Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader (A New Hope)
It is hard to argue that this is not the worst-choreographed or most boring lightsaber duel in the entire Star Wars saga. However, it is important to acknowledge that this famed scene in cinematic history introduced the world to lightsaber duels and gave the franchise a baseline in terms of lightsaber action, considering it could only get better from there.
Luckily, it did get much better. Regardless of the choreography or pace of the duel, it did deliver an emotional conclusion as it provided the end for Obi-Wan as he transitioned from his physical body to his spiritual essence through the Force, thus propelling Luke into his full dedication and determination to become a Jedi.
When looking at the history between the two characters of Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker, it is much easier to appreciate the duel between the former master and apprentice. There is a lot of history between the two, and that history is manifested through the form of emotion that is evident during the duel.
This emotion served as a crucial part of Obi-Wan’s full willingness to sacrifice his life to save Luke and his friends. He had fulfilled his role in the physical world and was ready to play his remaining role through the Force.
One aspect of this duel that has always struck me as peculiar is the moment in which Obi-Wan calls Darth Vader “Darth” rather than Darth Vader or Vader. This is the only instance in the entire Star Wars franchise where Darth Vader or any other Sith is referred to as Darth. It doesn’t mean anything, I just always thought it was interesting.