With the reveal of the D23 Expo The Rise of Skywalker footage this week, we’re taking our time out to celebrate Star WarsThe Rise of Skywalker looks like it will be a film filled with twists and turns, subverting our expectations, but in a good way (please study up Rian Johnson!). Lightsaber battles are a staple of the Star Wars Saga. They revolutionized choreography and combined with their stunning visuals are the finest action sequences in the film industry. While there are too many to count on two hands, these are the top five Star Wars lightsaber battles.

5. Yoda versus Palpatine

Yoda’s battle with the Emperor was one of the most anticipated fights in cinematic history barring Anakin versus Obi-Wan, and it did not disappoint. While Palpatine’s over-the-top demeanor took away a bit from the scene, it was visually stunning and a battle between two masters, light and dark. The Senate Chamber was the perfect setting for the fight as well, as it symbolized the death of the Republic and birth of the Empire. While who won the fight is up for debate, it lived up to expectations and then some.

4. Darth Sidious versus Mace Windu

Top Star Wars Lightsaber Battles

Samuel L Jackson was waiting for his moment to shine in Star Wars, and he finally got it in Revenge of the Sith. Facing off with the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, Mace fights valiantly as his comrades are taken down with ease. The battle is relatively even and Mace’s fighting style veers dangerously close to the Dark Side. Palpatine throws the fight at the end though to manipulate Anakin into turning to the Dark Side. Mace was a fool though; in the end, if he had just adhered to the Jedi Code, he wouldn’t have died.

“The Jedi and the Sith are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power.”

Palpatine was correct in many respects, and the Jedi were wiped out because of their hypocrisy.

3. Luke versus Darth Vader — The Empire Strikes Back

Top Star Wars Lightsaber Battles

This is a somewhat controversial pick, as some regard this as the best lightsaber battle in the series. While it was the first with true choreography, it’s not the best. That doesn’t mean it’s not incredible though. Luke’s first confrontation with Vader doesn’t end well. He’s obviously overmatched, loses a hand, finds out that Vader is his father and that Obi-Wan lied to him, and barely escaped with his life. While it is one of the most iconic fights in the series, that doesn’t make it the best.

2. Luke versus Vader Part II

Top Star Wars Lightsaber Battles

Luke and Vader’s second duel in Return of the Jedi may not have been as flashy as their fight in The Empire Strikes Back, but it was much more powerful. Every scene with Luke and Vader was filled with tension, as Luke attempted to reach Anakin Skywalker, the good man we once knew.

Vader is revealed to be a resigned, sad, and pathetic individual, unlike his ruthless portrayal in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke’s duel with Vader ends with the most powerful musical cue in the Star Wars Saga, “The Dark Side Beckons”, which tells the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker in one, simple, musical phrase. Luke defeats his father in his fury to protect the ones he loves (sound familiar?), but comes to a realization: he’s becoming his father. Unlike Anakin, Luke is able to toss his power aside and let go. It’s one of the most powerful moments in cinema and only enhances the emotional drama of this final duel.

1. The Top Star Wars Lightsaber Battles: Anakin versus Obi-Wan

Top Star Wars Lightsaber Battles

Let’s be honest — the moment everyone was waiting for during the Prequels was the duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan. This was the fight that cemented Anakin’s fate as Darth Vader and turned him into the half-man, half-machine that terrorized the galaxy for over 20 years. The duel is emotional, epic in scale, and the choreography is the best of any fight scene in the history of film. The emotional weight leading up to the duel makes it all the more powerful. We see Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship deteriorate and it’s tragic.

Top Star Wars Lightsaber Battles

While Anakin may have been an annoying, moody teenager in Attack of the Clones (not unlike Luke), he’s actually quite likable in. He has his flaws, but he has principles as well. It is the Jedi’s own hubris which was their downfall, and while Anakin committed unspeakable horrors, the Jedi created the circumstances for his turn. While Luke set his power aside, Anakin couldn’t. His inability to let go and need to control things (just like me) was simply too much. He was consumed by his power and that arrogance cost him everything he was trying to protect.

Star Wars truly is the “Tragedy of Darth Vader.” It’s only fitting that the best lightsaber duel in the Saga is between Anakin and his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over six years and has written over 2,000 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

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