Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (Return of the Jedi)
These final three duels were all difficult for me to rank as they all excel in providing emotion for the viewers. By the end of the original trilogy, Luke had been struggling with Darth Vader being his father and he had been struggling with staying off the path to the Dark Side, both of which accumulated towards feelings of inner conflict and struggled for the young Jedi Knight.
The most evident presentation of this includes the emotional instance in which Luke is filled with conflict and anger to the point of striking at Vader’s lightsaber repeatedly until Luke disarms him and Vader falls to the ground defenseless.
This showed a glimpse of the similarities between Luke and his father, Anakin, who often swung his lightsaber with just as much power fueled solely by anger or other feelings of the Dark Side.
Aside from the emotional aspect of the duel, it is also a great fight to behold visually. From the introduction of Luke’s famed green lightsaber to Darth Vader even throwing his lightsaber at Luke, something which had yet to be done in a Star Wars film, this duel provided great action and lightsaber choreography.
The most notable aspect of this duel is the fact that it includes all the events and emotions from the entire trilogy and compresses it into this final fight to conclude the story of Luke and Vader.
All these inner struggles are exuded in his duel with Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, and in the end, Luke conclusively decides to not join the Emperor and not kill his father, even when given a chance. This duel provides a near-perfect ending to what is a near-perfect trilogy.