Logistics of lightsaber battles

Discussion in 'Star Wars' started by stevenlink1, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. stevenlink1

    stevenlink1 Knight of Hyrule

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    I've heard a lot of people ripping on lightsaber fights from the star wars movies, such as the fight between Obi Wan and Anakin. They say that the Jedi fight in an unnecessarily elaborate and unrealistic way, and that they fight for much longer than the duration of even the longest real sword fight. I would like to take some time to offer my own theory as to why this may be.

    "He can see things before they happen, that's why he appears to have such quick reflexes."
    -Master Qui-Gon

    As we know, the Jedi are a race of "Force sensitive" beings who, even when not explicitly trained to channel the Force, can see moments into the future to predict what is going to happen. If Anakin shows this ability at a young age, how much more would a Jedi knight be able to forsee coming threats? It follows that, for the thousands of years that the Old Jedi order had existed, they would have developed a Jedi vs Jedi fighting style that would counter this precognitive ability. As that style progressed to the point at which we see it in Episode 3, it would have strayed so far away from what modern masters think of as sensible swordplay that it would almost seem rediculous. Perhaps when spinning one's saber around like a fool, you keep open any angle of attack so that you can decide where to attack at a moments notice, limiting your opponent's ability to predict your next move.
     
  2. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    17,139
    Likes Received:
    150
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +150 / 0 / -0
    I believe it's because they can see that little bit ahead and preditc future moves that make them long battles.

    I suppose it ends once their don't react quickly enough to the next move.
     
  3. stevenlink1

    stevenlink1 Knight of Hyrule

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Precisely my point. And how do you get your opponent to be puzzled about your next move? You do seemingly strange and apparently useless stuff to confuse him.
     
  4. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    4,705
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    West Australia
    Ratings:
    +186 / 1 / -0
    Yeah, that and it's a movie and nobody wants to see an "epic" 10 second fight :)

    But I agree, if the Jedi use the Force in combat, then their reflexes are going to be hyper-reactive. And I guess it also stands to reason that if you can shake someone's concentration somehow, then you'll gain yourself a split second advantage that may be all you need.

    Look at Qui-Gon and Darth Maul. Fairly even until Qui-Gon gets biffed in the head. Loss of concentration up close and he's toast.
    Anakin is a highly gifted Padawan, but he gets cocky, races in not using his head, and Dooku zaps him.
    In ROTS, Anakin gets overconfident whereas Obi-Wan stays calm, and Anakin loses.

    This doesn't hold watertight for all Star Wars screen fights, but it's as good a theory as any I suppose. Heck, a legitimate 15th century longsword technique is to actually throw your sword at your opponents face. They react as you're running in, and you bind their weapon, drop them to the ground and stab them with your dagger. Sometimes in an even fight, it's the tricky dirty stuff that helps you win.
     
  5. lewy

    lewy Lewy the lethal lunatic!

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In the darkest valleys of death and despair...
    Ratings:
    +35 / 0 / -0
    well, about obi-wan, he has a defensive style, wich can make the battles longer, mean: he is "only" protecting, so the opponent "cant kill him", and in the perfect split-second, he strikes. wich might be when his opponent eventually lose it.
    anyway, i like your theory.

    and btw, that sabrefight darth vader-obi wan in ANH is sooo boring!!! every move takes like five seconds or more!! love the new tecnology:D and talking of sabrefights, have annyone seen this? http://youtube.com/watch?v=MdHHyL8hRPo&mode=related&search=
     
  6. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    I don't think they see the moves of their opponent happening...but it is a combination of quick reflexes and indeed the power of the Force. Like Obi-Wan said, it controls your actions but it also obeys your commands. So a Jedi will automatically react. If you see someone kick, you just dodge...that's a reflex...same with lightsabercombat. It's also of course lots of training.

    I would say that Obi-Wan is indeed better in defense as Anakin in lightsabercombat...you don't need to look at EU (expanded universe) to know that, just look at the fight on Mustafar..it seemed like Anakin was only attacking and Obi-Wan was only defending in the beginning. And Obi-Wan tried to find a weakness in Anakin's attacks and that was the right time to strike. He failed a few times but when Anakin was getting too overconfident, he saw it was the right time to strike. But still in my opinion he was also just lucky. He even said himself that he had the upperhand. Not wise of Anakin to attack, indeed. But that is a flaw every Sith has...Although I have to say that it didn't seem Dooku had it...he was defeated by skill.
     
  7. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    4,705
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    West Australia
    Ratings:
    +186 / 1 / -0
    Well keep in mind at was the first saber fight they filmed, Alec Guiness was like 70 at the time, David Prowse would have had a helluva time moving in that suit if he's not a natural swordsman, and the characters themselves are an old Jedi who hasn't fought for 20 years, and Darth Vader was also about 40 and "more machine than man."

    You can see the huge leap forward in the saber fight between Luke and Vader in Empire Strikes Back, not only have the choreographers had more time to refine what exactly saber fighting is supposed to look like, but they've also got a better idea of making the characters fight "in character." Meaning, Vader is a big bad strong guy and Luke is a talented but inexperienced and incomplete Jedi wannabe. And they made them fight like their characters, just as a character's traits will affect the way they talk, how they stand, the costume they wear etc. It's all intertwined, and by the second movie they'd locked it down better than the first.

    Hey, Christopher Lee didn't fight much in AOTC and ROTS coz he too was 70-odd, it was his stunt double with a digital face. Otherwise it probably would have looked largely the same as Obi-Wan vs Vader :)
     
  8. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    Well he fought better than Alec Guinnes, cause Christopher Lee does have some experience in sword fighting, but yes he's also not young anymore, that is why indeed he had a stunt-double with actually both a digital face and the face of Christopher Lee which was filmed afterwards. But you hardly see the difference.

    In Empire and Jedi they also took a stunt-double for David Prowse who was too unexperienced to fight in the suit. Mark Hamill did also the fighting himself.
     
  9. stevenlink1

    stevenlink1 Knight of Hyrule

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    First of all, I apologize if I misunderstood you in any way, but if you remember Qui-Gon's line in TPM:

    "He can see things before they happen, that's why he appears to have such quick reflexes."

    So, while Jedi may not actually optically perceive their opponents' attacks beforehand, they are able to "see" them, whatever that might mean in this context. This quote also suggests that Jedi do not actually have quick reflexes, but appear to because of their short-term foresight.

    You also mentioned Obi-Wan's statement that the Force controls one's actions, but obeys one's commands. I believe this means that the Force will allow you to make appropriate tactical movements in a fight (even with your eyes closed) but it will do so only in compliance with your will. Ere go, if you meant only to defend yourself in a lightsaber fight, the Force would not compel you to attack openings in your opponent's defense.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2006
  10. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    You could say that Anakin saw things before they happen for example in the podrace. He could maybe predict that a podrace would went this way, while the other one went that way, so he could see which way he had to go to dodge them or prevent hitting them.

    But in a lightsaber fight, a Jedi moves so fast that it's almost impossible to "see" the moves before they happen since they happen faster as a turn of podracer.

    I agree with what you said and that is exactly I think what Obi-Wan meant with that the Force controls your actions but also obeys your commands. It probably is about will, strenghts and other aspects that a Jedi possesses
     
  11. warrior_squirrel21

    warrior_squirrel21 blue is my favorite color

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,944
    Likes Received:
    132
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Ina hills a Tennessee
    Ratings:
    +132 / 0 / -0
    I think the reason they take so long is becase they are both good. And also , not all of the fights are long.Take the Greivous Obi-Wan, that wasn't to long.And the first fight between Anakin/Obi-Wan and Dooku wasn't that long either.
     
  12. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    Well there are several reasons why some fights don't take very long...Grievous is trained in the Jedi arts but he has no Force Powers so he wasn't able to beat Obi-Wan with a lightsaber, since the lightsaber is a Jedi's weapon

    Also Dooku is far more skilled with a lightsaber than Obi-Wan. That is another reason the fight wasn't that long.
     
  13. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    4,705
    Likes Received:
    144
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    West Australia
    Ratings:
    +186 / 1 / -0
    Of course, if someone is far more skilled than their opponent, you'd expect it to be a short fight :) Similarly, if someone does something stupid like running at an unknown enemy (Anakin and Dooku - zap!) then you'd expect that to be potentially shortlived as well!
     
  14. OrcShaman

    OrcShaman Star Trek addict

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,024
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Romania
    Ratings:
    +23 / 0 / -0
    Hmmm, if we're analysing lightsaber fights, here's a question: how the hell do you parry another lightsaber? If they're laser beams it's simple: they will go through eachother. If they're another kind of energy beams does that means that they have some sort of energy-repelant field arround them or what?
    And how come a blaster shot bounces off from such a weapon, but another lightsaber won't? i mean i don't see any efort of keeping the blades together when they parry
     
  15. stevenlink1

    stevenlink1 Knight of Hyrule

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    The most intelligent answer to that question that I have ever heard can be found on this page:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20000817192432/www.synicon.com.au/sw/ls/sabres4.htm

    I think it's generally accepted that, whatever a lightsaber is, it is not actually a laser beam. Lucas calls it a "laser sword" because it looks more like a laser beam than it looks like anything else that he is familiar with.

    What I want to know is, if lightsabers work like they do in the movies, two things would have to be true:

    1. Moving the hilt moves the blade
    2. Moving the blade moves the handle

    The blade itself would have to exert physical force on the handle of the lightsaber! For some reason, I have trouble understanding how a contained energy field would be able to move a solid object, but what do I know?

    I do know that lightsabers are the peak of a technology (manipulating energy) that our civilization has barely begun to realize. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that so few people understand how it works. But that link is the best set of canonically-based theories that I have ever heard, so you should definitely read that page.
     
  16. lewy

    lewy Lewy the lethal lunatic!

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In the darkest valleys of death and despair...
    Ratings:
    +35 / 0 / -0
    yes, remember that the force "guided" lukes hand to deflect that blast from the little training droid at the millenium falcon.
     
  17. stevenlink1

    stevenlink1 Knight of Hyrule

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Well, that is entirely true. Remember also, Obi-Wan hold instructed Luke to "act on instinct", almost as if the Force was feeding his muscles instructions on where to go in order to block the laser blasts.

    And, while I do not mean to be picky, that "little training droid" is called a remote.
     
  18. lewy

    lewy Lewy the lethal lunatic!

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In the darkest valleys of death and despair...
    Ratings:
    +35 / 0 / -0
    yeah, sorry:)
    wasn't a 100% sure of that one:)
    and it's good that you correct me, so i can learn and be reminded of such things, don't worry:D
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  19. stevenlink1

    stevenlink1 Knight of Hyrule

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Yeah, we have to remember that, from a literary point of view, the fights are representative of spiritual conflicts between two people. This would further justify, from an artistic point of view, why the fights take so long.

    Similarly, General Grievous failed to break Obi-Wan's will to fight, as he had done with Ki-Adi Mundi, Shaak Ti, and Aayla Secura. This is why Obi-Wan defeated him in such short order, although it was probably a challenge to find a good opening in such a comprehensive lightsaber style as Grievous was using.
     
  20. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    Sorry Stevenlink1...you know that we have a different opinion about the Clone Wars series. People have expressed that Grievous fighting especially in the first volume was highly exagerated but that is explainable as the writers, directors didn't have much information about Grievous. In volume 2 Grievous is a little weaker, more realistic to episode III, but still exagerated. I don't say he wouldn't have been able to handle the Jedi, since he had his bodyguard, the magnadroids.

    The reason especially why Obi-Wan was able to defeat Grievous is simple. Grievous was like any bad guy overconfident and second he didn't have his bodyguards and third he doesn't have any Force Powers. The only advantage he had was four lightsabers, strenght and speed. But due to the Force, Obi-Wan was able to break through that because while Grievous may be skilled in lightsaber fighting, he is not as skilled as Obi-Wan.

    You have to agree that Obi-Wan is certainly more experienced while we can only know that his training in lightsaber fighting only began about ten years before ep III, although he probably was experienced in melee weapons, but that skill also depends on your physical body and he lost that when his ship crashed. Obi-Wan was even able to defeat an experienced Sith, namely Darth Maul as a padawan. And who do you think would win. Darth Maul or General Grievous?