Monday, January 17, 2011

Obi-wan Kenobi vs Darth Vader...yawn!

Remember that duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader on the Death Star where Obi-Wan sacrificed himself to allow Luke to escape?

That was such a slow fight. I've always thought it was because Obi-Wan was such an old man. However, there were several duels in the prequel trilogy that involved older combatants where the speed of the fight was far greater.

According to Wookiepedia, at the time of their duel on the Death Star, Obi-wan was 57 and Vader was 42.

Qui-Gon Jinn was age 60 when he perished at the hands of Darth Maul (age 22). (Phantom Menace)

Dooku, age 80, defeated Obi-wan (age 35), severed Anakin's arm (age 20), and dueled with Yoda before escaping. (Attack of the Clones)

Dooku was age 83 when he lost his duel to Anakin Skywalker (age 23). (Revenge of the Sith)

Palpatine was age 63 when he killed Saesee Tiin, Agen Kolar, Kit Fisto, and Mace Windu (age 53). (Revenge of the Sith)

Sir Alec Guinness, God bless his soul, was a brilliant actor. But that duel on the Death Star was quite underwhelming.


  1. That is kind of weird. For a lot of the sequences in Star Wars, Lucas speed up the frames to make the speed seem faster. Do you think the slow saber fight was on purpose?

    This is Fung btw.

  2. If you remember, they actually SLOWED the frames down at one point of this fight. When Vader delivered the death blow, it was in slow-mo. I don't recall any other sequence in Star Wars that was shot in slow-mo.
    Actually, the thing that bothered me more than the speed was the style. It seriously looked like they were trying to poke each other with the lightsaber tips. This is especially true for Obi-wan. At one point, he does a couple of poking fake moves towards Vader. I guess at that time, they were trying to incorporate some fencing moves into this fight. Subsequently, the duels look more like they borrowed from Kendo.

  3. It's really nothing more sinister than Lucas not having a clue how he wanted the fights to be, I reckon.

    At the time of filming he probably didn't even know if Vader was human. I guess if he'd actually had a budget he could have got a stunt man to do the fight like he could with later stuff but he probably meant for the fight to have a sense of pace to it like a proper fight between two knights, who take their time facing each other off and then make quick parries.

    Even Empire's duel lacks a lot of bite and it's only by Jedi that he's obviously decided to make everything that much more impressive.