The intrepid defenders of the galaxy far, far away at StarWars.com have released their list of the top ten lightsaber battles in "Star Wars" history — and their number one choice is a bit of a surprise.
Here's the video countdown:
And here's the bombshell: The Duel of the Fates at the end of "The Phantom Menace" stands tall as the best "Star Wars" fight of them all.
Granted, this isn't an "officially official" list, as noted by the StarWars.com crew themselves. And their rationale for what makes Duel of the Fates the best in the series is fairly solid:
"This duel captures what makes every other entry on this list special. It's exciting, there's real danger, and it packs an emotional punch. Darth Maul is quick and deadly like no other 'Star Wars' villain before him, making the Sith Lord a new kind of threat. As the fight progresses, Qui-Gon is mortally wounded, leaving Obi-Wan to face Maul alone. Throughout, it simultaneously echoes and establishes themes core to the saga, and the climax is a defining moment for one of the galaxy's greatest Jedi."
All of that is true. Hate "Phantom Menace" all you want, but the climactic final battle is incredible. But is it better than the second-place finisher: the "Empire Strikes Back" battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader? The StarWars.com team thinks so. Here's their description of the "Empire" fight:
"The slow pacing, the haunting aesthetic, and the harsh reality of Luke's first duel with Darth Vader makes for one of cinema's most memorable sword fights. It's artistic, it's brutal, and its ending is the stuff of legend."
Ultimately, it's a completely subjective matter of debate, depending on what you value more: The high stakes and emotional wallop of the "I am your father" reveal, or the sheer badassery of Darth Maul's dual-lightsaber. Let us know which side you land on in the comments below.