Top 10

May 4, 2014

The 10 Best Action Scenes of the Star Wars Saga

Well it is Star Wars Day after all, so if ever there’s a perfect time to have this top ten, it’s today.

I grew up with Star Wars and no matter what anyone says, I will always be a fan until my dying day.

There are so many great action scenes from the Star Wars Saga but I am cheating and adding one from The Clone Wars TV Series because it’s simply one of the finest moments in Star Wars history. But we’ll get to that shortly; so without further ado May the Fourth Be With You.



10. The Pod Race (The Phantom Menace)

I know we’re all so quick to dismiss this movie but really Jar Jar is the only thing that really grinds my gears; what it does have is this jaw dropping race sequence which was unlike anything we’ve seen before. There is an extended deleted scene on the DVD which I enjoy which features a few choice moments from the Tusken Raiders who incidentally scared the utter crap out of me when I was a child. This scene is sort of bitter sweet; you’re thinking “Yay, Anakin won; now he can fulfil his destiny and get burned to the point of death, kill lots of unarmed children and become the second most evil man in the universe.” Erm Hooray?

9. Anakin vs. Obi-Wan (Revenge of the Sith)

Another one of the best things about the prequels was this fantastic action scene which is only let down by Hayden Christensen having the acting ability of a pencil sharpener; thankfully the action more than makes up for it with these two former friends now bitter enemies, for reasons far too convoluted and uninteresting to go into here.

8. Darth Maul and Savage Oppress vs. Palpatine (The Clone Wars: Season 5)

So this is the bit where I’m cheating but just watch it and you’ll see what I mean; it’s totally badass and watching Maul beg for mercy at the end with Palpatine laughing mockingly at him shows that the Universe is only big enough for one of them… guess who?

7. Obi-Wan vs. Jango Fett (Attack of the Clones)

This sequence is my favourite scene of the second prequel; it’s one of the most brutal fight scenes in the movies and was even edited in the UK; the US version has Jango head butt Obi-Wan but it was removed by the BBFC because they’re a bunch of puny girly men. The Jedi and the Bounty Hunter don’t fool around punching and kicking each other, until Jango makes his escape.

6. Yoda vs. The Emperor (Revenge of the Sith)

You may be wondering why Anakin vs. Obi-Wan isn’t higher on this list and it’s quite simple, this was a better scene in every way. It seemed more desperate and with the senate literally collapsing around them, there is a genuine sense of peril. I love how Palpatine just cackles insanely because he’s just a complete nutjob. Yoda is pretty much bested in battle and runs home to mommy at the end.

5. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (Return of the Jedi)

This is arguably the most emotionally charged of all the lightsaber battles; Goaded by Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, Luke gives in (briefly) and unleashes his anger. When Vader mentions that he will go after Luke’s twin sister, it’s red rag to a bull time and he lunges at his father.  He loses control and eventually cuts of Vader’s hand, leaving him a crumpled mess on the floor. Since Vader took Luke’s hand in Empire, father and son are now even. “Gooood” retorts the Emperor.

4. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (The Empire Strikes Back)

It was tough choosing between this lightsaber battle and the climactic fight of Jedi but I think for sheer dramatic devastation, this wins. Not because the fight has lots of cool martial arts (it doesn’t) but it does end with Vader telling Luke news that will change his life forever. What’s interesting about this fight though is that Luke ignites his lightsaber first; completely ignoring Yoda’s instructions “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack”. He also has a little bit of arrogance too “You’ll find I’m full of surprises”. Oh really? Just wait till you talk to Vader shortly… he’s got a doozy for ya.

3. Assault on the Death Star (A New Hope)

The best space battle of the saga and arguably of all time has never really been bettered and the use of practical effects is why it still looks phenomenal. It’s like a World War 2 dogfight in space, which is exactly what George Lucas intended. This is the moment where Luke proves he has what it takes to be a Jedi; all of his squadron are gone and it’s up to him to “blow this thing and go home!” which he does with the help of Han Solo and The Millennium Falcon. An epic explosion ensues.

2. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn vs. Darth Maul (The Phantom Menace)

This was the first time where we really get to see what the Jedi can do and with Ray Park’s stellar martial arts prowess, we are given easily the most exciting fight scene of the series and pretty much the best scene of the prequels. The music “Dual of the Fates” is one of the most jaw dropping pieces of movie music in the saga and it was so different from the Star Wars music that had come before it.

1. The Battle of Hoth (The Empire Strikes Back)

To me, this is the best battle scene of all time; even now it looks fantastic and is one of the most innovative and original action scenes in cinema history. It is without a doubt my favourite action sequence in the Star Wars universe.  The Imperial Walkers are the coolest looking machines and during the cold winters in Canada, I could really use one… but I’d settle for a Taun Taun. The reason this movie is the best of the series is the genuine sense of threat all the way through it; the rebels are desperately trying to escape the Empire who are relentless in their pursuit. The fact that the bad guys actually win was a bit of a game changer too.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.

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