’s famous introduction has found its way into every iteration of the character. First, Alec Guinness as Ben Kenobi greets R2-D2 with the phrase, after saving Luke. In Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, a young Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) makes a surprise entrance, greeting his enemy General Grievous before a battle to the death.

  • “I love you.”“I know.”

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    The famous love story between Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is central to the legacy of Star Wars. As the only romantic thread throughout the original trilogy, Han and Leia’s sarcastic banter and reluctant flirting kept audiences on the edges of their seats, hoping that the two would realize their feelings for one another. It all comes to a head in Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, when Han is frozen into carbonite and gifted to Jabba the Hutt. Sealed with one final kiss between the couple, Han begins his descent into his carbon prison. Before he does, Leia bids farewell, confessing her love for him. In typical Solo fashion, the scoundrel simply responds, “I know,” before he meets his fate.

  • “No, I am your father.”

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    It’s one of the biggest plot twists in cinematic history. In Lucas’ critically acclaimed Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker finally faces off with the menacing Darth Vader. As he holds tight to a pole to keep from plummeting to his demise, Luke learns crucial information about his life that changes everything for the young Jedi-in-training. As he attempts to recruit Luke to the dark side, Vader tells his son that he didn’t kill Luke’s father —he is Luke’s father.

  • “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

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    Master Yoda has many wise sayings, but one of the most quoted would be this one. While training on Degobah in Empire Strikes Back, Luke feels defeated by the daunting task of lifting his X-wing fighter out of a swamp using only the Force. Sounding unconvinced, Luke says he’ll “give it a try,” to which Yoda chastises him for his lack of confidence. It’s an inspirational lesson, as Yoda urges his student to commit fully to taking action, rather than make excuses for a half-hearted attempt.

  • “It’s a trap!”

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    In Episode VI —Return of the Jedi, Admiral Ackbar’s exclamation became one of the most memorable in the franchise. The quote went on to become a viral meme, circulating again and again throughout pop culture. Voiced by Erik Bauersfeld, Ackbar was a commander of the Rebel Alliance who led the final attack against the second Death Star. In the climactic final battle, Ackbar and his fleet arrive on the scene, only to find that Emperor Palpatine was expecting them all along. Bauersfeld’s iconic delivery of the line made the phrase a standout in the franchise.

  • "I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me."

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    In a memorable performance by Donnie Yen as the blind, Force-sensitive warrior-monk Chirrut Îmwe, the actor delivers one of the most significant lines from standalone prequel Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He speaks this line several times throughout the film, reassuring himself of his deep connection to the Force, which acts as eyes despite his inability to physically see. It all leads up to an emotional farewell for the character, as he sacrifices himself in the final battle for the Death Star plans on Scarif and repeats this phrase to himself over and over again.

  • "Rebellions are built on hope."

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    Spoken by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) in Rogue One, this line encapsulates the heart of the common theme of rebellion throughout many of the films, as we see oppressed groups fight back against tyrannical regimes. As she leads a team of rebels to steal the Death Star plans, Jyn inspires the group to risk their lives on the basis of hope for a better day.

  • "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

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    From the iconic voice to the sinister mask, everything about Darth Vader is menacing. In A New Hope, Vader flexes just a taste of his power in this season, as high-ranking Imperial officers are discussing the recent theft of the Death Star plans. When Admiral Motti (not the one pictured above) mocks Vader’s devotion to the power of the Force, dismissing it as an “ancient religion,” the Sith lord Force-chokes him.

  • “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for."

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    Spoken by Obi-Wan, this one’s a famous reference from A New Hope, as the former Jedi manipulates a Stormtrooper into believing that R2-D2 and C-3PO are not the droids the Empire is looking for, when in fact, they are. It’s the first instance that the audience bears witness to the power of the Force, and how “Jedi mind tricks” can be used on weak-minded individuals.

  • "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."

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    This one’s the quote that started it all. In the early scenes of A New Hope, the audience sees Leia put an unknown message into R2-D2, right before she’s captured by Darth Vader. Later, R2 and C-3PO end up on Tatooine with Luke and Obi-Wan, delivering Leia’s message to the old Jedi master. In her message, Leia pleads with Obi-Wan, begging for his help in taking down the Empire. The message spurs Luke and Obi-Wan into action, as they embark on a mission to save Leia and join the Rebellion.

  • "Wars not make one great."

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    The ever-wise Yoda has a plethora of inspirational quotes, so much so that nearly every phrase that comes out of the Jedi master’s mouth is a kernel of knowledge to be remembered. When Luke first arrives on Degobah in search of the Jedi master in Empire Strikes Back, he immediately dismisses the small and aging Yoda. “I’m looking for a great warrior,” Luke says, to which Yoda replies with this smart remark. In other words, it’s not aggression, physical strength or violence that make a Jedi. It’s the mental fortitude and connection to the Force that naive Luke still has yet to learn.

  • "It's over, Anakin. I have the high ground."

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    In yet another immediate meme from Revenge of the Sith, several internet jokes have used this climactic line to announce their upper hand. After a long and intense lightsaber battle between master and padawan, Obi-Wan fights for the fate of the galaxy as he takes on his close friend Anakin, the newly appointed Sith lord Darth Vader. Anakin lets his ego prevail, ultimately losing the fight to Obi-Wan. It’s the defeating blow that sentences Anakin to the rest of his life in the Darth Vader suit, the only thing that keeps him alive.

  • "Never tell me the odds!"

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    If you’ve heard this one before (and it’s likely that you have), the iconic quote originated in Episode V, as Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO escape from Hoth. On the run from Imperial TIE fighters, Han bets he can lose them in an upcoming asteroid field. When C-3PO goes on to tell him that the odds of them successfully navigating their way are extremely low, Han makes his famous retort. And like so many Star Wars quotes, this one’s a meme, too.

  • "Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking …nerf-herder!"

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    Ah, young love. Part of what makes Leia and Han’s romance so memorable is Lucas’ interpretation of the fun, enemies-to-lovers trope. Despite their many sarcastic quips and outward dislike for one another, it’s clear that the two share a secret affection. One of Leia’s most memorable insults for Han comes in Episode V when she injures his ego and calls him a “stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder,” to which Solo replies, “Who’s scruffy-looking?”

  • "I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.”

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    For Star Wars fans, this one’s an inside joke that became one of the more popular memes from the prequel saga. Of course, it’s young Anakin Skywalker’s hatred for sand. Who knew that the man who would become one of the most fearsome villains in the galaxy had a distaste for such a trivial thing? This one comes from Episode II — Attack of the Clones, while Anakin and Padmé get to know each other while visiting Naboo.

  • "This is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause."

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    As one of the major female characters in the franchise, Padmé Amidala’s significance in the prequel story can’t be understated. She’s a former queen and a senator who’s often held her own in protecting her people and taking on battle droid armies. When Anakin turns to the Dark Side in Revenge of the Sith, Chancellor Palpatine enacts his long-running plan to become Emperor, announcing the fall of the Galactic Republic alongside the rise of the Galactic Empire. As the senate room bursts into applause, praising Palpatine for the alleged “peace” to come, Padmé delivers one of the more political lines from Lucas’ script, claiming the moment as the death of liberty in the galaxy.

  • “That’s no moon.”

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    In other words, everything is not always as it seems. Especially giant, round floating objects in space that turn out to be space stations with the power to destroy planets. In A New Hope, Obi-Wan says this iconic line as the Millennium Falcon approaches the Death Star for the first time, a iconic moment in the franchise.

  • “Chewie, we’re home.”

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    To this day, Star Wars: Episode VII —The Force Awakens remains the top-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office. Uttered more than 30 years since Han Solo and Chewbacca had appeared onscreen, Ford’s first words in the long-awaited sequel struck an emotional chord with Star Wars fans everywhere, as they got to witness two fan-favorite characters return to the Millennium Falcon.


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