Lightsaber speed vs. skill...

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

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  1. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
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    Just for the record, Bob Anderson and the later Peter Diamond have been known for using flashy fighting. In fact, Anderson had choregraphed the fights for the first Highlander film and it featured twirling swords in it. By both Christopher Lambert and Clancy Brown. Even Sean Connery and Anderson as Connery's double did a flashy set of swinging in one fight. Anderson would later do this in the series during the first two seasons. Diamond and Anderson, along with Lucas wanted fights that really moved in the OT. But Guiness's age and the weight of the suit prevented that. As well as the limits of the equipment used to make a Lightsaber blade. But I digress.

    Cinematic sword fighting is by definition different from real sword fighting or fencing. As such today's audiences want to be dazzled by the combat. Films such as the Conan series, the Highlander franchise, The Princess Bride, Kill Bill, Big Trouble In Little China, the Blade trilogy and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have taken sword fighting to a whole new level. Lucas was adamant that the Jedi and Sith could really fight well. How well, he hadn't said. But better than the OT. When he hired Gillard, he was not only able to work within the confines of what he wanted, but he brought a flashy style to the duels. Elements of which owe to modern cinema and others to Asian weapons training. Which sometimes includes flashy displays of skill with swords and other edged weapons.

    The sequence with the Lightsaber blades in ROTS, does serve a purpose. The two were striking each others blades, but then they both went into overdrive there for a moment. Both Anakin and Obi-wan were winding up for a strike, which would lead into a Force shove. A massive one. It's a moment that's meant to show how alike they are. Both men have trained together for thirteen years. They know each other inside and out. They know each other's moves. Finally, they connect and it's Force shove time. Twirling swords is common in cinematic films. Arnold did it in the Conan films and Red Sonja. Lambert, Brown, Connery, Adrian Paul and Mario Van Peebles did it with Highlander.
  2. TigerCraneFist Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 4
    Cinematic sword fighting is by definition different from real sword fighting or fencing.

    Indeed!

    Films such as the Conan series, the Highlander franchise, The Princess Bride, Kill Bill, Big Trouble In Little China, the Blade trilogy and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon have taken sword fighting to a whole new level.

    Conan series did nothing to "take sword fighting to a whole new level", neither did the Blade trilogy. I just watched the ending fight of the first Blade and actually laughed out loud at how pathetic the choreography was! It's just the same three moves repeated endlessly, with some flourishes thrown in here and there to make it seem cool.
    I don't remember any swordfights in Big Trouble... but I haven't seen it in a long time, so I won't comment that.
    Kill Bill had about the same sort of sword fighting that we're used to seeing. More Hong Kong inspired, but nothing new really. Just more of it.
    Crouching Tiger didn't take swordfighting to a new level in any way, it only introduced a thirty+ years old screenfighting style to the west. The Princess Bride, has IMHO the best fencing scene ever made, but it's hardly anything new. Seen The Adventures of Robin Hood? That's right, the Errol Flynn movie from 1938. Same style to it - Princess Bride's fighting was heavely influenced by the old swashbucklers! I don't remember that much from Highlander 3, but the first two have really pathetic swordfighting, with the fighters raising their blade before the other guy has even started his swing yet. Also has the same moves repeated over and over again.
    So what is it that makes these movies some sort of stepping stones in the evolution of swordfighting on film?

    The sequence with the Lightsaber blades in ROTS, does serve a purpose. The two were striking each others blades, but then they both went into overdrive there for a moment. Both Anakin and Obi-wan were winding up for a strike, which would lead into a Force shove. A massive one. It's a moment that's meant to show how alike they are. Both men have trained together for thirteen years. They know each other inside and out. They know each other's moves. Finally, they connect and it's Force shove time.

    But there's no point whatsoever for them to be twirling around their bodies endlessly without having any intent behind the moves what so ever when they could have striken each other any time during this time. And how come there's no footwork, and they're both looking sort of off-balance?

    Twirling swords is common in cinematic films. Arnold did it in the Conan films and Red Sonja. Lambert, Brown, Connery, Adrian Paul and Mario Van Peebles did it with Highlander.

    And the fact that ARNOLD did it in CONAN makes it good? Gee, man, you convinced me right there! Cos Arnold is such a master swordsman, and Conan is really supposed to be a sofisticated fighter.
    I have nothing against twirling the swords in fightscenes - I put twirls in my own choreographies as well, but they should always have a purpose. The part where Anakin and Obi-Wan are twirling around themselves is nothing but lousy choreography.
  3. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Twirling = visually appealing. Maul made good use of it after he was reduced to using a single blade and he hopped and skipped away from Obi Wan while twirling his saber around him. It's not a bad defensive move at all, no one wants to walk into a whirlwind. Obi Wan and Anakin twirling face to face isn't worth anything in a real world fight, but not only did it look neat, it was a symbolic moment rather than a reality moment.
  4. Count-Tyranus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2005
    star 2
    In monitoring the conversation, it seems there is a wide range of opinions as to who is the "best" so to speak.

    I cannot help but point out that it may be possible that there is no best swordsman from the group of Yoda, Sidious, Mace, Dooku, Anakin and Obi-Wan.

    Each is the best at fighting under a particular set of circumstances I think, and they are all good enough to hang with each other (except Obi-Wan when he duels Dooku, he just seems completely out of his league).
  5. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    There is a legacy from those old Errol Flynn movies in Star Wars though - Christopher Lee's right hand never healed right from where Flynn smashed it in the fifties in a screenfight. :D
  6. TigerCraneFist Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 4
    I had no idea actually! That's cool :p
  7. Count-Tyranus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2005
    star 2
    I believe Mr. Lee has the record for most swordfights of any actor on the big screen.

    He is probably the only Star Wars cast member to ever have actually killed someone.
  8. farrellg Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2005
    star 4
    We are never given any evidence that Obi-Wan wouldn't be able to take on Sidious. I'm not saying he could, I'm just saying that we don't know!

    I think the movie gives us plenty of evidence that Obi-Wan cannot take on the Emperor. He is easily defeated by Dooku, who is only Palpatine's apprentice. The Sith Master would be able to defeat Obi-Wan even more easily.

    Additionally, Lucas himself said "you have to be either Mace or Yoda to compete with the Emperor". This means Obi-Wan cannot compete with the Emperor.

    The way that Lucas regards the characters' skills makes all the difference in the world. He writes the script. If Lucas considers Obi-Wan to be so inferior that he can't even "compete" with the Emperor, then Kenobi isn't going to stand a chance if Lucas ever decided to have the two fight onscreen.
  9. yoshifett Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2004
    star 5
    QFT

    You are making so much sense in this post that I wanted to make sure that everyone saw it again. If the films have shown us anything, it's that circumstances can be almost as important as skill in duels.
  10. Count-Tyranus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2005
    star 2
    Obviously a person of great intelligence and wisdom
  11. yoshifett Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2004
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    Of course! You've never heard of Yoshifett?
  12. Count-Tyranus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2005
    star 2
    But of course my dear Fett. Wise indeed.
  13. yoshifett Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2004
    star 5
    Next thing you know people are going to be telling us to get a room. So, let's get back on topic. [face_mischief]
  14. TigerCraneFist Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 4
    I think the movie gives us plenty of evidence that Obi-Wan cannot take on the Emperor. He is easily defeated by Dooku, who is only Palpatine's apprentice. The Sith Master would be able to defeat Obi-Wan even more easily.

    Did you see my (borrowed) analogy earlier? If sissors beat paper, then sissors must be the strongest, cos we all know what paper can do to rock.
    Also, I don't remember the exact context that I said that in, but I'm pretty sure I was only talking pure lightsaber skills. Obi-Wan wasn't bested by Dooku with a lightsaber in RotS, but by the Force. Obi-Wan obviously would have no chance once Palpatine would start throwing pods and lightning around.

    Additionally, Lucas himself said "you have to be either Mace or Yoda to compete with the Emperor". This means Obi-Wan cannot compete with the Emperor.

    The way that Lucas regards the characters' skills makes all the difference in the world. He writes the script. If Lucas considers Obi-Wan to be so inferior that he can't even "compete" with the Emperor, then Kenobi isn't going to stand a chance if Lucas ever decided to have the two fight onscreen.


    No, it doesn't, since he never actually pitted the two against each other! However, I'm not gonna take that debate again, cos if ye guys haven't figured it out yet, then you probably never will. Cheerio.
  15. farrellg Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2005
    star 4
    Did you see my (borrowed) analogy earlier? If sissors beat paper, then sissors must be the strongest, cos we all know what paper can do to rock.

    I don't think that analogy applies to Obi-Wan, Dooku, and the Emperor. The Emperor's skills are similar, but much greater than Dooku's. If Obi-Wan is paper and was defeated by Dooku who is a scissor, then the Emperor would be a much sharper scissor.

    Gillard confirmed that Obi-Wan is a level 8 while the Emperor is level 9. He claims there is an "enormous" difference between the levels. The only reason Obi-Wan can hang with Anakin is because of his experience, as Lucas explained. Mace, Yoda, and the Emperor are all more powerful and more experienced than Obi-wan. They are better than Kenobi in every single way. Obi-Wan doesn't have a single advantage against any of those three warriors, unlike the experience advantage that he has over Anakin.

    No, it doesn't, since he never actually pitted the two against each other!

    The fact that Lucas has said Obi-Wan can't even "compete" with the Emperor comfirms that if the two of them ever fought, using the abilities Lucas gave them, Obi-Wan would be terribly overmatched.
  16. Darth_Froschler Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2004
    star 2
    Obi-wan could never in a thousand years beat Palpatine. Obi-wan is as good as he'll ever get in ROTS.

    Whats our proof that shows that Obi-wan couldn't compete with the emperor? Yoda says it himself in the movie. That is why he sends him to kill Anakin instead. At least he has a chance with him.

  17. Obi-Wan-1000 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2005
    star 4




    Obi-wan's power was still growing; he is not weak, The movie does not show any evidence that Obi-wan is weaker,Obi-wan was still very young. the movie shows Obi-wan being one of the strongest. Count Dooku did beat Obi-wan using the force, but it was not that easy. In the Anakin vs Obi-wan duel, Anakin was more powerful in terms of force power but Anakin did not use the force on Obi-wan because it is not that easily. The Emperor is not so invincible because Mace proved it because Mace beat him very easily and very fast and Mace's earned his victory fair and sqaure.
  18. Obi-Wan-1000 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2005
    star 4



    I disagree, Palpatine is not so invincible, By episode 3 Obi-wan's power was still growing. Mace has the same lightsaber skills as Palpatine because he is old enough and experianced enough.




    Obi-wan by episode 3 was not experianced enough but his power was still growing by episode 3, Obi-wan's power got stronger by epiosde 4.



  19. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    I never said it was an evolution of sword fighting. I said that the difference is that audiences want flashy fighting, versus the fencing styles that you cite. Star Wars is inspired by, among others, the Kurosawa films. Samurai warriors fighting with katanas and the like. And later on by various types of modern cinema fighting. Conan was broad sword fighting that did have elements of Asian influences. Highlander was an electic mix of styles. From fencing to Japanese and Chinese styles. Peter Diamond who portrayed Iman Fasil in the first film, was also the man who did the choreography for the OT and PB. Christopher Lambert did pretty well in the first fight, given that he couldn't wear contacts and his eyes were bad. Not to mention they were using two different brands of swords. Japanese Katana vs Toledo Salamanca (sp).

    Diamond had Anderson and Hamill do the same set of strikes for their duels, for the most part. Most noticably for ROTJ.

    Anyway, people want to be entertained by a fight. They don't want to see the real deal. If they did, they'd watch the Olympics or go find a fencing tournament.

    The body twirls are to build up momentum. Hayden and Ewan both made a pact after AOTC, that they'd give their all for ROTS. So they wanted to go all out to give the fans what they've wanted since 1977. The off-balance is due to the fact that Hayden's leg was still sore from an early stunt that he did. The other is probably from moving very fast, something they didn't even do in the previous fights. They fought quickly, but never as quick as this duel was. Also, they were so eager to do the fight that they probably forgot some things they worked on.

    I never said that. I said that it entertains people. That's what matters. Arnold in real life isn't a master swordsman. But
  20. Darth_Carl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 1
    Honestly, The Highlander series never took swoordplay to no level anywhere; they wen't straight to the basement and where locked up in a little cupboard!
  21. TigerCraneFist Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 4
    Please note that everything I say is meant out of my own, personal opinion - not as 'facts' in any way. Thanks.
    Also note that I'm not taking this too seriously, even if it appears as if I do - this is only fun :)


    I don't think that analogy applies to Obi-Wan, Dooku, and the Emperor. The Emperor's skills are similar, but much greater than Dooku's. If Obi-Wan is paper and was defeated by Dooku who is a scissor, then the Emperor would be a much sharper scissor.

    Ah, I knew I spelled 'scissors' wrong! :D
    Anyway, I don't think so, since Dooku's saber skills are of old Jedi tradition (since he was a Jedi for many years), while Sidious' saber skills were of Sith teachings.

    Gillard confirmed that Obi-Wan is a level 8 while the Emperor is level 9. He claims there is an "enormous" difference between the levels. The only reason Obi-Wan can hang with Anakin is because of his experience, as Lucas explained. Mace, Yoda, and the Emperor are all more powerful and more experienced than Obi-wan. They are better than Kenobi in every single way. Obi-Wan doesn't have a single advantage against any of those three warriors, unlike the experience advantage that he has over Anakin.

    Well, I, along with others here appearantly, don't believe in what Gillard says about levels and stuff - it just seems like something he came up with on a lunch break.

    The fact that Lucas has said Obi-Wan can't even "compete" with the Emperor comfirms that if the two of them ever fought, using the abilities Lucas gave them, Obi-Wan would be terribly overmatched.

    In my opinion, only what's shown in the movies count. If you think otherwise - good for you.

    Whats our proof that shows that Obi-wan couldn't compete with the emperor? Yoda says it himself in the movie. That is why he sends him to kill Anakin instead. At least he has a chance with him.

    Once again, Yoda hadn't met Sidious since he revealed himself, and therefore couldn't be sure whether or not Obi-Wan could take him on. However, he didn't want to risk it, so he sent Obi-Wan to take care of Anakin, since he probably would have a greater chance there.

    I never said it was an evolution of sword fighting. I said that the difference is that audiences want flashy fighting, versus the fencing styles that you cite. Star Wars is inspired by, among others, the Kurosawa films. Samurai warriors fighting with katanas and the like. And later on by various types of modern cinema fighting. Conan was broad sword fighting that did have elements of Asian influences. Highlander was an electic mix of styles. From fencing to Japanese and Chinese styles. Peter Diamond who portrayed Iman Fasil in the first film, was also the man who did the choreography for the OT and PB. Christopher Lambert did pretty well in the first fight, given that he couldn't wear contacts and his eyes were bad. Not to mention they were using two different brands of swords. Japanese Katana vs Toledo Salamanca (sp).

    But you said they had taken swordfighting to a new level - isn't that what evolution is? It's taking things to a new level.
    Also, didn't Bob Anderson choreograph both the OT and TPB? He did choreograph TPB, I'm almost certain of that.

    Diamond had Anderson and Hamill do the same set of strikes for their duels, for the most part. Most noticably for ROTJ.

    Indeed, and that is my biggest gripe with RotJ - the choreography is bad. However, they execute these strikes differently all the time, which brings at least a certain diversity to it.

    Anyway, people want to be entertained by a fight. They don't want to see the real deal. If they did, they'd watch the Olympics or go find a fencing tournament.

    I agree 100%! But a fight has to have an ounce of reality for it to sell. The Star Wars duels do have that (except for Yoda's duels, but hey - in reality, frogs don't fight with swords) most of the time, but there are a few instances when all of that is thrown out the window - such as the twirling in RotS. This is where the suspension of disbelief for me, and oth
  22. Darth_Carl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 1
    And no one want's to be stabbed in the back in the middle of a twirl. Twirls work good when doing them close to you opponent, but forexample starting with a twirl when your two meters from your opponent is just... well not very clever in any way!
  23. legion_of_me Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2005
    star 1
    Nor do I. Anakin's inability to control his emotions leads him to make stupid mistakes that no experienced fighter would make. Case in point of this would be Anakin's first encounter with Dooku when he rushed him. Dooku could have easily killed him with his Sith lightning. Obi Wan is good with a lightsaber and probably among the best in the Jedi Order. But not the best by far.

    Master fighters regardless of their style or discipline do not waste time arguing who is the fastest. They usually respect one another's abilities and often learn from each other to become better fighters. Many times when these titans get together and fight there isn't a clear winner.

  24. legion_of_me Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2005
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    Some have some very strong arguments and others are just purely based on their worship of the character.

    All of the aforementioned swordsmen are masters in their particular fighting forms. None of the aforementioned swordsmen rely solely on speed but with skill, knowledge of the force and experience. Experience is something not mentioned much in these who's better than who threads. Experience is a major component of the combat formula regardless if you're a boxer with Martial Arts experience(like me) or a streetfighter. The more experience you have with different fighters the better you will be.

    Real fighters know that experience is invaluable. Period.

  25. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
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    To TigerCraneFist. Bob Anderson was the one who wore Vader's suit in TESB and ROTJ. He tried to help Prowse out, but couldn't get it to work. So he took his place and he did the fights. He might've helped Diamond and tossed out suggestions Hamill and Kershner, but the credit appears to go to Diamond only. Especially since they intereviewed him for "Empire Of Dreams" and what was in "The Birth Of The Lightsaber". They would've had something from Anderson if he had more of an involvement.

    And I only called you an expert, since you have more of a background with weapons training, than I do. I'm only the guy who as a kid, had plastic swords and tried to imitate the movies that he saw as a kid.
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