Dissecting Phantom Menace's lightsaber duel

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by DuneMuadDib, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. DuneMuadDib

    DuneMuadDib Sr Member

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    Came across this dissection of the saber duel from TPM on another site. There goes the one part of EP1 that nobody really complained about :lol
     
  2. Mola Rob

    Mola Rob Sr Member

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    He didn't even mention the idiotic move where Qui-Gon fails to wait for Obi-Wan to catch up with him. Dude you couldn't beat Maul with help from Obi-Wan what makes you think you could beat him by yourself? Oh wait you couldn't. Noble end my *.
     
  3. JoMamma_Smurf

    JoMamma_Smurf Master Member

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    HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!! :lol :lol :lol Brilliant!
     
  4. Jeyl

    Jeyl Master Member

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    Aim to the side.

    Hahaha! Love it.
     
  5. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    Hahahahaha, yeah...but ROTS is worse. You can practically see one waiting while the other attacks in the Dooku duel at times. Still, the saber fights are fun and though I think the one in TPM is a bit overwrought, the shallow part of me that isn't too critical is okay to just watch Darth Maul being pretty.
     
  6. Supa troop

    Supa troop Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    the bit about that saber dual that really winds me up, is the wasted minutes when Qui Gon and Maul are waiting for that force field type thing to change, i mean why ?? we could have had at least 2-3 minutes extra dualing
     
  7. DuneMuadDib

    DuneMuadDib Sr Member

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    A way to separate Obi-Wan from Qui-Gon so one superfluous character could off the other before jobbing to Obi-Wan.

    Ultimately it's no different from any other sword fight in cinema where they aim for the sword and not actually trying to injure the other person like an real sword fight would be. But it could at least be made to look like they were aiming in the general direction of the other guy.
     
  8. Timmythekid

    Timmythekid Sr Member

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    Yeah, check out Robin Hood. Brilliant choreography, but no way are Flyn and Rathbone doing anything different. This isn't new.
     
  9. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    I don't care, that's the best duel of any movie I've seen. Especially because the real actors did it, not stuntmen.
     
  10. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    A STUPID way to separate them. Why not have made it that when Obi-Wan was kicked off the catwalk, he had to run a long way for a ladder or lift instead of taking that ridiculously huge leap? Then they'd have been apart, and OB could get in just in time to see QGJ slain. No "convenient laser door of doom" silliness.

    And Jason, really, the best? Because there were actors? Who did no emoting in a fight that did nothing to advance the story until one of them dies? How about the Princess Bride or Crouching Tiger?
     
  11. DuneMuadDib

    DuneMuadDib Sr Member

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    I'll second "Princess Bride." My favorite duel on-screen and in context the flynning works. Plus if the story I've heard about how long they practiced for that fight it true it makes it all the better for me.

    And the top paragraph bore repeating :)
     
  12. benhs1898

    benhs1898 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Haha, I loled!
     
  13. John Barnett

    John Barnett New Member

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    After watching Red Letter Media's Plinkett review of TPM, I can no longer view that fight without hearing disco music.
     
  14. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    I always wondered why he never just used his saber to destroy the laser emitters that were clearly unguarded by the laser.
     
  15. John Barnett

    John Barnett New Member

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    What I always wondered about that laser shielding was- What reaction is taking place at the center that requires layered, sequenced energy fields straight out of a 16 bit platform game? Once they got inside, nothing was happening. No plasma explosion or caustic unicorn farts. If the reactor or whatever it is inside is not reacting, why is the shielding up and running its sequence? Maybe I missed someone smashing a wall console and starting it up?

    Personally, I thought the entire concept, apart from separating Obi and Qui Gon, was to set up a "character" moment with Qui Gon kneeling in meditation while Darth Maul paces like a tiger, impatiently. Trouble is, once you've left your padawan behind to engage with a guy you can't solo, it's too late to try to show how zen you are.
     
  16. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Sr Member

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    Why would you want shielding to go off and on in the first place?

    I've found if you sing in a shrill voice in time with the music "columns of light, what do they do? No handrails no handrails" and "Forcefields turn on, forcefields turn off! There's no reason there's no reason" it all makes a bit more sense.

    SAS
     
  17. Timmythekid

    Timmythekid Sr Member

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    Lift a glass to Bob Anderson, we miss you!
    Actually, a bunch of the later Flyn stuff too...thanks again, Bob, wherever you are now!

    Crouching Tiger? Meh, hated the choreography in that because it felt like choreography. Maybe wire-fu just isn't for me.

    And I wasn't getting down on the Robin Hood fight, I was just pointing out that it's silly to attack TPM for swinging for the swords - that's just what movie fights look like, and have for the better part of a century.
     
  18. SmilingOtter

    SmilingOtter Master Member

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  19. NakedMoleRat

    NakedMoleRat Sr Member

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    Why not just use 'force run' to get past the fields in the first place. I swear jedi are the dumbest warriors in the galaxy. They have the sum power of the universe at their disposal, but seem to forget how to use it most of the time. If it wasn't for the fact that the Empire spends all their money on white armour and nothing on target practice, they would have died out long ago...
     
  20. clancampbell

    clancampbell Sr Member

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    I know what you mean, also, why didn't Maul use the Force to attack the Jedi when the stupid laser door was up? Or, maybe Qui-gon could have Force pushed Maul down the big, inexplicable hole in the floor?

    Sigh.....TPM, the film that just keeps on giving.....(me a headache)

    Rich
     
  21. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    He'd probably just used it and it was recharging. I think it has, like, a 5 second cooldown.
     
  22. SSgt Burton

    SSgt Burton Sr Member

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    I know you're making a joke, but "if" Obi needed some rest, he got it while those shields were close (he was on the far end while Qui-Gon was in Zen mode and Maul was pacing at the other end).

    When the doors opened he should have force-run to the other end in less than a second... like he and Qui-Gon did to escape the Droidekas (sp?) at the beginning of the film.


    But I guess Lucas figured the audience wouldn't remember that. Or nobody had the guts to mention it to him.


    Kevin
     
  23. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    lol but George....
    George: you're fired!
     
  24. Wakeem

    Wakeem Well-Known Member

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    I still think TPM lightsaber fight is cool. All the video points out is that these people are actors. It's just like how you can see an actor miss a punch or something in poorly edited movies.

    But some of the points about the laser/shield thing, the running, and of course Red Letter Media's discussions about the fight are spot on. You can't really break down the original trilogy like the prequels.
     
  25. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Normal sword fights in movies, using metal like blades that actually have pointy bits at the end, I can see them doing choreography that is aimed to attacking a person's weapon rather than themselves. But why do lightsabers, which get covered up in post production SFX, not get to be used a little more lethally? You could put a bit of padding on them for the actor's sake, then do choreography which aims to hit them but then has actual blocks and repostes or whatever.
     
  26. DuneMuadDib

    DuneMuadDib Sr Member

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    It's one thing to aim at the sword that its parallel to the torso, which could in theory hit the torso if not for the sword. It's another to aim above the person's head where there's no hope of hitting them unless they jump INTO the swing.
     
  27. niennumb1

    niennumb1 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They forgot one... When faking your move toward a dark Sith lord, always be sure to first let out what sounds to be an * to throw him off.
     
  28. MooMooEgg

    MooMooEgg Sr Member

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    (y)thumbsup:thumbsup
     
  29. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    It's not that the fight is bad per se: most stage combat will look like this. It's that the directing and editing don't hide/obscure the flagrant misses.
     
  30. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    To get serious here for a second, I think there are two things to consider.

    First, real sword fighting where you're actually trying to hit the other guy is a lot more constrained and a lot less flashy than what we frequently see in films. There's no twirling, spinning your blade, etc. Why? Because you open your guard up if you do stupid crap like that.

    Like, in ESB when Luke does a pirouette. I always wondered why Vader just stood there watching him instead of sticking him in the back and saying ">hawhp< There. That'll learn you, you little nitwit. >pehr<" If he at least had his blade covering his back sort of I could maybe see it, but even then it defeats the purpose of the move, throws off his balance, etc.

    BUT IT SURE DO LOOK COOL!!

    Lucas wanted a far more dynamic, active sabre style for the prequels because the best fight of the entire six films -- the one between Obi-Wan and Vader in ANH -- is the least visually exciting. Sure, at the time it was mindblowing, but how do you compete with stuff like that when you've got Crouching Tiger to compare it to? Even if it's more technically correct to do things like that, it isn't as flashy.

    The camera, as I understand it, "picks up" exaggerated movements much more easily than the subtle work that goes into a swordfight. Things like, say, foot position (which would be masked by the Jedi's robes anyway), or keeping a blade level in front of you at a middle guard position, where you're best able to respond to attacks from multiple directions, just don't look as active or as good.

    Also, the Obi-Wan/Vader fight is far more in keeping with the jitai geki Japanese films where two samurai size each other up, pace around, and then you get, like, two quick strikes and one of them falls. Those fights are about economy of movement and effort, precision in strikes, and maintaining composure (and thus one's guard). That's not AT ALL what the prequel fights were about.

    I don't personally have a huge problem with stage fighting that emphasizes flashiness over practicality. That's because, while I might appreciate a practical looking fight, I know most people would find it boring.

    Take, for example, the 1978 film "Shogun's Samurai" (Yagyû ichizoku no inbô). In that film, two samurai face off against each other. These guys are reputed to be master swordsmen. Absolutely at the top of their deadly craft. And their rivalry has been brewing for almost the entire 2.5 hour film. They face off against each other, and the fight is incredibly short and not at ALL flashy. It's as I described. They face off, pace around, say a few words, then it's over in, like, one or two swings. That's it. Incredibly tense, but also incredibly brief. Because, the implication is, at that level of the game, ONE of them is gonna die and they're both so good that it'll probably happen in one shot. So it's all psychological. Who reads his enemy right, who strikes most effectively and fastest.

    I LOVE that fight. Most people would find it a huge letdown because you don't get some 10-minute duel of spinning, flashing blades a la Flynn vs. Rathbone in Robin Hood. So, I don't expect a ton. All that said, however, Caymen is right that you DO need good editing so it doesn't look like you're just slapping your sword against the other guy's for no apparent reason, and are at least kinda sorta trying to kill him instead of auditioning for the high school marching band.
     
  31. Velin Vussii

    Velin Vussii New Member

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    Qui-Gon was killed by an apprentice....
     
  32. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    Dan, I agree with your assessment of the samurai period films. Look at the end of Sanjuro. Two minutes of facing each other followed by "swish!" Done. A lot of it was like that, and worked dramatically. Having said that, I'm more than ok with the flashy saber fights. But the PT fights were concentrating on the wrong type of flash. If effing Kenobi flipped one more time...
     
  33. Wakeem

    Wakeem Well-Known Member

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    But aren't the actual prop swords being used normal length? I think they are from what I remember of the making of documentaries. I guess they could have used the shorter swords and extended them in post like they did with scenes where the Jedi would cut through droids and stuff. Hollywood is safety all the time with the top actors. Probably far more safe than my high school fencing classes...
     
  34. Mola Rob

    Mola Rob Sr Member

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    So was Darth Maul.

    All kidding aside the duel in TMP is a treat for the eyes. It's like a ballet except with light sabers and without all that other sissy ballet nonsense. John Williams music in that scene is the high point of the entire PT for me.

    My big problem was not with the choreography but the overdone and overblown setting and the ridiculous way Maul died.
     
  35. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    Everybody loves the music here, but I always thought "Duel of Fates" was completely overdone. Bombastic, pompous, bloated, bad bad music crying "this is important. Really guys! I'm SERIOUS!" It's the musical version of the kid who used to give you his toys if you'd play with him.

    I adore the AOTC love theme and the ROTS "Battle of Heroes" theme. Both feel far more fitting.
     
  36. Mola Rob

    Mola Rob Sr Member

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    That's funny because I feel the AOTC love theme is completely overdone, pompous, and sappy as hell. To each his or her own bloated theme. :lol

    I don't even remember the Battle of Heroes scene from ROTS. It's the only Star Wars movie I have only seen once.
     
  37. 3phase

    3phase Well-Known Member

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  38. clancampbell

    clancampbell Sr Member

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  39. cayman shen

    cayman shen Master Member

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    Oh yeah, I'm literally the ONLY person I know who dislikes TPM's music. I got a glitch or something :lol
     

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