A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, filmmaking brought one of the biggest trends in modern pop culture that Star Wars junkies can only dream of acting out in real life. I don't know about you, but I geek out completely when two lightsabers activate for another epic duel. Here are five of the best lightsaber duels that should fuel your passion for #StarWars:
5. Obi-Wan Kenobi Versus Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) — Mining Facility On Mustafar
What's significant about this duel is that it's two Jedi going at it, which hadn't been seen before, along with very intense offensive and defensive action. There's Anakin's aggressive style, which carries all the pent-up fear and anger accumulated over the years. That is met by the intense defensive style that is known as Soresu, the third of seven classic forms of lightsaber combat mastered and used by Obi-Wan allowing him to outsmart his way towards a tactical advantage, thus sealed the outcome of their duel.
What results is a ping-pong match of lightsaber skill that conveys both the emotion and attitude in every movement between Anakin and Obi-Wan. Though the outcome of this duel eventually led to Obi-Wan's disappearance and the birth of Darth Vader, this lightsaber duel goes down in the history books as one of the more skillful, lengthy and brutal lightsaber duels we've ever seen on screen.
4. Yoda Versus Chancellor Palpatine (Darth Sidious) — Galactic Senate Chamber On Coruscant
Hands down, this is the most intense lightsaber duel ever. If you were to think of two characters in the Star Wars universe that you've always wanted to see duke it out, these were them. The two clash in what is the living embodiment of good versus evil. Yoda and Darth Sidious indeed gave it their all, and though Sidious technically won, this lightsaber duel displays the ideal Jedi and Sith at their best as well as proved the struggle to shift the balance of the Force in one's favor.
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi/Qui-Gon Jinn Versus Darth Maul — Theed Hangar/Power Generator On Naboo
What was interesting about this duel is that one cunning, merciless Sith warrior outmaneuvers two Jedi Knights that results in the loss of a Jedi Knight's life. Darth Maul's superior skill with his double-edged lightsaber allowed him to gain an advantage over Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon by separating them from dueling together.
What was also interesting about this duel is the evolution of lightsaber combat; evolved from inspired samurai and fencing techniques used in the original Star Wars trilogies (Episodes IV–VI) to a souped-up version of lightsaber combat integrating physically rigorous movements with acrobatics. Furthermore, this lightsaber duel introduced classical lightsaber combat with a modern twist.
2. Luke Skywalker Versus Darth Vader — Emperor's Throne Room On Death Star II
A lightsaber duel full of caliber is good. A lightsaber duel full of caliber with character conflict is even better. The duel that would tempt Luke Skywalker to the dark side would instead show his refusal to succumb to it, show his reluctance to fight Darth Vader (his father) and show his attempt to bring his father back to the light side.
What is interesting about this duel was not really the display of lightsaber skills but Luke's refusal to fight Vader, sensing the good still within him. It took a couple of words from Darth Vader to make Luke finally snap and eventually chop off his wrist. Nonetheless, this lightsaber duel proves that quality drama paired with lightsaber skills can make a lightsaber duel that much more interesting to watch.
1. Jedi Versus Separatist Battle Droid Army — Petranaki Arena On Geonosis
This wouldn't be considered a duel per say, but what made this massive battle among Jedi and Separatist battle droids one of a kind is putting the Jedi in a situation where they are engaged in combat against multiple opponents. This massive battle was the first ever in Star Wars history to show multiple Jedi and hundred of battle droids at once, and so far there hasn't been any battle or duel of that magnitude to match it.
Did any of these lightsaber duels fuel your adrenaline with passion? Let us know in the comments below. Here is a YouTube clip containing all lightsaber duels from Episodes I–VI if you want to watch them all.