‘Attack of the Clones’ Still Has 1 of the Best Lightsaber Duels, Some Fans Argue

People like Star Wars for many reasons. Some like the world-building of a  fiction galaxy that’s similar to the world we live in.

Others may like the updated take on a classic hero’s journey. For action-oriented fans, however, the lightsaber battles remain on top. Even in the most maligned movies of the franchise, the lightsaber battles are unique, and for a good reason. Fans on Reddit recently explained why. 

Duels in the ‘Star Wars’ universe

George Lucas
George Lucas | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

From the time that Obi-Wan Kenobi first faced off against Darth Vader in the first movie to nearly every Star Wars property today, lightsaber battles sell the entire franchise. Yes, there’s political intrigue about the galaxy’s inner workings far away; and yes, there are the memorable characters. However, as Screen Rant notes, the lightsaber battles stand above the rest among the franchise at the end of the day. 

This is, in many ways, by design. From Vader’s historic proclamation during his fight with his son, Luke, to the thrilling lightsaber battle between Rey, Kylo Ren, and Snoke in The Last Jedi, lightsabers don’t just convey the action. They secure the complicated weave between the plot, the action, and the character motivations. 

These are not just recreations of medieval sword fights. They draw from martial arts and other practices from around the world and throughout history. Every saber battle has its unique feel. Even in the franchise’s most maligned movies, there’s almost always a memorable lightsaber fight somewhere in the mix. 

Fans on Reddit recently looked back at what is, arguably, the most important of them all. 

Diamond in the rough

RELATED: ‘Star Wars’ Prequels: Hayden Christensen’s ‘Stoic’ Portrayal of Anakin Skywalker Was Intentional

While the prequel trilogy has a complicated relationship with the notoriously opinionated Star Wars fan base, fans have grown to appreciate certain aspects of the series as new material came out.

The lightsaber duels, in particular, hold a special place in the hearts of fans across the world. In Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda, and Count Dooku’s final fight is especially memorable. 

Coming out at a time when CG-generated imagery was still being figured out, fans got to see Yoda in action for the first time in the series. Nine hundred years old and barely two feet tall, Yoda suddenly shows why he’s as important as the series implied from there on out by showing up when Kenobi and Skywalker need him most. 

Some fans on Reddit spoke of their appreciation for the scene. Joining in a chorus of praise for the Episode II, u/wyvern_rider stated that, “Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda vs Dooku is… a high tier lightsaber duel.”

Many others agreed. While the storytelling and political allegory wear on some fans, many fans agree that the prequel series is best when the action takes center stage. 

Speaking on this particular fight, the architects told IGN about what went into the memorable battle. 

‘Attack of the Clones’: The architect speaks

Having a character who, before Episode II, was a hand-operated puppet was not without challenges. They had to train the stunt people to fight a character who was only there in imagination and represented by a series of static figures. This meant that the choreographers, actors, and animators had to be on the same page. 

“I think a lot of the credit for making that scene work and for Yoda not to feel silly goes to Rob Coleman, who was the animation supervisor, and figuring out ways to animate Yoda that still kept him very energetic and try to make it plausible that this very small creature could fight someone three times his height,” visual effects supervisor John Knoll told IGN.

In the end, however, according to fight choreographer Nick Gillard, the credit goes to the original creator for making sure that the fight fell right in place with the other memorable battles from the biggest film franchise in history. 

“It’s George’s movie, and you have to move with it straight away. Sometimes he says things, and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, he’s lost the plot.’ And then you see afterwards, and he was, of course, absolutely right,” Gillard told the site.

Fans might not like the prequels as much as the originals, but the same level of care went into these scenes as any of the franchise’s most iconic moments. With nostalgia for the originals at an all-time high, it’s time for fans to remember that while they might not like every aspect of the new series, the artistry behind them still deserves their praise.