SR Pick [Video]: Every Star Wars Lightsaber Iginition & Retraction

Published 5 years ago by

vader skywalker e1281210977798 SR Pick [Video]: Every Star Wars Lightsaber Iginition & Retraction

As Star Wars fans know, half the fun of traveling to a galaxy far, far, away is the anticipation of seeing somebody whip out their lightsaber and pop that bad boy up to full length.

Well, those of you with a serious lightsaber fetish can now get your kicks with a handy little video, which (supposedly) collects every scene in the entire Star Wars saga featuring Jedi and Sith igniting their signature weapons. The video is bookened with every scene of a lightsaber being powered down and stowed away.

Now, I used the word “fetish” in half-jest, but in the case of the Star Wars prequels it’s a pretty accurate description – if the video montage below is any indication. There is a pretty serious disparity between the amount of epic lightsaber action that took place in Episodes IV-VI, and the amount of purely frivolous lightsaber “action” that took place in Episodes I-III.

Take a look for yourself and you’ll see exactly what I mean:

I have a lot of gripes with the Star Wars prequels – a LOT of gripes – however, one thing I look back on and am really sad about now, years later, is just how badly Lucas cheapened the allure of the lightsaber in those prequel films.

Sure, I may sound like a die-hard Star Wars geek on a tirade, but when I was young watching Episodes IV-VI, the moments where Luke, Obi-Wan and Vader drew their swords were all moments of pure epic awesomeness, which gave way to some of the best and most memorable onscreen duels ever filmed.

By contrast, Episodes I-III were overloaded with seemingly arbitrary moments of Jedi and Sith whipping out their laser blades in order to engage in fight sequences that looked like kids at a rave waving their glowsticks, rather than the epic war for the fate of the universe that many of us expected when we first walked in to that theater to see Episode I in 1999.

epidsode I lightsaber duel SR Pick [Video]: Every Star Wars Lightsaber Iginition & Retraction

Now, some people are probably ready to jump in and “point out” that the cost and process of creating the lightsaber effects for the original Star Wars trilogy was obviously the determining factor in the limited screen time the fabled swords received. However, to me, that’s exactly the problem with a lot of modern movie making: the misconception that flashier effects = better movie. The original Star Wars trilogy still stands as testament to that truth.

Source: “Eric” via YouTube

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  1. Odd use of “” in this article. Video is cool though, and I like 2 of the prequels very much!

    • Wow Beckett…It felt like you almost gave me a “compliment” there, but alas…

      And wait – I thought you were ‘never reading something I wrote again?’

      Guess that lifetime embargo didn’t last too long…

      • I suppose it depends on wether the article in question is spurious or not.

  2. Awesome! As a fellow Star Wars obsessee (yes I made that up) this is awesome! I like all the movies but then again I like most movies. It’s entertainment to me and I was entertained.

  3. And there are a few missing from episodes IV-V-VI!

    • …which is why (supposedly) is in parenthesis at the beginning of the article.

  4. Interesting style Kofi,,,

    This article starts out with obvious phalic double on’tondra overtones, bordering on homosexual themes.
    Then it reaches around for the lightsaber fetish, finishing off with the physiological cinematic raping of your childhood, because visual effects progressed in such a vulgar way as to cause you repressed anxiety.
    I know you have a life Kofi, its time to let go, forgive George Lucas, move on. Seek closure.

    This goes for all of you Star Wars armchair Lucases…

    This constant display of Star Wars prequel angst is just unbelievable,,,

    • Not to be a grammar nazi, but the term you sought was double entendre. Good try- sounds like ontondra, but it’s very E heavy.

      • lol 790, you said “then it reaches around” heh heh heh

    • Nah, you’re just reading way too far into this.

      • 790, you had to have really really liked the Indiana Jones episode of South Park.

  5. im sorry i thought the prequels sounded much better. also the lightsaber battles we so great in the prequels. especialy episode 1. i thought the ones from 4-6 were just boring and unrealalistic(they swung there swords so slow especialy in 4 it just looked terrible)

  6. I agree!
    i’ve noticed this also with the the famous quote “may the force be with you” .
    It kind of lost of its essence and was used too “lightly” in the prequels

  7. While I do agree that the over all presentation in terms of story of the original Starwars film is executed better; better acting, pacing,etc. I thought the light saber duels and the overall use of force powers are better in the prequels.

  8. Thanks Chaos, seriously I don’t even remember what I learned in High School,,,

    “entendre” is now in my spell check. 😉

  9. Good (lightsaber sound effect)deflection,,, 😉

    • hahhhahah nice one!

  10. Part of what made the original Star Wars movies so good was the sparing use of lightsabers. They were only brought out at the most crucial moments, only to be used at the most dire need. The newest three brought them out at every possible opportunity, rendering them as nothing more important than a blaster pistol. Sure, the fights were super entertaining, but really detracted from the depth of the film.

    That being said, holy-crap-I-love-lightsabers.

    • I agree. The prequels over-used the lightsabers. Sometimes too much of good thing can be a bad thing.

  11. “The sparing use of lightsabers in the original Star Wars movies?”

    There were only two known lightsabers left in the galaxy at the time of the Original Star Wars.

    More unfounded Lucas bashing. :-)

    • Oh, I know there were only those two. But I have a feeling that even if there were only two in Episodes I – III, we still would have seen much more of them than we did in IV – VI.

      • Why would you *want* to think that? Any opportunity to bash Lucas, even in an imaginary world, eh? At least in my imagination the prequels are better, not worse.

    • Two? Vader’s +Obi Wan’s + Anakin’s old one= three. Unless one of those wasn’t “known”?

  12. I’m kinda confused as to all the hate on the newer star wars movies:/ i actually thoroughly enjoyed them and the Obi-Wan/Anakin fight and Obi-Wan/Darth Maul/Qui-Gon fight were two of, in my opinion, the most epic fights in all of the movies! just my two cents though lol

    • I could go all day on how the prequels butchered the saga, but to save time, I’ll tell you to just go watch Red Letter Media’s reviews on the first two on Youtube.

      • the MAIN thing that butchered it all for me was hayden, whiney whiney hayden. that and the beheading of jango fett:(

        • Yeah, I don’t like how Lucas turned Vader into a whiney B****. Even after he gets the iconic suit on, the first thing he does is whine over Padme. Hey, I understand he loved her, but it was a bad move to turn Vader from the evil villain we know to a Dawson’s Creek reject.

          That’s why I don’t like prequels. They always ruin the backstory of a character when it’s told. It happened in XO: W, the Star Wars prequels, and it will happen in the new Alien film. The only time I’ve seen a prequel get the story right was with ‘Underworld: Rise of the Lycans’. And even that film didn’t get it exact.

          • Amen to Hayden being the problem. Not the entire problem, mind you, but the biggest one.

            And as for Jango…they should have just cut his hand off. Like half of the other characters in the saga

  13. The lack of lightsaber use in the OT is directly correlated to how many jedi exist in the OT. The PT was ALWAYS going to be about the Jedi at the height of their power, so OF COURSE there would be more lightsaber action in the PT. It only makes sense! Good grief. Take issue with the existence of the prequel’s, the storytelling, whatever. But it is completely logical that there would be more lightsabers before the fall of the Jedi. Think this stuff through.

    • Once again, I’m aware that there were more Jedi and lightsabers in the PT. My point is simply that Lucas seemed to use them (think percentages now, not actual amount of times) more than was necessary. Heck, Luke uses a blaster pistol just as much as a lightsaber.

      Let me say that I do not at all hate Lucas or Star Wars. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just pointing out something I thought was a flaw in Episodes I – III. Feel free to disagree, I was just throwing it out there.

      And now I’m done, because internet arguments are just the worst.

      • if this was facebook i would “like” your last statement XD

  14. Hahaa, well then let’s add, “too many lightsabers” to the list of things that just outright sucked in the Star Wars prequels.
    Amazing,,, 😉

    I never even gave that a second thought,,, I never would have imagined this debate.
    “Yeah I loved the Star Wars films but sheesh man what’s with all the lightsabers?”

    “I don’t know Lucas just went crazy over the top with them”.

    “Yeah I think it ruined the film for me,”. “Me too,,,”
    What did you want the Jedi to use? Lol, Magic stones they threw with their minds? Yoda’s got some kind of Airbender fire breath???

    Wth is wrong with you people????

    • all this lightsaber talk and the homosexual referance from 790 reminds me of that one scene in Skin Deep….

  15. Whether you like it or not, I-III are just as important as IV-VI.

  16. Ya know I never realized just how many times a lightsaber is activated. I thought that was rather interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing that!

  17. Lost in the whole “which trilogy is better” argument: lightsabers are sweet.
    Seriously though, fun video to watch. Thanks!

  18. I don’t think the rarity of lightsaber scenes in classic SW was an intention of design or artistry, rather as a consequence of expense to do these kind of things back then. GL has said himself that his vision for SW was always clouded by the cost and the actual limits of tech in those days, later he was given the chance to show us the real visionary inside….. :)

  19. Spot on. It’s a bit like the James Bond movies. In the early Bond movies, the gadgets and action scenes were actually few and far between- the movies focused on adventure, suspense and drama.

    But as the series progressed, the gadgets and action became the whole movie, and the story and characters faded into the background. Shame.

    Same with the Stars Wars movies. The lightsabers and the whole Jedi mythology were subtle and rare. In the prequels it was all over the place. The Jedis were just ordinary people with funny clothes (Samuel L. Jackson forever ruined the image of the Jedi for me). And light sabers stopped being cool because they were so overused.

    • Etrigan, NICEEEE analogy!! and dead, DEAD on about the Bond films man :)

  20. There is definitely something disturbingly phallic about this video. It’s like watching a hundred erections rising and falling. I’m not even gay, but I think all that waving of phallic symbols gave me a boner.

  21. “The Jedis were just ordinary people with funny clothes”
    What film were you watching,,,?

    “(Samuel L. Jackson forever ruined the image of the Jedi for me)”
    Are you serious “forever ruined”? One actor,,, that’s it forever ruined!!!
    This kind of Star Wars hate is comical,,,

    • Sam Jackson was cooler than a gangster penguin as Mace Windu.

    • Well… “ordinary” people, y’know, 790, like us.!
      Well… we can’t use the force… like the Jedi… and we can’t wield lightsabers… like the Jedi… and we can’t jump really fricken’ high with the help of the force… like the Jedi… and we don’t… well I could continue but what’s the point.

      But hey! Other than that! Yeah! We’re the SAME!

  22. Another reason why there might be more lightsaber “action” in the prequels could be; during the original trilogy the only people in the galaxy capable of using a lightsaber where an old man, a half man half machine, and a teenager just learning the skills.
    Wheras in the prequels, there are thousands of Jedi, fully trained and fighting in a war, its almost as if the story suggests more lightsaber “action” is necessary.

    But, whatever, people who hate episodes I-II-II are nevr going to change their minds and convert, if you all still think George Lucas raped your childhood, then you still are a child.

    • Beckett, you are so enamored with your own opinion it’s borderline masturbation sometimes.

      First of all: Yes, OBVIOUSLY the prequels were set during a time where the Jedi were in greater numbers and better trained. Everybody was excited to see exactly that: Fully-trained Jedis doing battle. However, the inclusion of that concept in the prequels doesn’t automatically mean that Lucas’ execution of the concept was as effective, meaningful and thrilling as it could have been.

      A lot of people think that the prequels were heavily flawed – are we all collectively stupid simply because the great Beckett disagrees? And calling people children because they find flaws in a certain series of films? Who is really being childish in that scenario?

      • Has beckett ever had a positive comment…

        • More often than you might think.

  23. Cool but I think he missed a couple :/

  24. K, I’m bored now. E for effort though.

  25. I’m agreeing with Ben from earlier. Lucas took the Jedi and made them one-dimensional action stars in the PT. The term Jedi actually means “Samurai”, and I shouldn’t have to explain to you what a Samurai is. A Samurai’s most important possession was his armor and his sword. Now, the Jedi didn’t really have armor, just robes. But their lightsaber was their most prized possession. If you know your star wars history and culture, you would know that Jedi would go through a very lengthy and sacred ritual to get their lightsaber. Also, whenever the Jedi would be sent on missions, their first priority is to solve things politically and peacefully(AKA without violence/lightsabers). They would do their best to hide their lightsabers as much as possible so people wouldn’t know who they were Jedi. They were the peacekeepers. Not the typical “badass” character we see today in movies, who are normally better at shooting than talking(and acting). In short, the PT took them and turned them into versions of Bruce Willis with a lightsaber(see Die Hard 1 through bajillion if you don’t get my meaning). And not only did Lucas take away any self-respect they had, he also gave them each the same personality. Try to give an apt description of each character without saying what they did in the movies. You’ll find it isn’t easy. Every character is so one-dimensional I sometimes felt like i could look at a 2d image and feel the same way i did seeing Avatar in 3d(amazing effects!). Then you take the main character of the PT and have him be played by an actor who is practically less than one-dimensional himself, mix in a couple of decent actors to give the movie “Star Power”, and it was more of a mockery of the actual story than anything else. All of the best scenes, characters, and quotes are all from the OT. Oh, I almost forgot, the fighting style used in the OT with lightsabers actually exists. It’s a style in which you fight using a low amount of movement in order to save energy and stay focused, waiting for your opponent to make a false move. The PT seemed to think more along the lines of the Speed Racer special effects people, and they tried to put blurry colorful lights all over the fight scenes by having the combatants jump, flip, twirl, and wave their lightsabers in weird ways. In the OT when someone drew a lightsaber their opponent would probably be thinking, “alright, it’s game time. Things just got serious.” In the PT it was more like, “Really? We aren’t going to even talk about this? You just want to fight? Here we go again…” But all is not lost! Because Lucas got one thing right! The Sith! Palpatine was trying to fulfill the mission that Darth Bane started(Read about Darth Bane to figure this out, basically he killed all the Sith because they were becoming too much like the Jedi). He decided that there would be only one master(himself of course) and one apprentice at all times. The Sith would lie in hiding, in wait of the day when the Jedi would be weak enough to get rid of for good. They would pass down the secrets of the Dark Side until the time was right, and attempt to take on the Jedi. Palpatine almost accomplished this goal by weakening the Jedi himself, etc etc etc, you guys know the story from the PT. Which i believe i have now firmly established as being “not as good” as the OT. Haters can disagree, but unless you can break my argument, you won’t be able to convince me otherwise.

  26. Shoot, people. Why do so many commenters have to hate on each other?
    I realize people have strong, personal opinions on this, but, really?
    ’cause apparently nobody can respect a PERSONAL OPINION.

    Sigh. The Internet is not a good platform for disagreement…

    • people are just really passionate on their beliefs i think, especially when it comes to star wars i guess

  27. There are TOO much star wars fans here lol! I feel sooo left out hahaha!!! Well i guess since i didnt really grow up with star wars im not into it…..

  28. IAMIRONMAN, can you name one scene in any of the prequels that didn’t warrant the use of a lightsaber. One scene that was just uncalled for, over the top, Bruce Willis like,,,

    From the outset there were no negotiations. They tried to kill the Jedi in the first 5min of PT. Were they supposed to surrender and negotiate with the spider droids?

    • 39
      1:29(especially this because he is killing unarmed children)
      1:34-36, he really doesn’t need to turn on his lightsaber so many times., or hand-to-hand combat, which the Jedi are trained in but we rarely ever get to see. To Anthony: Yes, you’re right. But I’m not a fanboy. I used to know a ton about Star Wars but it kind of died for me, so my knowledge store is severely less than it was say, 4 years ago. I just saw someone getting bashed on here and decided to lend my semi-professional opinion so that this didn’t turn into a bunch of stupid people arguing without enough knowledge about that which they were arguing about.
      Most of these are just simple matter where either the force should have been used instead

      • I didn’t list a bunch of scenes though where the Jedi seemed to go out of their way to confront Battle Droids just so that they could cut them into pieces. They easily could have used mind tricks or found other means of escaping. There are scenes where the fighting is necessary. You were right, there are no negotiations, and they are forced to protect themselves and the people around them, but part of this is also the script and scene writing, which isn’t great(as somebody has nicely pointed out). I’ll ask you: find one time in any movie where you have been impressed with Hayden’s acting. I bet you can’t do it. He was a bad actor who was given a lousy script, and he still butchered the line. Normally when I watch the movies, i skip over the scenes with Anakin and Padme because I feel like I’m having porcupine spines shoved into my eyes while hearing the sounds of puppies slowly being crushed by the weight of a large bus filled with more puppies being sprayed in the face by skunks which are being run through with dull markers wielded by trolls, which smell really bad. The scenes where the Jedi fight through hordes of Battle Droids aren’t necessary and subtract from my overall appreciativeness of the Star Wars story.

  29. Mike K, I agree that the casting of Hayden wasn’t the best choice but it didn’t ruin the experience for me. And the use of lightsabers was the last thing I had a problem with.
    I don’t see any hate going on just discussion.

    I’m working all weekend so I’ve got nothing else to do.

    I wouldn’t wish Teen Choice on anyone. 😉

      • As far as not exploring Han Solo’s origin as an Imperial Naval Officer:

        The Star Wars Saga is about The Rise/Temptation/Fall of Anakin Skywalker and the Discovery/Education of Luke Skywalker/Rescue of Anakin by Luke Skywalker/Redemption of Anakin Skywalker.

        Not the Saga of the Sidekicks [Han Solo/Lando Calrissian/Chewbacca/Wedge Antillies/Biggs Darklighter/et. al.] these stories are reserved for the E.U. novels.

        Yes I am an “oldie” Star Wars fan [39 y.o.] and I like the P.T. and O.T. [yes even the “Special Editions”-well maybe not the whole Greedo shooting 1st thing].