Who else prefers the light saber fights of the Star Wars Prequals ?

caliph95

Member
Oct 25, 2017
22,677
The good prequel lightsaber fights are almost all in the cgi cartoons where they strike a good balance between the two
 

Brickhunt

Member
Feb 4, 2018
432
Brazil
Yeah. I like the Prequels lightsaber fights. It's an era in which Jedi and Sith are at the peak of their power, fighting-wise. They are fast, intense and between two or more people that can predict the immediate future so it was never ever going to look like a normal sword fight. The first Anaki vs Dooku fight sucked, however.

And now I'll let Era go back to their insane high hatred of the Prequels and their name calling people that actually like them or elements of then.
 
Jul 24, 2018
2,424
I prefer proper sword fighting as opposed to twirling a stick around like a circus performer. Bob Anderson’s fighting choreography carries that perfect emotionally weight that fights to the death needs to have.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,016
OT and ST fights are so boring you almost forget these folks are super powered beings. like, kylo can stop a laser midair but he can't just crush her knee caps?
Probably not when he's been shot in the stomach with a weapon that kills normal folk in a single hit and he's an emotional wreck because he's just murdered his father. I doubt his level of focus is particularly good during that fight.
 
Oct 28, 2017
685
Dublin
Of course they’re better in the prequels. When I saw Darth Vader vs Obi-wan for the first time in ANH, I genuinely laughed out loud. They’re just hitting their swords off each other every five minutes like two old men in a nursing home in a sedentary position.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
Probably not when he's been shot in the stomach with a weapon that kills normal folk in a single hit and he's an emotional wreck because he's just murdered his father. I doubt his level of focus is particularly good during that fight.
People keep saying this, but you act as if he's a normal person. I would expect Jason Bourne to act differently when hurt and he does. You'd think someone who can literally stop a laser mid-air with his force could just, ya know, crush Rey's kneecaps even while hurt.

There's no setup as to why Kylo would reasonably lose other than the writers needed him to lose. He outclassed her all the way. His injury is a non-factor.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
The OT is god awful with its choreography. I am surprised there are people defending it's lackluster appeal. Like, there's a reason why Geoge Lucas decided to ramp it up because his idea of force users wasn't easily translated to film until the prequel. It's pretty darn obvious what force users can do and it's the prequel trilogy. That was George Lucas vision.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,082
England
I much prefer the prequel trilogy style of combat. Not only is it stylish, it leverages the lightsaber design itself to make it really flashy. The wuxia style they employ is a pretty cool evolution of the kind of combat Lucas clearly wanted to pull off in the original trilogy but didn't have the expertise or technology for, going by the fights in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Plus it makes perfect sense in-universe. Lightsabers can easily kill an opponent with a single swing so of course lightsaber combat is about trying to deflect your opponent's weapon and creating an opening for the lethal blow. Plus the Force guides them, right? So they know where their opponent is going to strike next and need to figure out a way to "outsmart" their enemy.

They're not swords, so you wouldn't fight with them like they are. You'd be significantly more careful and tactical.

How can people not love this?

 

Flousn

Member
Jan 16, 2018
1,251
The OT is god awful with its choreography. I am surprised there are people defending it's lackluster appeal. Like, there's a reason why Geoge Lucas decided to ramp it up because his idea of force users wasn't easily translated to film until the prequel. It's pretty darn obvious what force users can do and it's the prequel trilogy. That was George Lucas vision.
Man...


I'm not saying that the PT duels are not more elaborate than the OT fights, but good choreography is not only measured in flashyess. Emotion and expression through movement are just as important as spins/second, whatever the director wants to tell with the fight.

It's perfectly fine to prefer the PT fights, but saying that the OT duels have objectively awful choreography is just wrong (besides 4 ;)).
 

Shy

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
14,111
The OT is god awful with its choreography. I am surprised there are people defending it's lackluster appeal. Like, there's a reason why Geoge Lucas decided to ramp it up because his idea of force users wasn't easily translated to film until the prequel. It's pretty darn obvious what force users can do and it's the prequel trilogy. That was George Lucas vision.


The Vader Like fight in the carbonite chamber is the best of all the films.

And that plastic wuxia is (as i already said) a fucking embarrassment.
 

ScoobsJoestar

Member
May 30, 2019
615
I prefer the prequel ones, but it doesn't matter much. None of the fights are perfect in any era and they all have their strong and weak points. Tbh nothing in them was very believable and while there's usually an explanation for most things, they all take some reach(for all eras) that isn't established in the movies and you kind of gotta go "Well...something something the force...it's meant to look silly because..." and that's fine. I'm okay with it looking silly.

What I care about the most is less the choreography itself(though it still has to be good) and more the general atmosphere/hype a scene can bring. So the Darth Maul fight was amazing for me. I also enjoyed the Dooku vs Obi Wan/Anakin/Yoda. Yeah, Yoda looked silly but...honestly, not that much sillier than a lot of the rest of the franchise so I was just going like "HELL YEAH YODA."

Obi Wan vs Anakin is also a really good one for me because of how emotional it is, despite some goofy moves. It works. Likewise, Vader vs Luke is rad as hell because the emotions really carry the scene like so good.

For the sequel trilogy I just honestly haven't been emotionally invested in most fights. I honestly wasn't invested in Kylo vs Rey, but I was actually pretty hyped for Finn vs Random Ass Stormtrooper lol it lasted all of 30 seconds but I was like "HELL YEAH" because the situation warranted it. Same with Kylo vs Finn actually.
 

kIdMuScLe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
690
The OT is god awful with its choreography. I am surprised there are people defending it's lackluster appeal. Like, there's a reason why Geoge Lucas decided to ramp it up because his idea of force users wasn't easily translated to film until the prequel. It's pretty darn obvious what force users can do and it's the prequel trilogy. That was George Lucas vision.
episode 4 fight is horrible. Two old ass men who suck at fighting choreograph... Vader who probably can’t see out of his helmet and Obi wan was barely able to move. I don’t even think they even had time to choreograph the fight.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
Man...


I'm not saying that the PT duels are not more elaborate than the OT fights, but good choreography is not only measured in flashyess. Emotion and expression through movement are just as important as spins/second, whatever the director wants to tell with the fight.

It's perfectly fine to prefer the PT fights, but saying that the OT duels have objectively awful choreography is just wrong (besides 4 ;)).
This is not correct. Emotion doesn't make good choreography. There's a reason why a lot of martial arts films excel at choreography and it isn't emotion. You're thinking of the entire package. What the OT does show is generic humans swinging laser swords. Have you even wondered why Rogue One amplified Darth Vadar to OP levels? It's because the series was never meant to be a cathartic release about triumphing over evil with neat visuals. It literally tripped into that.
 

leenbzoold

Member
Apr 5, 2018
996
it's worse in the prequels. just twirling light sabers and they're allergic to aiming for body parts; it's always striking to hit the other person's lightsaber even when there's a clear opening for cutting a limb off or whatever.
Just because there seems to be an opening doesnt mean there really is.
You assume that most openings would be closed by your skilled opponent as soon as you would try to use them, so you keep dancing around each other(, investigating your opponents abilities if you dont already know them,) until you can create a situation in which there are openings in your opponents defence that you are somewhat certain cant be closed fast enough by your opponent.
It's not enough when it's just possible to strike, it also has to be somewhat safe to strike.
 

SigSig

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,496
Yeah. I like the Prequels lightsaber fights. It's an era in which Jedi and Sith are at the peak of their power, fighting-wise. They are fast, intense and between two or more people that can predict the immediate future so it was never ever going to look like a normal sword fight. The first Anaki vs Dooku fight sucked, however.
I'm a fat fuck and from what I've seen ITT, if you gave me a wodden stick I'd beat up every single lightsaber wielder in the prequels. Utterly humiliate them. The force? lmao the farts more like it
 

Flousn

Member
Jan 16, 2018
1,251
This is not correct. Emotion doesn't make good choreography. There's a reason why a lot of martial arts films excel at choreography and it isn't emotion.
That's a very reductive take. Choreography can have many goals and metrics to measure its quality.

Also, many martial arts films are extremely good at communicating emotion and tension through combat.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
That's a very reductive take. Choreography can have many goals and metrics to measure its quality.
It literally is the physical movement of the figures involved in the scene. Luke vs Vadar is only popular because of the emotional side, as a technical side it's pretty mediocre. ASk yourself, do you watch it because of the culmination of 3 films where Luke finally confronts Vadar and converts him or because of the swordsmanship? If the former, it's not choreography.

Jet Lee's Hero has great choreography but a lot of the fights don't really extend past the wirefu beauty of it. It's like saying the confrontation at the end with the Emperor is great choreography because you like the way it plays out emotionally.
 

MillionIII

Member
Sep 11, 2018
3,274
The prequels have the best fights, period. People are forgetting that they were masters, it almost should look like a dance with how much training they got, they can read each other minds so the moves are more subtle than just striking the lightsaber at each other, plus most of the time in the prequels they are using their Jedi powers which makes the fights more interesting to look at.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
The prequels have the best fights, period. People are forgetting that they were masters, it almost should look like a dance with how much training they got, they can read each other minds so the moves are more subtle than just striking the lightsaber at each other, plus most of the time is the prequels they are using their Jedi powers which makes the fights more interesting to look at.
I think a lot of people forget that the PT was what George envisioned as force users. Acrobat dancers with swords who use telekinesis. Canonically it makes zero sense for them to have "weight" or whatever because they are literally super forced soldiers able to crush skulls with their minds. When you see Kylo swing his saber you have to think, "Does this dude even practice his swings at all? How is he this sluggish?" Especially after he literally stops a laser mid-air in the same film. This is what consistent power is. Lucas Films should have expanded on the force abilities more in the ST. It's quite obvious that's what the intention was originally.
 

Flousn

Member
Jan 16, 2018
1,251
It literally is the physical movement of the figures involved in the scene. Luke vs Vadar is only popular because of the emotional side, as a technical side it's pretty mediocre. ASk yourself, do you watch it because of the culmination of 3 films where Luke finally confronts Vadar and converts him or because of the swordsmanship? If the former, it's not choreography.

Jet Lee's Hero has great choreography but a lot of the fights don't really extend past the wirefu beauty of it. It's like saying the confrontation at the end with the Emperor is great choreography because you like the way it plays out emotionally.
Considering the clip I posted, Luke's movement communicates his anger and rage in that moment, especially in contrast to how he moved in earlier duels, while Vader is for the first time acting defensively. The choreography is very clear in showing us what the characters "are" in that moment through their movement. You can see that in essence even without ever knowing about the other films. Choreography is an art, which always aims at evoking emotion and expressing stuff. If you reduce it soleley to its mechanical aspects or the technical complexity (which can perfectly well be the part that the choreographer focuses on, like in the PT which wanted to explicitly show us how flashy jedi Masters fought), you are missing a big part of what it takes to make a "good choreography" outside of high level martial arts movies.

It's like saying only experimental free jazz is good music because it's the most complex.
 
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Kin5290

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,877
The prequels have the best fights, period. People are forgetting that they were masters, it almost should look like a dance with how much training they got, they can read each other minds so the moves are more subtle than just striking the lightsaber at each other, plus most of the time in the prequels they are using their Jedi powers which makes the fights more interesting to look at.
If they were masters, they should look like they’re trying to hit each other, not clearly aiming for the open air a foot above their opponent’s head.

In the ST, Kylo and Rey at least look like they’re working to kill each other.
 

samwyse

Member
Oct 28, 2017
374
Are there edits that make the Anakin vs Obi-Wan fight exciting? Half of it should be cut for pacing.
 

Maxina

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
2,808
Yep. They actually felt "superhuman" in the prequels, compared to the originals, where it felt like a proper blaster shot could kill them from a mile away.
 

matrix-cat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,530
Are there edits that make the Anakin vs Obi-Wan fight exciting? Half of it should be cut for pacing.
I feel like half of it is actually the same choreography re-used but shot from different angles to hide it. You can see it really clearly in the first 15 seconds or so:



Left-right-left-right-left-right-twirl repeat :P
 

DavidDesu

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,238
Glasgow, Scotland
It’s over choreographed. TPM looks cool to be honest but AOTC and ROTS has absolutely no impact, they’re just waving them around really fast. It’s not particularly good to look at and doesn’t feel real. Compare that with TFA and TLJ, holy shit the fighting feels real, Kylo Ren swings his sabre with power and weight behind it. It’s terrifying. It’s far better.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
Considering the clip I posted, Luke's movement communicates his anger and rage in that moment, especially in contrast to how he moved in earlier duels, while Vader is for the first time acting defensively. The choreography is very clear in showing us what the character "are" in that moment through their movement. You can see that in essence even without ever knowing about the other films. Choreography is an art, which always aims at evoking emotion and expressing stuff. If you reduce it soleley to its mechanical aspects (which can perfectly well be the part that the choreographer focuses on), you are missing a bit part of what it takes to make a "good choreography" outside of high level martial arts movies.
That's emotion. It's not that good because you literally see how it needs assistance to stand on its own. It doesn't jive with the whole mythos and power behind force users as well. There's a reason why good action isn't rated because of the emotional response or how it relates to the emotions involved. It should amplify what it has. The choreography and action should stand alone as a solid piece IE "It's an OK story with amazing action". There's a lot as to what goes into good action. Drive is an excellent film that shows what quadrants can do to amplify the story telling of action of a person. The Raid can literally be just a really well executed martial arts film dedicated to well shot, well designed, and well executed fight sequences with a story you don't really care about thinking about. If you combine both you get a really amazing film like Fury Road, but that's a combination of a lot of moving and complicated parts. You could remove all the story behind Fury Road or The Raid or Hero or whatever and notice the choreography doesn't actually change in quality. You take the story beats out of the Star Wars OT and you realize just how bad it is because it cannot stand on its own. Good choreography can stand on its own.

Like, be honest, when you watch Luke versus Vadar in Return of the Jedi, are you literally sitting there amazed by how they're moving or the fact that Luke is trying to win over Vadar? The latter is way more compelling and it shows.
 

MadraptorMan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
322
Niigata, Japan
I tend to agree that the PT duels are prettier to look at, but at this point the CG of the backgrounds and such are so bad that I just can’t ignore it any more. It’s quite distracting so the OT and ST end up feeling better.
 

MillionIII

Member
Sep 11, 2018
3,274
I think a lot of people forget that the PT was what George envisioned as force users. Acrobat dancers with swords who use telekinesis. Canonically it makes zero sense for them to have "weight" or whatever because they are literally super forced soldiers able to crush skulls with their minds. When you see Kylo swing his saber you have to think, "Does this dude even practice his swings at all? How is he this sluggish?" Especially after he literally stops a laser mid-air in the same film. This is what consistent power is. Lucas Films should have expanded on the force abilities more in the ST. It's quite obvious that's what the intention was originally.
Well yeah I agree the force powers are barley used in the ST for some reason, when was the last time that Kylo moved something with his mind? he can obviously do that but in the fights he is just wooden.
If they were masters, they should look like they’re trying to hit each other, not clearly aiming for the open air a foot above their opponent’s head.

In the ST, Kylo and Rey at least look like they’re working to kill each other.
They are trying to hit each other but they are also dodging and flipping instead of just swinging their sabers, Kylo should use his force powers more often, he is barely moving his body in the fights.
 

Flousn

Member
Jan 16, 2018
1,251
That's emotion. It's not that good because you literally see how it needs assistance to stand on its own. It doesn't jive with the whole mythos and power behind force users as well. There's a reason why good action isn't rated because of the emotional response or how it relates to the emotions involved. It should amplify what it has. The choreography and action should stand alone as a solid piece IE "It's an OK story with amazing action". There's a lot as to what goes into good action. Drive is an excellent film that shows what quadrants can do to amplify the story telling of action of a person. The Raid can literally be just a really well executed martial arts film dedicated to well shot, well designed, and well executed fight sequences with a story you don't really care about thinking about. If you combine both you get a really amazing film like Fury Road, but that's a combination of a lot of moving and complicated parts. You could remove all the story behind Fury Road or The Raid or Hero or whatever and notice the choreography doesn't actually change in quality. You take the story beats out of the Star Wars OT and you realize just how bad it is because it cannot stand on its own. Good choreography can stand on its own.
You still are focusing on a very specific subset of action movies that require/want to show off a certain facet of choreography. You said it yourself, choreography is about movement. If you only accept a very specific, technically complex kind of movement as good, I don't think it makes sense to further discuss that topic.
Me personally, I enjoy the duels in ESB and ROTJ on their own because I like the focus and meaning the choreography manages to get out of every movement. I also like John Wick and the Raid because of the complexity and impact of the Movements. Both are fine, both are examples of good choreography that excel at what they want to achieve.

What I personally don't like are the PT fights, because I think the movement looks unbelievable and cheesy - same goes for most wuxia movies. I still respect the quality and the complexity of the choreography though.
 
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leenbzoold

Member
Apr 5, 2018
996
If they were masters, they should look like they’re trying to hit each other, not clearly aiming for the open air a foot above their opponent’s head.

In the ST, Kylo and Rey at least look like they’re working to kill each other.
You should only go for a hit if there is an opening that is not only just possible to use, but also safe to use, and wont be closed by opponent just in time to stop your attempt.
Rey and Kylo just allways go for more opportunitys because their skill set is smaller and there aren't a lot of things to be played out over time.
 

loquaciousJenny

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,159
I think a lot of people forget that the PT was what George envisioned as force users. Acrobat dancers with swords who use telekinesis. Canonically it makes zero sense for them to have "weight" or whatever because they are literally super forced soldiers able to crush skulls with their minds. When you see Kylo swing his saber you have to think, "Does this dude even practice his swings at all? How is he this sluggish?" Especially after he literally stops a laser mid-air in the same film. This is what consistent power is. Lucas Films should have expanded on the force abilities more in the ST. It's quite obvious that's what the intention was originally.
It's literally canon that Vader uses a fighting style that lacks mobility and makes up for it with raw power, if saber fighting were weightless that wouldn't be the case. It makes sense that Kylo would similarly use raw strength and meshes well with his early tantrums and proficiency with the force to stop a blaster shot
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,586
If they were masters, they should look like they’re trying to hit each other, not clearly aiming for the open air a foot above their opponent’s head.

In the ST, Kylo and Rey at least look like they’re working to kill each other.
I mean, I'm not so convinced the sequels are that much better about that. The throne room battle is just as full of weird choreography that clearly isn't intended to hit their target.

I don't really have too much of a problem with dance battles in star wars though.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
You still are focusing on a very specific subset of action movies that require/want to show off a certain facet of choreography. You said it yourself, choreography is about movement. If you only accept a very specific, technically complex kind of movement as good, I don't think it makes sense to further discuss that topic.
Me personally, I enjoy the duels in ESB and ROTJ on their own because I like the focus and meaning the choreography manages to get out of every movement. I also like John Wick and the Raid because of the complexity and impact of the Movements. Both are fine, both are examples of good choreography thst excel at what they want to achieve.
There's nothing engaging about the fight choreography of Luke versus Vadar or Vadar versus Obi or whatever in the OT. It is all driven by the story. The story dictated how good it is. It's why Mark's bad acting is overlooked because the story was what captivated people. Look at fight scenes or action scenes in Boardwalk Empire, they stand out on their own just because of what they are like Eli versus Agent. I agree with you that the story does add to the fight and can compliment it, but you are overestimating how well the actual fighting is done in the OT. It's literally the definition of mediocre and no one would really watch it unless the story stuck with them. Like, do you think people watch Obi Wan versus Vadar from ANH just because of how they move? Maybe some people who really love fencing, but other than that? They want to see Obi do what he does best and get slashed.
 

Flousn

Member
Jan 16, 2018
1,251
There's nothing engaging about the fight choreography of Luke versus Vadar or Vadar versus Obi or whatever in the OT. It is all driven by the story. The story dictated how good it is. It's why Mark's bad acting is overlooked because the story was what captivated people. Look at fight scenes or action scenes in Boardwalk Empire, they stand out on their own just because of what they are like Eli versus Agent. I agree with you that the story does add to the fight and can compliment it, but you are overestimating how well the actual fighting is done in the OT. It's literally the definition of mediocre and no one would really watch it unless the story stuck with them. Like, do you think people watch Obi Wan versus Vadar from ANH just because of how they move? Maybe some people who really love fencing, but other than that? They want to see Obi do what he does best and get slashed.
Than we just subjectively disagree (expect obe vs vader, which Is bad and has nothing to do with the other fights in the OT).
I find the duels in ESB and RotJ gripping and memorable, even if you try to disconnect them from the story and emotions (which is not possible either way).
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
Than we just subjectively disagree (expect obe vs vader, which Is bad and has nothing to do with the other fights in the OT).
I find the duels in ESB and RotJ gripping and memorable, even if you try to disconnect them from the story and emotions (which is not possible either way).
It's not subjectively. They do not stand on their own with the story. Remember the Terminator gif where he climbs on the truck and shoots the T-1000? That can be appreciated without every knowing the Terminator story.
 

CloudWolf

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,295
Prequels are overchoreographed nonsense. In the new movies, the lightsabers for some reason seem like they weigh a ton.

The best lightsaber fights are those in the OT.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,082
England
Than we just subjectively disagree (expect obe vs vader, which Is bad and has nothing to do with the other fights in the OT).
I find the duels in ESB and RotJ gripping and memorable, even if you try to disconnect them from the story and emotions (which is not possible either way).
I think they're asking if you can post a YouTube video of the fight and say "this is an example of a great fight" without context. People do it all the time with action movies and it's usually a testament to the choreography and cinematography. Like we could have a whole thread of "the best Jackie Chan fights" and you wouldn't need to even see the movies to appreciate them.

In that sense, yeah, the fight between Obi-Wan and Vader in A New Hope is "bad". Lucas clearly hadn't hired a fight choreographer and didn't use stunt doubles to allow for a better fight, which isn't a problem at all if you're invested in the characters and the story but is an issue if we're talking strictly about the choreography.

I still love the fight myself but I like the prequels too so I'm just more forgiving than most.
 
Oct 26, 2017
10,860
Man....really...
According to which grand jury that decides after which level of technical complexity fight scenes can stand on their own?
You keep going with "technical complexity". You don't seem to grasp that action / choreography are different things. They tell their own story / accentuate the story being told. All these moving parts combine to create the film you watch. If I take out the fight choreography from John Wick, what do I really get from the movie? What about The Raid? Like, The Raid exists as a fan and critical favorite because the action does service to the story not because the story is anything to write home about because there's actually very little written about the story of The Raid, and it's easily said that the action of the OT isn't really written about as some kind of well done thing. The OT trilogy, for how weird this analogy will sound, is a lot like anime. You know how in anime where it takes like 3 episodes for a fist fight to end? Like, literally 60 minutes? Most of that fight time, guess what? It's about the emotional moments because the action images on screen don't really interest the audience, it's the advancement of the characters and story beats involved. When you see Toguro fight Yusuke in the Dark Tournmanet, no one is going, "Holy shit, this is extremely well done", they think, "Man, fuck him up Yusuke, he deserves it."

And that's the point. Like, Palpatine is literally just lifted up and chucked over a ledge. That's all that needed to be done because the story is what mattered, not some sword fight, a flip, or whatever. The sword fight is literally just the way to bridge the beginning which is, "Here's Luke, make him bad" to, "No I won't be bad, and he won't be bad anymore" to, "Yeah, I'm not bad anymore, and you are getting killed because you are bad".
 

Flousn

Member
Jan 16, 2018
1,251
I think they're asking if you can post a YouTube video of the fight and say "this is an example of a great fight" without context. People do it all the time with action movies and it's usually a testament to the choreography and cinematography. Like we could have a whole thread of "the best Jackie Chan fights" and you wouldn't need to even see the movies to appreciate them.

In that sense, yeah, the fight between Obi-Wan and Vader in A New Hope is "bad". Lucas clearly hadn't hired a fight choreographer and didn't use stunt doubles to allow for a better fight, which isn't a problem at all if you're invested in the characters and the story but is an issue if we're talking strictly about the choreography.

I still love the fight myself but I like the prequels too so I'm just more forgiving than most.
To me, the gif I posted earlier is a great fight. I also absolutely hate the Vader vs Obi fight but we were talking about ESB and ROTJ. Both of which I find gripping and well choreographed because they excel at showing the characters through their movements. It's visual storytelling at its best.
My problem is that people seem to have difficulty with accepting that good choreography can mean more than most technically complex movements.
It's a whole are Form that can not be measured by one single, ultimate metric.
 

Dommo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
760
Australia
There's nothing engaging about the fight choreography of Luke versus Vadar or Vadar versus Obi or whatever in the OT. It is all driven by the story. The story dictated how good it is. It's why Mark's bad acting is overlooked because the story was what captivated people. Look at fight scenes or action scenes in Boardwalk Empire, they stand out on their own just because of what they are like Eli versus Agent. I agree with you that the story does add to the fight and can compliment it, but you are overestimating how well the actual fighting is done in the OT. It's literally the definition of mediocre and no one would really watch it unless the story stuck with them. Like, do you think people watch Obi Wan versus Vadar from ANH just because of how they move? Maybe some people who really love fencing, but other than that? They want to see Obi do what he does best and get slashed.
Just because choreography refers only to the movement of actors in a scripted sequence doesn't mean it's purely a technical feat. I don't really understand why you're dismissing the choreography of the OT because "it's only being used to tell story and build emotion." That should literally be the first and foremost objective of choreography in any sense. Why should they stand alone from the story? It's there to supplement the story in the same way everything else in the films is. I understand there's a distinction to be made that the PT choreography is technically far more complex and sophisticated, but I'm not understanding why you choose to hold that as the final definition of good choreography.

Empire Strikes Back has the best choreographed fight in any Star Wars film because it's actively telling story through its choreography. Every action and movement is done to show the shifting power dynamics of the terrifying seasoned veteran vs the desperate underdog who is ultimately completely belittled and embarrassed. You can watch that sequence and understand the storytelling exactly, just through its clear and digestible action. In this sense the sequence stands on its own far better than any of the prequel fights. If you were to show someone who'd never seen Star Wars before the ESB sequence then a prequel fight they'd have a far easier time digesting and understanding what the actual story is of the former than the latter. The latter looks cool, but it barely ever actually assists the narrative. The story just... halts. Some ting ting swish swish happens. And then we get back to the story. I'd classify that as almost objectively bad choreography.
 

Flousn

Member
Jan 16, 2018
1,251
You keep going with "technical complexity". You don't seem to grasp that action / choreography are different things. They tell their own story / accentuate the story being told. All these moving parts combine to create the film you watch. If I take out the fight choreography from John Wick, what do I really get from the movie? What about The Raid? Like, The Raid exists as a fan and critical favorite because the action does service to the story not because the story is anything to write home about because there's actually very little written about the story of The Raid, and it's easily said that the action of the OT isn't really written about as some kind of well done thing. The OT trilogy, for how weird this analogy will sound, is a lot like anime. You know how in anime where it takes like 3 episodes for a fist fight to end? Like, literally 60 minutes? Most of that fight time, guess what? It's about the emotional moments because the action images on screen don't really interest the audience, it's the advancement of the characters and story beats involved. When you see Toguro fight Yusuke in the Dark Tournmanet, no one is going, "Holy shit, this is extremely well done", they think, "Man, fuck him up Yusuke, he deserves it."

And that's the point.
And my point is that choreography as an art form can serve more purposes than create the most physically exhilarating action scenes. Choreography must be judged by different metrics regarding what kind of film it is in and how effective it is at achieving its goal. But I don't think this discussion really leads anywhere and maybe we should just accept that we have a different outlook on this stuff and in the end argue in circles. I don't want this to turn sour :)
 

retroman

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,238
Just because choreography refers only to the movement of actors in a scripted sequence doesn't mean it's purely a technical feat. I don't really understand why you're dismissing the choreography of the OT because "it's only being used to tell story and build emotion." That should literally be the first and foremost objective of choreography in any sense. Why should they stand alone from the story? It's there to supplement the story in the same way everything else in the films is. I understand there's a distinction to be made that the PT choreography is technically far more complex and sophisticated, but I'm not understanding why you choose to hold that as the final definition of good choreography.

Empire Strikes Back has the best choreographed fight in any Star Wars film because it's actively telling story through its choreography. Every action and movement is done to show the shifting power dynamics of the terrifying seasoned veteran vs the desperate underdog who is ultimately completely belittled and embarrassed. You can watch that sequence and understand the storytelling exactly, just through clear and digestible action. In this sense the sequence stands on its own far better than any of the prequel fights. If you were to show someone who'd never seen Star Wars before the ESB sequence then a prequel fight they'd have a far easier time digesting and understanding what the actual story is of the former than the latter. The latter looks cool, but it barely ever actually assists the narrative. The story just... halts. Some ting ting swish swish happens. And then we get back to the story. I'd classify that as almost objectively bad choreography.
And we're done here.

Well said.