Lightsaber speed vs. skill...

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith' started by MacetheCouncillor, Dec 16, 2005.

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  1. MacetheCouncillor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 3
    I am starting this topic because many fans think that the speed we see a character wield his lightsaber with onscreen. They use this to support the notion that Anakin and Obi-Wan (particularly Anakin) are the best lightsaber duelists around in Episode III). I don't buy this.

    First of all, the character who can swing his lightsabers fastest of all is neither of those. It is Grievous. Period. We already know from the results of his duel with Obi-Wan that he can't be the best. But I have never seen lightsabers spin as fast as when he initially attacked Obi-Wan. It was like looking at helicopter blades, so when people say Anakin was the fastest, I say...go on dreaming. Grievous was the fastest by far.
    And indeed, if speed were equal to skill, it would be wise to replace Force users with droids as lightsaber duelists, because droids could definitely be much faster. It's a wonder no one thought of that.

    Then when someone's style is economic and energy saving, like Mace's and to a lesser extent Sidious', these fans assume that these characters can't hang with the faster ones. I am sorry, but being able to block your enemy's attacks without expending much energy is a strength, not a weakness.

    Gillards rankings have already established who is better than who, so why not accept that? Why invent your own, flawed, speed based ones. And last I checked, Gillard did not rank them like this...

    Grievous: 10
    Anakin and Obi-Wan: 9
    Yoda and Dooku: 8
    Sidious and Mace: 7

    ...but that is how it would be if they were solely speed based.

    I'll be frank. Flashiness means squat. Results mean everything. Sidious took out three high ranking Jedi in seconds. Even Anakin did not outduel the Jedi in the temple as proficiently. And then Mace in turn outdueled him, so they pretty much have to be awfully good, both of them.
    So why should Obi-Wan and Anakin spinning their sabers crazy fast sideways when they dueled each other impress me. That didn't actually win them the duel. Other characters had the precision required to actually break their enemy's defenses.
    Anakin's victory over Dooku was impressive. As was Mace's disarmament of Sidious. With a clever flip of the blade, Anakin took off Dooku's hands. And Mace pushed aside Sidious' blade and kicked him. Very impressive. But speed by itself does not impress me, if it doesn't serve to win you the duel.

    That is my take on what I consider one of the greatest misconceptions, that speed equates skill. Master duelists would not waste energy on being faster than absolutely necessary. They would save their energies until a suitable opening came. Then they would use one masterful move to take their enemy's weapon.
  2. DarthJedi06 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2005
    star 1
    I very much agree with this.

    The end result is all that counts, it doesnt matter really how you get there. (assuming all dueling is done fairly with no intervention). Quality + Persision > Than Speed

    The reason why i assume people think anakins saber skills are the best are because he does look very impressive, but it is impressive to disarm Dooku using the darkside even faster than yoda could. If you notice anakin is moving slower in the Dooku duel compared to his mouvement in the Kenobi duel but his strikes are far more persise and overpowering, thus he is capable of rendering Dooku in a vulnerable poition. This furthurs the point that skill is vastly more important than speed. Mace windu on the other hand doesnt look so good but gets the job done.

  3. Obi-Wan-1000 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2005
    star 4
    Nick Gillard said that Anakin is unbeatable, I always thought that when Nick Gillard made those lightsaber rankings I always thought that they were based on his own opinion but I heard that they were based on George Lucas's comments and Nick Gillard said that Anakin is unbeatable so now I think that Anakin is unbeatable but for Anakin to win against the very powerful jedi he has to let go of his emotions.
  4. Fat_Bird Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2005
    star 2
    Am I the only one who couldn't care less what Nick Gillard said? I'm never going to base my opinions of the movies or characters on what anyone said in interviews or commentaries. Why would I? I don't need others to form my opinions for me. I watch the movies and I decide what I think of the characters. I don't care about paper characters. I don't care what is claimed but not shown on screen. I only care about what is actually shown on screen.

    Also, why do people get so caught up in the silly little ranking system that Nick Gillard came up with? Even if those rankings hold weight with you, they are meaningless when it comes to fighting. It's not like the person of the higher rank always wins (and wins easily) over those of lower rank. But that's how some people around here act. Nick Gillard said that Mace is a 9 and Obi-Wan is just an 8! That means Mace would wipe the floor with Obi-Wan! Rubbish.


    And how in the heck is anyone going to claim that Anakin is unbeatable? That claim doesn't even make sense. What a joke. Obi-Wan beat him. Oh, but wait, that's only because Anakin let himself be beat! Duh.
  5. jedi_jacks Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2005
    star 4
    looking back at it all, i think the anakin-dooku duel in RotS is my favorite now. to me, anakin pretended to be all wild and out of control, with these powerful swings. dooku was probably thinking, what a brute, anakin cannot beat me this way. then anakin stops on a dime and calmly disarms dooku and then just ponders what to do with this guy. even in AotC, dooku couldnt contain anakin.

    overall, i think yoda was the best with the lightsaber, but probably not the absolute fastest. mace windu, sidious, and anakin are real close - close enough to stay in the game with yoda.

    dooku really couldnt match up with yoda, it wasnt even that close, yoda is just a cautious fighter. i dont get why people think these two are in the same league.
  6. Mace_Windolene Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2005
    star 1
    The prime example of speed being inferior to skill is that segment during the Duel when Vadakin and Obi-Wan are flailing their sabers around so fast that that they are blurs, but they don't connect with anything - not each other or even their sabers.

    I believe Icestar63 is correct that GL gave the rankings to Gillard to help him with his choreography. Gillard hasn't got a clue about which Sar Wars character is more powerful than another. He just likes the sound of his own voice.

    "Mace would wipe the floor with Obi-Wan!" Correct. Even on his worst day, with a hangover from drinking 18 pints of Juma Juice the night before.
  7. farrellg Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2005
    star 4
    This is a very good thread, MacetheCouncillor. I agree with you that Gillard's rankings are the best indication we have of a character's lightsaber skills.

    In some cases, speed is important. Lucas said that he wanted the saber duels in the OT to be faster and more intense as Luke was becoming more proficient. In this case, when Luke was more powerful, he actually looked faster onscree. Lucas has also mentioned how the prequel-era Jedi look faster than Vader, Obi-Wan and Luke because we are seeing well-trained Jedi in their prime fight.

    In other instances, a character's skill is not reflected by speed. Mace doesn't look as fast as Anakin, Obi-Wan, or even Dooku because Jackson didn't have a fencing double. In the story, Mace is definitely a better swordsman than Obi-Wan and Dooku. I think that he's even better than Anakin.

    Grievous twirled his blades the fastest, but he didn't look incredibly fast when he was parrying strikes with Obi-Wan. I think Anakin and Obi-Wan during their duel, and even Yoda and the Emperor (when he had a fencing double) might have looked faster.
  8. Hypernova Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 2
    Vader SHOULD have won on Mustafar.

    But I guess its like football...............even the best team team loses sometimes.

    Had Vader not required the suit and lost his limbs, he would have become so powerful that all but the very best Jedi would struggle to block the sheer power of his saber strikes.
  9. Obi-Twice-Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2003
    star 2
    Great post! I remember the times when people were actually watching the MOVIES and making up their OWN minds based on these observations, but it seems that those times are gone for good. Nowadays, almost all you got left on the boards are quote-fanatics blindly repeating some idiotical power rankings (maybe moving over to some game forum would be a good idea?) and simply ignoring what is really shown on screen.

    Best example is the Mace/Sids confrontation that's been discussed for ages by now, because especially in this fight the difference between what we ARE TOLD to see and what we REALLY SEE is enormous. Let's start at the very beginning when Mace & gang arive at Sid's office:

    what we're told to see:
    Darth Sidious approaches 4 of the finest warriors the Jedi order has to offer with incredible speed, moves in with almost lightspeed and cuts down three of them with unbelievable accuracy and deadly precision before anyone can blink an eye. Clearly, a proof for the dark lord's incredible skills and his superiority over everyone except Yoda&Mace.

    what really happens
    The biggest let-down in SW history besides the Obi&Ani vs Dooku (AotC) fight, with the jump performed by the future emperor as the only impressive thing in the entire scene. After his landing, we see Sidious stopping for almost 3 seconds (heck knows why), holding his LS like a complete beginner and moving around like, well, exactely like an actor who has never ever been doing a fighting scene before. Meanwhile, the so-called elite Jedi keep standing around motionless like brainamputed dorks glaring at each other waiting for someone to release them from their pitiful existence. Neither do Sidious' attacks look fast and deadly (quite the opposite), nor do the Jedi seem to be in any form or shape capable of putting up any resistence. Only Kit Fisto manages to block one single strike, but again, neither does this strike appear anywhere near dangerous, nor do the Jedi's blocking attempts impress me the slightest bit.


    Let's move on. The b-team is gone, it a pure one-on-one, Mace vs. the Emperor.

    what we're told to see
    A LS fight between two "sword-saints"; Mace "oh-my-god-he's-lev9" Windu fights for his life against Darth "heck-he's-lev9-too!" Sidious. Based on pure skill and precision, the fight should leave the Obi/Vader duel in the shadows NOT because of unnecessary speed or flashy moves, but because both Mace and Sidious are as good as it gets with a LS. Speed isn't necessary in a fight between supreme masters, it's precision and focus that counts.

    what really happens
    Ohoh, you know what's coming - another let-down. Not the worst fight in movie history, but if there's one thing those actors CAN'T do well onscreen, it definitely IS to look skilled with a sword. Their moves are neither fast nor do they appear precise or deadly, and the entire fight reminds of two
  10. Carnage04 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2005
    star 5


    As much as I liked the actor portraying the emporer, he looked....silly during the Mace battle. I think that is what made this scene pretty bad. Seriously, Palpatine looked like an old man trying to hold off a wild dog with his pokin stick. Given this, I thought Mace looked pretty fluid and reasonable as a fighter.

    Carnage
  11. Hypernova Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 2
    Ian McDiarmid did well for an old guy I thought
  12. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The only reason Obi Wan Kenobi was able to disarm Grievous was because his skill, speed, and timing are all enhanced by his ability with the Force. Otherwise Grievous would have chopped him into itty bitty pieces.
  13. maxwell1234 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2004
    star 1
    Brilliant post. I've been trying to convince MacetheCouncillor of this for a while, but he just doesn't get it.

    I mean, god forbid Star Wars fans should have to try and figure anything else out for themselves. Let's all just desperately search for meaningless quotes from George Lucas, Nick Gillard, etc to twist and use to support our own view.

    I've been trying to point out that what a person says about their work doesn't mean sh!t if their actual work doesn't support it.

    George Lucas has said that the Anakin-Padme relationship is a beautiful love story. LMAO!!! It's the most cringeworthy on screen relationship I've ever seen.
    It was MEANT to be a beautiful love story, but it sure as hell was NOT.

    I don't care what an artist says about their painting, an actor says about their character, a musician says about their music, or a carpenter says about the house he just built - if what they say doesn't match what their actual painting/character/music/house shows, their words become utterly meaningless.

    Again, it ALL comes down to perception.


    My perception is that Sidious was NOT that quick. The posse Jedi were just useless and slow to react. Sidious took an eternity to draw his blade back and thrust it into the first of the posse. The second posse Jedi was pathetic and Kit Fisto looked really weird and awkward with his saber.

    The movie shows Anakin and Obi-Wan were the fastest Jedi with a saber IMO, so McDiarmid can claim his character is the fastest all he likes, but as that isn't shown, it don't mean squat.

    Also, in terms of pure skill, even leaving speed aside, I think Anakin, Obi-Wan and Dooku were all vastly superior to Yoda and Sidious with a lightsaber as shown in the movies. Yoda was a grasshopper on crack. He didn't look very controlled or accurate at all. Sidious was too slow and awkward looking in his movements to be a really smooth, skilful, precise warrior.

    Dooku looked incredibly skilful and proficient, as did Obi-Wan, but noone looked more deadly than Anakin during his duel with Dooku and his ferocious onslaught at the start of the Mustafar duel.


  14. Darth_Carl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 1
    "it's not like the person with the highest ranking always wins"

    Exacly! in the kendo swedish championship that was held two weeks a go a friend of mine, a first dan (first grade of blackbelt) managed to win against a seven dan (the seven grade of blackbelt, obviosly) in a match. It was ever so unpredicted but my friend just had more will to win that day, and I guess that was enough to win this time.

    --------------------------------
    No it was becouse GL had desided that Obi-one should live for a while longer (I think he made that decision somewhere in the 70's right? ^_^)

    -------------------------------
    Also I would like to point out that this whole discussion is quite meaningless since you really can't base a characters fighting skill by watching the stagefight; at least not when Nick Gillard has Choreographed it since he seems to have completely forgotten rules and measurements for what makes a good swordfighter or not; I mean, count Dooku kicks butt in alot of duels, but some of his moves! There just so ridiculous.
    So anyways, nick Gillard basically only considers to have a basic story line in every fight, some style for every opponent (though he fails a bit here) and really only goes for what he finds cool.

    -------------------------------
    Finally, Obi-Twice: lovely post, but I have to comment on one thing.
    Palpatines attacks shouldn't have to look fast, but they should - as you in a way pointed out - look convincing, which they - as you said - didn't. But for Palpatine who is old and crump I would rather se a determined style than a fast.
    Cheers to your post!
  15. sith_rising Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2004
    star 4
    Ian was struggling with his swordsmanship, but his double was very good. Was it the Dooku double? I like his style. He uses lots of basics, which I think come off better onscreen than the crazier moves.
  16. TigerCraneFist Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 4
    Nope, that was Mr. CG-man ;)

    Obi-Twice, great post!
  17. JediMaster7299 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 1
    I do agree with you on your topic that speed does not equal skill. But, I do believe that speed was very important in the duel between Obi and Anakin. It has been established that Anakin and Obi Wan were so much alike in their styles that it was like fighting yourself. So, if you're fighting yourself and know all your moves you have to try to be faster and try to use better stragedy (which Obi Wan ultimately did to win). The experience of Obi vs. the power of Vader kind of cancel each other out, it was ultimately Anakin's emotional state that was his undoing but in the intial half of the battle, both of them tried to win by being faster than the other. Just my thoughts.
  18. Obi-Wan-1000 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2005
    star 4





    Good Post,I agree with everything in your post. Before I never used the lightsaber rankings as proof because i always thought that they were based on Nick Gillards own opinion and I always said that in my posts that I do not use the lightsaber rankings as proof but I was told that the lightsaber rankings Nick Gillard made were based on George Lucas's comments after that I started to think that the lightsaber rankings were a little proof on a jedi's fighting skills but sometimes I Realize that the lightsaber rankings are not always proof because Anakin was ranked as a 9 and Obi-wan was ranked as an 8 but when they were dueling they were equel. The interviews and Comments are not really proof because they do not really say much and they do not really give to much proof. I am still thinking if I should use the lightsaber as proof or not but I am thinking I should not use the lightsaber rankings as proof because the Obi-wan and Anakin duel proved that the jedi with the higher lightsaber ranking does not always win.



    When I said that I think that Anakin is unbetable I meant that he is unbeatable against most of the other jedi I did not mean he is unbeatable against the powerful jedi like Yoda, Obi-wan, Mace. Anakin is not unbeatable against them because Obi-wan proved it.:) [face_peace] :D :cool:



  19. sith_rising Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2004
    star 4
    Sure there was lots of CG in the Sidious/Mace fight, but there was a human double who had Ian's face digitally inserted over his. At the beginning of the fight, when he takes out Kit and tears into Mace, you can see that it's someone else. Was that the same guy who doubled for Dooku in his ROTS battle?
  20. Fat_Bird Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2005
    star 2
    Okay! Got you. He was unbeatable against the average Jedi.:cool:
  21. Obi-Wan-1000 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2005
    star 4



    Yes :) [face_peace] :cool:
  22. Joke Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 15, 2005
    I think Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kensobi is the best in battle with lightsabers.
  23. MacetheCouncillor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 3
    Edit: Flame-baiting. Don't tell other users to shut up and keep it off the personal stuff.
    Then make up your own view. I am pointing out mine here, which I have the same right to do.

    But how can you say the work does not support it. Yoda says Obi-Wan is not strong enough to fight Lord Sidious, whereas Mace outdueled ditto. It shows that regardless of who looks faster, Mace is more effective, even in the work itself. So where, exactly, does the work itself fail to show this.

    That is a matter of taste, and you are free to form your own opinion. However, it is different than character power rankings. If I say Sio Bibble would walk over Obi-Wan in combat because I like to, we will both know it is rubbish, so why should you have to pretend it is valid?

    And again, Mace is shown to be more effective than Obi-Wan in the movie because he can outduel Sidious, which Obi-Wan can only dream of doing.

    Again, speed has little to do with skill.

    Yeah, but the movie also shows that they can't easily break through their opponent's defenses. And Grievous is even faster, as any droid engineered for lightsaber combat could be.

    Yeah, flipping your lightsaber sideways shows incredible skill. The one skilled and precise move I saw from Anakin was when he disarmed Dooku, not in the duel against Obi-Wan.

    But, as I pointed out, I base my evaluation of skill on results, not looks, which Anakin delivered in the former, but not the latter.
  24. MacetheCouncillor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 3
    =D= =D= =D=
    I reckon it would take about twenty seconds.
  25. MacetheCouncillor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 2003
    star 3
    It is as clear as it always was. What those who say they don't care about the quotes and make up their opinions from watching the films themselves want to do is to form their own biased opinions on power rankings that they expect others to believe in as fact.
    But of course, they ignore the parts that don't match their own belief system, such as that Mace was able to outduel an opponent Obi-Wan was told by Yoda (in his most sincere mood) that he wasn't strong enough to even fight. I would like to refresh their memory that that was also shown onscreen.
    The sole reason Mace may not look (according to some) too good onscreen is that they had a man in his fifties (Samuel L. Jackson) his dueling during filming. They also don't want to hold back the performances of the lesser swordsmen (according to Lucas' story) like Obi-Wan so they won't outshine their superiors in onscreen appearance.

    Some of you people have to learn to accept that some of us are interested in Lucas' story, not your home made one.

    Edit: You do know you're flaming, right?
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