A while ago I wrote an article searching for the best lightsaber duel. Thanks to a 1-hour compilation of all the duels (which sadly is no longer online), I was able to watch them all back to back and in the end determined, in my own opinion, that the final duel between Luke and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi was the best one.
In a similar vein, Andrew Clark from RogerEbert.com just published an article that compares how duels are treated in the original trilogy versus the prequel trilogy, as well as how The Force Awakens approaches them. It’s a great comparison and reveals many of the same character notes I found when watching the duels.
Andrew sums it up well when he writes:
If the original trilogy’s duels can be defined by character development and thematic resonance, the prequels can be conversely defined by their lack of purpose or depth.
Action should never just be action for action’s sake. The best action scenes reveal character along with adrenaline.
Head on over to The Dance of the Lightsabers: Duels in the Original “Star Wars” Trilogy vs. The Prequels to enjoy the geeky discussion.