Saturday, May 3, 2014

Favorites - 15 Favorite Lightsaber Fights

It’s been said that the lightsaber is “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” I guess that’s Obi-Wan’s way of saying that “lightsabers are cool, man!” Anyway, he kind of has a point. The lightsaber is one of the most recognizable things from the Star Wars franchise. I even have one but it’s in a shade of red. One thing that made all of the movies and TV shows exciting were the lightsaber battles. Heck, the battle in The Phantom Menace is probably the only awesome thing about that movie.

Here are my 15 favorite Lightsaber battles. Why 15? I just want to go those five extra steps. Yes, I’m going all Nostalgia Critic on ya’ll. There’s also the fact that I wanted to include some battles from the animated TV shows. While they’re only animated, both Clone Wars shows had some really good battles and they need to be highlighted somewhere. I’ll also try to provide links to these fights.

15. Mace Windu vs. A Droid Army (Clone Wars) – I know it’s not a duel, but come on! There’s a lightsaber in it! While Mace seems a little overpowered in this, you have to admit that this is frickin’ awesome. I mean, he’s pushing back hundreds of droids! He’s punching them to bits! He destroys a dang fortress! Mace Windu is truly a bad brother from another galaxy. I only wish we got to see this awesomeness in the prequels. I know Samuel L. Jackson would have been happy.

14. Obi-Wan vs. General Grievous (Revenge of the Sith) - This is the final fight for Gen. Grievous in the prequel trilogy. For those who don' know, Grievous commanded the Droid Army during the Clone Wars. The Republic finally tracked him down and Obi-Wan's the one who's got to fight him. The fight itself is pretty different and interesting since Grievous is a cyborg with multiple arms and lightsabers. 

13. Darth Maul vs. Prez Vizsla of Deathwatch (The Clone Wars) – Setting up this one would be pretty hard. Basically, Darth Maul (yes, he came back) and Savage Oppress (yes, that’s his name) teamed up with Deathwatch, a group of Mandalorian terrorists, in order to take back control of Mandalore. After they’ve succeeded in ousting the queen, Prez Vizsla makes himself ruler. Maul (who was planning to double-cross Deathwatch) challenges Vizsla for the throne and leadership if Deathwatch. The fight itself is pretty awesome. One thing this show excelled at was having these brutal, fast-paced fights. They fight back and forth until Vizsla is defeated and you find out that “there can be only one.”

12. Obi-Wan, Anakin, and YODA vs. Count Dooku (Attack of the Clones) – While the Battle of Geonosis is happening, Obi-Wan and Anakin track down ‘ole Dracula himself. He takes them both down one by one and even slices off one of Anakin’s hands. Dooku is about to escape when another challenger enters: Yoda. This is either ludicrous or one of the coolest things ever to see in theatres. Luckily, Kermit’s 2nd cousin uses the Force and his lightsaber to put up a good fight. The fight is cool for one reason only: we get to see Yoda beat the crap out of a Sith Lord.

11. Anakin and Obi-Wan vs. Asokha Tano (The Clone Wars) – This weird fight comes from the Mortis story-arc in the 3rd season. The whole arc revolved around Anakin being the Chosen One to balance the Force. This was something that was mentioned but never got really explained in the prequels. Anyway, the three get stranded in some strange land that is inhabited by Force-wielders. The wielder is of the Dark Side kidnaps Asokha and infects her with the Dark Side. When Anakin finds her, she attacks him with all she has. Eventually, Obi-Wan gets in on the action. Overall, it’s a nice fight from a pretty interesting arc about the Force.

10. Darth Maul and Savage Oppress vs Darth Sidious (The Clone Wars) – This fight also occurs in that Darth Maul/Deathwatch story-arc. Sidious finds out what his former apprentice is doing on Mandalore and decides to put an end to it. He heads to Mandalore and challenges both horned guys to a battle and it’s intense. The battle ends with Savage dead and Maul beaten. Afterwards, Palpatine says that he’s going to use Maul for something… but then the episode ends and we never hear about this again since The Clone Wars ended. Oh well, at least the fight was cool!

9. Obi-Wan vs Darth Vader (A New Hope) – So, why is the first saber battle all the way down here? Well, when you compare it to all of the others, it’s pretty stiff. You’d think a fight between an old man and a cyborg would be a little more interesting. Still, it has a lot of significance. Vader and Obi-Wan meet for the first time since their battle on that volcano planet (Mufasa? Mustafar?). Obi-Wan basically serves as a distraction so the rest of the heroes can save Leia and get out of there. The fight sadly ends when Obi-wan lets Vader kill him. Still, it was a bit of a victory since we get to have Ghost Obi-Wan.

8. Luke vs. Jabba’s thugs (Return of the Jedi) – It’s finally time for Luke to strut his Jedi stuff as he kicks some gangster butt. He, Han, and Chewie are about to be thrown into the Sarlacc when Luke sets the rest of his plan in motion. With the help of R2-D2, he gets his lightsaber and starts to mow down thugs like it’s nothing. Yes, he may have help from scantily-clad Leia, Han, Lando, and the Sarlacc (lol), but he had this down. This scene is also important in showing how far Luke has come in his training since the last movie. It’s exciting, it’s fun, and it’s got Leia’s in that suit of hers… scratch that last point. The link isn't the best quality though.

7. Anakin vs Asajj Ventress (Clone Wars) –This fight happened in the Clone Wars series from 2003. Anakin and a squad of clones get lured to a planet (possibly Yavin 4) by Asajj Ventress. The Clones get taken out in creepy fashion and Anakin is the only one left. He and Asajj get into a brutal fight and it ends with Anakin (who goes into pre-Vader mode) forcing her off a cliff. Not only is the fight well animated and well paced, but we also get to see Anakin turn into a hard-broiled warrior. It was this fight that made the Order consider Anakin for knighthood.

6. Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku, Savage Oppress, Obi-Wan and Anakin (The Clone Wars) – This is a weird battle that’s filled with a couple of twists and turns. This takes place during the Nightsister three-parter in the 3rd season. Basically, Dooku is forced to get rid of Asajj as his apprentice and she swears vengeance on him. With the help of the Nightsisters, she is able to get Savage Oppress to work for her and be an agent to Dooku. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan and Anakin are on the hunt for Oppress since he killed some Jedi. It all comes to a head on Dooku’s ship. Let’s just say that it is pretty cool and it's probably the best fight of that whole series. It’s always cool to see villains fighting each other.

5. Yoda vs Emperor Palpatine (Revenge of the Sith) – While Obi-Wan and Anakin are doing their dance on Mustafar, Yoda fights Emperor Palpatine on Coruscant. They use all of their tricks: lightsabers, the Force, and one-liners. Their fight spills into the Senate room and it’s here where it gets pretty cool. They’re throwing around those metal floaty-chair things like it’s nothing. The fight unfortunately ends with Yoda needing to retreat since Palpatine is just too powerful. You kinda feel for Kermit’s cousin at the end. If anything, it truly symbolized the end of the Jedi Order since the most powerful Jedi has been beaten by the evil one.

4. Obi-Wan vs Anakin/Darth Vader (Revenge of the Sith) – It’s the fights to end all fights. Obi-wan comes to Mustafar to kill Anakin since he has done some horrible things as Vader. After a verbal… thing, the two start to fight. They fight on land and they fight in the air. They even get to fight on lava. Eventually, Obi-wan ends the fight by slicing off the rest of Anakin’s real limbs and berating him for being such an idiot. While this fight has a lot of emotional resonance and starts out awesomely, the fight just lasts too long. It goes a little over the top when they’re swinging on things and fighting on lava. Still, it ends in a good but sad way.

3. Luke vs. Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine (Return of the Jedi) – It’s the final battle of the series. Not only was it a final test for Luke, it also served as redemption for Anakin. Unlike other fights, it’s not a knock-out, flashy fight. It’s an intervention. Luke only surrendered himself in order to save his father. He only fights him because Palpatine was doing his best to turn Luke to the Dark Side. Luke almost goes over, but he doesn’t. Palpatine then decides to do the dumbest thing in front of Vader: kill his own son. That action is what ultimately brought Anakin Skywalker back to the good side if only for a bit. While it’s not flashy like the others, the significance of the fight makes it one of the best.

2. Obi-Wan and Qui-Jonn vs Darth Maul (The Phantom Menace) – This was the battle that pretty much cemented in our minds what lightsaber battles should be. While Naboo is being fought for, Qui-Jonn and Obi-Wan take on Darth Maul. Maul proves to be a challenge to both Jedi. When the fight moves to another part of the complex, Qui-Jonn faces Maul alone and is fatally stabbed. This roils Obi-Wan up and he goes after Maul. Eventually, Kenobi is able to beat the dark assassin by making Maul half a man. Ouch. It’s a well-paced fight with awesome choreography and serves as the best moment of The Phantom Menace.

1. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (The Empire Strikes Back) – In a lot of ways, this was the first saber battle. Obi-Wan’s and Vader’s little dance on the Death Star was mostly kid’s stuff. Here, we get to see rookie Luke go up against an experienced Vader. Luke does his best and even surprises Vader, but then Vader overwhelms Luke and even slices Luke’s hand off. Vader also tries to lure Luke over to the Dark Side and tells him that he is his father. This fight is awesome in a lot of ways. We get to see what Luke and Vader can really do and we get one of the most shocking revelations in film.

Well, that's my list. Here's hoping the lightsaber battles in the new series and trilogy are good. If there are any other fights I missed or you think some fights are better than others, let me know. Peace and God Bless.

Funny. All this needs is some techno music.

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