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CT Were Obi-Wan and Darth Vader just toying around in their duel?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Barkey Foreman, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Barkey Foreman

    Barkey Foreman Jedi Youngling

    Mar 10, 2014
    Not withstanding the differences in fight choreography in the standards of the 70s from the PTs, I honestly believe neither Vader nor Obi Wan were truly taking their duel seriously in Episode 4.

    I am rewatching the fights right now and even I can't help but witness Vader is not using his full skills to fight Obi Wan. I mean he shown more ferociousness and accuracy in fighting Luke in the Empire Strike Back (and this was when Luke still was a noob with a saber). And Vader wasn't trying to kill Luke.

    Its obvious Obi Wan is holding back either especially since he let Vader strike him.

    But even considering his fall to the Dark Side, I find it hard to believe Vader was genuinely trying his hardest against Obi Wan and believed he truly beaten his master this time. I mean Vader must have seen the force being used when Obi Wan died without leaving a corpse.

    Furthermore Vader was using far more techniques against Luke than with Obi Wan.

    Even Obi Wan told Vader if he dies, he will become more powerful than he can ever imagine, proof that Obi Wan was not going at fullest.

    I'd go as far as saying young Luke was portraying far more athleticism, agility, and attacking from more angles than either Obi Wan and Vader did in their duels when he lost his arm in ESB.
  2. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    It had nothing to do with the standards and more to do with other issues.

    1. The technology used to make the Lightsaber blade glow, so that the rotoscoping process could be done, resulted in issues such as limiting the mobility of the blades to keep them visible on film. The lights required to reflect the material to create the glow had to be positioned just right in order to maintain the glow. Too far of a deviation resulted in the blades not glowing.

    2. Said blades were also delicate and couldn't withstand too hard of a pounding.

    3. Prowse couldn't move very well in the suit due to the helmet, which kept falling off. He also wasn't capable of fighting that well even with the helmet off in certain shots.

    4. For TESB and ROTJ, aluminum poles were used which could take a pounding and didn't require reflective lighting to create the glow for rotoscoping.

    5. Bob Anderson, a trained swordman and stuntman, filled in for Prowse during the duels.

    At the time of the OT, Lucas wanted the blades to be defined as heavy. Thus justifying the fighting styles. This was contradicted with Vader's one handed approach during the Bespin duel.

    In the end, there was no toying with each other. They were fighting hard, but only due to technical issues, does it seem less so.
  3. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    May 27, 1999
    Outside of the filmmaking limitations, I look at it as Vader and Kenobi deciding, "Forget all the fancy moves. We both know each others tricks. So, let's just get back to basics."
  4. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    Obi-Wan was distracting Vader so Luke and company would have a chance to escape. Vader? Toying with Obi-Wan?
    Lady_Misty and TOSCHESTATION like this.
  5. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012

    And...Vader might have learned some respect for Obi-Wan's capabilities given the result of their last he's not going to go in all guns blazing, he's going to 'feel' his way into this one - figure out where Obi-Wan's at.
  6. MOC Vober Dand

    MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 6, 2004
    The fighting style was supposed to be like Kendo wasn't it?
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 6

    Oct 4, 1998
    Agreed with both of you. Each knew he was up against a very dangerous foe, and each was being very cautious, maintaining a solid defense and watching for the other to make a mistake.
  8. Beezer

    Beezer Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 5, 2013
    It is nothing more than a consequence of film-making limitations. E4 was a low budget film. Doing things like choreographing fights, having stunt doubles, the special effects of lightsabers, props, multiple takes, pyrotechnics, etc, etc, all cost time and money (and note that time is money).

    I do not consider that duel in terms of storytelling purposes to represent any different amount of intensity from any other duel, even though the observed results are.
  9. Tornado Wrangler

    Tornado Wrangler Jedi Padawan star 1

    Apr 22, 2013
    Real-life explanation: one actor was old and the other was in a bulky costume. It was the only lightsaber duel in the movie (and at the time it was made, the only one they thought would ever be filmed). There was no reason to think that a lightsaber duel would be like they are in the prequels.

    In-universe explanation: they didn't have a big space to fight in, so perhaps they were holding back, or pacing themselves for a longer fight. It's hard to say if it was Obi-Wan's intention to sacrifice himself was pre-planed or if he decided to do so on the spot to allow Luke and the others to escape, but that's a whole other issue.

    In the end, I personally think this would be an awesome scene to reimagine/remake. Picture a duel similar to that on Mustifar, but taking place on the Death Star. It could be soooo awesome.
    darth ladnar likes this.
  10. Mr. K

    Mr. K Moderator Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 23, 1999
    GL originally wanted the lightsabers to be held with both hands and the incredible inertia and pull of throwing this energy blade around would take tremendous ability and focus. It was meant to be a very unwieldy thing to swing around if not in the hands of a Jedi (or Sith).

    As previously said, the blades themselves were very fragile. They were coated with reflective material and actually spun in their hilts to achieve a sort of pulsating effect. It would not be wise to wildly swing these props around with all the acrobatics we saw in the PT.
  11. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 20, 2013
    I agree with the above posts that it mostly had to do with technical limitations. I would also add that in ANH they use somewhat different fencing techniques. You see Vader and Kenobi use a lot of thrusts and lunges. Those are techniques more used with foil fencing. Foils are those long skinny "swords" and you score by hitting your target with the tip of the foil.

    Logically, it would make sense for people to use lightsabers in this way since just stabbing a person with the lightsaber point would presumably be deadly. However, for some reason, the techniques used for fencing with foils just seem to look silly when it comes to lightsaber dueling. (Actually I think it even looks a little silly in competition; it relies too much on finesse IMO.)

    In the later films, they mostly use "slashing" techniques, which is similar to someone trying to slash someone with the side of a broad sword and not its tip. Using a technique like that would cause the sabers to bash into each other a lot, which is more dramatic and more violent. Also slashing moves rather than finesse moves are better suited for a big guy in a cumbersome costume. When it comes to PT, they clearly had young fast athletic guys who could use foil fencing techniques in combat properly, but I think they chose not to return to those techniques because they just don't look as cool.

    Plus, that spin that Kenobi does just looks dumb. It serves no purpose, it opens his back up to attack, it's just bad choreography.

    DARTHLINK Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 24, 2005
    Didn't Guinness do that on the spot because he thought it looked cool?

    But yeah, coupled with what's been said, keep in mind that the two actors weren't exactly going to be able to go in bashing at each other willy-nilly. One of them was an elderly man (who was supposed to be playing a guy who spent 20+ years in the desert, so his skills are not as sharp) and another is a guy in an extremely bulky costume who couldn't even see worth a damned with the helmet on (who was supposed to be playing someone who was heavily injured)
  13. Beezer

    Beezer Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 5, 2013
    IMHO, looking strictly at choreography, I prefer E5 and E6. Of course, I forgive E4 for being very elementary but I always felt the PT duels were too choreographed. The combatants look like they are dancing more than fighting. It's impressive just not terribly realistic.
    Sarge likes this.
  14. timmoishere

    timmoishere Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jun 2, 2007
    The thing with lightsabers is it's not just the point that's dangerous. The entire surface area of the blade is capable of cutting/burning.
  15. Binary_Sunset

    Binary_Sunset Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 28, 2000
    "Plus, that spin that Kenobi does just looks dumb. It serves no purpose, it opens his back up to attack, it's just bad choreography."

    Yeah, I don't like that either.
  16. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 26, 2013
    I think Ben v Vader is the best choreographed duel of the OT. But hey, different strokes for different folks, part of the fun of the JC! :D
  17. thejeditraitor

    thejeditraitor Chosen One star 6

    Aug 19, 2003
    obi was buying time. it would be interesting if they used obi in rebels or some eu and had him receive some serious injuries that he recovers from but slow him down permanently by ep 4.

    TOSCHESTATION Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 17, 2003
    MOC Yak Face likes this.
  19. My young Padawan

    My young Padawan Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Sep 13, 1999
    Darth Vader always treated his opponents the way that a cat treats a mouse before it eats it. Obi-Wan Kenobi was unable to handle Darth Vader in the OT. He did not age well on Tatooine drinking all of that blue milk. I do not believe that Obi-Wan did not take his duel with Vader seriously. I believe that he realized his limitations and gave up, the same way that Luke gave up against Vader in ESB.
  20. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I'm guessing Ben did know he would lose eventually, he did say he was "getting too old for this sort of thing." So he sacrificed himself at a good moment for Luke, Han and Leia to escape.
  21. MOC Vober Dand

    MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 6, 2004
    Yeah, and saying that his and Luke's destinies lay along different paths suggests he didn't expect so see Luke again after he'd faced 'Darth'.