It’s hard to pinpoint which aspect of the Star Wars films fans love the most, but the lightsaber duels are a safe bet. These battles are a massive part of why people return to the Star Wars franchise with unbridled fervor every time a new film or version of a film is released. At their best, lightsaber battles express the themes of an entire movie (or trilogy), acting as both action sequences and culminations of a hero’s whole journey. Even at their worst, they’re still just cool to watch. Crank up the John Williams and dig this list of every Star Wars lightsaber duel, ranked from best to worst.
There was only one lightsaber battle per film in the original trilogy. Yes, Luke wielded a lightsaber against a practice droid, and against himself in a dream, but those don’t count as actual duels. By the time the prequels rolled around, George Lucas doubled down on lightsaber battles, maybe because when an actor like Samuel L. Jackson signs on to play a Jedi, he wants to throw down in at least one lightsaber fight. Compared to the original trilogy, the lightsaber battles in the prequels are faster and flashier. But does that make them better?That’s up to you to decide. Vote up the best lightsaber duels from the live action Star Wars movies and downvote the fights that don't live up to the potential of a laser sword battle. Take to the comments to discuss why your favorite duel is the best duel and if Mace Windu really bit the big one in Revenge of the Sith.
Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Anakin Skywalker - Revenge of the Sith
Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Maul - The Phantom Menace
Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader - Return of the Jedi
Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader - The Empire Strikes Back
The Cloud City duel not only sets the stage for ROTJ (Luke's robo-hand, the green lightsaber, the knowledge that he's related to one of the most reviled men in the universe), but it also informs The Force Awakens, since Luke's lost lightsaber appears in the sequel.