Published on Aug 28, 2014
Welcome to The StarWars.com 10, a feature where StarWars.com's editorial staff huddles to discuss -- in committee -- various topics relating to a galaxy far, far away.
In this installment, we're looking at the galaxy's best scraps and tussles - usually involving lightsabers, blasters, and the occasional flame thrower. For this list, we're focused on fights from the Star Wars films only, ranking them on inventiveness, choreography, and emotional impact.
10. Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. General Grievous, Revenge of the Sith
The most dynamic battle of any Star Wars film, moving from lightsaber duel to high-speed chase to knock-down drag-out fist fight. Obi-Wan is brave and heroic; Grievous is menacing and creepy. It's a fast, fun scene, filled with thrills and a few laughs.
9. Mace Windu Vs. Darth Sidious, Revenge of the Sith
The galaxy's phantom menace becomes real, as Darth Sidious takes on one of the Jedi's best. The ending continues to be debated; Windu seems to have Sidious beaten. But was this part of a bigger plan? Either way, it doesn't end well for Mace.
8. Yoda Vs. Count Dooku, Attack of the Clones
This is the first time we see Yoda in action, and it's awesome. The Jedi Master impressively deflects and absorbs Count Dooku's Force lightning, and duels with a fast, exhilarating style that made audiences cheer. Great warrior, indeed.
7. Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Darth Vader, A New Hope
The first lightsaber duel ever seen in a Star Wars film. What's significant about this fight is not the choreography, but the subtle emotional touches, from haunted facial expressions to hints at what's to come.
6. Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Jango Fett, Attack of the Clones
This fight delivers on something fans had longed to see: what can Mandalorian armor really do? And Jango Fett pulls out all the stops. The Jedi and bounty hunter prove to be formidable opponents in a fight that's unique for Star Wars in setting and style.
5. Luke Skywalker Vs. Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi
The final duel of the original trilogy with the highest stakes possible. Luke is pushed into a blind rage, but ends up showing compassion for his father at the last moment; in doing so, he awakens the good in Darth Vader, and the Emperor meets a just end.
4. Yoda Vs. Darth Sidious, Revenge of the Sith
The battle of the ultimate Masters, featuring furious lightsaber combat and an awesome display of Force wizardry. It's a meeting between arguably the two most powerful beings in the galaxy, and while Yoda holds his own, he fails to defeat the Sith Lord.
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Anakin Skywalker, Revenge of the Sith
An epic duel in scale and scope, Anakin versus Obi Wan is a marvel of choreography and visual effects. Despite the fact that we already know the outcome, the entire sequence is thrilling and, ultimately, heartbreaking.
2. Luke Skywalker Vs. Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back
The slow pacing, haunting aesthetic, and the harsh reality of Luke's first duel with Darth Vader all make for one of cinema's most memorable sword fights. It's artistic, it's brutal, and the ending is the stuff of legend.
1. Obi-Wan Kenobi & Qui-Gon Jinn Vs. Darth Maul, The Phantom Menace
This duel captures what makes every other entry on this list special. It's exciting, there's real danger, and it packs an emotional punch. Darth Maul is quick and deadly like no other Star Wars villain before him, making the Sith Lord a new kind of threat. As the fight progresses, Qui-Gon is mortally wounded, leaving a young Obi-Wan to face Maul alone. Throughout, it simultaneously echoes and establishes themes core to the saga -- and the surprising climax is a defining moment for one of the galaxy's greatest Jedi. Taken together, that's why we think it's the best fight ever in a galaxy far, far away.
So what do you think? Did we nail it? Did we overlook something? Are we out of our minds? Subscribe, comment, and let us know!