Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Duel in ‘Revenge of the Sith’ Will Always Be One of the Best in ‘Star Wars’
Say what you want about the Star Wars prequels — and a lot has already been said — but Revenge of the Sith is actually one of the best Star Wars movies. Even from just the significance of it, it shows Anakin Skywalker’s fall from the Light Side as well as the creation of the best villain in the franchise: Darth Vader. George Lucas has said that Anakin’s story is the core of the franchise before the sequel trilogy came to be. So seeing this missing piece to Anakin’s story was pivotal.
And when it comes to the action, Revenge of the Sith comes out on top too. So, on the movie’s 15th anniversary, let’s break down why Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s duel on Mustafar is one of the best fights in all of Star Wars. And it’s not all just about the duel itself.
The scene has so much drama and heartache leading up to it
As stated above, this duel comes at one of the most significant moments in the movie. Anakin struggled the entire film with his new visions of Padmé and his track record of murderous dreams coming true. Not to mention, he was getting no emotional support from the Jedi; Yoda told him to just let go. That’s not really something Anakin knew how to do.
His turmoil at being weak and aiding in Mace Windu’s death is eating away at him. His despair at being a part of the Jedi Order’s destruction is destroying him. The moment we see before Padmé comes to Mustafar of Anakin crying is really one of the most heartbreaking. He’s ashamed at what he’s done, but he’s so far gone that there’s no turning back in his mind. He also is so deadset on this path to the Dark Side because it’s the only route that holds hope for saving his wife from death.
The devastation of Order 66 is waging around them. The Clone Wars really captured this well, but even in the film, the death of all the Jedi falls on Anakin’s shoulders. Let’s not forget the younglings, too.
One of the greatest mistakes that is made when talking about Revenge of the Sith is to minimize the pain he’s feeling here. Anakin was doomed from the start. This tragic story comes to a climax here and shows a boy who just wanted connection away from his sand-ridden home. Who then dreamed of being a powerful Jedi, but was put down at every turn.
Anakin is almost unrecognizable to those that love him
That’s not to say, though, that Anakin didn’t have people in his life who had faith in him. Obi-Wan Kenobi was actually blinded by his love for Anakin as his brother that he couldn’t see the turmoil behind his former Padawan.
And until the very end, Padmé doesn’t believe all that Anakin’s done until she sees him with her own eyes. Star Wars: The Clone Wars does a really good job of showing how strong Anakin and Padmé’s relationship actually is and that they went through a lot of ups and downs. She wasn’t just blindly in love with him, and knew of his faults. But the thought that he would turn to the Dark Side was so unimaginable.
Even bringing it back to Ahsoka, who’s on Mandalore at this point. She would rather duel a former Sith Lord than believe Anakin would become Sidious’ apprentice. Anakin’s good heart and deeds as a Jedi overshadowed any darkness that may have been lurking in him in the eyes of his friends. That’s why the scene of him arguing with Padmé and then choking her, followed by his delusions of grandeur and Obi-Wan, hits so hard. It’s not the Anakin they know, but the one that is left after Palpatine’s manipulations.
The epic fight choreography, of course, is some of the best
And yes, the duel itself is some of the best visuals ever seen in Star Wars. Mustafar is one of the most pivotal scenes in the whole franchise, not just the movie. Without this moment, and its result, Darth Vader as we know him would never have come to be. And even though audiences knew Obi-Wan would strike him down in some way, the following duel was epic beyond belief.
The emotion that’s mentioned above comes to a breaking point, and the lava pouring throughout Mustafar is a stunning backdrop. Anakin is older, but he still has waves of overconfidence, which is seen throughout the duel. But Anakin is also insanely powerful. The choreography is unmatched, and it shows how well-paired they are. Because even though Anakin is powerful, Obi-Wan is also one of the best. And someone who taught Anakin everything he knows. This is displayed when they have a stalemate halfway through their fight because they’re doing the same moves.
From the moment it starts until the end, it’s epic. Not to mention “Battle of the Heroes” in the background elevates it even more. After Obi-Wan cuts Anakin down, the yellow eyes of the Sith stare back as he yells his hate for his former master.
Revenge of the Sith is the best prequel film and one of the best in Star Wars. It’s no wonder that so many things hinge on this one movie, and duel.