At the end of “Return of the Jedi,” Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is taken to meet the evil Emperor (Ian McDiarmid) by his father Darth Vader (David Prowse). The Emperor implores Luke, equipped with Jedi mind powers, to join the Dark Side. His refusal leads to a fight between Luke and Darth Vader which ends in conflagration and death for two of the above-mentioned characters. Levy loved this entire sequence, and recounted some of its specific details, saying:
“I vividly remember the scene in which Luke is hiding from Vader in the Emperor’s room and Vader gives the speech that ends with, ‘If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps your sister will.’ […] It was dead quiet. Pin-drop silence. Suddenly Vader has pushed the wrong button. Luke comes screaming out of the shadows and just goes to town in a lightsaber battle against Vader. The way that felt: The forty seconds of stillness from the audience, then the spectacle and emotion, is seared not just in my eyeballs but in my heart.”
Levy noted that little moments like that, those 40-second spans wherein the audience can’t move, are actually what blockbuster entertainment is all about. The cheer moments might be all well and good, but Levy seems to prefer the edge-of-your-seat moments. He spoke about creating what he called “forever moments” in the audience’s heads when a cinematic story moment becomes a striking and well-remembered piece of film history.
Surely, all blockbuster filmmakers aim for moments like these, but Levy seemed particularly cognizant of his efforts to create such a moment. Hence, when it came time to shoot the climax for “Deadpool 3,” Levy literally pulled up the “Jedi” moment on his phone to show to his crew members and photographers.