1. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn vs. Darth Maul (Episode I)
It’s clear the battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn against Darth Maul is easily the best lightsaber duel in the six Star Wars movies. The choreography, length of the fight, and the overall action sequence is perfect.
During the final push to capture Nute Gunray and destroy Federation’s Droid Control Ship, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon meet Darth Maul in a hanger bay with a series of catwalks. Maul reveals his double-sided lightsaber, which is still one of the coolest weapons in Star Wars.
The battle is pretty even before Maul knocks Obi-Wan off the catwalk and down to a catwalk below. This separates Obi-Wan from Qui-Gon and makes them vulnerable. Maul takes advantage, sending his lightsaber through Qui-Gon.
Obi-Wan get his revenge shortly after, using the Force to jump Maul and bisect him before Maul could recover. It’s one of the best kills in all six movies.
Unfortunately, my favorite Jedi other than Yoda, Qui-Gon, played by the action GOD Liam Neeson, is killed by Darth Maul in the fight, but not before he makes sure that Anakin is trained as a Jedi apprentice under Obi-Wan.
I’ve read all the blog posts about how the Star Wars lightsaber battles aren’t very good action sequences when broken down, and the Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon vs. Maul battle is always one of the fights mentioned in that conversation. Basically, people don’t think it passes the frame-by-frame breakdown test.
In real speed, this fight holds up with the best of them, though. And, if we really want to get into it, nearly every fight scene in action movies could be dismissed for their flaws.
Did we leave a lightsaber battle out of the ranking? Let us know what you think in the comment section!