The lightsaber is such an integral aspect of Star Wars storytelling. The famed weapon of the Jedi Order appears in nearly every installment in the franchise.
Indeed, every movie in the nine-film Skywalker Saga featured at least one high-stakes lightsaber battle, as did many of the television series, both animated and live-action alike.
Star Wars Pays Tribute to Iconic Lightsaber Duels
The official Disney+ social media accounts posted a thread of images depicting the top five most memorable lightsaber duels across all of Star Wars. The page posed the question in the post’s caption, “Time to battle it out: Which duel is the most iconic?”
Check out Disney+’s list of legendary lightsaber fights below:
Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader - Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
From Star Wars: The Empire Strikes, this is one of the most recognizable sequences in the entire franchise, full-stop. It was the turning point in the Original Trilogy as Vader positively mopped the floor with young Luke Skywalker. He then added insult to injury by revealing the boy’s true parentage at pretty much the worst possible time.
Ahsoka Tano vs. Darth Maul - The Clone Wars Season 7
The ex-Jedi Ahsoka took on the fearsome Maul with the backdrop of the Siege of Mandalore raging on. Behind the scenes, this duel in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars actually brought in Darth Maul’s original actor Ray Park to perform motion capture so the production could get the character’s movements just right.
Bo-Katan Kryze vs. Moff Gideon - The Mandalorian Season 3
The most recent entry on this list, from The Mandalorian Season 3, proved to be a divisive one. Sure, the fight between a darksaber-weilding Bo-Katan and a beskar-armoed Gideon was cool to see, but many fans claimed that the latter was taken down far too simply after three seasons’ worth of build-up.
Qui-Gon Jinn vs. Darth Maul - Episode I: The Phantom Menace
The climactic clash from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is also known as the Duel of the Fates, and is accompanied by a rousing John Williams composition. The outcome of this duel essentially sealed young Anakin Skywalker’s fate, ensuring that without Jinn’s strong guidance, he’d grow up to become Darth Vader.
Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader - Obi Wan Kenobi
This battle between Obi-Wan and his former padawan was billed as “the rematch of the century.” Taking place during the final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi's run on Disney+, the sequence ended with the heartbreaking revelation that Vader views himself as solely responsible for his fall to the dark side.
There Are Other Great Duels Across Star Wars
While Disney+’s breakdown of the most iconic lightsaber duels included several all-timers, there are tons of other great fights that took place in the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
The post didn’t even mention the pitched conflict between Anakin and Obi-Wan on the lava planet of Mustafar at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Nor did it bring up Ahsoka’s emotionally charged fight with Vader In the Season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels.
Star Wars means so many different things to so many different people, and everyone is bound to have their own take on the best duels. And that’s okay because variety is the spice of life and the venerable franchise has something to offer for every fan.
All of the above Star Wars titles can be streamed on Disney+.