When Anakin and Obi-Wan reach the bridge where Palpatine is Dooku’s prisoner, the two Jedi are forced into a rematch with the Sith Lord who wiped the floor with them in AOTC.
It is an action scene, but as is often the case with lightsaber duels, there’s a lot more going on than a few guys trying to hack at each other with laser swords. At first there’s no music as the Jedi begin to engage Dooku. Obi-Wan is knocked out of commission and Anakin is left on his own. This is the point where the tone of the scene changes and the score cues up. Check out Anakin’s expression as Dooku throws Obi-Wan across the room and drops a piece of catwalk on him; he’s furious. He aggressively attacks Dooku and Dooku starts goading him. Unfortunately for Dooku, Anakin taps into that anger: he hacks off Dooku’s hands and Dooku finds himself at Anakin’s mercy.
This is essentially Anakin’s first big test before his fall to the Dark Side in the film…what Palpatine tests is whether Anakin is willing to kill on his orders. Even though Anakin hesitates at first, it doesn’t take much to convince him. Dooku in the meantime learns the hard way that he’d been betrayed; it’s amazing to me that Dooku didn’t see it coming. Palpatine then tests Anakin’s loyalty to Obi-Wan by suggesting they leave him behind. Anakin’s refusal reveals to Palpatine that in order to succeed in turning Anakin to the Dark Side, he has to destroy their friendship.
The scene is a great display of Nick Gillard’s work, as well as that of Christopher Lee’s double. Ian McDiarmid’s Palpatine is his wonderfully-deceptive self, being the innocent and helpless supreme chancellor at first then the manipulative Sith Lord. This is the film where the mask comes off, and it slips in this scene as Palpatine becomes emboldened. Hayden Christensen not only pulls off the physical demands of the scene, he’s vulnerable and fearsome all at once. The space battle seen in the viewports while this all plays out reflects the drama and conflict happening on that bridge.