main
side
curve

Personality characteristics in lightsaber styles

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by poor yorick, Aug 3, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    The other day I was reading the transcript of a chat with Nick Gillard, where he said that he built weaknesses into characters' fighting styles based on the actors' personalities or something he knew about them. His example was that "Anakin is vulnerable on a slope."

    Now, I know nothing at all about Hayden Christensen and am not trying to start a discussion about any personality characteristics he may or may not have. Anakin Skywalker, however, is fair game.

    What do you think would cause Anakin to have that particular weakness? The root of the problem is apparently psychological rather than physical.

    As a starting point, I can only speculate that the weakness is related to footwork and/or balance since it matters whether he's standing on an incline or not.
     
  2. Spike_Spiegel

    Spike_Spiegel Former FF Administrator Former Saga Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2002
    If we nurture this topic into a Saga wide discussion of personality and sabre combat style, I think it would fit better into this forum. :)
     
  3. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Fair enough. I'd hoped to draw in other characters and styles as well. I just figured it would be better to start with a single question instead of a whole list.

    For the sake of generalizing the topic:

    What gets Qui-Gon killed? Is there a fatal personality flaw that's revealed in his fighting style, similar to the way that Anakin's impatience gets his arm chopped off?

    How is it that Darth Vader, the-once-and-future-Chosen-One, loses to Luke? Is Vader's mental game off, or is it just that he's a fortysomething guy in an iron lung while Luke is at his physical peak?

    Let's say it's agreed that Darth Maul's fatal flaw is his overconfidence. Where in his fighting style, other than the obvious moment where Obi-Wan zaps him, can his overconfidence be seen?

     
  4. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    In the, "ask a stupid question, answer it yourself" category:

    As evidence of Maul's overconfidence, I vote for that stance of his, which you can see here:

    [link=http://www.nmpft.org.uk/img/whatson/starwars/maul.jpg]Art of Star Wars[/link]

    (I know I could just link to the image, but I feel funny about stealing a nonprofit site's bandwidth.)

    Anyway . . . Maul stands in something close to a deep lunge position practically all the time. FWIW, a real-life fencer goes into a stance that long only when he's really sure he's about to score a kill. The risk isn't worth it otherwise. When you lunge that deeply you present a bigger and easier-to-hit target, and your legs are not in a great position to move away quickly. It is not a stance that leaves you with much of a "plan B."

    If I felt like analyzing somebody who used a stance like that (and obviously I do), I'd say that person considers every move to be "check mate" and has no intention of running away. It's an endgame stragtegy, and it's actually comepletely nutty to use it from the beginning of a fight, unless you don't expect it to last longer than about .02 seconds. Maybe Maul's so good he wastes most of his opponents that fast.

    The ironic thing is that all a deep lunge does for you--other than make you look totally overcommitted and insane--is give you extra reach, which Maul doesn't even need because he's got that long double saber. Maybe he's been so successful with that one advantage that he's wants to exaggerate it even more, despite the fact that it leaves him vulnerable in other ways. Sounds kind of like Dark Side logic:

    Me: But Mr. Maul, what if you don't hit him the first time?

    Darth Maul: What do you mean, "if I don't hit him the first time?!" Shut up, fangirl! You're dead!

    ::Zap!!::

    Me: Ow.
     
    BookExogorth likes this.
  5. jabba_the_nut

    jabba_the_nut Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 17, 2003
    Anakin's personality flaw is that he's a moron and doesn't realize that running wildly at extremely powerful Sith Lord is not very smart, whether he's got a saber drawn or not.
     
  6. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Nay-Sayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 25, 2000
    "What gets Qui-Gon killed? Is there a fatal personality flaw that's revealed in his fighting style, similar to the way that Anakin's impatience gets his arm chopped off?"

    Qui-Gon's fatal flaw is lack of foresight. I don't know enough about swordplay to say anything about his actual moves, but I can say that he was fatally impatient when it came to strategy.

    A SW-Insider article indicated that Obi-Wan Kenobi opted for a more cautious & defensive style after seeing the weaknesses of his chosen style against Lord Maul.
     
    BookExogorth likes this.
  7. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Jedi Merkurian wrote:

    Qui-Gon's fatal flaw is lack of foresight.

    Well, shoot, how did I miss that? I would have said something like arrogance or excessive individualism, which don't really explain what happens to him. To me, it always looked like Qui-Gon fell for a fake. At the very least, he's not looking down at the blow that kills him. In other words, he didn't see that one coming. Lack of foresight. Duh.

    Good call, Jedi Merkurian.

    I don't know enough about swordplay to say anything about his actual moves,

    You don't really need to. 80% of the stuff I know about fencing I learned from my high school basketball coach. There are only so many ways you can move the human body through space, and the same rules apply across sports. For that matter, the Jedi style officially incorporates tennis, gymnastics, and tree-chopping.

    but I can say that he was fatally impatient when it came to strategy.

    You know, I'm still going to go with lack of foresight with him instead of impatience. He's very patient in his duel with Maul. When the Pink Forcefield of Plot Necessity cuts them off from each other, he's cool about it. He does that meditation thing while Obi-Wan, the impatient one, bounces up and down like Tigger off his Ritalin.

    A SW-Insider article indicated that Obi-Wan Kenobi opted for a more cautious & defensive style after seeing the weaknesses of his chosen style against Lord Maul.

    I'm still thinking about what Obi-Wan's fighting style weaknesses are. He keeps leading with his head in TPM, which drives me freaking crazy every time I see it, but since it doesn't seem to cost him in battle it probably doesn't represent a "fatal flaw." (It does provide a visual metaphor for his being Qui-Gon's "headstrong apprentice" though. ::groan.::)

    This is what I'm talking about:
    [image=http://www.members.aol.com/opheliamac/obimaul.gif]

    See that pipe thing over Obi-Wan's shoulder? That's roughly the angle his spine would be at if he were a real-world fencer, and he were sane. The best explanation I can think of is a Shel Silverstein poem:

    [blockquote]The razor-tailed wren,
    He?ll pretend he?s your friend
    As he cuts all of the grass on your lawn,
    But do not leave anything
    Sticking far out
    Or swi****y ? it will be gone.
    [/blockquote]
    That goes double for your head.
     
  8. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Nay-Sayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 25, 2000
    "When the Pink Forcefield of Plot Necessity cuts them off from each other, he's cool about it. He does that meditation thing while Obi-Wan, the impatient one, bounces up and down like Tigger off his Ritalin."

    Aye, but if Master Jinn were patient, he & his Padawan wouldn't have been separated by the Pink Forcefield of Plot Necessity [face_laugh] in the first place. All he had to do was slow his advance against the Sith Lord, allowing Obi-Wan to catch up. Better yet, he could've done an "aerial" to reverse their positions, driving Maul back towards Obi-Wan.

    "I'm still thinking about what Obi-Wan's fighting style weaknesses are. He keeps leading with his head in TPM, which drives me freaking crazy every time I see it, but since it doesn't seem to cost him in battle it probably doesn't represent a 'fatal flaw.'"

    LOL, he was prone to what Curtis Saxton called "twirly nonsense." I'm not too image-posting savvy, but there's a bit where Obi-Wan is closing on Maul, and he's twirling his saber. Presumably, it's to build momentum for a stronger strike, something I notice that Anakin does when fighting the Geonosian in AotC. Anyway, Obi-Wan mis-times his twirl, and gets a boot-to-the-head from Maul for his trouble.
     
  9. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Okay, I finally re-watched the "Duel of the Fates" section of TPM frame by frame, which I've been threatening to do for years but wasn't quite geek enough to do--until now.

    It turns out that you can't really do an analysis of what the "right" or "wrong" moves are, because the fight's not put together like that. It looked to me like at least half of the moves were basically non-functional (mostly people attacking lightsaber blades instead of each other). The rest of the moves seemed real-looking, but didn't make a lot of sense when put in that particular order.

    Seeing as this is stage combat, you'd think I would have seen that coming.

    For what it's worth, the choreography reminded me of the lyrics to "The Duel of the Fates," which apparently translate as: "Under the tongue root a fight most dread, and another raging, behind, in the head." If you read that word-for-word, it means nothing at all. But if you read it fast and don't think too literally, it makes a kind of sense.

    So this is what I got out of the sequence where Obi-Wan is kicked off that bridge, which I think of as the turning point in the battle.

    When the scene opens, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are both making relatively realistic, conservative moves. (In slo-mo it's pretty clear that neither Ewan McGregor nor Liam Neeson is in any danger of actually hitting Ray Park, but that's all to the good.) There's a close-up shot of Qui-Gon making a gorgeous-looking "decapitation" cut at Darth Maul, which "misses" because it wasn't actually aimed at him, but who cares.

    Then all of a sudden, Obi-Wan goes bonkies. He pulls his lightsaber sideways and back into this awkward, psychotic-child-at-a-pinata-party pose. He looks like he's trying to scratch his own back with the thing. Then he flings himself at Darth Maul, literally bouncing across the floor at him, as he makes this big, really desperate-looking cut at his head.

    Now, this looks nutty even in the context of cuts that aren't aimed at people. By contrast, Maul literally and figuratively keeps both feet on the ground, and he gives Obi-Wan the smackdown. He parries and forces Obi-Wan's blade down to the floor, which apparently throws him off balance. (Actually it looks like he recovers and then flings himself off balance, but never mind.) Then Maul finishes the job by kicking him in the head and knocking him off the bridge. (This would be the second kick in the head he gives Obi-Wan, for those who are counting, or playing the Star Wars Drinking Game.)

    I suppose you could fault Qui-Gon for taking on Maul alone at this point instead of backing off and waiting for Obi-Wan to recover. In AOTC we learn that taking on a Sith Lord by yourself is a Bad Idea. But it seems to me that Qui-Gon was just doing his job. If he hadn't pursued Darth Maul, maybe Maul would have escaped and done something . . . Sithly. I don't know. The exact threat that he represents to anybody but Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan is never made clear.

    Anyway . . . Obi-Wan is never able to catch up. Somebody on the Official Site asked Steve Sansweet(?) why Obi-Wan didn't just use super-Force-speed to dash inside the Pink Forcefield of Plot Necessity, and the answer was basically that he was too worn out. I think that boy exhausted himself doing silly things like bouncing up and down and twirling his lightsaber around for no reason.

    Under "fatal flaw" I'll put impatience/lack of control.

    As for Qui-Gon, it isn't actually a fake that does him in--well, not in the usual sense anyway. He and Maul go through a couple of repetitions of this pattern that ends with a cut at Maul's head. (Maybe he's lulling Qui-Gon into a false sense of security?) Anyway, the final time they do this, Maul waits until Qui-Gon draws back, then whacks him in the head with the handle of his lightsaber. That stuns him, and Maul runs him through.

    Qui-Gon looked nervous before all this happened, but he still didn't appear to see that whack in the head coming. My vote on his fatal flaw is still lack of foresight. T
     
    BookExogorth likes this.
  10. ForceHeretic

    ForceHeretic Jedi Youngling star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Mace Windu's style I heard described as being very efficient and very deadly. no unnecessary twirling like we see Obi-wan and the others do, very quick and precise

    They said this was meant to reflect how he is a very no-nonsense get-the-job-done, powerful jedi master

    Notice how in the arena he never swings his lightsaber at anyone or anything unless it actually protects him or hits someone, many of the other jedi do lots of fancy moves with no real purpose
     
  11. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Ophelia I love the Duel of the Fates as well so I had to reply to your comments here ;)

    Okay, I finally re-watched the "Duel of the Fates" section of TPM frame by frame, which I've been threatening to do for years but wasn't quite geek enough to do--until now.


    That sounds like a great idea. I need to do that. Actually, my friend and I are planning on getting the Maul/Obi-Wan part of the fight down for fun (of course I get to be Obi-Wan)... who's the geek now.

    It turns out that you can't really do an analysis of what the "right" or "wrong" moves are, because the fight's not put together like that. It looked to me like at least half of the moves were basically non-functional (mostly people attacking lightsaber blades instead of each other).

    Nick had commented that when he designed the fights it was pretty much that these guys are, at this point, making whatever movements they can just to not get killed in all the franticness of it.

    For what it's worth, the choreography reminded me of the lyrics to "The Duel of the Fates," which apparently translate as: "Under the tongue root a fight most dread, and another raging, behind, in the head." If you read that word-for-word, it means nothing at all. But if you read it fast and don't think too literally, it makes a kind of sense.

    Hey, could you tell me where to find info on the lyrics to that? I had always wondered about what they are singing. Sorry, kind of OT... onto actually discussing lightsabre style and personalities, eh? ;)

    When the scene opens, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are both making relatively realistic, conservative moves.

    Yeah, and I think I see both of these guys as Jedi as pretty level headed and controlled. However, Qui-Gon also makes some bold movements in his everyday actions against the council. Also, at this point in time Obi-Wan is definitely a bit arrogant and etc.

    Then all of a sudden, Obi-Wan goes bonkies. He pulls his lightsaber sideways and back into this awkward, psychotic-child-at-a-pinata-party pose.

    [face_laugh] I've noticed this. He definitely loses his cool partway through and just wants to kill Maul and get it over with.

    By contrast, Maul literally and figuratively keeps both feet on the ground, and he gives Obi-Wan the smackdown. He parries and forces Obi-Wan's blade down to the floor, which apparently throws him off balance.

    For only being a Sith apprentice, Maul is pretty dang focused in his fighting. I mean, obviously he uses a fair amount of anger, but it's a chillingly focused anger that he's able to put into his fighting power as opposed to times when the Jedi like Anakin and Luke will just flip out, or Obi-Wan as we see later...

    Then Maul finishes the job by kicking him in the head and knocking him off the bridge. (This would be the second kick in the head he gives Obi-Wan, for those who are counting, or playing the Star Wars Drinking Game.)

    [face_laugh] again. I hadn't noticed this until the last time I watched it. I was just like 'geez, how many times can the boy get kicked in the head?' Realised it also happens in his fight with Jango in AOTC.
    But it seems to me that Qui-Gon was just doing his job. If he hadn't pursued Darth Maul, maybe Maul would have escaped and done something . . . Sithly. I don't know. The exact threat that he represents to anybody but Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan is never made clear.

    Well, they thought he was after the Queen. Plus, as you said, he could do something 'sithly' ;) and that's never good.

    Anyway . . . Obi-Wan is never able to catch up. Somebody on the Official Site asked Steve Sansweet(?) why Obi-Wan didn't just use super-Force-speed to dash inside the Pink Forcefield of Plot Necessity

    Nice name for that ;) I always thought it was because he could run smack into one at high speed and didn't think Fried Jedi was a nice cologne scent.

    I think that boy exhausted himself doing silly things like bouncing up and down and twirling his lightsaber around for no reason.

    Well that's a d
     
    Sarge likes this.
  12. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    solojones wrote:

    Nick had commented that when he designed the fights it was pretty much that these guys are, at this point, making whatever movements they can just to not get killed in all the franticness of it.

    That could be. There's a big difference between fighting to win and fighting not to lose.

    At any rate--I just watched the AOTC Anakin/Obi-Wan/Dooku duel frame by frame and that has made me a raving Nick Gillard fan, as if I wasn't raving enough already. ;)

    I'm either having a smarter day today or this fight has a lot more realism in it.

    A terrific moment:

    2:05:30 (actually starts the last few frames of 2:05:29)
    Obi-Wan's been really agressive up until this point, but suddenly he stops slashing hard at Dooku and starts moving backward, making these really close-in parries. (He parries three times in 2:05:30. Talk about fast!) He's trying to draw Dooku out and make him over-extend himself. Moreover, Obi-Wan's going out of his way to make his moves big and obvious, like he's taunting Dooku with the blade: "Can't catch me, can ya?"

    I love the fact that it's not enough for Obi-Wan to try and trick Dooku into making a tactical mistake. Dooku's Mr. Super-fencer and he's too smart for that. So Obi-Wan goes for that Sith weakness, too--he ticks Dooku off by making him feel less than all-powerful. I mean, Obi-Wan's the student of Dooku's student for pity's sake, and Dooku can't smack him down in three tries. Oooooh, that's annoying!

    The trick works, too. After the third parry, Dooku gets sick of it and starts making this big cut from overhead, which he's calibrated as if Obi-Wan's going to scoot away from him again. Well, this time Obi-Wan drops to one knee and stays in place instead. Dooku stumbles and almost falls.

    2:05:30
    Parry 1: C'mere Dooku!
    Parry 2: C'mere Dooku!
    Parry 3: C'mere Dooku!

    Dooku: "All right, I'm gonna swat you like a fly you little--"

    Obi-Wan: Fooled ya.

    2:05:31
    Dooku: "Whoa!"
    Obi-Wan: WHAM!

    Ignore the fact that Dooku jumps before Obi-Wan starts making his "surprise" cut. Or don't. Maybe Dooku saw it coming through the Force or something.

    Don't get me started on Anakin. [face_shocked] I believe he's the Chosen One after watching him fight in slo-mo. Hayden is a gorgeous fighter. I'll rant about that later.

    On Obi-Wan:
    Don't worry, all his fans feel that way. It's interesting to see him grow into the witty, precise, and slightly insane hippy we see in ANH, though.

    Intelligent, sophisticated fellow though he is, Obi-Wan's just a wee bubble off plumb, isn't he? Leaping through windows after droids and things. ;)

    By AOTC we see that he's calmed down a lot and now he's trying to get Anakin not to be rash in his fighting, because he knows what it's like to be kicked in the head a lot and he wouldn't want his apprentice to end up with permanent braindamage like he has and end up a drunkard... but that's another topic

    [face_laugh] Luke: "You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
    Obi-Wan: "Oh, did I say that? Sorry. I was kicked in the head a lot when I was young."

    Woah, long post. I don't think anyone's going to read this now.

    Long posts are better. ;)

     
    BookExogorth and Sarge like this.
  13. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    At any rate--I just watched the AOTC Anakin/Obi-Wan/Dooku duel frame by frame and that has made me a raving Nick Gillard fan, as if I wasn't raving enough already.

    I am already a raving fan of his (he's hillarious, too!) but I need to watch these scenes in slow-mo too. I promise I'll do that soon, really! ;)


    Moreover, Obi-Wan's going out of his way to make his moves big and obvious, like he's taunting Dooku with the blade: "Can't catch me, can ya?"

    Obi-Wan tends to be dodgy in his fighting (well, in everything really ;) ) He never really makes big attacks, he just wants to get the other guy to screw up so he can cut him in half ;)


    Don't get me started on Anakin. I believe he's the Chosen One after watching him fight in slo-mo. Hayden is a gorgeous fighter. I'll rant about that later.


    I have to admit I don't pay much attention to Anakin's fighting because I'm so Obi-Centric ;) I'll try to watch it more carefully this time...

    Intelligent, sophisticated fellow though he is, Obi-Wan's just a wee bubble off plumb, isn't he? Leaping through windows after droids and things.

    Haha, the last time I watched AOTC a few days ago I was like 'Oh, here he goes, just got to jump out the window. He's always been looking for an excuse to do that, I bet. Crazy Jedi.'

    Luke: "You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
    Obi-Wan: "Oh, did I say that? Sorry. I was kicked in the head a lot when I was young."


    [face_laugh]

    [hl=firebrick]-sj loves kevin spacey[/hl]
     
  14. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    First of all: here's the link to the Duel of the Fates lyrics page:

    [link=http://inkpot.com/classical/phantommenace.html]http://inkpot.com/classical/phantommenace.html[/link]

    Second--I have been trying to think of a way to convey how impressed I was when I got a good look at Hayden/Anakin's fighting in AOTC. There's a couple of quotes from stunt people about his speed and balance, but it's hard to visualize what that means. Even I'm having a hard time explaining exactly what I thought was so amazing. The best I can do is say that most people don't have a terrific awareness of where their body is in space, but Hayden Christensen does.

    Forget "sword form," which varies depending on what martial style you're talking about. There's just a basic spatial ability every athlete has to have in order to find the right position for the move he's about to make, and Hayden just nails it again and again.

    But enough of my blithering. Even I don't believe me without evidence. Let us use Google's image search to compare and contrast Anakin with everyone else we can find. Here is an image of [link=http://homepage.mac.com/johnhood/Pictures/Photos/dooku.jpg]Anakin fighting Dooku.[/link] You might want to open the link in another window and keep it open for reference. (I'm not going to link directly to it, since so many people are sensitive about that sort of thing.) The picture isn't even the best example of the beautiful way Anakin moves, but it's probably representatve. Now I see what Padmé sees in that boy. [face_devil]

    Here is a page full of [link=http://images.google.com/images?q=stage+combat&svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&start=20&sa=N]images of actors engaged in stage combat[/link]--probably the most logical group to compare that Anakin/Dooku image with. Here is [link=http://images.google.com/images?q=stage+combat&svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&start=60&sa=N]another page.[/link] Assuming a normal curve of distribution, which end would you put Anakin on? Personally, I think only the guy in the image labeled "Ring of Steel" even comes close. Edit: All right, the guys in the first image on the bottom row are solid, but they're not pretty.[/Edit](I'm looking for straight, lined-up posture, a sense of balance, and a certain hard-to-define springiness.)

    Here are some images of [link=http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=fencing]western-style fencers,[/link] who presumably have more practice at the whole swordplay thing than your typical actor. Again, I think one person--the fencer on the right, fourth row down, second from the right, might be as good.

    Just for reference, here's some [link=http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=kendo]kendo images.[/link] Personally, I didn't spot an Ani-equal here.

    [link=http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=iaido]Iaido[/link]. Here there's two guys, top row, third from the left, and bottom row, second from the left, who I think could take Anakin apart. There's just something perfectly balanced yet relaxed about the way they're standing. I'd try him against the others any day, though.

    IMO, Anakin looks like a [link=http://images.google.com/images?q=figure+skater&svnum=10&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&start=0&sa=N]figure skater[/link] most of all. Those guys spend their time leaping around the ice on skinny little blades of metal, and they don't even wear helmets or anything, so imagine the kind of balance they've got to have. (Hayden doesn't skate, does he? If he does, I'll feel like an idiot for discovering the obvious.)

    Anakin's speed is what makes those sweeping cuts of his believable, at least to me. Big moves usually give your opponent time to get inside your guard, but I didn't see how I'd find a way in on him. I'm thinking specifically of his two-saber spinning maneuver. That is not how they teach you to use two swords in any school I'm familiar with, but I absolutely believe Anakin can protect himself 360 degrees around like that.

    He does most of the "dumb" things that b
     
    BookExogorth likes this.
  15. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I get what you're saying. Hayden certainly does have a kind of grace to his movements. It's amplified by the beauty of the glowing sabres to be mesmirizing. Obviously Anakin is a very confident young man, and that shows through obviously in the beginning when he charges Dooku... however, later when he has the two sabres, you really see him focus his energy and be the kind of powerful swordsman Obi-Wan hints at.

    However, I don't think we've even seen the full potential of his fighting until Ep. III. Although, I'm very intrigued as to exactly how Obi-Wan is going to end up winning. Will it be that Kenobi has an untiring style and will just wear Anakin down until he can make a move? Will Anakin let his anger get out of control since he doesn't know how to channel it like Maul?

    Which also brings me to another question (we're a little off topic, but not *completely* so whatever ;) ):

    Who's the better swordsman- Obi-Wan or Anakin?

    *silence settles over the room*

    Ponder...ponder...

    EDIT: Just wanted to add that I've never studied any forms of swordfighting, but have always wanted to. The closest I get to it is having a friend who's on the US Fencing Team, but he hasn't really told me much ;)

    [hl=firebrick]-sj loves kevin spacey[/hl]
     
  16. honour

    honour Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 13, 2003
    On September 11, 2000, I think Nick Gillard answered the following question re the Obi-Maul fight in Phantom Menace?

    "Was the film rate altered on any of Episode I's fight sequences to make the action appear faster? If so, will the use of the 24 frame digital camera present any obstacles?"

    "No--in fact, Ewan fought so fast that we considered slowing the film down."

    So my question: Who is the faster fighter, Obi-Wan or Anakin???

    Maybe the twirling goes with Obi-Wan "strut"? Don't know if Ewan McGregor's walk is a "strut", but Obi-Wan's is.


    Oh, and I rewatched Anakin's fight scenes, too. Still don't believe Anakin's the Chosen One just because George Lucas says so (no offense to Hayden). Never had a thing for so-called Messiahs -- or Messiahs, though.

     
  17. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Nay-Sayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 25, 2000
    "Maul literally and figuratively keeps both feet on the ground, and he gives Obi-Wan the smackdown. He parries and forces Obi-Wan's blade down to the floor, which apparently throws him off balance. (Actually it looks like he recovers and then flings himself off balance, but never mind.) Then Maul finishes the job by kicking him in the head and knocking him off the bridge."

    I remember that scene. I've geeked out many a time and watched most of the duels in slo-mo :p What happened in that particular scene is that somehow, Obi-Wan's blade gets "stuck" to Maul's. He's literally struggling to pull it free, but he leaves himself off-balanced with his head exposed. Another boot-to-the-head for the Padawan!

    "Mace Windu's style I heard described as being very efficient and very deadly. no unnecessary twirling like we see Obi-wan and the others do, very quick and precise

    Notice how in the arena he never swings his lightsaber at anyone or anything unless it actually protects him or hits someone, many of the other jedi do lots of fancy moves with no real purpose"


    Absolutely. Another "slo-mo" moment was when Master Windu went "Highlander" on Fett. It took several viewings, but what I thought was a flourish of the blade was actually a strike to destroy Fett's blaster pistol prior to beheading him! Very efficient. It prevented Fett from doing any type of "I'll take you with me" shot.

    Another gorgeous bit of swordplay was when Kenobi severed Maul's blade. It happened so quickly that it took another slo-mo to figure out, but here's how it went:

    *Maul goes for a strike to behead Obi-Wan from behind.

    *He then brings the other end around to attempt the same move from in front. Miraculously, Kenobi brings his blade from back to front within the space of about 1/2 second!

    *He then plants his feet and uses the momentum of his forward parry to force Maul's blades completely horizontal.

    *Before Maul can recover, Kenobi reverses the strike and brings his saber into an uppercut, severing Maul's sabers. The force of the impact actually knocks one of the blades out of his hands and into a nearby control panel.

    I guess the young Padawan got momentary control over his anger before Maul got him to loose his cool again with that brilliant lateral cartwheel.

    As far as Anakin, check out some of the moves he makes when fighting the Geonosians. Especially his "draw & strike" in the hallway with Padme'. He's literally a whirling dervish. Absolutely breathtaking.
     
  18. soitscometothis

    soitscometothis Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Jedi Merkurian,

    What happened in that particular scene is that somehow, Obi-Wan's blade gets "stuck" to Maul's.

    I think you're wrong about that.If I remember correctly, Obi-Wan's saber strike misses both Maul and his blade and hits the column of plasma energy beside them. The saber seems to adhere to the column and Obi-Wan cannot disengage it before Maul forces the Jedi's blade to slide down the column, leaving him open.Then Obi-Wan gets his kick to the head.

    Talking about the actors:

    Nick Gillard has said that both Ewan and Hayden are both really good and he couldn't say which one was better.

    Hayden seems naturally athletic and well co-ordinated (except for the bits from the out-takes! [face_laugh]), plus has had some martial arts training that included weaponry.

    Ewan seems to have a good "physical memory" and picks up saber moves quickly, I think. I remember Liam Neeson commenting on how impressed he was at the way Ewan could remember so many combinations of moves.We know he hits hard too - Ewan McgGregor breaks the most saber props.

    All in all I think the duel between master and apprentice should be really impressive.

     
  19. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Nick said it took Ewan only 3 hours to learn the fight with Maul. I was completely befuddled by this. I think he really gets into the fighting (I mean, c'mon, they had to tell him to stop making lightsabre noises while filming TPM ;) ) and that franticity is good for TPM Obi-Wan. But by AOTC he's definitely calmed down, but still goes at it full force. Let's hope those fiberglass lightsabres work out better than the metal ones because Ewan just reaked havoc on those [face_laugh]



    *Maul goes for a strike to behead Obi-Wan from behind.

    *He then brings the other end around to attempt the same move from in front. Miraculously, Kenobi brings his blade from back to front within the space of about 1/2 second!


    Yeah, this is what I was talking about! It's really the only part of their fight I remember specifically as far as swordmoves because it just blows me away. I need to watch slow-mo though, dangit! :p

    I guess the young Padawan got momentary control over his anger before Maul got him to loose his cool again with that brilliant lateral cartwheel.

    Yeah, but that reminds me; why does Maul do all those cool flips and such? He could do something more functional most likely, so is he just trying to show off?


    I still don't know if Obi-Wan or Anakin is better. I can think of kind of pros and cons for both of them

    Obi-Wan pros:
    ~He's fast
    ~He has more emotional control

    Obi-Wan cons:
    ~He twirls his lightsabre too much

    Anakin pros:
    ~He's graceful
    ~He's powerful

    Anakin cons:
    ~He's too confident


    [hl=firebrick]-sj loves kevin spacey[/hl]
     
  20. soitscometothis

    soitscometothis Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2003
    I?ll add to those pros and cons:

    Obi-Wan pros:
    He?s smart
    He?s emotionally stable
    He?s resourceful and doesn?t give up, even when he?s out-matched and all hope seems lost.

    Cons:
    Reckless fighting style; sometimes it looks like he goes at things half-arsed and full-throttle

    Anakin pros:
    He?s highly skilled; certainly it?s implied that he is more skilled than Obi-Wan at the time of AOTC
    Drawing on the darkside will only increase his existing powers

    Cons:
    He?s not the sharpest tool in the box
    He?s erratic and emotionally unstable


    In terms of talking about personalities showing in lightsaber styles, I think Obi-Wan?s is the most interesting because of the disparity between his projected personality at peace, and his fighting style when in action.

    Obi-Wan appears to be the model of calm and reason, always by the book, quiet and thoughtful?but when there is fighting to be done, it?s mad-man Kenobi to the rescue! He seems to fight with more passion than sense, probably the most intense fighter we have seen in a saber duel. It makes me wonder whether his calm, by the book personality is a just a reaction to having to reign in first his maverick master, Qui-Gon, and then his unruly apprentice, The Chosen One.

    Perhaps his fighting style is the truest view of his character we get.

    Edit: It just occurred to me who Obi-Wan's calm demeanor and fighting style remind me of: it's John Cleese's Lancelot in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail [face_laugh]
     
  21. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    [face_laugh] You mean when there's a fight, he just wants to go at it? ;)

    I think you have a point about Obi-Wan's calm, level-headedness there though. It seems to me that with Qui-Gon he was trying to hang onto his youthful idealism and adherance to the code. Then with Anakin, he's got to reign in this wild bronco character of a Chosen One :p He doesn't have room to be reckless. Although in ESB he states he was reckless, he must have been reffering to his much younger days because I don't really think we see that in the films.

    However, when we get to his fighting style, he does seem to unleash his inner strength. I think he just has enough sense to know he can't afford to be a maverick because he's got more important things to think about.

    [hl=firebrick]-sj loves kevin spacey[/hl]
     
  22. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Obi-Wan looked very controlled to me in AOTC -- furious, maybe, but very smart, very together. I'll have to watch the final duel sequence again to see if there are more examples of him suckering Dooku.

    Interesting comments on his true character. It reminds me of the cantina scene in ANH, where old Obi-Wan gets this funny little smile on his face after he whacks off Mr. "He-Doesn't-Like-You"'s arm. You can almost hear him thinking: "Yeah . . . that felt really good."

    It makes you wonder what would have happened to him if he'd gone over to the Dark Side. I don't think he would have been a Vader. Vader's got some real, focused hate in him that we can see coming in AOTC. Obi-Wan doesn't hate anybody. It's just that sometimes people get in his way and he has to cut their limbs off.

    I can almost imagine him being a pirate--incredibly violent in a "hey, nothing personal" sort of way. The Dread Pirate Strawberry-Blond Beard. Or . . . not.

    More on topic: It looks to me that what takes him out of the fight in AOTC is lack of experience with Dooku's unusual fighting style. I can't recall ever seeing Obi-Wan use a lightsaber one-handed except when it seemed forced on him. We don't actually see Dooku make the move that wounds him in the arm, but it looks like a rapier-fencer's one-handed thrust.

    What happens is Obi-Wan binds Dooku's blade down toward the floor on his right, and forces it all the way up and around counterclockwise so it's near his left shoulder. (Well, I think it's left . . .) He can't push it any further, and they struggle for control.

    If lightsabers had handguards, this would have been an excellent time to lock his with Dooku's, to keep him from doing exactly what he does--thrust straight in and zap him in the shoulder. Obi-Wan could also have just sidestepped right, but I think the move took him completely by surprise. At least he looks pretty shocked after it happens. I don't blame him, since he's been training two-handed--against blaster bolts--his whole life. He'd have expected Dooku to disengage right and try a low, horizontal cut or something. The one-handed tippy-scratchy stuff is just so not what Obi-Wan does.

    A little before this(?--don't have my DVD player on) Dooku goes into a one-handed stance for a moment, angling his body away from Obi-Wan in a way you wouldn't see if all you ever used was a two-handed style. (In that situation, the one-handed fighter presents a smaller target, and standard two-handed attacks end up being kind of awkward. At least for me.) I was thinking, "Hmm, this is interesting. I wonder how Obi-Wan will handle this?"

    We don't see his actual move, but it looks like he just takes a great big whack at him. Kind of like Indiana Jones shooting the Zany Swordsman of Pointlessness in Raiders of the Lost Ark. ("Enough of your zany pointlessness, Dooku!")
     
  23. JediHunterCommand

    JediHunterCommand Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2003
    This is a really fascinating thread, but I'd like to see more discussion of the OT fights. I realize that frame-by-frame on DVD is a very powerful tool that's currently unavailable for the classics, but surely we've got some insights.

    I've heard that Vader's style in the OT is more "brute force" than anything else. It fits perfectly with his overbearing personal style, but it makes you wonder where and why he shifted tactics from what we see in the prequels.

    Obi, of course, slows down a lot in the twenty years between the trilogies. But I've also heard that his skill level goes up -- to the point that Vader, for all his power, can't even touch him until Obi lets him do so.

    But this brings us to the last lightsaber wielder we see, chronologically -- Luke. Very much the impetuous one, but he's "full of surprises."

    Also, we've forgotten Yoda! But how, precisely, could we describe his fencing style?
     
  24. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Nay-Sayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 25, 2000
    "But this brings us to the last lightsaber wielder we see, chronologically -- Luke. Very much the impetuous one, but he's "full of surprises.'"

    Befitting his "crash course" Jedi training, Luke has a "style of no style." The most interesting commentary I've seen on Luke's fencing style is that he has a peculiar ability borne of his talent in the Force: he mastered lightsaber fencing "on the fly." Basically, he instinctively learns whatever style of combat is being used against him. Imagine what it would've been like to see Luke vs. Maul [face_shocked]

    EDIT: Markups :p
     
  25. soitscometothis

    soitscometothis Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2003
    If lightsabers had handguards, this would have been an excellent time to lock his with Dooku's

    Ophelia, due to the fact that there is no hand protection on the saber hilt and given the very destructive nature of the blade, wouldn?t either party have been able to slide their own blade down their opponent's, taking out part of the offending saber hilt, plus their opponent?s fingers?

    I saw something similar done in quarter-staff combat once, a very dirty move that really smacks your opponent?s fingers.

    JediHunterCommand, I think Vader probably changed his style because of his injuries/cybernetic replacements. There would obviously be a big change in the balance of his body, possibly even his centre of gravity would have shifted. Also I guess he would be stronger (bionics) but not as fast or agile, leading to a less flashy, more controlled style.

    Slightly off topic, what is every-ones? favourite cinematic sword-fights (not including Star Wars)?
    My top three would be:

    The Princess Bride ? Dread Pirate Roberts vs. Inigo Montoya

    The Prisoner of Zenda ? Stewart Granger vs. James Mason

    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ? Michelle Yeoh vs. Zhang Ziyi

     
    Sarge likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.