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Sunday, June 15, 2014

From Best to Worst the Jedi duels, Stars Wars Episodes I through VI

In light of the theme of my blog I figured it was time to speak to Star Wars.

Now with Disney and JJ Abrams taking the helm of Disney's new intellectual property toy its time to consider the previous movies before we get to Episode VII next year. Rather then rehash which is the best movie or "why the prequels" suck (to some people) for the five billionth time on the web I'm going to focus on one the things I (almost) always enjoy in the movies the Jedi Duels. By focusing on this one aspect the order of best to worst movie shifts quite a bit in my opinion, you may disagree but hey, its my blog.
If you disagree give good reasons as to why as this disucssion can get heated across the net, has been that way for years.

If one were to consider Best to Worst in terms of the movies my list would look like:
  1. Empire Strikes Back
  2. Star Wars
  3. Revenge of the Sith
  4. Phantom Menace
  5. Attack of the Clones
  6. Return of the Jedi
Some people will look at this and say "Whaaaaattttt???" Why so low for Jedi? Phantom that high? For me the dividing line is going from #3 to #4. Sure Phantom sucks in parts, it also has the best  Jedi Duel of them all.

Why does Return of the Jedi rank so low for me? After all it does have Leia in the gold bikini, the Sarlac pit, a some other good points. It also has one very crappy as reason that drags it down... EWOKS! Seriously George call it like it is $$$$$$. The Ewoks completely wrecked Jedi for me. Reminds me of a joke: "You're stuck in a turbo lift with the Emperor, Darth Vader and a Ewok and have a blaster with only two shots left, what do you do? Shoot the Ewok... twice, just to be sure."

Now onto the main point for me the Jedi fights are the highlights of the movies and when peopel bang on Phantom Menace I'm in agreement the movie is meh at best and suck badly because of Jar Jar Binks, the Midoclorian crap and a 9-year who will be Darth Vader some day shouting "Yippie"... pass the anti-acids. 

At the same time out of all the movies it has the best Jedi fights hands down so here goes my list bases on Best Jedi duel:

  1. Phantom Menace (1999)- The fight between Obi Wan and Qui Gon vs. Darth Maul is the best of the series. The fact that martial artist Ray Park plays Darth Maul and choreographed the fight is the primary reason why its good. The music, Duel of Fates is epic as well.
  2. Revenge of the Sith (2005) The finale as it were, Obi Wan vs Darth Vader. The best part to me is the titanic wielding of the force where each tries to force push the other and are evenly matched and they hurl away from each other. Battle of the Heroes for the musical backdrop is powerful and a great piece of music.
  3. Empire Strikes Back (1980) Luke is still not quite ready and in context is certainly better then the worst (see below). The great thing about this battle is the movement and that it rages all over Cloud City it seems. Obviously the "big reveal" is what makes it memorable.
  4. Return of the Jedi (1983) Moody, dark and light contrast and this time around Luke stronger then Vader. In a way he is toying with him trying to tempt him back to the Light side of the Force. His rage at the end and his realization that path he is heading down is what makes it great. 
  5. Attack of the Clones (2002) Ugh Yoda and the CGI animators! I've said it before I'll say it again. Had the made Yoda move and fight similar to Shifu in King Fu Panada they would be onto something. Shifu is much smaller then his opponents but moves in a belieavle manner and is under control. That's not what we get in Attack of the Clones. The CGI animators wanted to show us what they could do with their toys and that's what we got. A shuffling, cane walking Yoda flips and shouts all over the place?
  6. Star Wars (1977) There really isn't too much to say with a geriatric Obi Wan "facing off against Darth Vader. I've heard some say because its based on Kendo's formal poses thats why it seems to slow. Slow is an understatement, its a snoozefest. Fortunately its over quickly.
When looked at through this narrow prism as a said the order shifts quite a bit. Revenge of the Sith is a curious case in all of them, to me its such an uneven movie. We know whats coming long before the Emperor unleashes Order 66, and once he does? Its hard to keep watching as the Jedi are cut down across the galaxy. Its Jedi fight is memorable for it because we know that the old Jedi ways are near the end despite Obi Wan winning the duel.

As far as Episode VII? I'm cautiously optimistic that it will be good, it certainly an be worst then the craptastic parts of Return of the Jedi. I'm hopping for less kid driven crap like Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks. As we all know when Lucas' input is limited we get better movies (usually). In terms of the Jedi fights lets hope it's more like Phantom Menace rather then Star Wars which is a weird thing to say at face value.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. If you want to discuss respectfully that's cool, if you want to fling labels it ends right there, thanks.