J.J. Abrams has been talking about what we can expect from the Lightsaber duels in The Force Awakens and potentially in the Star Wars sequels' sequels...
I'll be the first to admit that, at the time, I was thrilled by the new Lightsaber fighting style in Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace. The introduction of such and aggressively capable adversary in Darth Maul and his lethal looking double bladed weapon, upped the stakes and so the Jedi had to be faster, more nimble and more inventive. Today my position is a little different. Star Wars Episode II Attack Of The Clones brought a somewhat ridiculous duel to the screen with a digital Yoda fighting a digitally enhanced Christopher Lee, I just couldn't invest in it emotionally. So I'm very happy to hear J.J. Abrams say that they are moving closer to the original trilogy with The Force Awakens' Lightsaber duels. Yes duels, plural.
Without a doubt my favourite duel in Star Wars is the one between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope. It lacked the frenetic pacing of the Nick Gillard choreographed Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace three way fight, but it contained so much more character. We see two old friends, two people who were once closer than brothers, almost father and son, clashing and as they do, discussing things we wouldn't see on screen for decades. This duel was not just about stunt work, but about character.
George Lucas reportedly told Mark Hamill on Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back to think of the Lightsaber as a broadsword. That the weapons were heavy and over powered and so he would need both hands to control it. It made Luke's battle against Vader seem like a struggle.
In The Force Awakens I'm hoping we get those elements. That we might see Kylo Ren go up against Luke and get those deeply emotional tones as (potentially) a former master and his rogue apprentice meet in battle after years apart. If there's a familial connection in there too, well all the better.
What do you think of J.J. Abrams' comments? Are you a fan of the prequel style fights? What are you hoping for from The Force Awakens' Lightsaber fight(s)? Leave your thoughts below.
Thank you for reading,