Star Wars has produced some of the Best Lightsaber Duels, unrivaled by any other scene. Actually, when everything goes well, they can be breathtaking, exciting, and absolutely epic. Lightsaber duels test both the warriors’ skills with a Lightsaber and their Force powers. Many of them result in the death of the main characters and some lightsaber duels can make or break certain stories.
In this list, we will count down the 30 best Star Wars lightsaber duels. To be included, a scene must feature combatants fighting each other with lightsabers, not just using a lightsaber in a fight. For example, Qui Gon and Kenobi’s fight against the Droidekas on the Trade Federation’s ship will not appear on this list, as they feature lightsabers vs blasters.
Also, since our mission is to find the single best Star Wars lightsaber duel ever, we will include duels from both “Cannon” and non-cannon sources. However, to be included, the duel has to be a video, either live-action or animated. This means we will not include duels from comics or novels, but solely from movies, TV shows, and video games. So, having said that – let’s get started.
30/30. Palpatine vs. Mace Windu in Palpatine’s office
Once the Jedi Council revealed that Supreme Chancellor Palpatine was secretly Darth Sidious, Jedi Master Windu engaged the Dark Lord of the Sith in his Senate office on Planet Coruscant.
The main problem with this lightsaber duel is that you could really tell that the actors involved were in their middle ages and didn’t really move how they used to. This resulted in weird close-up shots of McDiarmid and Samuel Jackson’s faces twisted up in either rage or concentration, which isn’t bad, not at all.
This was really just a minor duel and hence the low ranking on this list. It’s just that it wasn’t the first to stand out that much against the many other stellar lightsaber duels from Revenge of the Sith.
Also, looking at this whole scene you can’t escape the feeling that Palpatine lost on purpose! Therefore, making the skills they exhibited in the duel meaningless.
29/30. Finn vs Kylo Ren in The Force Awaken
This is obviously the best Star Wars lightsaber duel, as Finn doesn’t have a chance in a million to win. However, people underestimate how brave was this young man to stand in Kylo Ren’s way. Throughout pretty much the entire movie, we see Finn running away from the first order.
Kylo Ren is the embodiment of what Finn fears! But when his friend Rey is hurt, Finn faces his fears. Finn knows he’s going to die! He knows he stands zero chance against this guy which makes this lightsaber duel and his actions even braver.
So, when Kylo says, “That lightsaber belongs to me” and Finn says, “Come get it!” This is actually a beautiful moment. It’s safe to say Kylo is toying with Finn up until he lands a real shot. Then, you see how Kylo instantly disarms him. And this is also great.
Finn is supposed to lose to Kylo, who is a superior warrior in every way. But this scene, where Finn literally held his ground for a brief minute against the equivalent of a Sith Lord is great.See also: Star Wars vs Star Trek: Which is better?
28/30. Darth Maul vs Kenobi in Star Wars: Rebels series
Though the duel itself is short, what we get from it is truly amazing. Darth Maul and Obi-Wan fought for the last time in the 20th episode of the third season of Rebels, called “Twin Suns”. What is important to know before watching the fight is that Maul survived his Phantom Menace encounter with Kenobi due to his Dathomirian biology and his mastery over the Force.
He had also shaped himself into a set of robotic spider legs. Living in exile, cast from his Master Sidious’ gaze, Maul descended completely into madness.
When he finally tracks down Kenobi in the desert of Tatooine, Kenobi doesn’t want to fight Maul at first. Kenobi only ignites his saber once Maul threatens to hurt Luke. The start of the battle is really cool, as the two just stare at each other for a while. Then Maul charges.
The clash between them lasts exactly three strokes and four seconds. Obi-Wan proves that good tactics are what win any lightsaber duel, as he uses the same moves Qui Gon did to take out Maul and kill him with a swing that slices through Maul’s hilt chest.
The rematch between Darth Maul and Obi-wan powerfully represents the transformation and progression of these two characters as they evolve into two very different people with two very different worldviews.
This is undoubtedly one of the franchise’s best moments! However, because the battle itself is so short, it only gets the 28th spot on this list.
27/30. Kylo Ren and Rey vs. The Praetorian Guard in The Last Jedi
This is not exactly a Star Wars lightsaber duel, as the Praetorian Guards use Electro-Bisentos. Which are a technological modification of ancient melee weapons. However, since it seems to have some lightsaber-like properties we’ll allow it on this list.
After killing Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren and Rey face the Praetorian Guard. The direction here is what action should be. No shaky cam, or long shots. But what stands out the most is the sequel-style choreography. It gives the lightsabers a real weight to them, and every single swing is given a gravitas. This feels like they are really determined to kill each other and not just act like it.
It is still very fast-paced and is still very intricate, but it never feels overblown. It looks very real, which is great.
26/30. Darth Maul vs Pre Vizsla inside the Mandalore Throne Room
We are going to disregard the fact that during the fight Pre Vizsla used not only his Darksaber but a wide arsenal of weapons, including his WESTAR-35 blaster gun, a flamethrower, a launcher that fires disc-shaped buzz saws, and of course his jetpack.
Maul’s enormous skill is better than ever here, with Vizsla having to pull out every Mandalorian trick in the book to no avail, getting outmatched and beaten in every aspect before Maul beheads him and claims both the Darksaber and Mandalore.
Maul cleverly challenged the Mandalorian leader of the Death Watch in front of his men, making sure that Viszla will not refuse the fight, which would make him, look like a coward.
25/30. Rey Skywalker vs Kylo Ren in The Rise of Skywalker
The setting of the crashing waves surrounding Kylo and Rey was perfect. We got to see Rey using her anger and hatred for Kylo like a Sith to become stronger. In opposition, Kylo is more calm and more collected, like a Jedi.
Although Kylo is obviously physically stronger and a better warrior with the lightsaber, throughout the fight Rey shows a better ability to channel the Force. The actual lightsaber duel itself was pretty good despite the sword fighting looking a little bit weird during some parts.
The Force jumps were an awesome addition, and something never seen before on the big screen. Although Kylo finally defeated Rey in this duel and would probably have beheaded her if it weren’t for Leia, they overall seemed fairly equal. It is important to remember that while Kylo was in top form, Rey arrived at this duel because of sleep deprivation and her earlier use of the Force to heal the wounds of a Vexis on Pasaana!
24/30 Count Dooku vs. Savage Opress and Asajj Ventress in the Clone Wars
This is really a fun epic battle. You’ve got two curved hilt sabers, Dooku’s special curved saber, and a double-bladed saber all going at the same time. It’s a festival of deadly red light, the party of three.
Also, it is funny that for a big part of the fight Dooku just zaps Savage with Force lighting over and over every time he tries to get back. In a way, you would expect Savage and Ventress to work together to be capable of overwhelming Dooku.
However, Dooku basically dominated the battle until Savage took both of them by surprise and knocked them back while he escaped.
While Savage Opress demonstrated enough control in the Force to choke both Dooku and Ventress, this is likely attributed to the fact that he was extremely angry, making already powerful Dark Siders even stronger.
23/30. Kylo Ren vs. Rey in The Force Awakens
This lightsaber battle in the snowy forest has the single best choreography in the entire sequel trilogy. Somehow, it looks like real blows, like a real battle. The lightsabers have a certain weight to them, like true longswords. They feel like weapons, not like interesting light batons. It’s just amazing. Add to that an awesome setting, plus a ridiculously amazing score, and you have one of the best lightsaber battles in the entire saga.
However, the fact that Rey, a Force amateur, managed to beat Kylo Ren in a lightsaber duel did bother a lot of fans, as Kylo Ren had years of training over the scavenger. Thanks to the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker, we now know that Kylo Ren was injured by Chewbacca, who shot him after Kylo killed Han, thus greatly hindering his battle performance.
So, if we accept this explanation, together with Rey’s legacy as a Palpatine, it becomes a bit more bearable that Rey won her very first battle with the ancient Jedi weapon.
22/30. Obi-Wan vs Durge in The Clone Wars 2003 animated series
Ok, this isn’t 100% a lightsaber duel, but it is such an awesome duel, masterfully drawn for the ages, that we decided to include it on our list, just in case you didn’t get to watch it.
Also, during the fight, Durge used an arsenal of weapon that included a long bayonet, an energy Bola and energy shields which all resembles the Jedi weapons,
Although Kenobi chopped the monstrous bounty hunter to pieces, he should have taken into account his opponent’s remarkable regenerative abilities as a member of the Gen’Dai specie.
21/30. Obi-Wan vs. General Grievous in Revenge of the Sith
Obi-Wan Kenobi fought General Grievous during the Battle of Utapau, one of the Clone Wars’ last battles. This battle happened soon after the Battle of Coruscant, in which Grievous was badly injured by a Force crush executed by Mace Windu.
Obi-Wan surprised him by leaping down into the separatist meeting area. Rather than have his army of Battle Droids shoot him down, Grievous’s Kaleesh Warrior instinct took over and he challenged Obi-Wan to a one-on-one duel despite his injury, hoping to add “The Negotiator” to his extensive Jedi kill count.
Despite Grievous’ ability to attack at approximately 20 strikes per second, Grievous immediately realizes he’s pretty outmatched. Obi-Wan was not considered the best defensive duelist of all time for nothing. He was able to block all of Grievous’ attacks, as well as literally disarm a few of Grievous’s limbs with a few strikes of his own.
Grievous then basically runs away. Then, it just becomes a wild goose chase and the ending doesn’t even involve lightsabers.
However, this lightsaber duel doesn’t get enough credit it deserves. Grievous was a new villain at the time, and this duel proved just how much Jedi were lost to this new menace. Even the ones who were pretty good. It also proves just how skilled Jedi Obi-Wan is, and how more lightsabers don’t automatically mean more power or winning the duel.
20/30. Luke Skywalker vs Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi
The battle between the most powerful force user Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren on planet Crait was pretty cool. Kylo fought Luke and slashed right through him, only to find Luke still standing. And the twist of Luke being a Force-projection was great and showed how powerful Luke was.
The fact that Kylo could not connect a single hit is a good indication that he stood no chance against Luke if Luke had actually been there. Luke toyed with Kylo like how an adult might play-wrestle a toddler. His fighting skill and connection to the Force were just too far ahead. Luke had Kylo on speed, intelligence, and self-control.
From a whiny farm boy, Luke had become a galactic legend and the strongest Jedi ever- more powerful even than Yoda!
19/30. Ahsoka Tano vs Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV series)
The lightsaber duel with Ahsoka vs Darth Maul was probably the best thing that happened to season 7 of The Clone Wars which was otherwise a total mess.
The beginning of the Fight was in the Mandalore Throne room. Maul initiates the duel in an attempt to quickly overwhelm Ahsoka with a spinning and lounge attack. Ahsoka assesses the attack and spins to dodge the staggering offense from Maul. After a few seconds of Clashing Sabers, Maul is the first to land a hit, elbowing Ahsoka in the face and knocking one of her blades out of her hand.
Then after a few more moments of clashing blades, they’re locked in a Duel trying to overpower each other, Ahsoka then uses Maul’s weight and force against him outmaneuvering him, and throwing him through the window of the Throne room. Maul tries to flee the battle running from Ahsoka and chasing him.
The next part of the Fight takes place above the ongoing battle of Mandalore in what looks like the rafters.
Although Ahsoka ultimately wins the battle, it is important to say that Maul wasn’t really trying to kill her. In fact, Maul and Ahsoka were both holding back. He wanted her to join him to take down Darth Vader and Sidious and she wanted to capture him to learn about Vader and Sidious.See also: Top 20 Sexiest Jedi in Star Wars
18/30. Barriss Ofee vs Anakin Skywalker in The Clone Wars
In the final episode of Season five of the Clone Wars, entitled “The Wrong Jedi”, Anakin confronted Ahsoka Tano’s best friend, Barriss Offee, who betrayed Ahsoka. Anakin fought Barris who pulled out two red lightsabers. Anakin grabbed a second lightsaber as well and the two ferociously fought.
At first, the two warriors were pretty evenly matched, but eventually, Anakin overpowered Barriss, slowly beginning to gain the edge. In the end, the Force slams/chocks Barriss into submission.
It could be argued that Barriss, a somewhat inexperienced Jedi, was able to last so long in a fight against Anakin only because Anakin was not there to kill her. He was there to bring her to justice. He had to arrest her to bring her to the trial alive.
His aim was to show that it was Barriss who bombed the Jedi Temple and not Ahsoka, his friend. In fact, when he gave up being nice and went full out, Barriss was helpless to stop him.
17/30. Vader vs. Obi-Wan in A New Hope
A New Hope is undeniably a great movie that changed cinema and science fiction movies forever. However, the special effects in this lightsaber duel, which were considered spectacular back in the 70s, did not really age well.
Also, the duel suffered from poor choreography. This was in the days before a lot of time and money was placed into fight choreography, but you will notice even with that aside the duel is much more slowly paced than in the next two movies with a lot less movement. The two duelists are standing still most of their encounter, even your average sword-fighting medieval movie has more movement than that.
This is due to the fact that the earlier lightsaber props were extremely fragile. If swung too intensely, they could break, and the movie had already gone over budget as is.
David Prowse, who portrayed Darth Vader, also had his vision severely limited by the Vader mask he was wearing. It wasn’t apparent in other scenes, but that narrow field of vision meant he could barely see Kenobi in the fight.
Alec Guinness, who played Kenobi, was over 60 years old, and past the time when he was going to be jumping and running through a lightsaber duel.
As mentioned, the effects and choreography in this duel were less than stellar, however, the emotional weight somehow made up for it. It also set up Star Wars’ iconic lightsaber duels that came after it, so a great gain for pop culture.
16/30. Satele Shan vs Darth Malgus in Star Wars: The Old Republic
This duel on Alderaan was SOOO dramatic! At first, Darth Malgus gained the upper hand and almost eliminated Satele, but was interrupted by Commander Jace Malcolm, who managed to blow a live grenade in Malagus’ face. Satele then took the opportunity to Force-push Malgus into a cliff, before she hit him with a Force blast which brought the cliff down on him.
During the fight, Satele was able to block Malgus’ lightsaber blade with her bare hands! You can actually see Malgus’ surprise from that move. Also, she had a freaking double-bladed lightsaber before Darth Maul made it look cool.
Satele is proof of how great female characters can add to the Star Wars lore. Throughout the fight, we also go to see Malgus’s fighting style. Brutally strong Form V but also graceful and fluid.
Darth Malgus is one of the most in-depth characters in the Star Wars universe. He has the coolest armor, the most badass voice, and the most intriguing story. In short, a lightsaber duel for the ages.
15/30. Obi-Wan and Asajj Ventress vs. Darth Maul and Savage Opress in The Clone Wars
In season 4 of The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan teams up with Ventress to fight against Darth Maul and Savage Opress. Obviously, Obi-Wan and Asajj Ventress normally wouldn’t be on the same side, as the two have fought each other before. However, in this case, Kenobi’s options are so limited that he has to trust her.
During the fight, Darth Maul gloats about gutting Qui-Gon Jinn, thus infuriating Kenobi, which unbalances him. In fact, Kenobi admits to Ventress “we’re outmatched” and the two flee the scene, using an escape pod.
The fight occurs in a small dark space where Kenobi’s blue lightsaber is a contrast to the rest being red. The colors just add another great element to the fight.
14/30. Ahsoka Tano vs. Darth Vader in Rebels
Vader: “It was foretold that you would be here. Our long-awaited meeting has come at last“.
In the Rebels episode “Twilight of the Apprentice”, Ahsoka takes on her former trainer in a great and very emotional lightsaber duel. As we saw earlier on this list, Ahsoka was able to duel against Maul at the tail end of the Clone Wars and she certainly is capable of dueling with the strongest. Vader is a very skilled duelist, capable of dealing with some of the strongest Jedi of his time. Also, considering he taught Tano, he knows her fighting style and how to beat her.
During the duel, Ahsoka gained an early advantage with her youth, her agility, and her link to the Force. However, Vader had plenty of endurance and utilized it to wear Ahsoka down, before knocking her off the pyramid they were dueling on.
Then Ahsoka managed to get a strike at his mask while he was distracted because he was trying to steal the Holocron from Kanan and Ezra. It’s not clear who won the battle, but this battle was a great opportunity to see Vader fighting an opponent worthy of his time, and Ahsoka is one of the only candidates in the galaxy at the time who could reasonably fill that role.
13/30. Darth Maul and Savage Opress vs. Obi-Wan and Adi Gallia in The Clone Wars
What do you get when you combine two Sith and two Jedi? One dead Jedi apparently. While Maul’s battle vs Obi-Wan seems evenly matched, Savage Opress completely dominates the lightsaber duel against Adi Gallia. Adi Gallia manages to hold her own with him for mere moments before he overpowers her and stabs her in the back.
“Surrender! We are two, and you are no match for us both!” This is what Darth Maul said to Kenobi while Maul and his brother Savage cornered Kenobi. “You are mistaken!” says Kenobi as he pulls the second lightsaber.
Kenobi’s fighting style in this duel is a unique blend of Soresu and Ataru. Resilient defense and sheer bewildering attack at the same time, while simultaneously exploiting the sole weak point, the savage’s left knee. This fight, where Kenobi fought off two Sith at once, made Kenobi number one in many people’s eyes.
12/30. General Grievous vs. Roron Corobb and Foul Moudama and Roth-Del Masona and B’ink Utrila
When General Grievous emerged from hyperspace in the skies of Galactic City, these Jedi were assigned to reinforce Masters Shaak Ti and Stass Allie in protecting Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. They were rushing Palpatine into a bunker in the crust of Coruscant, as Grievous slipped past unnoticed and engaged the four Jedi protecting Palpatine in a lightsaber duel.
Grievous toyed with the Jedi for a time before beheading Masona first. Corobb, who accidentally kicked Masona’s head across the room during the fight, became distracted long enough for Grievous to kill him before finishing the remaining two defenders.
When Shaak entered the bunker it was already too late.
11/30. Darth Sidious vs. Darth Maul and Savage Opress in The Clone Wars TV series
The lightsaber duel between Darth Sidious and Darth Maul and Savage Opress took place in The Clone Wars season 5, episode 15 “The Lawless.”
This fight, where Chancellor Palpatine faced off against his former apprentice and his brother, was clearly played in Palpatine’s favor right from the start. Actually, Palpatine makes the skilled Maul and Savage look as if they do not know to wield a lightsaber. He almost toys with the pair as he deals with what he sees as merely a minor annoyance, while Maul and Opress are giving everything they got with anger and fear. He fights Maul and Savage simultaneously, killing Opress, and defeating and capturing Maul alive.
It is an incredible battle, and in many ways – Sidious’ best. The interesting thing is that Palpatine wasn’t even very fond of using a lightsaber. He and his master before him considered themselves to be above the “petty” use of mere physical weapons, instead of focusing their efforts on the complete manipulation of the Force.
And yet, he still brushed two of the most proficient lightsaber users aside like they were nothing. Maul was a formidable Form VII user and Savage, while lacking form and finesse, could wreck most opponents with brute force.
10/30. Anakin and Obi-Wan vs. Dooku in Attack of the Clones
Attack of the Clones is severely underrated by the fandom, but I love the action, the music, and even the visuals are superb. This duel on Planet Geonosis was no different. However, we ranked it kind of low because it was shadowed by the other duels in the other movies.
There wasn’t much for the lack of better words – action – in this duel. It was kind of just Obi-Wan and his Padawan Anakin getting kicked in the ass and waiting for Yoda to save the day. It was still a great Star Wars lightsaber duel, though, that totally deserves the 10th spot on our list.
The duel took place in Dooku’s hangar in N’ge’u Valley, where Anakin and Obi-Wan confronted the ex-Jedi but were easily defeated by him. Obi-Wan was wounded and Anakin lost his right arm.
9/30. Anakin Skywalker vs Asajj Ventress in the Clone Wars animated series
This lightsaber duel between Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker and Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress took place on the jungle moon of Yavin 4. Ventress, holding two swords, annoyed Skywalker as they approached a Massassi Temple, where they continued their fight.
After losing his lightsaber and taking over one of his opponents, Skywalker drew on his hatred of Ventress and charged at her with great force. His blows caused the cliff she stood upon to break and she fell into the ravine below.
During the fight, Anakin showed that he was able to hold his own against Ventress, despite her impressive command of the dark side. However, while Anakin had a lot of raw power, Ventress just seems more stable during the fight her Force powers tend to overwhelm Anakin.
8/30. Yoda vs. Dooku in Attack of the Clones
Right after Anakin and Obi-Wan were easily demolished by Dooku, Master Yoda enters the hangar.
Yoda is one of the most iconic short characters ever, and seeing him in action, fighting his former Padawan of all people, was just so cool.
Despite what some fans would like to believe, Dooku was able to give a match to Yoda, displaying some top-tier abilities. During Dooku’s time as a Jedi, he was known as one of the Order’s finest swordsmen. It was said that only Mace Windu could have fought him as an equal, and only Yoda was his superior.
Dooku proved able to compete with Yoda but was unable to defeat his former master and was forced to retreat.
One of the most interesting things in this Star Wars lightsaber duel is that we saw how Yoda would rather save Anakin and Obi-Wan’s lives than win the duel. It really shows how selfless Yoda is, and how good of a Jedi he really is.See also: Harry Potter vs Star Wars: The Ultimate Battle!
7/30. Luke vs. Vader on Cloud City
As Vader puts it in The Empire Strikes Back: “The Force is with you, young Skywalker… but you are not a Jedi yet.”
And indeed, at this stage, Luke is notably not very good with a lightsaber. He has not yet completed his training with Master Yoda on Dagobah and rushed to Cloud City to rescue Han Solo and Leia Organa, from Darth Vader.
Was he a little over-confident? Probably. He was, after all, only about 19 or 20 yo and just found out about the whole Jedi thing. Ultimately, he makes it for three-quarters of the duel, just barely, and then gets his right hand sliced off and is introduced to the fact that Vader is his father, Anakin Skywalker.
However, this duel was an extremely important turn in Luke’s character. We see him fail and do it miserably. From this failure, he grows as a character, constructs a new lightsaber to replace the one Obi-Wan gave him, and manages to come to terms with his parentage.
Also, it might just be the most iconic lightsaber duel in the whole Star Wars saga.
6/30. General Grievous vs six Jedi in the Clone Wars animated series
In a battle that took place on Planet Hypori, Grievous took on six Jedi who were holed up in wreckage, surrounded by hordes of B2 super battle droids.
Grievous entered the wreckage alone and engaged the Jedi, killing Jedi Sha’a Gi and Tarr Seirr and defeating Aayla Secura, K’kruhk, and Shaak Ti. As the General prepared to finish the last Jedi Ki-Adi-Mundi, a squad of Advanced Recon Commandos sent by Obi-Wan Kenobi, burst in on the duel and open fire on Grievous who retreats.
This was Grievous’ first public appearance and he made an unforgettable impression. He fights the battle with a unique style that overwhelms the Jedi, spinning his torso 360 degrees and wielding three or more blades at once while breakdancing.
It’s one of the best lightsaber duels, extremely well-made, and has the most simultaneous participants of any lightsaber fight in Star Wars so far. Awesome!
5/30. Darth Sidious vs. Yoda in the Senate chamber
Watching Yoda in action against Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones was cool. Watching Yoda in action against Darth Sidious in Revenge of the Sith was absolutely FEROCIOUS.
The two veterans of the Force engaged in a fierce lightsaber duel, with each making liberal use of their powers. The climactic showdown between Jedi Grand Master Yoda and the Dark Lord of the Sith ended with Yoda being forced to bolt after coming to the conclusion that he couldn’t defeat Sidious, despite his great ability.
The duel started with lightsabers, and then it turned into a full-on Force battle in the Senate chamber. It’s got lightsaber flips, crazy CGI, and insults like: “If so powerful you are, why leave?”
4/30. Anakin and Obi-Wan vs. Dooku in Revenge of the Sith
This Star Wars lightsaber duel not only has cool effects, choreography, and CGI, but it also is a pivotal moment in Anakin’s gradual fall to the Dark Side. When Dooku nearly kills Obi-Wan with a Force push and a smash of a nearby balcony thing, Anakin loses it, which he’s been doing a lot now during The Clone Wars.
Anakin faces off against the Sith Lord on his own. He fights aggressively and swiftly disarms Dooku literally by severing both of his hands with a slice of his lightsaber blade. He then picks up Count Dooku’s blade and holds both lightsaber blades at Dooku’s neck.
Palpatine orders Anakin to execute Dooku and after a moment’s hesitation, he responds to Palpatine’s very persuasive “Dewitt” and ends Darth Tyranus once and for all. Palpatine then congratulates Anakin who still seems tortured by his own act. At least, he refuses to betray Obi-Wan and leave him to die on that battle-torn ship.
3/30. Luke vs. Darth Vader aboard the second Death Star
After their lightsaber duel on Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke and Vader fought again in Return of the Jedi three years later.
Luke is forced into the duel by the Emperor in an effort to turn him to the Dark Side, and Vader amplified it by threatening to turn Leia to the dark side instead. Because of it, Luke’s anger boiled over, and he overpowered Vader. Luke sliced off Darth Vader’s hand and was in a position to kill him before coming to his senses.
During the fight, Luke’s inner struggle is really evident, as he debates actually turning to the Dark Side as rage overwhelms him. Vader is toying with him, figuring out that Leia is his twin sister. Luke absolutely goes ballistic when Vader tells him that maybe Leia could turn to the Dark Side instead.
Like many of the original trilogy’s duels, this battle has more emotional weight than flashy moves, but it still deserves its second place in the duel.
2/30. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon vs. Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace
This lightsaber duel is just out-of-this-world crazy!
It has amazing choreography, two Jedi at the prime of the Jedi Order, and FX work that was excellent for 1999. The backup music in this scene just might be John Williams’ finest work, not just in Star Wars, but overall.
From the moment Maul pulls out that double-sided lightsaber and through its entire 15-minute runtime, the swordplay in this duel is outstanding.
The sheer speed that Liam Neeson, Ray Park, and Ewan McGregor managed to get and the sheer physicality on display in this duel is absolutely incredible. Although lacking much emotional weight, except for when Qui-Gon died, the duel made up for it.
Easily the best thing to come out of The Phantom Menace!
1/30. Obi Wan Kenobi vs Anakin Skywalker on Planet Mustafar
We think it comes as no surprise that the Mustafar duel in Revenge of the Sith, has made it to No.1.
This battle between Obi-Wan and his young apprentice fought over boiling pits of lava, exemplified just how far Anakin had fallen from the good-hearted kid Obi-Wan met on Tatooine.
The fighting depicts masterful lightsaber work and a spectacular display of prowess set against that fiery backdrop. However, the element that puts this fight No. 1 on our list is pure emotion, particularly from Obi-Wan.
Ewan McGregor sells the crap out of this scene’s sadness, like a tortured pet owner forced to put down a rabid dog. Obi-Wan and Anakin have years of shared history and are close as brothers. There is nothing more horrible for Obi-Wan than destroying his best friend, but he has no other choice.
This entire scene is just over the top with lava, roundhouse kicks, and wind-milling lightsaber swings. Wonderful!
That concludes our list of 30 best Star Wars lightsaber duels. Hope you enjoyed it, and may the Force be with you!