We don’t often read the New York Post, but if there are Samurai battling with lightsabers to remind us of the kendo beginnings of Lightsaber battles, we are not going to turn the page.
To be honest, the kendo battle seems appropriate. Lucas based his first lightsaber battle on samurai kendo. And Darth Vader is wearing a samurai-styled helmet and facemask. Does it look similar? Take a look.
A lot of critics will make up excuses for the New Hope battle claiming that it is supposed to be less exciting because:
A) there is no throwing objects around like the rest of the movies. I even read that someone claimed there was an ysalamiri on board. No. Just… no. Vader wouldn’t have that on board or there would be no force choking…and Vader loves to Force choke.
A) It is a battle between two old people who do not have the musculature left for any Cirque-du-Soleil jumping frog battling. That might hold water if they didn’t have the ability to throw force objects in their youth. and if you think they can’t, Yoda was 900 years old and moved an X-Wing.
I suppose we could have all the flying, the jumping, the throwing stuff everywhere, but the New Hope battle is less about excusing the fighting and going back to the very essence of the sword battle. As our newest blogger, Matthew Shields, astutely noted earlier this week. The essence of the battle is the honored weapon, the samurai sword-I mean lightsaber. Training with the weapon is more important in the battle than acrobatics. Training with the weapon in order to block incoming attacks is more important than looking flashy and doing underarm twirls, swirls, and backhanded dancing. (Yes, I picked one of the lesser-effective examples)
In the third Karate Kid movie, there is a sensei who teaches that, “If a man can’t stand, he can’t fight. If a man can’t see, he can’t fight. If a man can’t breathe, he can’t fight.” Well, if a man isn’t blocking because he is trying to do acrobatics rather than actual blocking, …well, lets’s see how Anakin handled this situation.
I don’t care about the running, jumping, swishy-swoosh, ….okay, well, i do like it like any redblooded action fan, …but at the end, it comes to defense and in New Hope and in Kendo, it is defense that keeps you alive. But I still want to learn the flashiness to intimidate and avoid the fight. No fighting is better than any fighting.