Top 10 Hand Amputations in Star Wars
- by Señor Editor, 24 April 2015
The Star Wars saga continues this December! Han Solo is back! Luke is back! Lando may not be back, and it sucks, but hopefully we will see some hands getting chopped off this Christmas! Hand loss is one of the things that make Star Wars great, so I decided to rate the best hand amputations in the saga, as we anticipate Episode VII!
Yes, thank you, Ponda Baba AKA the Walrus Man!
Old Ben Kenobi set Star Wars on its way to become the hand-chopping saga that we love when he cut off Ponda's arm in the Mos Eisley Cantina, just for giving Luke a bit of a bad time. Who (other than the brilliant George Lucas, who had everything planned out from the very beginning. EVERYTHING!) could know that this was just one of the many times we would see people losing their hands, or even entire arms, in the Star Wars movies? To celebrate this, let's take a look at the top 10 times people parted with their hands, and rate them on the Ponda Baba Scale of Hand Removal Coolness (the highest score here is 5 - an uneven number, like the number of hands of most Star Wars universe residents).
10. GENERAL GRIEVOUS IN "REVENGE OF THE SITH"
Is General Grievous cool? Or is he trying too hard? I can't decide. He was constantly coughing, had an odd accent, multiple arms, and he looked like a big, metalic, lighsaber-wielding cricket. His suffering was ended in Episode III by Obi-Wan Kenobi, who cut off not one, but two of his hands. Getting two hands cut off surely meant a bad day for Grievous, but for Obi-Wan it was just Wednesday.
Grievous was like 80% machine, and he had four hands anyway, so this instance of hand removal only makes number 10 on this list, with a poor score of one half of a Ponda Baba hand.
9. ZAM WESELL IN "ATTACK OF THE CLONES"
This was the first time somebody lost a hand for real in the Prequel Trilogy. It's interesting, because it means no hands were chopped off in "Phantom Menace". Suddenly it's all clear why Episode I is the worst Star Wars movie.
Zam herself was one of the least cool bounty hunters in Star Wars - so uninteresting, that I actually had to google how to spell her name. This almost never happens to me with Star Wars characters, so clearly, something about Zam doesn't work. And even more clearly, there's something wrong with me.
What's cool here is that Ben is at a bar again and it ends with somebody leaving with less hands than they came in with.
8. ANAKIN SKYWALKER IN "REVENGE OF THE SITH"
You may be surprised that this scene only made it to number eight on this list, but there's a simple reason for it - it's not just about the hand. There are three limbs lost, and somehow the hand loss gets lost in the overall limb loss. Everything happens so fast that you don't really see the exact moment when the limbs come off. This isn't really a hand amputation scene, but it is a scene where Vader gets mutilated and burned to a crisp, so it definitely needs to be on the list.
Once again, it's Obi-Wan doing the amputating, and doing a damn good job of pretending he doesn't REALLY enjoy cutting limbs off by now. How does he even cut off two legs AND an arm in one swing? Practice.
7. ANAKIN SKYWALKER IN "ATTACK OF THE CLONES"
Despite the clones and the awful romance scenes, Christopher Lee's cape-rocking Count Dookula was something of a saving grace for Episode II. For once, it wasn't Ben Kenobi cutting the hands off. It was a cool scene, and Anakin's first lost hand. Not just a hand, almost an entire arm! Good God, Christopher Lee! For an old man, you're really good at this.
It's a shame Dooku didn't last very long in the movies, because he seemed like a legitimately interesting villain, with perfect hand-chopping skills.
6. MACE WINDU IN "REVENGE OF THE SITH"
Episode III had to make up for the previous two prequels being so bad, so the number of amputated hands was at an all-time high. Samuel L. Jackson's main job in the prequels was sitting at the Jedi Council and trying not to be distracted by a female version of Yoda sitting right next to him, so it was nice to finally see him get into a nice fight with Palpatine himself in Ep. III. And he was doing real good!
And then everything goes south, as Anakin appears and cuts Sam Jackson's hand off, which is the actual event that begins Skywalker's transformation to Vader. Because in order to become the galaxy's biggest badass, you first have to cut off the hand of someone as badass Samuel L. Jackson. This was one of the most logical decisions made in the prequels.
5. COUNT DOOKU IN "REVENGE OF THE SITH"
Here it is, the best hand amputation in the Star Wars prequels! Count Dooku, doing so well up to this point, gets both of his hands cut off in one swift motion, by an eager Anakin. This happens so fast I only had two images of it to choose from - Dooku's stumps below, or Dooku standing there already sans his hands.
Anakin sure gets his revenge on Dooku, and it is quite spectacular. The face Christopher Lee does right after that, is probably the best performance of a man reacting to losing his hands you will ever see. "Revenge of the Sith" is full of hands flying off in every direction, but this is the first and best amputation in the movie.
4. WAMPA IN "EMPIRE STRIKES BACK"
Actually, this is so high on this list because we're only now getting into the Original Trilogy, and the Original Trilogy is perfect. PERFECT.
"Empire Strikes Back" is the movie where we begin to tolerate Luke, as he slowly stops whining so much, and begins doing some cool things. What better way to start, than by chopping off a big furry creature's arm? Nice chop, kid.
3. DARTH VADER IN "RETURN OF THE JEDI"
SAD HAND LOSS! Who wasn't at least a little bit emotional when they saw their favorite killing machine just lying there with his hand chopped off, only to reveal this wasn't the first time his hand was chopped off. This man has been through hand amputation hell. Total limb amputation hell! How cool is that?
This was a logical conclusion to the cycle of amputations in the original trilogy, though. The final hand severed for the next twenty-something years. Good show, Darth Vader. You chopped a lot of hands, you lost a lot of hands, and you still kept on going. You are an inspiration.
2. PONDA BABA IN "A NEW HOPE"
Look how brutal this is! Why is there so much blood?!? Shouldn't it be cauterized by the lighstaber? Did Ben Kenobi spend his hermit days praciticing amputating hands in the most brutal, bloodiest way possible? Does Ben have a whole collection of Tusken Raider hands behind his little shack? Is this the real reason why Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru never let Luke hang out with Ben? Did they kow about his little hobby?
There are many questions to ask here, but whatever the answer, this is the OG hand amputation in Star Wars. Sure, you may want to mention all these times C-3PO lost hands, but nobody cares about 3PO. Ponda Baba may have been a wanted man, but for Ben he was just another man needlessly attached to a hand. And Ben can't have that.
Sadly, this scene was changed in the recent versions of the "Star Wars" DVD, and now it's Doctor Evazan, Ponda's pal, that gets the hand chopped off. I'm serious, look it up.
1. LUKE SKYWALKER IN "EMPIRE STRIKES BACK"
Ponda Baba may be the patron of this article's scoring system, but there are several reasons why his hand loss didn't take the top spot.
"Empire Strikes Back" is the best movie in the Star Wars saga. There is no denying that.
"Empire Strikes Back" has shown us the worst possible way you could first meet your biological father. First, Luke's friend gets tortured and encased in a slab of carbonite, then Luke gets bruised and battered so much that he starts to miss the Wampa creature already, and THEN he gets his hand chopped off. I bet this wasn't exactly how Luke imagined his father to be.
This is the most famous hand loss in Star Wars, and it happens during one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history. If this doesn't warrant the highest score, nothing does.
Well these are just some of my favorite scenes in Star Wars. Who do you think might lose a hand in Episode VII? Whoever it is, I am sure it will be great.
Who do you think was the best at chopping off hands in the Star Wars universe? Whose hand getting chopped off you liked best? Please leave a comment.
Tagged: movies & TV.