Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Complete Star Wars Movies and TV shows Time Line Ratted (Updated for 2018)

    This is it, Star Wars month is officially over, and what better way to cap the month then to re-cap every single installment in the series, and give each my own personal ratting. I'll be aranging them in order of release, and include all the theatrical movies, TV movies and TV shows. Also, for the first time, I’ve always wanted to rate a group of films with the best score out of 10.

Star Wars 4: A New Hope (Theatrical Movie) (1977)
My personal score is 8.5/10
It's the cinematic achievement that launched a mega franchise. However, I can't help but feel that it's only real strengths are just "being the first", and an abundance of nostalgia, because other wise I don't think it's quite on par with some of it's successors. Still, it’s the classic Sci-Fi adventure we all grew up with and even though it’s over 30 years old, the story, characters, sets, visuals and imagination behind this film are still just as great, timeless and inspiring as ever.

The Star Wars Holiday Special (TV Movie) (1978)
My personal score is 1/10 
The one shining contribution is the introduction of Boba Fett, who absolutely shines when on screen. However, it's just not enough to compensate for this specials lack of fun, painfully boring scenes, un-imaginative premise and lack of attention to being both a holiday special or for that matter, a "Star Wars" special. Even the novelty of a full cast reunion isn't enough to recommend this stinker. 

Star Wars 5: The Empire Strikes Back (Theatrical Movie) (1980)
My personal score is 9/10
Squeals don't get any more inspiring then this. While its not my absolute favorite in the series, "Empire Strikes Back" absolutely has a secure spot among the best of the saga. It introduced us to the breakout character of Yoda, has darker plot threads, strong character development, a tight script, and some highly improved action scenes – most notably that stunning battle on Hoth.

Star Wars 6: Return of the Jedi (Theatrical Movie) (1983)
My personal score is 10/10 
Here it is, the Star Wars movie that just seems to have it all ... internal human struggles, a sinister ensemble cast of classic villains, memorable creature effects, rousing action highlights, the most epic three-way climax of the saga and above all ... I feel "Return of the Jedihas the most emotionally satisfying conclusion to any film in the franchise. Despite not being as tightly constructed as it's predecessor, you just cant beat the on-screen conflicts between Luck and Vader, which land "Return of the Jedias my personal favorite entry in the entire "Star Wars" saga.

Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (TV Movie) (1984)
My personal score is 6/10
At times, this live-action Ewok spin-off can be charming, and rather nostalgic as it was actually the first thing I ever saw in the "Star Wars" series. However, it’s also dated, annoying and meanders at times. A lot of the creatures and locations are cool to look at, but the acting is wooden and the story is average. "Caravan of Courage" stands as a great children's adventure film, but probably best reserved only for little kids, the young at heart or those determined to watch every installment in the franchise. 

Star Wars Droids (TV show) (1985)
My personal score is 5.5/10
While the very first "Star Wars" TV series is by no-means awful, I still can't say it's anything special either. Anthony Daniels still brings the character C-3PO to life with lots of charm, and even his friendship with R2-D2 is still as great as ever. Unfortunately, the show is still average, lacking any real excitement, or effective universe building, and in the long run it only provides a handful of worthwhile episodes. 

Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (TV Movie) (1985)
My personal score is 7/10 
A surprisingly Darker, livelier and more action packed film then the first live action Ewok movie. The story is more exciting, there's an expanded fantasy setting, and the acting is a lot better. It may not reach the same heights of many of the theatrical "Star Wars" movies but in regards to all the TV movies and spin-offs, this is one of the better small-scaled offerings.

Star Wars Ewoks (TV show) (1985-1986)
My personal score is 5.5/10 
Do you want any more Ewoks ... well, here's a cartoon show weather you asked of it or not. As far as children's TV shows are concerned, "Star Wars Ewoks" is perfectly harmless. Thanks to its cute cast and imaginative setting, the show is honestly quiet charming on some level, but at the same time it's obviously not that out of the box either. I truthfully wouldn't even recommend it unless your a die hard fan that needs to watch everything under the Star Wars title. 

Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace (Theatrical Movie) (1999)
My personal score is 6/10 
I still have some nostalgia reserved for what is considered the worst film of the series. There are some good effects on display, occasional adventure highlights, and arguably one of the greatest light saber duels of the whole franchise. Unfortunately, the film is still brought down by its un-engaging story, overly long detours, lack of emotional depth, bland characters, wasted villain and in the end it really doesn't add anything special to the franchise. 

Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones (Theatrical Movie) (2002)
My personal score is 6/10 
There are some small improvements over the last film, mostly in regards to the action, excitement on display and even some cool villains. Yet truthfully, I actually find more faults with "Attack of the Clones" then it's predecessor. The characters are noticeably blander then before, including a lead protagonist that sets a new low for main hero characters, and the film sadly favors meandering plot exposition over story.    

Star Wars: Clone Wars (TV show) (2003-2005)
My personal score is 7/10 
The creators of this Mini-Series certainly have respect for the source material of "Star Wars" and have a lot of credible things to offer with just a small collection of shorts. While I never found the animation that captivating, it is still impressive on some technical level, and it also leads to some atmospheric highlights. It’s all around a competent series, worth watching, but I just don't find it that memorable or that re-watchable either ... at least when compared to other animated "Star Wars" offerings.

Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith (Theatrical Movie) (2005)
My personal score is 7.5/10
While this movie has its problems ranging from plot holes to character flaws ... it really isn't that bad. The performances are stronger, the music is great, the action is exiting, the mythology is explored, there's even some emotional highlights, and there was clear effort given to make this conclusion to the prequel trilogy something special. In my opinion, "Revenge of the Sith" is far from perfect, but better then what most people give it credit for.  

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Theatrical Movie) (2008)
My personal score is 7/10  
As a pilot for the TV show, it works fine and dose a good job introducing us to the new characters. It's actually something to saver as this is the only theatrical Star Wars movie to feature some of my favorite characters like Ahsoka and Capatain Rex. Plus there's plenty of entertaining moments, but as a theatrical movie it ultimately looses itself with a week story, wooden animation and one too many noisy action scenes. It relay should have just been a 4 part episode in the show, but as it is ... I can't help but like this film on some level. 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV show) (2008 – 2014)
My personal score is 10/10
While it was canceled without some proper closure, this was still a surprisingly good show that managed to hold its own in the "Star Wars" franchise. The characters were memorable, the stories are greatly improved over many of the recent films, the animation was beautifully detailed, the action is thrilling and as a whole, this show really stands as a nice gem among all the different "Star Wars" spin-offs and even some of the movies. Truthfully, along with the "Knights of the Old Republic" video games and the Original film trilogy, I find this show to be one of the definitive chapters in the Star Wars saga.   

Star Wars: Rebels (TV show) (2014 - 2018)
My personal score is 9/10
 Following up on "The Clone Wars", "Rebels" proves that "Star Wars" has a lot more fresh ideas and fun space adventures to offer. With a completely original cast of colorful characters (as well as some familiar favorites like Darth Vader, Ahsoka, Rex and Maul), a brisk pace, awesome battle scenes and even a subtle sense of hummer, this show accomplished the unthinkable and stands as yet another great entry in the ever expanding "Star Wars" saga.  

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Theatrical Movie) (2015) 
My personal score is 9.5/10 
Not only dose the Force awaken in this new film, it's also a revival of old school "Star Wars", with a great sense of outer-space adventure, the return of life like animatronics, and of course a reunion of our favorite original cast. However, there's just enough new twists, energy, hummer, and a powerhouse new cast of intriguing new characters which allow this film to stand on it's own, as well as stand tall and strong as one of the franchise's best installments.  

Rouge One: A Star Wars Story (Theatrical Movie) (2016) 
My personal score is 8.5/10

The first stand alone Star Wars anthology movie hits all the right notes, expands upon the universe, breaks the narrative formula while still staying rooted in familiar grounds, thrills us with one of the franchises most epic finales, and has the courage to deliver one of the franchises most emotionally impactful endings. Despite a rough first act, Rouge One not only delivers, it opens the door for countless new possibilities. 

Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (TV Show) (2017-Present) 
My personal score is 6.5/10
While this female centered mini-series is nothing demanding, it's still perfectly harmless, as well as cute and a cool excuse to bring all the Star Wars girls together in one program. Actually, seeing all the Star Wars girls grouped together has me wondering in they'll be the equivalent of Disney's Princesses for a new generation. 


Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Theatrical Movie) (2017) 
My personal score is 7.5/10 
Gorgeously filmed, action packed, and unafraid to take chances, "The Last Jedi" may almost be too ambitious for it's own good. Regrettably, for all it's strengths, it's also a rather unbalanced film at times. Both the tone and passing are inconsistent, there's ponderous detours and some of the films daring risks don't always pay off. Still, it conveys a solemn message, and it's departure from a predictable formula make it a "mostly" worthy companion to its predecessor.     

Solo: A Star Wars Story (Theatrical Movie) (2018)
My personal score is 8/10
An unnecessary, but perfectly welcome little adventure in the Star Wars cannon, largely thanks to it's charismatic cast, nostalgic tie-ins and a refreshing sense of "fun" that really allows us to just escape into this universe. It's only real short comings are occasional murky lighting, a script that's a bit safe to a fault and a noticeable lack of villains - minus one epic cameo. 


Star Wars: Resistance (TV Show) (2018-Present) 
My personal score is 6/10
Have you ever wanted to see the "Star Wars" equivalent of "Top Gun" ... well, well. While "Resistance" lacks the griping stories, exciting battles and menacing villains from previous "Star Wars" TV shows, it at least compensates with a refreshingly simple premise, a multilayered setting, a unique art style, and features surprisingly down to earth characters. While this wont be a series to take home, it's still fine for all it aims to be.     

The End    


My Top 10 Favorite Star Wars Battles (Updated)

 When you have the word “WARS” in the title, you know you’re going to get some awesome Sci-Fi battle scenes. With "Rouge One: A Star Wars Story" premiering, it felt like the right time to look back at some of the best action scenes to come from the classic franchise. So, here’s a little list of my personal favorite action scenes from the Star Wars film series. Now I better set some ground rules first, I'm only looking at action scenes from the theatrical Star Wars movies, because there are just too many cool battles scenes from the TV shows, video games and graphic novels to count. Also, I'm not going to include any light-saber duels, as I've already covered them in a previous list. For this post I'll be covering action ranging from ground assaults, to space battles, to chase scenes, to brawls in the interiors of a space ship. With all that said, here are my top 10 favorite battles from the Star Wars film series. 

#10 Escape from Jakku (The Force Awakens)

The action scenes in "The Force Awakens" are some of the best shot yet. Whenever, the action in this movie reeves up, the focus is always on the characters, while the spectacles are in the background without being distracting, and that's when action is done right. Case in point, one of the films best scenes is when our hero’s are on board the Millennium Falcon, battling attacking fighters while on the surface of a desert planet. We see them flying through the interiors of a downed ship, there's some fun banter between our hero's, and the build up to this escape is also top notch. There's an awesome moment when a cannon on the ship is locked in one position, yet through some skilled flying, their still able to take out their attacking target, It's just a really fun scene, and one of my favorite space ship chases.

#9 Battle of the Blockade Runner (A New Hope

It's the classic opening of the first movie, and technically the first action scene of the whole series. When Princess Leia's ship attempts to flee with the plans of the Death Star, her ship is attacked by Imperial forces, leading into arguably the most iconic laser gun shoot out in film history. The simplicity of this scene is what makes it work, we have invading troopers, and soldiers making a desperate last stand in an effort to fight them off. It may not be a battle on a big scale, yet it's still one of the franchises most memorable scenes.  

#8 Monastery Siege (The Clone Wars)

The battles in the animate Clone Wars movie are mostly boring and repetitive, but the movie still isn't without some note worthy highlights. When our hero's undergo a mission to rescue a kidnapped infant, it leads to an especially fun assault on an enemy base hidden in the ruins of a monastery. The base is on the top of a cliff side, which leads into a siege with armies and war machines fighting vertically on the side of a mountain, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like that before. The battle itself is very creative with it's vertical set piece, and takes full advantage of what the characters can do. It's all very over the top, but extremely entertaining, and with a rocking soundtrack to boot.         

#7 Asteroid Chase (The Empire Strikes Back)

Of all the space ship chase in the series, nothing thrills me more then the classic asteroid field chase in "The Empire Strikes Back". While our hero's try to outrun attacking enemy ships, Han Solo dares to fly through a dangerous asteroid field. The music, the imagery, the passing, the whole sequence is just a work of art. I mean holly cow, we have ships dog fighting in a outer space, that’s awesome. When it comes to battles in among the stars, this is one of the franchises shining moments.  

#6 The Geonosis Battle Arena (Attack of the Clones)

Highlighting what the prequel area has to offer is the epic first half of the climax of “Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones”. In a gladiator style setting, our hero’s are about to be sacrificed to savage creatures, but when an army of laser sword wielding Jedi invade the calcium, things quickly ignite into an all out war. This was one of the first big scale battles of the series, with hundreds of Jedi on screen battling thousands of killer droids and giant monsters. What more can I say, it’s Star Wars at its most action packed.  

#5 The Battle of Takodana (The Force Awakens)

While taking refuge at a Cantina on the planet Takodana, our hero’s are suddenly attack by the First order. They attack with both ground troops and air assaults, which leads into a deeply thrilling invasion scene. All odds seem against our hero’s when the resistance fleet comes to their aid. In general, space ship battles are nothing new for “Star Wars”, but this is the first time we’ve ever seen ships battling in the sky line of a planet as opposed to outer-space. This is also a rare treat to see an air battle occurring simultaneously with a battle on land. There’s an incredible tracking shot in which we follow one of our hero’s taking on several enemy troopers on the ground, while also witnessing a lone fighter pilot take on several adversaries above him. It’s just an awesome scene with lots of detail, and some of our hero’s coolest moments, including Han Solo shooting a trooper without looking, and Finn using a lightsaber to battle a riot guard.

#4 Battle on Jabba’s Sale Barge (Return of the Jedi)

As our hero’s are about to be executed at the hands of the sinister Jabba the Hutt, Luke Skywalker pulls a fast one on his captures and leads his friends in an awesome revolt against the slimy gangster. I’m not entirely sure what it is about this fight that I like so much, it’s just so simple and doesn’t feel as hammy and over the top as other battles. This is actually the first time we see Luke Skywalker bust out his light saber in a fight, not including duals with Darth Vader. The location is good, every main character is helpful in some way, and the stakes are higher as there all battling over a monster pit with a worm creature at their heels. There’s also a lot of little things that highlight this fight, we see Boba Fett make his last stand, and we see Princess Leia kick some ass, what’s not to like.

#3 The Battle of Endor (Return of the Jedi)

 The Rebel's launch one final offensive against the empire, resulting in a massive battle on the forest planet and an even bigger battle in outer space above the planet. If you let the Ewoks bother you, you’ll miss out on what an awesome battle this is. I love that were covering two battle grounds at once, and each done with high teak thrills. The battle on the planet is a real location, has real actors to make this army the real size that it is, no green screen, no CG people, just an awesome and genuine fight in this great big forest location. Plus it features more awesome battle vehicles and weapons, including the new walkers. Of course I’ve always loved space ship battles, and this was simply the largest collection of battle ships I’ve ever seen in one outer space showdown. Best of all is that there all real models against a blue screen. Can you imagine all the work that must have taken, it blows my mind every time I think about it. This is undeniably one of the franchises greatest climaxes, but there's still two more to go.

#2 The Attack on Scarif Base (Rogue One)

The 2016 movie "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is the first real war movie of the franchise, and it concludes with arguably one of the most epic climaxes ever. When a small band of Rebel's attack an enemy base to retrieve the plans for the Death Star, it quickly becomes a tragic final mission for all the troops as they parish is a glorious final battle for the greater good of the galaxy. A fleet engages enemy ships in space, while troops battle on a beach bellow. We see the classic Imperial walkers battling space ships, while soldiers try desperately to complete their mission, and the whole scene feels like a classic Battle Front video game stage come to life on the big screen. The space battle is also one of the franchises best and most well designed. It's one of the darker action scenes, as many hero's we grew to like are all making their last stand, and it ends on a powerful note.      

Before I reveal my #1 favorite, here are some honorable mentions ...

The Speeder Bike Chase (Return of the Jedi)

Battle of Naboo (The Phantom Menace)

Death Star Assault (A New Hope)

The Battle of Kashyyyk (Revenge of the Sith

#1 The Battle of Hoth (The Empire Strikes Back)

While the Rebels plan to evacuate their base, the Empire lunches a full scale attack on their out post. This is a rare case in which the most epic battle of the movie is in the first half hour as opposed to the climax, and it’s even more rare for featuring the villains triumph over the heroes. Of cores, the big show stealers are the giant imperial walkers. Without a doubt, these are the coolest battle vehicles I’ve ever seen in a motion picture, and the effects for them still hold up today. The music is sensational, the cinematography is great, I honestly don’t need to say anything else, you’ve all seen this, and you know how awesome it is. This is the classic Sci-Fi movie battle that helped make “The Empire Strikes Back” an a triumph over the original, and it will always be the most classic battle in the Star Wars saga.


Star Wars: All Lightsaber Duels Ranked (Least Great to Best) (Updated)

With the new Star Wars movie opening next month, I felt like posting another Star Wars related list just for the event. Today’s topic ... Lightsaber duels! It’s a more suitable weapon for a more civilized age, and probably the greatest fictional weapon in the history of Sci-Fi. Even when a lightsaber duel has problems going against it, they can always be exciting, riveting and make for great spectacles. As of now, there have been a total of 17 different lightsaber duels featured in the theatrical Star Wars movies, which dose include the animated Clone Wars movie. So, before we see what kind of epic clashes await us in the upcoming film, here are all 17 duels ranked least great to best in my personal opinion.

#17 Resisting Arrest (Revenge of the Sith)
(Mace Windu vs. The Emperor)

When the Emperor is revealed to be a dreaded Sith Lord, Jedi Master Mace Windu attempts to take him into custody, but with no such luck. While there’s never been a lightsaber duel that didn’t thrill me on some level, I will occasionally have some small issues, and this is the fight that just seems to have the most problems going against it. The whole scene just comes off as hammy, silly and plagued with some really stupid fighting choreography that’s way too over the top for its own good. It’s not without some cool moments (the two characters shattering a class window with their swords was sweet), and naturally it’s hard not to get a little excited seeing Samuel L. Jackson in a lightsaber duel.   

#16 Desert Ambush (The Phantom Menace)
(Darth Maul vs. Qui-Gon Jin)

While Jedi master Qui-Gon Jin is leaving the desert planet Tatooine with the young Anakin Skywalker, both are suddenly attacked by the mysterious hooded Sith assassin Darth Maul. Not much to say about this one, the action music was kind of cool, but for Darth Mauls very first battle you’d except something a little more impressive, and the fight itself was really too short to leave much of an impression. 

#15 Three Against the Count (Attack of the Clones)
(Count Dukoo vs. Obi-Wan KenobiAnakin Skywalker and Yoda)

After a massive battle, the evil Count Dukoo attempts to escape, only to be confronted by the two Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Despite being out numbered, the count fights them off with ease, until Jedi master Yoda comes to put him in his place. For a climactic final battle, this duel always came off as a little too subdued, and mostly unimpressive. Most of it takes place in this really boring hanger, the lighting gets too dark at times, and there are several annoying close ups of the characters swinging their lightsabers around in slow-motion. But no lightsaber duel is without its highlights, and this time it comes from the novelty of seeing Yoda sword fighting, but even that comes off as unintentionally hilarious at times.  

#14 Cleaning up the Mess (The Clone Wars: Movie)
(Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Asajj Ventress)

After Anakin Skywalker rescues the son of Jabba the Hutt, his master Obi-Wan Kenobi is left behind to deal with the kidnaper ... a dark Jedi called Asajj Ventress. Some fans could argue that the fights from the Clone Wars movie shouldn’t count because there animated, and very different by comparison. However, this was still a theatrical movie, so I’m going to include the duels from this film, plus the animation allows for more variety that would be hard to get away with in live action. Unfortunately, this duel between Obi-Wan and Ventress is nothing particularly special, especially when compared to other fights in “The Clone Wars” TV series. The fighting choreography is sloppy, stiff and the fight itself is noticeably lacking any real tension. Never the less, Asajj Ventress is still a worthy foe, and it’s always a thrill when she’s on screen, even if it’s a small thrill like in this case. 

#13 “We Meet Again ... At Last” (A New Hope)
(Darth Vader vs. Ben Kenobi)

During a mission to rescue the kidnapped Princess Lea, an aged Ben Kenobi finds himself facing his old apprentice turned evil ... Darth Vader. This was the very first lightsaber duel in Star Wars history, but that’s really its only novelty. The fight itself really isn’t that exciting, and it’s stuck in one boring location with sub-par fighting choreography. However, the back and forth between aged master and apprentice is good, it draws you into the story rather than a flashy spectacle, and it will always have marks for being the very first of its kind. 

#12 Girls Night Out ... Fighting! (The Clone Wars: Movie)
(Ahsoka vs. Ventress)

Anakin Skywalker and his young apprentice Ahsoka are trying to reunite a kidnapped alien infant with its father, unfortunately the Dark Jedi Ventress is on their tail. She get’s the jump on the young Ahsoka while she and her master try to escape on a platform. This might just be the shortest duel in the whole series, but it’s the novelty of seeing two females with lightsabers in combat that rank it higher than the previous fights. Seriously, before this we’ve never seen a female character in a lightsaber duel before, let alone two. Plus, it's Ahsoka's only dual in the film series, that alone has some novelty. 

#11 Rematch with Dukoo (Revenge of the Sith)
(Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Count Dukoo)

While rescuing the kidnapped Chancellor, the Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker find themselves once again confronted by their old foe Count Dukoo. This is more of what I wanted from the climax of “Attack of the Clones”, no slow motion close up’s, both hero’s fight at once and the pace is consistently quick with just enough back and forth banter between the hero’s and villain. The setting is also a lot cooler as we can see a space battle raging outside the windows, and the room provides a lot of objects for the characters to move around on. 

#10 Man Against Machine (Revenge of the Sith)
(General Grievous vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi)

Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi is on the hunt for General Grievous and aims to challenge him to single combat in an effort to end a galactic war. I’m not overly fond of seeing an actor fight a CGI monster that isn’t really there on the set, and the sword duel itself has way to many close up’s that make it hard to tell what your even looking at ... with all that said, this is still an awesome fight scene. It’s cool to see a villain with four laser swords, and I love the way this duel changes its location and fighting style. At first it’s a lightsaber duel in a hanger bay, which transitions into a car chase through a cave, which then leads to a fist fight on a landing platform, so I definitely give this duel points for creativity.   

#9 Vision in the Cave (The Empire Strikes Back)
(Luke Skywalker vs. Ghostly Darth Vader)

Jedi training for Luke Skywalker takes a sudden dark turn when his master instructs him to inter a cave of darkness and evil. While there he fights what he assumes to be Darth Vader, only to realize that he was actually fighting his future self if he ever turned evil. Now this is a very different kind of fight scene, it’s not a spectacle or even that long, but it’s always been a memorable scene that’s stuck with me. I love the atmosphere, the build up and especially that haunting image of Luke’s face under Darth Vader’s helmet. This scene probably doesn’t even belong on my list, but it’s always been a favorite, and it deserves to be among the best duels of the series, just for completely different reasons. 

#8 “You Were My Brother!” (Revenge of the Sith)    
(Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Skywalker)

When Anakin Skywalker betrays his allies, commits mass genocide and takes the name Darth Vader, it forces his old master and friend Obi-Wan Kenobi to challenge him to a climactic final showdown. Let’s first get the negatives out of the way, the dialogue is terrible, the lava planet can get really distracting, the fighting choreography is so over the top that the characters look like there dancing, and it always bugged me that they both have the same color lightsaber. With all that said, this is still a pretty darn cool scene. It’s faced paced, I love how the characters move through the different locations, and the musical score is nothing short of epic. It’s a flawed but deeply thrilling final battle to conclude the prequel trilogy.   

#7 Rumble in the Desert (The Clone Wars: Movie)
(Anakin Skywalker vs. Count Dukoo)

On his way to Jabba’s palace to return his kidnapped son, Anakin Skywalker is attacked by his greatest enemy Count Dooku, and here in the barren desert of Tatooine they engage in one more duel. Of the three theatrical confrontations between Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku, this is my favorite by far. This time the duel is a lot more inventive then your usual clash of lightsabers because both fight with different force capabilities. Dukoo unleashes lightning energy, Anakin uses wind energy, their powers collide creating a sand storm, so it’s like a battle of the elements, and the whole scene is just shot very well. I love the build up to this fight, the back and forth exchanges between hero and villain are good, and the music is riveting. This may not be a classic duel like some of the other’s I’ve listed, but it’s become a personal favorite of mine.   

#6 The Truth is out (The Empire Strikes Back)
(Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker)

When Luke ventures to Cloud City in an effort to rescue his captured friends, he lands right into a trap set by Darth Vader, the two clash, Vader reveals his true identity to his son, and movie history is made. Oh ... this is the classic duel that every fan just goes nuts over, and yes it’s an iconic scene that disserves to be immortalized among some of the greatest sword fights in film history. So, why is it only at #6 ... because this is my own personal list, and there just happen to be five other duels that I like a pinch more. With that said, this is still an awesome scene. I’ll always remember that silhouette of Darth Vader in the dark steamy chamber room, it’s the perfect way to build up your show down between the hero and villain. I also love how subtly the locations change in this fight, and with each new room the fighting stile also changes a little. However, I feel that the real novelty of this confrontation comes from the surprise twist at the end, which has become such common knowledge that it just doesn’t leave as big an impact on me as I wish it could.

#5 Clash of the Elder Masters (Revenge of the Sith)
(Yoda vs. The Emperor)

When the Emperor’s evil plans come to fruition, Jedi master Yoda makes one desperate last stand to slay his enemy once and for all. Okay, so this is yet another over the top fight scene ... but ask me if I care because I think this is one of the most epic battles from the saga. Yoda and the Emperor were always the two elder masters that never fought, yet they were the most powerful, and here they are, dueling in this awesome laser sword spectacle. The shot of them fighting on the lift as it raised up into the massive chamber room is something I’ll never forget. The music was great, the setting was awesome, and like I said, it was just a thrill to finally see these two titans clash.  

#4 Stinging in the Rain (Attack of the Clones)
(Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Jango Fett)

While Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi is on the trail of a murder mystery plot, his search leads him into a confrontation with the armored Bounty Hunter Jango Fett, who’s packing more than enough fire power to take on a Jedi. This is a unique duel in my countdown because it’s the only one where the villain doesn’t wield a lightsaber, but that’s not going to keep me from including this on my list. Personally, I think this is one of the greatest duels in the whole series, like top 3 best easy. It’s such a treat to see a non-Jedi put up a fight against a Jedi master with nothing but combat skills and lots of explosive toys. The rainy Kamino platform was also an excellent location for these two to fly around, jump all over the place, and it’s just really cool to see a fight take place outside in a rain storm. 

#3 Sword Fight in the Snow (The Force Awakens)
(Kylo Ren vs Finn and Rey)

In the latest installment of the Star Wars saga, a band of heros launch an attack on the First Order's secret dooms day weapon which was built within a snowy planet. Two of our hero's Ray and Finn try to escape but are confronted by Kylo Ren ... the grand son of Darth Vader. This is one of the more tense duels, with less over blown choreography, and more relentless, gritty fighting. The location is also very original as it's the first dual in the snow, and also a planet that's slowly falling apart around them. It was a thrilling battle, and a fitting first dual for the new trilogy.

#2 Tag Team against Maul (The Phantom Menace)
(Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn vs. Darth Maul)

During the climactic final battle to reclaim the planet Naboo, our two Jedi hero’s Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn are forced into one final confrontation with the sinister Darth Maul. While “The Phantom Menace” is often regarded as the worst of the live action Star Wars films, it wasn’t without one really cool highlight, which is this spectacular final lightsaber dual. You got John Williams epic Duel of the Fates musical score, a villain with a double bladed lightsaber, a tragic hero loose, Ray Parks awesome fighting choreography, a really cool interior design to set the fight in, and it’s the very first dual to feature more than two Jedi in a battle. Even if you’re not interested in the story or the characters, it’s hard to avoid getting sucked into the sheer spectacle of this climax, which still holds up as one of the greatest action scenes in all of Star Wars.  

#1 Battling their Fate (Return of the Jedi)
(Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader)

During the final battle of Endor, Luke Skywalker confronts the evil emperor, and makes a final stand against his father Darth Vader, in an effort to free his soul from the shackles of the dark side. This will always stand out to me as the great classic Star Wars lightsaber duel that just can’t be beat. I know most people prefer their duel from “The Empire Strikes Back”, but this is my personal favorite and just seems to hit all the high notes. While other duels have obviously been thrilling, this one just feels more powerful. It’s not your standard good vs. evil ... it’s also a hero vs. his fate, and a father vs. his son. We see a hero loosing himself to darkness in an effort to bring peace, and an evil villain giving up his life in a noble sacrifice, which just makes this battle so much more compelling and epic than any other duel. I love that this fight features a lot of quiet moments where the characters talk back and forth, rather than another rushed duel with over the top fighting choreography. The music is beautifully haunting, and the visuals are fantastic, not just on a technical level but for symbolism, most notably that shot of Luke’s face that’s half way in shadow and light. It’s my favorite scene from the whole Star Wars series, and by far the best lightsaber dual of them all.