Star Wars: Ranking the 10 best lightsaber battles

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6. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader I (Episode V)

Son vs. Father: Part I!

Luke envisions his friends, Han, Chewie, and Leia, in danger on Cloud City. Despite Yoda and Obi-Wan’s warning, Luke ventures to save them, which is actually a trap set up by Darth Vader.

Luke and Vader battle, but it’s clear that Luke isn’t ready to face the most powerful man in the Galaxy. Vader wins easily and slices off Luke’s hand.

After slicing off Luke’s hand, Vader reveals that he is actually Luke’s father and wants Luke to join him on the Dark Side, which causes Luke to jump off the platform. Some fortunate events save Luke’s life and a Force-like connection with Leia is revealed.

Ultimately, Luke and Darth Vader’s first lightsaber battle isn’t that thrilling, in terms of visual effects, editing, choreography, and the like. In the larger context of the story, this matchup had to happen and Luke had to lose the way the that he did in the first battle.

If Luke doesn’t lose the hand but survive to fight another day, there’s no Return of the Jedi, and the end isn’t as good as it could have been!

Next: Yoda vs. Darth Sidious