'Star Wars' Staffers, Fans Debate Greatest Lightsaber Duel of All-Time
Lightsabers are, as Obi-Wan Kenobi described them so perfectly in the very first Star Wars movie, “an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”
But not all that civilized. If the residents of a galaxy far, far away, were really so polite, then Skywalker, Vader, and the rest of sci-fi cinema’s most dysfunctional family would have gone to therapy, instead of attempting to slice each other to pieces. Of course, we’re happy these folks have so much anger, because these unresolved issues have led to some terrifically entertaining sequences in the six Star Wars flicks.
But which lightsaber duel is the best? The staffers at StarWars.com put together a list of their unofficial-but-kind-of-official top 10 fights — and we were pretty surprised with their top choice. Team Star Wars went with the climactic confrontation between Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn at the end of The Phantom Menace, generally regarded to be the weakest of the six films.
After the results were posted to the Star Wars Facebook page, fans chimed in with their own impassioned opinions (10,000 and counting!). While many agreed with the StarWars.com choice, there were plenty of others who felt the top spot should have gone to the duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan at the conclusion of Revenge of the Sith. (For the record, StarWars.com put that one in third place). And several commenters raised their voices for the fight between Luke and Vader at the end of Empire Strikes Back. (StarWars.com gave that duel a silver medal).
So, what do we think? Well, we don’t work at StarWars.com, but we’ve seen the movies — and like the rest of you — we’ve got a few thoughts on the subject. Here are our top-five selections. Leave us a (civilized) comment and let us know what you think.
1. There are few absolutes in this world, but you’re absolutely crazy if you don’t rank the fight between Luke and Vader in The Empire Strikes Back in the top spot. It’s beautiful and frightening, and there’s so much riding on the outcome. Not to mention a plot twist that turns the entire trilogy on its ear. If only Luke had checked ancestry.com, he wouldn’t have been so surprised.
2. Say what you will about the prequels (and many people have), but their fight sequences are a wonder to behold. Top amongst them in our view: the “disagreement” between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on the fiery planet of Mustafar at the end of Revenge of the Sith. From start to finish, the entire thing is a rush. Our only complaint — Obi-Wan’s use of the phrase “chosen one.” Ugh, can we retire that term already?