Don't let the Star Trek uniform fool you, I'm just as big a geek about Star Wars. Seriously. I even have a collection of favorite lightsaber duels, some of which aren't even official products of Lucasfilm (bless home video editing software—you may save the franchise yet). Below is my ranked list of the greatest lightsaber duels I've ever seen.
- Obi-Wan Kenobi & Qui-Gonn Jinn vs. Darth Maul This is a fan-recut version of the classic duel from Episode I, with all the interspersed scenes removed. The music track jumps around a bit, but for my money, this is the highwater mark in lightsaber face-offs.
- Anakin Skywalker vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi
Another purified fan recut of the most anticipated duel in Star Wars history. The dialogue and the indulgent use of the volcanic setting I think distract from the overall power of the scene, but it's still atotal saberfest.
- Art of the Saber Arguably the most emotional and powerful Star Wars fan film ever made. Despite some obvious Matrix-esque overtones, this micro-epic—inspired by the true-life conflict of two U.S. Civil War soldiers—is the definition of fan passion inspiring true genre art.
CGI- heavy fanfilm with a prequel-ish flavor—and this one has perhaps the best production values of any fan creation since Troops (which basically invented the Star Wars fanfilm cottage industry in1997). Stick around for the ending, it's kinda funny.
- Weber vs. Dorkman The most recent high-profile saberfight fanfilm. With the verve and devotion that only high school students can bring, this one is an adolescent power fantasy come to life. Muchly fun.
- Honorable Mention: Yoda vs. Emperor Palpatine This fan-recut version of the undercard fight in Episode III loses points for basically being a fully digital cartoon with almost no actual people or objects in it. That said, it also pegs the dork-o-meter by having the two most Force-powerful Star Wars characters ever throw down in full FX style.
Got a beef with the list, bring it in the comments below. I never miss a chance to debate the finer points of high lightsaber art.
Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can also follow him on his personal blog.