Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
Another favorite moment of mine comes from the conclusion of the prequels, Revenge of the Sith. In this action-packed movie, we see the events that bring the Clone Wars to an end and the Jedi Order to its knees.
To top it all off, we see Obi Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader on Mustafar, the duo bringing out all the stops in this spectacular finale.
For readers of the old novels, you remember the vague mentions of this duel, and how Vader ended up in the suit as a result of burns and injuries inflicted on the volcanic planet. To finally see this fight on the big screen was an impressive (most impressive) way to conclude the prequel trilogy.
This duel is tops in the entire saga for many reasons, not the least of which is the amount of hard work that the entire production put into it. From the actors and their endless practice sessions and the costuming department and their accurate tracking of battle-worn Jedi robes, to the attention-to-detail of the CGI and the monumental Battle of the Heroes (my favorite Star Wars theme) by the incomparable John Williams, this one scene stands out as a pinnacle in Star Wars lore.
Even the dialogue in the duel itself, while sparse, is top notch. Obi Wan’s proclaiming that “I have failed you, Anakin” to Vader’s retort “From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!” still rings heavily with me, as the crux of all Star Wars ultimately comes down to our own “points of view,” as Kenobi so wisely declared in Return of the Jedi.
The location on the lava river of Mustafar is incredible, with the duel raging all the way from the landing platform out onto the shores of the river itself, where Vader’s miscalculation costs him both his legs and his remaining arm.
Never underestimate the high ground.