By now, fans know the story of Star Wars beat for beat, but it’s also always been a franchise equally built on its iconography. The names, the images, the sounds. And as far back as I can remember, nothing has defined Star Wars more than the whooshing, whirring hum of a lightsaber. “The weapon of a Jedi Knight,” Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) says in A New Hope. “Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon from a more civilized age.”
Boy, have those weapons been featured in many scenes both elegant and clumsy. Lightsaber duels are often the centerpiece of a Star Wars film, and that means iconic, classic moments mixed in with a few swing-and-a-miss duds. So, naturally, we’ve ranked them all.
Four quick things before we begin:
- This list contains three spoilery sections from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, so lightspeed skip on outta here if you haven’t seen the film yet.
- To be included, a scene had to feature participants fighting each other with lightsabers, not just using a lightsaber in a fight. I extend my deepest regrets to Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Jango Fett. (Of course, I also threw this rule out the window several times on this list. I regret nothing.)
- I didn’t include any scenes from Clone Wars or Rebels. Dave Filoni‘s animated universe is wonderful, but this list does not need to be 150 entries long.
- I also did not include Darth Vader’s appearance from Rogue One. That scene objectively whips an indescribable amount of ass, but calling it a “fight” is like saying the Death Star had an intellectual debate with Alderaan. Apologies if this offends.
With all that out of the way, let’s get into it.