Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: The Duel Begins

Darth_Maul_lightsaber_reveal

The whole sequence that makes up the big climactic act of TPM is one amazing piece of cinema. Taking a cue from ROTJ and its three crosscut battles (Endor, the space battle, and the lightsaber duel aboard the Death Star), TPM goes for four with the fight with Darth Maul, the space battle, Queen Amidala retaking her own castle, and Gungans battling the droid army.

But it all starts with perhaps one of the most popular moments in the film, when the queen, her handmaidens, and other crew are in the hangar with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, a door opens, and there’s Darth Maul waiting for them to the opening fanfare of “Duel of the Fates.” Darth Maul takes out his lightsaber and for the first time we see both blades ignited. Here’s where it gets real, boys and girls!

“We’ll take care of this,” Qui-Gon says in an understated way.

“We’ll go the other way,” the young queen says, wisely getting out of there with her retinue as quickly as possible. It’s a great little exchange not out of place in any of the Star Wars films.

The cloaks drop—beginning a prequel tradition of dumping off robes at the beginning of lightsaber duels–and the lightsabers ignite. Maul reveals he has two blades, enough to take on two Jedi at once.

This is where editing, Williams’s score, and Ray Park’s performance (which is amazing, especially when you consider he’d never really acted in a movie before) helped make that particular scene stand out. I’d seen TPM at total of 13 times with an audience and every single time, it brings cheers.

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4 Responses to “Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: The Duel Begins”

  1. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    When I first saw TPM at the theaters in 1999, the audience cheered at the moment both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan came face-to-face with Maul in Theed.

  2. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    Hate to be that guy, but I believe Padmé says “We’ll take the long way”.

    But that entire four-way battle sequence was…well, I can’t say what it was because there are children who might read this but…yeah, think “When Harry met Sally”.

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