Lightsaber Ballet

Jan 15, 2015 | Swordplay

Yes, lightsaber ballet, people. I have a particular dislike for the Star Wars prequels. Honestly, I remember sitting in the cinema, my head full of stories that my dad had told me of what it was like to see the original Star Wars – how much he had loved it, how it had completely blown him away because it was so incredible and new and just… revolutionary. And then I remember being so horribly disappointed that I wanted to find George Lucas and slap him with a copy of Screenwriting for Dummies.

Watch this video first.

This is part of the reason why. Just LOOK at this fight! It’s all spinning and flash and there is NOTHING about the swordplay that says anything about the characters, or the plot. Even when Dooku takes out a curved handle saber and holds it in such a way that maybe, just maybe, I thought we’d get to see something new – a style of fighting that distinguishes him and sets him apart from the Jedi, that informs you as to what kind of man he is – No. We get the same whirling stupidity.

And then there’s Yoda.

You know what I really hate about this? Yoda should never, ever have lowered himself to fighting with a saber. It’s clear from the fight that Dooku is no match for him in the Force – so why would he even take out a lightsaber?! He’s a Jedi Master! He could have flattened the Sith if he felt like it! It’s clear that mastery of the Force is so much more powerful than mere swordfighting that Yoda should have laughed – LAUGHED, I tell you – at Dooku when he drew his saber.

But he doesn’t and then they go into more completely irrelevant whirling stupidity.


Why didn’t Obi-wan help Yoda stop the big metal thing falling on them?! We’ve already established that the Force is something beyond the physical, so him being sliced on the leg and arm wouldn’t stop him using it GAAAAAH I DON’T EVEN.


The swordplay irritates me the most, but it’s not like the prequels are short on massive, glaring flaws anyway. So here you have it, people – a prime example of how to do movie swordplay incredibly, awfully wrong. Not because it’s unrealistic, not because it’s too flashy, not even because it’s being done with silly weapons – but because it’s meaningless AND it interferes with characterization and plot.