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May 16, 2022
Obi-Wan Kenobi star Hayden Christensen says the Disney+ show's lightsaber duels are going to be more like the prequels than the original trilogy.

Obi-Wan Kenobi star Hayden Christensen says the show’s lightsaber duels are similar in style to those of the prequel trilogy. The upcoming Disney+ series is the latest in Lucasfilm’s Star Wars TV expansion, which will see many new live-action and animated shows debut over the next couple of years. After The Book of Boba Fett completed its initial run earlier this year, Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere this month, on May 27.

The highly anticipated series brings back Ewan McGregor’s interpretation of the titular Jedi, after the Scottish actor played him throughout the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Also confirmed to return is Christensen, who played Anakin Skywalker in the latter half of those movies and will get to be a full-fledged Darth Vader this time around. Since the announcement of his casting, prospective viewers have been eagerly anticipating the rematch of their Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith lightsaber duel on Mustafar, which left Anakin with the wounds that forced him to rely on machinery to survive.

Now, in the print issue of Total Film (via Star Wars News Net), Christensen teases the style of the Obi-Wan Kenobi lightsaber duels will be akin to those in the prequels, which were dynamic and kinetic. In the original Star Wars, Obi-Wan and Darth Vader cross blades again, though that fight involves a lot less movement and is more closely related to the samurai fights that inspired George Lucas. In this series, Christensen says, the two characters haven’t quite reached the age where they’d have such limited mobility. Check out his full quote below:

We’re more in line with the prequels than we are with how the fights are in the original trilogy. These characters have aged, but not that much yet.

Christensen’s choice to frame the change in fighting style as an effect of aging is interesting, though not entirely necessary. Audiences are well aware that the difference has more to do with expectations surrounding effects and fight choreography, and if A New Hope were remade today, it’s unlikely their last duel would keep its same rhythm. Still, it raises an interesting problem of creating a series that exists between Episode III and Episode IV, and suggests the filmmakers might feel some pressure to establish a throughline between McGregor’s Obi-Wan and Alec Guinness’.

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Regardless of whether fans expect that of Obi-Wan Kenobi, they are sure to be glad to hear the new lightsaber duel with Darth Vader is staged in the style of the prequels. The beloved Rogue One Vader scene proved that one of the joys of returning to such classic characters is to watch them unleash their full power with today’s visual effects budget, and this series could be the most audiences have seen of a live-action Vader since Return of the Jedi. Viewers will likely have to wait until the end of the show to see this long-awaited rematch, but it sounds like it’ll prove worth it.

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