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  1. #1

    Which movie had the Best Lightsaber Fight?

    Personally, I think Empire had the best lightsaber duel in the classic trilogy.

    Luke didn't know Vader was his father, and he was trying to kill him. Downright scary and desperate of a fight!

    In ROTJ, neither was trying to kill the other.

    TPM had an awesome duel - especially with it going 3-way and then with Qui-Gon killed, Obi-Wan's intensity was incredible.

    AOTC was great, if you count the duel as including all 4 players. However, it gives me mixed emotions:

    It starts with Anakin wanting revenge on Dooku for all the Jedi that died trying to rescue them. That's a good cause, but Anakin moves carelessly and is down by Force lightning before you know it.

    Obi-Wan moves cautiously, passionlessly, being careful because Dooku is so powerful.

    Dooku has little motive, except to leave. If the younger Jedi had chickened out, he'd have just gotten on his ship and left. He really didn't care to see them die (or live). For some reason, he decides to kill Obi-Wan when Obi-Wan is down for the count.

    Anakin gets back into the fight just then to save his master. It feels slightly half-hearted. We know Anakin's annoyed with Obi-Wan, and there's no love for his master shown by this point in the movie, after Shmi's death and Anakin's raging mad about it and looking to blame Obi-Wan. He seems he'll stop Dooku from killing him, just because he can. Because he doesn't want Dooku to take Obi-Wan from him. He doesn't want to fail. But the emotion that Obi-Wan showed concerning Qui-Gon's fate was much more passionate. Perhaps this was because Anakin was still in pain from the Force lightning, but I got the impression that whatever was on his mind, Anakin was really only thinking about himself.

    This time he's more cautious when fighting Dooku, especially after he loses his second lightsaber (when fighting with 2).

    Now when Yoda comes in, we get the impression that there was some resentment on Dooku's part for the way Yoda trained him. There is a past there, that's evident. But this is a show about power, and we're in awe of the Force and what it lets these two masters do, and have less invested in the characters. Yoda seems rather cynical about the whole conflict from the standpoint that it's just another effort he has to make and that Dooku's dug his own hole and the inexperienced like Anakin and Obi-Wan still need Yoda to take care of them. I don't have as much invested in Yoda's character in this fight, because he still wasn't a major character in the movie, though his larger role was great. But Yoda's emotional investment seems more like cynicism, than any amount of passion. But that's just me.

    So I'd rank the lightsaber fights:

    ESB
    TPM
    ROTJ
    AOTC
    ANH

    I think. I put ROTJ over AOTC for the reason that Luke was pushed to his darkest moment at this point, and he KNEW that was his father, and the fate that awaited his sister if he failed to do what he had to do there. It was more personal than "Don't let Dooku get away." It might be better than TPM for that reason, but it's hard to beat the flash in that battle. Again, in TPM there was vengeance for Qui-Gon at stake, which was more than there was to do in AOTC.

    ANH is hard to classify. Obi-Wan was trying to get back to the ship. Vader already had a homing beacon on the Falcon. Why didn't he let Obi-Wan go, only to die when the Death Star blew up whatever base the fleeing ship led them to? There was anger and intolerance in that fight. He was angry at Obi-Wan and wanted to finally teach him a lesson. Obi-Wan's motivation was just to get back aboard the ship with Han and Luke. I suppose it's similar to Dooku's goals in AOTC, and Anakin being angry (again of course) with Dooku for the Jedi that died. In one film he's angry about injustice to others (AOTC) and by ANH he's upset about everything that has gone wrong in his personal life and looking to take it out on the one it was most convenient for him to blame. Like I said, he could have let Obi-Wan go to Yavin, if he thought he could blast them all out of existence and that's what the tracker on the Falcon was there for. Like Leia said, the whole escape was a set up. They made it "easy." Though it certainly didn't look that way. I suppose it was only easy AFTER the Falcon left the Death Star - 4 TIEs as opposed to 30???

    Hmmm. Looking at the story, ANH's lightsaber duel might have been better than AOTC? But Clones' with Yoda's stint fighting in it, kind of pulls its weight too.
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  2. #2
    For gutsy, gritty drama-action, ESB hands down. I really do love the long battle at the end of TPM however as my favorite action duel. The backhand QGJ delivers to Maul's face made me say "Yeah!" out loud in the theatre. My mom was so embarrassed....
    GOLDEN DEUCE AWARD WINNER & MABUCON ATTENDEE 2008

  3. #3
    Tycho, I take it you are judging these fights by emotional/story-driven drama rather than sheer entertainment, right? I think your list is right--but AOTC should be above TPM. In TPM Maul was just some Sith, and Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were only defending themselves. In AOTC, Obi and Annie knew Dooku was a turncoat, and his fighting banter made it all the more entertaining.
    I'd say:
    ESB
    AOTC
    TPM
    ROTJ
    ANH

  4. #4
    i just watched episode 2 again yesterday, and i stil am disapointed by the saber duels, even yoda's. i would rank the episode 2 saber duel just above episode 4's, placing it 4th out of the 5 films.

    the episode 1 fights were far superior to anything we had ever seen in a star was film, and i doubt it will be topped in episode 3.

    my rankings:

    episode 1
    episode 5
    episode 6
    episode 2
    episode 4

  5. #5
    Honestly, ANH's lightsaber duel was my favorite. It was nice and simple. Plus that stuff Obi-Wan said during the duel about being struck down was very inspiring. And the face he gave to Luke before Vader killed him- very touching.
    If Yoda is capable of kicking someone's @$$, imagine what a muppet could do!

  6. #6
    Nothing in any of the movies can match the bit where Anakin fought Count Dooku...Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul comes close, but I watched that scene on the DVD so many times that I literally have it memorized. I can go through every stroke of the fight in my head!

  7. #7
    The best duel story-wise is the one between Luke and Vader in ESB, "Luke I am your father." I mean come on its the biggest suprise in all of Star Wars, ever. The best duel for action is the Yoad-Dooku duel. Best overall is the Obi-Wan-Darth Maul duel of the fates.
    The Truth Is Out There - Please Insert Disk 1

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  8. #8
    Captain Trips
    Guest
    I would have to go with ESB. It was so much more emotionally charged for me. Luke has no idea Vader is his father, and he's trained as a Jedi for what, maybe 3-4 months? He's WAY out of his league, yet still he manages to avoid the carbon-freeze, not get killed, and even strike a glancing blow off of Vader's shoulder. Again, he's JUST A KID and he has taken the baddest of the baddies a full 15 rounds. It should give you an appreciation of just how powerful Luke could be if he were a fully-trained Jedi and why Vader and Palpy are right to fear him. Also, I always loved Vader's taunting..."Perhaps you're not as powerful as the Emporer thought...Impressive, very impressive."

  9. #9
    For technical merit I would give the nod to TPM. It was fast, furious and showed you what a motivated Jedi and his lightsaber could do. For pure menace and entertainment I say ESB. It was much better than the one from ANH plus it was so dark and scary. I remember seeing it when I was 10 and almost laying a brick because I was so scared.

    ROTJ was OK, but not as good. I rate AOTC right in the middle for the sparring between OB1 and Anakin. I totally hate the Yoda fight. The most ridiculous one I've seen so far.

    I hope OB1 vs. Ani/Darth turns out to be the best. It has so much potential to be good. I hope it's done right.
    "I'm just a YES man trying to make my way in the universe." - Jango McCallum

    "Good dialogue and smooth editing are no match for a good YES man by your side, kid." - George Lucas

  10. #10
    Captain Trips
    Guest
    I didn't totally hate the Yoda fight, in fact I thought it was pretty cool. I was disappointed though in Anakin's fight with Dooku. I don't know, for a guy who is supposedly so strong, he just wasn't in the fight all that long. I would've liked a more extended scene previewing more of the power he shows as Vader. Fighting with both sabers worked for me, it just wasn't quite enough.

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