Swordmanship is an art form in many circles. The term itself refers to the skills of an individual whether it be in the form of fencing, martial arts or even gladiatorial combat - it's all about that person's unique skills with the sword.
The sword is a simple tool, but in the hands of a master it becomes the most versatile of weapons. And just as the imagination is limitless, so too are the possibilities of the sword. - Master Piandao, Avatar: The Last Airbender
For years we've seen the variations of swordsmen in history, film, television, comics, and classic/modern novels. Each character has their own unique twist on their swordsmanship, often leading to being a deadly duelist, a skillful assassin, or just better at poking holes in people. The master swordsman comes in a variety of fashions: from their appearance to their fighting style and even to the weapon that they carry into battle. With such a wide array of characters I thought I'd take a moment of your time to look at 5 of the most gifted individuals and their mastery of the art of the sword who have appeared in major films (Stay tuned for the follow up anime sword master list)
Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)
Okay, okay... I know Luke Skywalker carries a lightsaber, but ultimately it is a sword albeit one made out of energy and existing in a galaxy far, far away. None of that detracts from his ability as a master swordsman. Luke becomes the greatest saber-wielder that has ever been and potentially ever will be. In combat Luke has taken down a Sith teacher in one opening while facing two skilled attackers simultaneously while weakened and near death. His mastery is beyond compare, surpassing even his own teachers.
His blade of choice is obviously his lightsaber, which he meticulously crafted and designed to fit his style.
Connor MacLeod (Highlander)
Connor is an Imortal, a group of beings who duel by sword to gain power and knowledge through The Game. The rules dictate that all Immortals must fight and behead eachother until only one remains. Connor MacLeod is one of the greatest Immortals known and the only swordsman to carry the moniker of "Highlander". Connor is a strong warrior often using tactics and strategy to stay a step ahead of his enemies. Connor was respect among the immortals and watchers of The Game as a warrior with a strong moral basis and who always abided by the rules of The Game.
Connor primarily fights using one of two swords: a Scottish longsword with his clan's name inscribed into the guard or a steel katana which was originally his Mentors which he kept since 1547.
Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill)
Also known as, The Bride, Beatrix is a former member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. This squad was an elite group of assassins and Beatrix was one of the deadliest. She was trained under the martial arts master Pai Mei, and served as the right hand of Bill, her lover and boss. She leaves Bill and abandons the Vipers after becoming pregnant with Bills baby. Beatrix is attacked by Bill and the Vipers and winds up in a coma for 4 years before awakening and sets out on a deadly rampage to avenger herself and kill Bill.
Beatrix is a skilled wushu master, but she carries a Katana forged by legendary swordsmith Hattori Hanzo.
D'Artagnan is one of the finest swordmen in the Musketeers after training with the three legendary Musketeers: Athos, Porthos & Aramis. D'Artagnan's natural agility and cunning go hand-in-hand with his skill in swordsmanship. He is devoted to the people that he loves, and fights for vengeance at first, but ultimately learns the true Musketeer way of justice and loyalty to the crown. Although he is often seen as naive with a childish attitude, D'Artagnan is an invaluable ally who is unafraid to risk his own life for the sake of a mission.
D'Artagnan's sword is a Spanish Rapier. Often depicted with a flared cross guard and finger guards which gives the sword a practical and fierce style.
A Knight of the Round Table, Lancelot is nigh-unmatched in battle. Lancelot is King Arthur's greatest champion and often sent as his official envoy. Lancelot is a good man, devoted to protecting people and assisting his friends no matter the consequence. His nobility is without measure and his swordsmanship matches. His love of life and ultimately his love of Guinevere (King Arthur's Queen) are his only real weakness, but that doesn't detract from his mastery of combat specifically with the sword.
Lancelot has wielded several swords in his life, ultimately making any blade his weapon, but his more well known swords are the Arondight (a counterpart that to Excalibur) and the Brightkiller.