9 Best Star Wars Fight Scenes

Star Wars is known for many things: its enormous cultural impact, its epic scope, its complicated love stories, and, of course, its very, very complicated family dynamics. But while all of those elements are necessary for making Star Wars great, let’s face it—Star Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars without the fights. And every Star Wars fan has at least one favorite lightsaber duel from the Star Wars franchise.

So what are the best Star Wars fight scenes? Is any list of the best Star Wars fight scenes just an excuse to revisit the best lightsaber fights and memorable moments?

Obviously, the answer is yes, but so what? Revisiting these dramatic scenes is fun! Let’s zip through the nine best Star Wars fight scenes that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (Beware: Spoilers Ahead.)

#1 Luke vs. Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

In the history of all Star Wars TV shows and movies, the fights between Luke and Darth Vader are most definitely iconic. While this list isn’t in any particular order, any account of the best lightsaber battles has to start with this showdown between Luke and Vader. It may not be the most technically impressive feat throughout the movies, but as far as its importance to the overall plot of Star Wars, this fight is unmatched.

As for the tussle itself, it’s a pretty straightforward affair with Vader in control for much of the battle (as evidenced by his calm talking throughout). However, Luke does show resilience and tenacity, a sign of the potential inside of him. The fight is broken into two, with the first half showcasing more lightsaber moves and the second half more brutality with Vader cutting off Luke’s hand and revealing that he is Luke’s father.

Tale of the tape:

  • Combatants – Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader
  • Weapons – Lightsabers: Blue for Luke, Red for Vader. Vader also uses the force to throw things at Luke from a distance.
  • Winner – While no one dies as a result of this battle, Luke loses his hand and Vader’s confession that he is Luke’s father crushes Luke’s concept of self, so this one goes to Vader.

#2 Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Maul, The Phantom Menace

Not many people will list The Phantom Menace as their favorite Star Wars film, but we’re not here to debate the merits of the movie as a whole—we’re here to celebrate this awesome battle. If our last choice was included because of its importance to the franchise, this one is here because it’s just a heck of a fight.

The choreography and athleticism are way up in this one, especially during the early stages where Darth Maul (and his double-sided lightsaber) fends off both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon. But this remains at a high level as Maul takes on the other two individually, first dispatching Qui-Gon, then seemingly beating Obi-Wan only to be surprised by the power of the force Obi-Wan is able to summon.

Tale of the tape:

  • Combatants – Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul
  • Weapons – Lightsabers: Green for Qui-Gon, Blue for Obi-Wan, Red (and double-sided!) for Darth Maul.
  • Winner – Since Obi-Wan is the only one who ends the fight still alive we have to give it to him, but heck of an effort from Darth Maul (still, being cut in two is a pretty sure sign you lost the fight).

#3 Yoda vs. Count Dooku, Attack of the Clones

A good case can be made that Yoda vs. Palpatine is the true star of Yoda’s fights during the prequel trilogy, but this brief battle with Count Dooku stands out because we had never before gotten to see Yoda in action. 

The battle itself isn’t overly impressive, but it does get points for how it blends CGI and live-action to create something that doesn’t feel cartoonish. And, Yoda’s out here doing flips—let’s not overthink this.

Tale of the tape:

  • Combatants – Yoda, Count Dooku
  • Weapons – Lightsabers: Green for Yoda, Red for Dooku. The Force. Force Lightning.
  • Winner – Dooku gets away but Yoda does save the lives of Obi-Wan and Anakin so we’ll call this one a draw.

#4 Rey, Kylo Ren vs Praetorian Guards, The Last Jedi

The most recent trilogy may be underrepresented in this list, which says more about the emotional stakes we as an audience had accrued with the original characters than any deficiency of the trilogy’s fight scenes.

If you need proof of this, you need to look no further than this impeccably choreographed scene that starts with us finding out definitively that Snoke will not be the major villain we may have expected and ends with Rey and Kylo Ren pitted against numerous guardsmen. This is quite an accomplishment of special effects and practical, athletic choreography.

Tale of the tape: 

  • Combatants – Rey, Kylo Ren, Praetorian Guards (8 of them…maybe?), and Snoke (kinda)
  • Weapons – Lightsabers: White for Rey, Red for Kylo Ren. Lightspears and light whips and a lot of light weapons for the guards.
  • Winner – This one pretty clearly goes to Rey and Kylo Ren since everyone else ends up dead. A resounding victory.

#5 Han vs. Greedo, A New Hope

Time to take a brief break from our regularly scheduled lightsaber fights for a quick mention of one of Han’s most famous moments. Is this really a fight? No. Does it matter? No. Can you do a Star Wars list without Han Solo? Maybe, but not this one.

Who shot first?

Tale of the tape:

  • Combatants – Han Solo, Greedo
  • Weapons – Blasters.
  • Winner – Han always wins…except when he got frozen in carbonite…or when he tried to talk to his son…well, Han won this time.

#6 Obi-Wan vs. Anakin, Revenge of the Sith

If the new trilogy might be a bit underrepresented, the prequel trilogy might be overrepresented when it comes to great fights. Whether the stories worked for you or not, it’s undeniable that the advancement of special effects led to some epic battles during the prequel including this culminating battle of the trilogy.

This is a long and impressive battle that travels as it goes. And while the end comes down to a poorly planned jump by Anakin to attack Obi-Wan while he had the high ground (which apparently matters), the final images are a dark and depressing vision of the remnant of the man who will become Darth Vader.

Tale of the tape:

  • Combatants – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker
  • Weapons – Lightsabers: Blue for Obi-Wan, Blue for Anakin.
  • Winner – Anakin ends this fight legless and burnt to a crisp, whereas Obi-Wan’s only injuries are emotional, so this one goes to Obi-Wan. But the long view tells a different story.

#7 Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader, A New Hope

This may not be the most impressive fight in the films; it’s a pretty straightforward battle that doesn’t showcase much in the way of choreography, but it’s one of the first times we see two major characters face off, so it gets a mention in this list.

Tale of the tape:

  • Combatants – Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader
  • Weapons – Lightsabers: Blue for Obi-Wan, Red for Vader.
  • Winner – Vader wins this one, but by the smirk on Obi-Wan’s face and the fact that no body is left behind, we know there’s more than initially meets the eye here.

#8 Darth Vader in the Hallway, Rogue One

Rogue One may not have been part of the Skywalker Saga, but it was a fun and satisfying movie even if we didn’t get to spend time with all of our favorite characters. That said, there may have been no moment more thrilling than when you hear the sound of Darth Vader’s breathing and see his red lightsaber extend in the darkness.

To call this a fight is unfair. It is a decimation where we get to see the unstoppable force Vader can be.

Tale of the tape:

  • Combatants – Darth Vader, Darth Vader’s cannon fodder (sorry, guys)
  • Weapons – Lightsaber: Red for Vader. The Force. Useless blasters.
  • Winner – The plans for the Death Star do make it off the ship but at the cost of numerous lives. Vader wins even if moving at a quicker pace may have allowed him to reach his goal.

#9 Luke vs. Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi

We end where we began with one more battle between Luke and his father, Darth Vader. However, unlike last time, Luke is more assured this time around and holds his own throughout the fight. Still, this fight scene in the Star Wars film is a draw until Vader makes the mistake of bringing Leia into things and sends Luke into a rage.

We can argue whether Luke’s tactic of repeatedly swinging his lightsaber really hard would bring down Vader, but it’s undeniably driven by the story and a worthy moment for our hero. The fact that he disarms Vader by slicing off his hand, the same way Vader did to him, gives this fight a sense of things coming full circle.

Tale of the tape:

  • Combatants – Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine (as an evil coach)
  • Weapons – Lightsabers: Green for Luke, Red for Vader.
  • Winner – Luke finally turns the tables on dad. Give the man a hand! (Too soon?)

From all of the Star Wars facts and stories, this is an iconic fight scene in Star Wars history. But nonetheless, every lightsaber battle reminds every Star Wars fan why they love this series. 

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There you have it, the best fight scenes in Star Wars, whether a lightsaber duel or using The Force or blasters—at least for today. Maybe we missed something. Maybe we overvalued something that you don’t like. Regardless, we hope this trip list brought to mind some of your favorite scenes and made you remember some of why you love Star Wars in the first place.

If you’re looking for more things to spark your memories or Star Wars gift ideas, look no further than the Star Wars subscription box at CultureFly. It’s full of the best merchandise and collectibles, chosen by Star Wars fans just like you. Since the subscription boxes come quarterly, you’ll be able to keep reliving your favorite moments well into the future. 


YouTube. Darth Vader vs Luke Skywalker [4k UltraHD] - Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Fight Scene (1/2). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRcUdD5nthc 

YouTube. I Am Your Father Scene [4k UltraHD] - Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Fight Scene (2/2). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLheiLGZ1k8 

YouTube. Obi Wan & Qui Gon vs Darth Maul [4k UltraHD] - Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Fight Scene (1/2). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2GA07iW8q0 

YouTube. Obi Wan vs Darth Maul [4k UltraHD] - Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Fight Scene (2/2). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z90fQsZVv7Q 

YouTube. Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones - Yoda VS Count Dooku - 4K ULTRA HD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg1ydN42ukY 

YouTube. Star Wars The Last Jedi- Rey and Kylo vs Praetorian Guards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuk_ZZQWfEY 

YouTube. Original Han & Greedo Scene (Han Shot First!). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjGZ8ABEFhI 

YouTube. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - Obi Wan vs Anakin Fight Part 1 4k. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onRnL6MBunU 

YouTube. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith - Obi Wan vs Anakin Fight Part 2 4k. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2LuRgzvgtI 

YouTube. Obi - Wan Kenobi Vs Darth Vader HD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kpHK4YIwY4 

YouTube. Darth Vader's rage | Star Wars: Rogue One [Ending scene]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxL8bVJhXCM 

YouTube. Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader (Whole Fight). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1MnMA0TzGI 

The Washington Post. The five best lightsaber battles in Star Wars history. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/entertainment/star-wars-best-lightsaber-battles/ 

StarWars.com. THE STARWARS.COM 10: BEST FIGHTS. https://www.starwars.com/news/the-starwars-com-10-best-fights 

Entertainment Weekly. Ranking the best lightsaber battles in Star Wars, from A New Hope to Rise of Skywalker. https://ew.com/movies/2019/12/19/star-wars-best-lightsaber-battles/