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The legendary Star Wars saga will always be my favorite film franchises of all time. While Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is on the rise and delivering yearly, even monthly and weekly hype now-a-day, the space opera saga created by George Lucas will always remain my favorite. I (the same as several other people) cannot wait for Episode VII next Christmas.
With all of the rumors, announcements and talk about the upcoming revival of the series, I got the idea to give my Top 10 Lightsaber Battles throughout the films. Let’s get down to business:
#10 – Battle of Geonosis: Jedi vs. Droids, Episode II: Attack of the Clones
While we saw seemingly hundreds of Jedi fight their way through a mass of Battle Droids, Super Battle Droids and Droidekas, many of the famous Jedi Masters only had brief glimpses of them in action. Nevertheless, this was the first time we saw Mace Windu wield a lightsaber, and he used it efficiently by beheading bounty hunter Jango Fett. When the Jedi are seemingly outnumbered by Separatist droid forces, who comes to the rescue but Master Yoda with the brand new army of Clone warriors. It was epic while it lasted; who can forget so many green/blue/purple lightsabers in action at once?
#9 – Mace Windu vs. Emperor Palpatine, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
With the prequels just about finished tying into the original trilogy, certain fates were inevitable. At this point in Episode III, you could only guess that in a close-corners battle of the Emperor (who obviously lives throughout the original trilogy) vs. a Jedi master like Mace Windu, the Emperor would come out on top. The battle had a very dark, gut-wrenching tone to it, and it was still shocking to see Windu’s fate. Of course, had the arrogant Anakin not showed up to help finish the job, things may have been different. But again…continuity.
#8 – Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. General Grievous, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
A short-lived battle, it was definitely one of the coolest of the entire saga to date. We knew Grievous was gonna have his moments the second we saw him early on in the film. We saw he collected lightsabers from the fallen Jedi he’d faced in the past, and when his arms split apart, wielding four sabers at once, it took Darth Maul’s dual-blade to a whole new level. Granted, Obi-Wan took out two of the arms fairly quickly (almost as suspiciously quick as Palpatine took down Kit Fisto, and company before fighting Mace Windu…), but the battle was still pretty awesome. Especially the chase through Utapau that followed.
#7 – Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Although the original trilogy will always conquer the prequels in my eyes, as far as lightsaber battles go, the Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker duel towards the climax of Episode VI seemed more story-based, trying to build up towards the fate of either the Republic or the Empire. It had a pretty eery feeling and used the darkness of the Emperor’s “throne room” to its advantage. While it’s still incredibly memorable, it just doesn’t rank as high in terms of awesome duels.
#6 – Yoda vs. Count Dooku, Episode II: Attack of the Clones
It was only a matter of time before we’d see Yoda in action. The moment that he revealed his lightsaber after coming to the aid of the wounded Obi-Wan and Anakin, things started to get even more incredible. We saw moves from Yoda in battle we would have never guessed would happen from his days as a puppet in the original trilogy and Episode I. Between jumping around constantly, using force lightning, and lifting a huge pillar with the force, you couldn’t have asked for Yoda’s action debut at a better time.
#5 – Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader, Episode IV: A New Hope
Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader on the Death Star in the original Star Wars. The very first lightsaber duel, there wasn’t much action or effects to it; but the idea of seeing the Jedi weapon in action for the first tim has a certain magic to it. Every time I see this scene, you know what’s about to go down; and it gives you a chill in your spine. I have to admit though, after the prequel trilogy tied the original films in, this duel seemed a bit lifeless after the big battle Obi-Wan vs. Anakin on Mustafar, but for the time that it was released, it’s still pretty epic.
#4 – Yoda vs. Darth Sidious, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
This is the last time we saw both the Emperor and Yoda wield a lightsaber on screen, and it was perfect to see the two legends square off. The entire scene was intense, although once again the outcome was already predictable. The way the Chancellor’s podium rose up into the Grand Chamber used for Republic meetings was incredible, and how they used both their swords, force lightning, and hauling full podiums at each other is simply unforgettable.
#3 – Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Anakin Skywalker, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
I’ll start off by saying that lava is simply one of the coolest things that can be used as a surrounding in an action film. It’s deadly, dangerous, and the lava-based planet of Mustafar is as disturbing as it gets. You can tell that Obi-Wan and Anakin both had to plan each move of theirs carefully to stay alive long enough to finish the actual duel. The film’s climax transitioned between this battle and the battle between Yoda & the Emperor, and put together it was one of the best final epics I’ve seen.
#2 – Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Maul, Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Ok, I’m in agreement that the prequel trilogies soiled the saga a bit, though it was scenes like this that kept the three newer films true to the original three. This is a classic lightsaber battle, and an awesome one at that. The moment the door of the Naboo temple opened and Darth Maul drew his double-sided saber is still chilling, and the whole battle leads up to Obi-Wan’s first victory vs. a Sith, and Jedi Knight Qui-Gon losing his life. The fight in the generator room is at such a large scale. This is one of the battles that the more you watch it, the cooler it gets.
#1 – Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back is one of my favorite films of all time. The first confrontation between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Cloud City is eery but terrific. One of the things I enjoyed best about this duel is how Vader is mostly in the shadows, especially in the carbon chamber room. The way his red saber appears out of the darkness of his silhouette gets me every time. Ending with Luke getting his hand cut off, and Vader failing to turn him to the Dark Side led perfectly into Return of the Jedi. Definitely have to name the duel of Luke vs. Vader my favorite the Star Wars saga.
So what do you think? Do you Star Wars fans have any additions or different orders of this list? Feel free to discuss in the comments section, always love to discuss the Wars saga.
Written by Josh Sazin on January 24th, 2014