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Saga What is your favourite Lightsaber Duel?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by wian, Jan 7, 2016.


What is your favourite Lightsaber Duel?

  1. Luke Skywalker v Darth Vader Empire Strikes Back

  2. Luke Skywalker v Darth Vader Return Of The Jedi

  3. Obi-Wan Kenobi & Qui-Gon Jinn v Darth Maul The Phantom Menace

  4. Obi-Wan Kenobi & Anakin Skywalker v Count Dooku Attack Of The Clones

  5. Yoda v Count Dooku Attack Of The Clones

    0 vote(s)
  6. Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan v Count Dooku Revenge Of The Sith

  7. Mace Windu v Palpatine Revenge Of The Sith

  8. Yoda v Palpatine Revenge Of The Sith

  9. Obi-Wan v Anakin Skywalker Revenge Of The Sith

  10. Rey v Kylo Ren The Force Awakens

  1. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 23, 2001

    Pretty much sums it up! So. Intense. I both look forward to it the most and dread it the most when watching ROTS.
  2. Darth Basin

    Darth Basin Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 15, 2015

    How can anbody, ANYBODY think this is the greatest duel? Sed it yourself that F&R swing the saber like a bat. Finn vs Traitor was better! (Technically not saber on saber but still a duel. ) The camera work was awful as well. To many closeups. Slicing the trees was pointless. If Rey was using a tree as a shield then it makes sense.

    I'm torn between Vader vs Obi-Wan ANH or Ren vs Rey & Finn as WORST duel ever.
  3. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Moderatator/Trivia Hijacker star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    By watching the movie and having a different taste than you
  4. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    I like it as well. Not as much as ESB Luke vs. Vader but close.
  5. Darth Basin

    Darth Basin Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 15, 2015
    People! It looked like two kids wacking sticks in the backyard upon a Winter's day!!!!!!! I'm sorry if I sound mean.
  6. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Moderatator/Trivia Hijacker star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    You're entitled to your opinion. Others are to their own. I was simply being a bit facetious and implying that, yeah, you come across as a bit abrasive

    Saying "I dislike this fight because X" is one thing
    Saying "How can anyone like this fight because X?" is something a bit beyond
  7. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    The lead up to it, Han's death, Chewie going crazy, the stare down between Kylo and Rey and Finn, the outdoor setting, the dialogue, We're not done yet. It's just us now, Han Solo can't save you. Love it.
    Kylo twirling his saber and the sound effect.
    Kylo hitting his wound,
    Finn vs. Kylo was intense feeling.
    The Force grab battle and then the lightsaber goes to Rey, the mystery of it seems promising. Kyle's facial reaction was interesting.
    Using the environment,
    The lightsabers in their eyes during the last clash,
    Rey pushing Kylo's lightsaber into the snow to deactivate it.
    The planet splitting apart to further end the battle.
    themoth and Sarge like this.
  8. Straudenbecker

    Straudenbecker Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 22, 2015
    Split, but overall I have to go with Yoda vs. Darth Sidious.
    ConservativeJedi321 likes this.
  9. Celidore

    Celidore Jedi Knight star 3

    May 2, 2015
    ROTS Obi-Wan vs Anakin
    Deliveranze likes this.
  10. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 28, 2015
    Celidore likes this.
  11. ChefCurryWindu

    ChefCurryWindu Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 18, 2015
    Most of the duels I enjoyed, since lightsaber duels are one of the things I look forward to most in a Star Wars movie, and seeing Jedi/Sith duel with lightsabers is one part on what makes Star Wars unique.
  12. ObidioJuan

    ObidioJuan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 1, 2002
    Vader vs. Obi-wan ROTS seems too over the top for me. It has several silly moments (already mentioned before) and the ending is cringe inducing "it's over, I have the high ground"

    I like the duels of fates as it was the first time seeing the Jedi at their prime against a skilled swordsman. The pace, scenery, choreography and the MUSIC!, it is still the best for me. I smile every time I watch it. The end was not great, but still.

    Emotionally and visually ESB duel is nice, but the swordplay is meh!

    I don't like Yoda's swordmanship and style, all jumps and all CGI.
    Howard Hand and Sarge like this.
  13. themoth

    themoth Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 5, 2015
    Top three:

    1. Luke v Darth Vader TESB
    2. Obi-Wan v Darth Vader ROTS
    3. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon v Darth Maul TPM
  14. Seeker Of The Whills

    Seeker Of The Whills Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 20, 2015
    Luke vs. Vader in RotJ. Both the swordfighting and the emotion are far superior to the TESB one. I get chills every time Luke starts to lash out at Vader and that haunting music kicks in...
    Sarge likes this.
  15. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 19, 2015
  16. TCF-1138

    TCF-1138 ST/Anthology/Fan Films Manager and Ewok Enthusiast star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 20, 2002
    I've been avoiding this thread, because I realized it would be a long post if I were to give my opinion. Well, it's not like I need sleep anyway, so here goes.

    I am not sure which duel is my favorite, so I'll list them all with a short analysis, and then try to decide at the end of the post. Should be an interesting experiment.

    So, the duels, in chronological order:

    1. TPM - Qui-Gon vs Maul
    I think this one is underrated. It begins with a really cool shot where using a CG stunt double actually works great. It's short and teasing, with a lot of flowing robes, and not a lot of visible choreography, but visually I think it's very interesting. Again, it's a tease for what to come, and it works very well!

    2. TPM - Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan vs Maul
    This one is absolutely amazing choreography-wise, it's visually exciting, and the music is of course magnificent. I like Maul's fighting style a lot - Ray Park's background in Wushu really gives the character a unique way of moving. I'm not the biggest fan of the double bladed lightsaber though, and I actually think the best bit is after Obi-Wan cuts Maul's saber in half. The use of (real) acrobatics, the speed, the choreography and the long, relatively static, wide shots enhances this one to being the best duel if you look at it from a pure action point of view. It's quite lacking in emotional depth though, but that doesn't bother me that much.

    3. AOTC - Obi-Wan vs Dooku
    The editing in this one confuses me. Most of the fight is shot with unclear angles of the action, the editing is all over the place (breaks the 'line' several times for instance), and the choreography is quite basic. I don't really buy that Dooku is a greater swordsman than Obi-Wan to be honest.

    4. AOTC - Anakin vs Dooku
    I really like the one shot where Anakin uses dual lightsabers - it's an interesting piece of choreography, and it's shot well. Then we go into the more artistic side of the duel. I appreciate what Lucas was doing when constructing this scene, with the lighting effects from the lightsabers, and the visuals are actually pretty great. The choreography isn't though, and to this day, Anakin just stretching out his arm to have it cut off annoys me.

    5. AOTC - Yoda vs Dooku
    Awesome build-up, that really, really excited me in the cinema. But the fight itself is pretty ridiculous. Sure, choreographing something like that must be very difficult, and I guess the results are decent enough. I'll never understand why they had Yoda screaming like a mad man during the entire fight though.

    6. ROTS - Obi-Wan and Anakin vs Dooku
    A big step-up from their previous (movie) duels. The choreography is nice, the visuals are cool, and the setting is great. Once Obi-Wan is out of the game, the duel really kicks into high-gear, and I think it's really good!

    7. ROTS - Obi-Wan vs Grievous
    No. Just... no. Four lightsabers? No. The choreography is terrible, and I don't think giving Grievous lightsabers was a great idea. Especially not four lightsabers. Also, this is the first lightsaber duel we ever see that has blue vs blue in it. I think that should've been saved for the end fight, so that would've resonated more strongly.

    8. ROTS - Mace (& co) vs Palpatine
    The beginning is silly. Palpatine's totally ridiculous CG-spin and the way three Jedi just stand there and let him cut them down. Ugh. The rest of the duel is better, but not good. I will never be convinced of the idea that Mace Windu is supposed to be the best swordsman of the order. Samuel L Jackson can't hold a sword! This duel should've been done more like the duel in ANH if you ask me - more personal, more like a chess game than fight. I do love seeing a purple lightsaber in a duel though.

    9. ROTS - Yoda vs Palpatine
    Much, much better than Yoda vs Dooku. The visuals are good, and I like the use of the enviroment in it. It does feel like a clash of the Titans, and it's cool.

    10. ROTS - Obi-Wan vs Anakin
    This one if visually striking - I love the blue lightsabers with the totally red background. Looks awesome! The emotions in this fight elevates it above the choreography to me. The choreography ranges between great and bad, so it's not very consistant in my opinion, but on the whole, I think it's pretty damn good. The two actors did a great job with form and speed I gotta say!

    11. ANH - Obi-Wan vs Vader
    Not great as an action scene. The dialogue is what makes this scene good. It's emotional, and a bit - like I said - like a chess game, rather than a fight. The choreography is very basic though.

    12. TESB - Luke vs Vader
    Oh my. This one is visually amazing, and the tone is very, very serious. I love the use of lighting, the use of the enviroment, and the way they move through Cloud City all throughout the duel. The choreography and performances are really good - even though it's slower and more bashing than the PT duels. A very emotional sequence, with a lot of subtext.

    13. ROTJ - Luke vs Vader
    I love this one as well. It's quite short, with a lot more close-ups and quick cuts than in TESB. The first parts has some great action in it, with good choreography, a fast pace, and just cool shots. The second part, when the music kicks in, is easily (for me at least) the most emotional part of any duel. The choreography here isn't great, but that doesn't matter. The performances are great, the cinematography is great, and it has some of the best music in the entire saga. A fitting end duel.

    14. TFA - Finn vs Kylo
    Really good. I like how Kylo is toying with Finn - sort of enjoying the fight, right up until Finn gets in a lucky shot. Once that happens, Kylo just ends it immediately. Good use of Kylo's lightsword crossguard, and cool choreography, where Kylo obviously has training and Finn doesn't.

    15. TFA - Rey vs Kylo
    Great construction of a scene, where it starts out with Rey more or less just running from Kylo. The bashing style choreography is nice to see, and quite different from what we're used to (the closest would be the ROTJ duel I'd say). Both TFA duels have amazing visuals, with the glowing blades really making the lightsabers feel dangerous. The cutting of trees and sparks flying off of Kylo's unstable blade really enhances the mood as well. I really love the last part of this duel, when Rey is starting to win. The use of slow motion (the first in a lightsaber duel, unless you count the two seconds of 'dueling' in Luke's vision in the Cave) really adds to the scene. There's a desperation to this fight (from Rey at first and Kylo at the end) that is really interesting.

    All right, that's my analysis. Now to pick a favorite...
    In fact, I think I'll make it a top five, in order. Now, this might be subject to change, but right now, I think this is how I feel:

    1. ROTJ - Luke vs Vader. For the emotional aspect.
    2. TESB - Luke vs Vader. For the mood.
    3. TFA - Rey vs Kylo. For the visuals and the action.
    4. TPM - Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan vs Maul. For the action and the music.
    5. ROTS - Obi-Wan vs Anakin. For the visuals and the emotions.

    I told you it was going to be a long post :p
  17. enigmaticjedi

    enigmaticjedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 2, 2011
    No duel can beat Obi-Wan vs. Vader (ROTS). It had the excellent choreography of the PT and the raw emotion of the OT, a formidable combination.
  18. EntechednReformatted

    EntechednReformatted Jedi Master star 2

    Oct 17, 2009
    It's a near tie for me between Luke v. Vader in ESB and Obi-Wan v. Vader in ROTS.

    Vader is never more intimidating than in ESB. I'd say that we're really seeing Peak Vader there. I also love the environment of that carbon freezing chamber and the catwalk over the abyss. Great, great imagery.

    I thought that ROTS was also excellent. Some people rag on the choreography of the prequels, but that fight in particular, to me, really captures the feel of two opponents who have both truly managed to let go of their conscious selves and let the Force guide their blades. The environment again looked great, and it was used very well. It also captured the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two characters. Anakin/Vader is the stronger of the two, but Obi-Wan is more cunning. His experience manifests itself in Obi-Wan's superior situational awareness. It's not just at the end where Obi-Wan captures the high ground ... you see Obi-Wan using the terrain to his advantage throughout the last half of the fight. He nearly suckers Anakin over that lava fall. (Maybe it's because Obi-Wan's old master Qui-Gon was constantly telling him to "always mind your surroundings." ;))
    enigmaticjedi likes this.
  19. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Moderatator/Trivia Hijacker star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    Upon my last viewing, I honestly do find the ROTS Dooku duel to be a VERY well choregraphed and severely underrated one, so I can definitely see that

    What CG stunt double? ;)

  20. Lukers

    Lukers Jedi Knight star 1

    Jun 16, 2016
    1. Luke vs Vader (Bespin)
    2. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul
    3. Rey vs Kylo Ren
    4. Anakin vs Obi-Wan
    5. Luke vs Vader (Death Star)

    There's very few duels that I dislike (the Obi-Wan and Anakin vs Dooku is probably the major exception out of all the movies) because the scenarios that surround them and create them make for one of the greatest thrilling experiences in cinema. It's hard to compare the eerie silence of the carbon chamber with the bombastic and epic Duel of the Fates inside Naboo. They make for such memorable experiences.
  21. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 20, 2013
    There's a 4-way tie for me.

    Yoda vs. Palpatine
    Obi-Wan vs Anakin
    Vader vs Luke (TESB)
    Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul

    There's so much to say about them, so I'll just try to point out a few things other people haven't noted.

    --I think the fact that Yoda/Palpatine duel is intercut with the Obi-Wan/Anakin duel improves both duels. The Palpatine/Yoda duel feels a little more adventurous and spectacular as a duel because it's the most incredible display of Force powers so far. It also works more on a symbolic level as the two are destroying the Senate as they fight. The Obi-Wan/Anakin duel feels more intense, raw, and personal. There isn't a single duel where one combatant wants to kill the other more than when Anakin is attacking Obi-Wan. The intercutting between these two contrasting styles makes both more interesting and allows the lengths of the duels to be expanded without becoming boring.

    The intercutting also allows things to be left out (at one point, Palpatine has his saber/then doesn't when we see him next, Obi and Anakin are in different locations from where we last left off, etc). Omitting certain parts of the duels gives them a more epic feel. For instance, if we see a war scene that lasts only 10 minutes, then that would seems like a short skirmish, but if we see footage from a day-long battle edited together into a 10-minute span, then that would feel much more like an intense unrelenting battle.

    --What's interesting is that ALL of the least favorite duels above do not intercut between a second storyline. Obi-Wan/Anakin vs. Dooku briefly cuts away once, Yoda vs. Dooku doesn't cut away at all, Anakin/Obi-Wan vs. Dooku II doesn't cut away at all, Mace vs. Palpatine cuts away once very briefly, and Rylo vs. Finn/Rey cuts away only once.

    All of the favorites above and Obi-Wan vs. Vader ANH cut away multiple times to the action of a 2nd storyline that is going on simultaneously.

    --Another interesting thing. If you watch them films in release order (4-6, then 1-3), then Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon vs. Darth Maul is the 1st "real" duel. What I mean by a real duel is that it's a duel in which the combatants are going all out to kill their opponent. With Obi-Wan vs. Vader in ANH, Obi-Wan is just stalling for time and knows he will die. In TESB, Vader is merely toying with Luke. In ROTJ, neither Luke nor Vader truly want to kill each other; Vader is conflicted (unable to fully use the Dark Side and perhaps even unwilling to kill Luke) and his plan just seems to be to turn Luke, and for most of it, Luke is trying to evade Vader; then later, when Luke does go all out, Vader remains conflicted.

    So, besides that I think the Duel of the Fates is a very well-choreographed duel with great emotion behind it, I like it because it's the 1st time the combatants are having a real duel and the 1st time we get to see Jedi/Sith fight with all of their heightened abilities.

    --In addition to the reveal at the end of the TESB duel, that duel is badass because Vader so outmatches Luke. Its tension rises somewhat like a horror movie when an unstoppable killer keeps stalking a helpless victim. That Vader is just toying with Luke also helps in making Vader such an iconic villain.
  22. TheMoldyCrow

    TheMoldyCrow Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 16, 2015
    1. Luke vs. Vader (ROTJ)
    2. Luke vs. Vader (ESB)
    3. Ben vs. Vader
    4. Obi Wan/Qui-Gon vs. Darth Maul
    5. Rey/Finn vs. Kylo Ren
    The rest aren't worth mentioning, in my opinion.
    Sarge and MOC Yak Face like this.
  23. MOC Vober Dand

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

    Jan 6, 2004
    1. Luke v Vader (TESB)
    2. Kylo v Rey
    3. Obiwan v Vader (ANH)
    4. Luke v Vader (ROTJ)
    5. Maul v Jedi

    1-4 are all gritty and visceral, which is how I like my duels. You can just about smell the blood, sweat and tears. 5 is spectacular.
    TheMoldyCrow likes this.
  24. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    Such an interesting observation.

    We'll see if the film-makers pick up on this and in future possibly Rey vs Kylo Ren and Luke vs Snoke could take that cue from ROTS.
    Darth Nerdling likes this.
  25. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 13, 2011
    Still ESB Luke vs Vader for style, ROTJ Luke vs Vader for emotion.

    The PT has a lot of great fights though.