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What are the best lightsaber fights on Star Wars movies?

What are the best lightsaber fights on Star Wars movies?  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. What are the best lightsaber fights on Star Wars movies?

    • Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader on the Death Star (ANH)
      2
    • Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader (TESB)
      19
    • Luke vs Vader and the Emperor (ROTJ)
      12
    • Qui-Gon Jinn vs Darth Maul on Tatooine (TPM)
      0
    • Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul (TPM)
      19
    • Obi-Wan, Anakin and Yoda vs Count Dooku (AOTC)
      0
    • Obi-Wan and Anakin vs Dooku (ROTS)
      0
    • Obi-Wan vs General Grievous (ROTS)
      1
    • Obi-Wan vs Anakin (ROTS)
      7
    • Yoda vs Chancellor Palpatine (ROTS)
      2
    • Rey and Finn vs Kylo Ren (TFA)
      7
    • Rey and Kylo vs Elite Praetorian Guard (TLJ)
      8
    • Luke vs Kylo (TLJ)
      2
    • Other
      0


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As a piece of drama with lightsabers - the fight in Empire Strikes Back. It’s also the best-shot lightsaber battle.

 

As a piece of stunt-work -  the Phantom Menace.

 

But strictly as an action setpiece? The Force Awakens.

 

 

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The first three are the best.  They are the most realistic.

 

The most adventurous is The Force Awakens battle, but my favorite has to be The Empire Strikes Back.

@Edmilson, thanks for sharing these scenes. :)

 

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37 minutes ago, Ii2 said:

The first three are the best.  They are the most realistic.

 

There is already too much fancy acrobatics in Return of the Jedi, and even a bit of it in The Empire Strikes Back. The fight in Star Wars is too unimpressive.

 

In The Force Awakens, there isn't any fancy abrobatics and the lightsabers are treated as though they were sledgehammers. Each blow feels like its got real weight to it. Wonderful.

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You forgot Mace Windu vs. Darth Sidious.

 

 

I like most of them but I'm partial to the one in The Phantom Menace. It was very cool to watch in the cinema and more epic than anything we'd seen in the old movies from the moment they ceremoniously drop their cloaks and put their swords up. It's far more exciting and aggressive than the rather clunky old fights and combined with the music, just got everyone in the theater so pumped up.

 

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The Empire Strikes Back (Vader and Luke) takes the cake for being the best shot and the most iconic.

 

Personally though, the Praetorian guard fight in The Last Jedi was the best choreographed, and it's just so darn cool. The red backdrop, the zappy weapons, the camera work, the music. There's a lot to like about that one.

 

I never really leaned towards Return of the Jedi (Vader, Luke and the Emperor) as much. Don't know why.

 

Also, The Phantom Menace is by far the best of the prequels. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith feel so overdone, and the latter is way too stretched out.

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As far as The Phantom Menace goes, I always though that the force field corridor idea was really neat. It's kind of crazy if you think about, having that moment of breath (Qui-Gon's literally meditating) in the middle of a big action setpiece. Also conveniently awesome how it causes Obi-Wan to watch his master be killed while he is powerless to help him, causing him to seek revenge. Always liked that aspect. 

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46 minutes ago, The Illustrious Jerry said:

Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith feel so overdone, and the latter is way too stretched out.

 

Right.

 

I like Revenge of the Sith, but the end battle is much too overly-choreographed.

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3 hours ago, mstrox said:

I voted for ESB, ROTJ, TFA, and the Reylo one from TLJ.  For me, the lightsaber battles work better as a character or story device than as a spectacle.

 

I think they work if they're just cool.

 

The fight in the original Star Wars is a character/story device and it's ridiculous. It's also a crappy showdown given the history between Darth and Ben and compared to all the other fights in the six movies. They don't even appear to have been trained to handle those weapons. At one point, Alec Guiness spins around and it's the dumbest thing in any of the fights.

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Yeah, definitely didn't pick the ANH one - it's silly. 

 

The prequel lightsaber duels are endlessly entertaining and a great feat from a manpower and technical standpoint (with the exception of the ROTS final battle which I always found kind of cartoonishly ludicrous), but for me it's all about the emotion.

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50 minutes ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

One of the main reasons I think the TPM duel is the best of the prequel trilogy is that there are no CGI flips. You don't see characters bouncing off of walls and doing all this unrealistic nonsense.

 

There are tons of impossibly huge leaps in the fighting during The Phantom Menace. There's also a bit of it in Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back.

 

None in The Force Awakens, though.

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4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

 

There is already too much fancy acrobatics in Return of the Jedi, and even a bit of it in The Empire Strikes Back. The fight in Star Wars is too unimpressive.

 

In The Force Awakens, there isn't any fancy abrobatics and the lightsabers are treated as though they were sledgehammers. Each blow feels like its got real weight to it. Wonderful.

 

 

In Force Awakens, there is a whole lot of fancy lightsaber movements, but there is no jumping or other fancy acrobatics. Even without them, the movie still keeps the action, adventure, and even surprise.  I was very surprised to see how when Rey took her lightsaber while Kylo Ren was trying to take it himself the first time I watched TFA. (1:33 in the video)  Beautiful moment that was.  This fight is where the most action is in my opinion.

 

Still, even with 'fancy acrobatics' in Return Of The Jedi, I like the fighting scenes. Overall the acrobatic movements are toned down here compared to some newer SW films.  Also, the characters are fighting the best here in all the original trilogy movies.   

The bouncing off of walls sometimes can add to the moment.  Sure, it was extremely unrealistic.  That's what surprised the audience.

 

The Empire Strikes Back has my favorite lightsaber fighting scenes, especially the parts when the camera just shows Luke and Vader's outlines in the darkness.  The darkness and smoke really add to the atmosphere of this scene.  Like @The Illustrious Jerry said, it's the most memorable of all SW fighting scenes.

 

1 hour ago, Chen G. said:

 

I like Revenge of the Sith, but the end battle is much too overly-choreographed.

Yeah, the first minute starts off not that bad, but by the time it gets past that, it was way too overdone.

 

 

56 minutes ago, Gruesome Son of a Bitch said:

It's also a crappy showdown given the history between Darth and Ben and compared to all the other fights in the six movies. They don't even appear to have been trained to handle those weapons. At one point, Alec Guiness spins around and it's the dumbest thing in any of the fights.

They do look a little awkward at certain moments, don't they?  That's something that Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi improve.  Much better and more skillful fighting in those two.

 

All prequels look overdone, but Phantom Menace is the best when it comes to lightsaber fighting.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gruesome Son of a Bitch said:

The fight in the original Star Wars is a character/story device and it's ridiculous. It's also a crappy showdown given the history between Darth and Ben and compared to all the other fights in the six movies. They don't even appear to have been trained to handle those weapons. At one point, Alec Guiness spins around and it's the dumbest thing in any of the fights.

 

Oh yeah. Its just two old dudes waving sticks around.

 

Damn near embarassing to contemporary eyes.

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59 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

There are tons of impossibly huge leaps in the fighting during The Phantom Menace. There's also a bit of it in Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back.

 

None in The Force Awakens, though.

 

I mean like Yoda and Sidious flipping around of walls, etc.

 

Also note that I specifically said best duel in the prequel trilogy; not the best of all the films. In my opinion the best are the duels in ROTJ and TFA.

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It's just very satisfying to see those two characters duking it out. The ending also reminds me of the ending of Batman when the Joker is hanging off the ladder and you see his jacket blowing away. Two over the top supervillains hanging off a thing laughing maniacally and making weird noises.

 

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batman-movie-screencaps.com-13842.jpg

 

starwars3-movie-screencaps.com-13507.jpg

batman-movie-screencaps.com-13770.jpg

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Like many of you, I'm partial to ESB, TPM, and TFA, with ESB probably topping it. I just love the way it's shot - really beautiful and interesting cinematography. And the choreography strikes a nice balance between realism and coolness. Love the pacing as well. TPM is fun for the spectacle and visually arresting acrobatics. TFA is great for the opposite reason - it really leans into the duel as part of the characters' story, serving up a less flashy, more realistic approach. And I love that the glowing lightsaber props actually illuminate the surroundings. I wish every film before it could have had that.

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I love everything about the battle with Snoke's Elite Praetorian Guards: the build-up to it (our heroes are in such a dire situation, with no clear way of getting out of it), then Kylo slaying Snoke, giving Rey the lightsaber and both of them battling the guards with some excellent fight choreography, neat camera work and great score. 

 

I don't care about the haters, TLJ was one of the best experiences I had on a movie theater this decade.

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It was perfectly okay.

 

Nothing to hate, but nothing to go head-over-heels for either, in my mind.

 

The fight with the Praetorians is very nice, but its hardly one of the series best.

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4 hours ago, Datameister said:

Like many of you, I'm partial to ESB, TPM, and TFA, with ESB probably topping it. I just love the way it's shot - really beautiful and interesting cinematography. And the choreography strikes a nice balance between realism and coolness.

 

Right, it looks so surreal and abstract, but the lack of music and sparseness of the choreography give it a groundedness; the dichotomy only serves to heighten the bizarre surrealism, giving it the intensity and subconscious dread of a fevered nightmare.

 

39 minutes ago, Dixon Hill said:

 the Sidious fights from ROTS.

 

Huh.

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When I saw The Phantom Menace in theaters in 1999 I was blown away (no pun intended) by the lightsaber fight between Qui-Gon and Maul, then Maul, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.  Especially the one on one between Obi-Wan and Maul.  I wish we could have voted twice in this poll because my second choice would be Obi-Wan Vs Maul.

My third choice would be Anakin vs Dooku in ROTS.

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41 minutes ago, Trent B said:

My third choice would be Anakin vs Dooku in ROTS.

 

Oh yeah, that one's an overlooked gem of the prequels. Its florid but rarely weightless, and it ends on a great note.

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6 hours ago, Datameister said:

Like many of you, I'm partial to ESB, TPM, and TFA, with ESB probably topping it. I just love the way it's shot - really beautiful and interesting cinematography. And the choreography strikes a nice balance between realism and coolness. Love the pacing as well. TPM is fun for the spectacle and visually arresting acrobatics. TFA is great for the opposite reason - it really leans into the duel as part of the characters' story, serving up a less flashy, more realistic approach. And I love that the glowing lightsaber props actually illuminate the surroundings. I wish every film before it could have had that.

Yes! Yes! Yes! and Yes!

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