Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Best: Lightsaber Battles

In honor of Star Wars Day, here are the top 5 lightsaber duels in all Star Wars.

5.  Luke vs. Vader (The Empire Strikes Back)

What makes this battle so fantastic is that Luke loses.  It seems so obvious in retrospect, but I remember being a kid and not being able to comprehend the hero losing.  But he needed to lose because he needed to be humbled so he wouldn't end up like his father.

4.  The Duel of the Fates (The Phantom Menace)

There are a lot of detractors for The Phantom Menace.  But this lightsaber fight was wonderful.  It was the first time that we had seen Jedi from the Old Republic fight on such a massively awesome scale with amazing choreography.

3.  Yoda vs. Dooku (Attack of the Clones)

One of my favorite memories being at the movies was Yoda facing down Count Dooku.  The entire theater became electric as Yoda force pulled his lightsaber into his hand.  But then there was an explosion of cheers we saw the wizened Jedi demonstrate why he was in charge of training others not just in wisdom but in combat.

2.  Battle of the Heroes (Revenge of the Sith)

Not only is this the best choreographed fight, but I love the emotional context.  I remember talking with a friend of mine who had the exact same thought I had as the two former best friends careened down the lava river trying to murder each other: "It's come to this!"

1.  Luke vs. Vader (Return of the Jedi)

To this day, I get chills thinking about this moment.  The dark choral music, the use of shadow and light, the hero defining moment… This is the culmination of all the other battles: mythic, emotional, powerful.

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