CT Are the OT duels much faster and technique based than we give credit for?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Barkey Foreman, Apr 17, 2014.

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  1. Barkey Foreman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2014
    I made this thread last week.

    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/are-the-duels-in-ot-underrated.50019533/

    Sadly it got derailed and turned into a PT VS OT thread. So I'm publishing a new thread on a whole separated topic specifically on the skill and quickness of the OT duels.

    What I was trying to say is that there is a stigma (especially within casual SW fans who haven't watched the OT for years) that OT duels literally move at slow motion bullet time speed (no lying, I really saw this at one site) and there is no technique whatever that they are just randomly flailing blows. No strategy, no agility, no use of the force, no fluidility, no technique, no (insert).

    But after rewatching the OT duels, I was ******* surprised at how fast they actually move and the amount of techniques as well as how much force powers are actually being used. For example in the ESB duel alone, Darth Vader and Luke uses far more force powers than Darth Maul VS Quegon & Obi and Obi VS Anakin combined! I was actually quite shocked that by the time he realized Luke was going to be a much harder nutcracker than he expected, Vader ultimately turn the tides and won the match by force throwing heavy items at Luke. The popular perception is that Vader just kept dueling Luke with random swinging blows until he finally cut Luke's hand by luck (but in reality the ESB duel was really one of epic proportions in which both combatants used a variety of tools at their disposal).

    To repeat a statement from a Youtube clip of the ESB duel comments section.



    Its even worse among non-Star Wars fans who think that they literally took turns hitting each other by agreement in the OT.

    What do you think of this stigma? That OT duels literally move at snails pace and are just random flailing to the point it looks like Vader and Luke are just literally taking turn hitting each other by agreement?

    Even in the Death Star duel between Obi Wan and Vader, they are not taking turns but are actually trying to carefully time their attacks to look for an opening.
    Last edited by Barkey Foreman, Apr 17, 2014
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  2. Anakin Solo Revanchist Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2011
    star 4
    If I watch the whole saga, then the fight in ANH looks a little clumsy because I just saw Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar just before the Death Star duel. But going into Vader and Luke's fights in ESB and ROTJ, they do redeem themselves, and I can even compare those to some of the fights I saw in the PT. So, to answer the question, yes. Don't sell the OT lightsaber fights short.
  3. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    I've trained in many forms of swordplay for years, and I find the OT duels far more realistic than the over-stylized saber dances of the PT. If you want to see a movie swordfight that goes the way real world swordfights go, watch Rob Roy. Liam Neeson was excellent in that one.
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  4. Anakin Solo Revanchist Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2011
    star 4
    Ironic that you bring that up; my dad brought home that movie from the library just 2 days ago. :p
  5. Samnz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 2
    I don't know.

    I've never had a problem with any lightsaber fight due to speed or Force use (Qui-Gon's meditation is also a variation Force use, btw) or whatever. They are all different and play on different notes. That's fine. It would have been boring if they had been the same.

    The only duel that's a bit out of place and "unrealistic" (given the conditions of the Star Wars universe) for me is the ANH one and - frankly - because it looks like they're trying too hard to "carefully time their attacks", as you named it. The Force makes you intuitive, it gives you heightened anticipation. The heavy, arduous fighting style hurts that idea imo. I just prefer the idea that Jedi become "one with the Force" when they're fighting. The Force guides their actions and moves, not their "conscious self".

    But again, I don't have a problem with any lightsaber fight.
    Vader hasn't had a single lightsaber fight in 20 year and Obi-Wan wanted to die. That's my "excuse" for ANH :)
  6. Anakin Solo Revanchist Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2011
    star 4
    I think I have to disagree with both sides of that "excuse". I think Vader still had cause to use his lightsaber in the 19 years hence, especially concerning cutting down any Jedi who survived the Purge. I'd have to bring in the EU to back this up, which is a little outside the purview of this forum, but I still believe it's wrong to say his lightsaber was just a belt ornament for nearly 20 years. And as for Obi-Wan, he didn't WANT to die, but he was ready for that eventuality, and when he saw Luke, he knew he could help him better in death than he could at that point in life.
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  7. Palpatine's P.A. Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2014
    star 1
    There is no satisfactory in-universe explanation for the ANH duel's limitations. We have seen with Dooku (at least 75-80) that age doesn't equal weakness. Alec Guiness was in his early sixties at the time and I believe the character Obi-Wan was even younger. And Darth Vader may be a terribly injured wreck of a man but he had 20 years to get used to the suit and was fighting far better in ESB.

    If we were to see a Vader movie or TV series set between ROTS and ANH, we would see not him fighting as in ANH, that's for sure.
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  8. My young Padawan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 1999
    star 1
    I always felt that Darth Vader simply matched the ability level of his opponents in the OT in the way that a cat plays with a mouse. Whenever he needed to step up his game, he seemed to have no problem doing so.
  9. The_Riddler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2013
    star 3
    I've trained in many forms of swordplay for years, and I find the OT duels far more realistic than the over-stylized saber dances of the PT. If you want to see a movie swordfight that goes the way real world swordfights go, watch Rob Roy. Liam Neeson was excellent in that one.
    ----------

    I too am a sword enthusiast and was about to say the exact same thing,

    so basically THIS.

    I'll elaborate more later
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  10. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    I guess most people have a problem with Eastern style swordplay, which is what the PT duels remind me of. Or all of these comments about the OT duels being superior are just more examples of PT bashing?


    And I'm curious about something else. Why do the duels in the SW saga have to "realistic"? This is STAR WARS, not "THE PRISONER OF ZENDA". The only realism I demand from STAR WARS is characterization.

    Also, this is the second thread about the lightsaber duels in one month, in which the OT swordplay is revered and the PT swordplay. Is there some propaganda campaign going on?
    Last edited by DRush76, Apr 20, 2014
  11. JEDI-RISING Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2005
    star 3
    I guess my explanation for the ANH duel would be they were feeling each other out. But it does look like they are just sort of touching swords. TESB duel is actually very good.
    So I'd say the two Luke-Vader duels are both fast enough. They aren't as pretty as the prequels, but fast enough yes.
  12. Cyreides Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2014
    star 1
    After rewatching them, the duels in ESB and ROTJ are faster than I remember, but they still look pretty bad in a lot of areas and there are still really dumb looking things like the twirl in place that Luke does in ESB.

    As for ANH's duel, it's simply god awful anyway you look at it imo.

    And as far as good technique is concerned, I find it pretty irrelevant.
  13. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
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    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    @DRush76 - drop this defensive attitude regarding 'PT bashing'. The last lightsaber thread was abandoned due to it degenerating into an OT vs PT debate which you insisted on fuelling. Enough.
  14. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    @Darth_Nub Sorry if I got out of hand in the other thread as well.
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  15. Binary_Sunset Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 5
    My favorite lightsabre duel is the one between Ben and Vader in the '77 Star Wars. It alone looks kind of real to me, rather than choreographed. Watch how Ben holds his lightsabre straight out in front of himself, and how he moves it in small circles. That is real stuff, there.

    Watch videos of kendo sword fighters. Those guys do not flip around, twirl their swords, or do anything like that. They stand there, barely moving, and then make their move, and the other guy blocks it--all without flashy moves. It's awesome. I suspect that kendo was an inspiration for Ben and Vader's duel.

    As for an "in-universe" explanation of why Ben and Vader's duel is so different than their duel in ROTS: Both Ben and Anakin (especially Anakin) were young snots in ROTS, wet behind the ears. They fought in, let us say, a less-than-ideal manner. But with 20 years of meditation, growth, and maturity, they both learned economy of motion.
  16. ObiAlKenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2012
    star 2
    To me, the greatness of the OT duels lies in what's going on beneath the sword play. ANH, the former pupil meets his old Master twenty years later. Old scores to settle. And, no the actual swordplay is not some display of powers and showmanship. They did what they could do in 77. Perhaps it was caution on both sides of the fight. They each knew what the other was capable of ;)
  17. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    star 4
    That's dead right. The same could be said for the other two. In TESB we see the culmination of two films worth of Luke preparing to confront Vader. In ROTJ the son confronts the father and we know that in all likelihood, someone's not going to make it out alive. The magnitude of these events is immense from a story / character point of view, irrespective of their technical execution.
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  18. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    Obi-Wan is toying with Vader as a distraction so Luke & co can get away. Vader is toying with Obi-Wan because he's been waiting for a long time. Therefore they aren't in insta-kill Jedi mode. When it "gets real" Obi-Wan literally gives up and is promptly chopped in half.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Apr 22, 2014
  19. Tatooine Twilight Twins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2014
    star 2
    The key is, to me at least, is that the duels in ESB and RotJ left me wanting more...in a good way. I wanted those battles to go on for 20 minutes long, that is how much they drew me in. Whenever I rewatched those movies the duels seemed even shorter than they did before. The old saying is the key to a good performance is leave your audience wanting more. Well, mission accomplished.

    ESB remains the greatest of all the lightsabre battles. It is sheer perfection. The buildup, the history, the sets, the lighting the mood, the dialogue...oh goodness the dialouge ("the force is with you, young Skywalker...but you are not a jedi yet). And then the outcome and the revelations. Can't top it IMO.
  20. Gamma626 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2014
    star 3
    ESB has surprised me each time I've watched it this month (we're at four times already on that one). The duel is, to me, terrifying. The atmosphere and lighting, and the sheer bleakness of it far outweighs any other Saber fight. Even though I know what happens, I start to really feel that Luke is in over his head, and it was sheer luck that he survived.
  21. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    I completely agree. It doesn't matter how many times I see it, when Luke finds himself face to face with Vader in that carbon chamber I get a shiver down my spine!
  22. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    The Force is with you young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.
    Stuff is about to go down.
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  23. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    The fan should consider taking evasive action...
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  24. Kenneth Morgan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 27, 1999
    star 4
    [IMG]

    That look basically says, "One of us is not walking out of here."
  25. Kato Sai Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2014
    star 4
    Having been trained in the European Martial Artes, I can confirm that the OT or Classic Trilogy duels are more accurate to saber, rapier, foil, and long sword fencing. Because Paul Anderson (greatest sword cartographer ever, may he rest in peace) was involved, the fencing is actually realistic. It might seem slower than the Prequels, but that is because actual fencing is a serious affair and you only move at the pace that allows you to have focus and control. We watched Luke in ESB try to go faster than he really was ready for and his lightsaber was knocked out of his hand. The Prequels are more flashy and use the more familiar Eastern Martial Arts of Kenjitsue, Judo, and so on. The duels in the Original Trilogy according to actual fencing are perfect. The opponents stay face to face, which is exactly what you should do in 99% of martial arts (0.01% reserved for some unorthodox moves that can work). If you become involved in Historical European Martial Artes you will find so many of the stances, parrying, cuts, and thrusts in the Original Trilogy to be exactly what you would use in rapier, side sword, and long sword fencing.
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