Major spoilers for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" past this point.
When I hit the theater to see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," I fully expected to find a speck of space dust in my eye over the nostalgia of the whole thing... But it turns out that in between the explosions, quips, and heroic battles, the seven-quel is easily the saddest "Star Wars" movie ever made. Sure we've had Luke yearning for a better life in "A New Hope," and the cliffhangers of "Empire Strikes Back."
But "Force Awakens" is filled with an overwhelming sense of longing and sadness in between all of the fun. Which made me wonder, what's the saddest moment in what is a surprisingly heartbreaking movie?
For my money, it's the brief shot when Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) is piloting the Millennium Falcon alone to rescue Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) after the former's fight with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). It's not a moment that's played for sadness or tears, but -- particularly the first time through watching the movie -- that was the moment that Han's (Harrison Ford) death hit home.
The second time watching was a different story, but on first viewing, I was so busy consuming all the sights and sounds of watching a new "Star Wars" movie that the death of Han didn't hit me as hard as it could have. Even Rey's scream, and Leia's (Carrie Fisher) collapse didn't bring it home. No, it was the shot of Chewbacca, who had been Han's faithful friend, co-pilot, and life-mate through three previous movies (four, counting "Force Awakens") that killed me.
Seeing him pilot the ship, something he's never done before in the series, made me realize that the lovable fuzzball was now completely, utterly alone -- and that Han Solo, a character I've cared about since I was young enough to speak, was dead. There's probably something also to be said with the fact that director J.J. Abrams and company underplayed that moment, sticking it in the middle of a massive action sequence, that made it all the more powerful.
But for me, that was the hands-down, saddest moment in the movie... So what about you? Vote below, and let us know what sob-worthy moments we forgot in the comments!