However you may feel about the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, there’s no denying that there were some amazing lightsaber battles in those movies, especially Revenge of the Sith. As it turns out though, Star Wars creator George Lucas removed a lightsaber battle from Revenge of the Sith that the Prequel Trilogy’s stunt coordinator, Nick Gillard, believes would have been the best of the entire franchise.
You’ll recall in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith that Obi-Wan Kenobi was dispatched by the Jedi Council to go to Utapau and eliminate General Grievous. The Jedi Master and cybernetically-enhanced antagonist engaged in an intense lightsaber battle (with Grievous initially wielding four blades at once), but before that unfolded, the original plan was for Obi-Wan to fight six of Grievous’ Magnaguards, the droid bodyguards that protect their master with electrostaffs.
In Nick Gillard’s opinion, this would have gone down as the greatest lightsaber battle in the Star Wars movies, surpassing even the Darth Maul vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn duel in The Phantom Menace. So why didn’t this make the cut? Gillard told Entertainment Weekly:
Nick Gillard explained that Ewan McGregor trained for weeks to master the choreography for this fight, but when the time came to shoot the sequence, the production was running too far behind. As a result, rather than have Obi-Wan Kenobi dispatch the Magnaguards with his lightsaber, he instead simply used the Force to drop a piece of the ceiling on them, though he still beheaded one that partially remained intact.
The Magnaguards got a little time to shine in the beginning chunk of Revenge of the Sith when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker were aboard General Grievous’ ship, but it sounds like this lightsaber battle would have done an even better job showing how formidable they were. Ultimately though, the battle just wasn’t narratively important, so Obi-Wan opted for a quicker solution, akin to when Indiana Jones shot the Cairo swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Fortunately, Revenge of the Sith was overflowing with lightsaber action. In every other Star Wars movie, you’re lucky to get more than one lightsaber battle, but in addition to Obi-Wan Kenobi facing off against General Grievous, we also got Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker dueling Count Dooku, Mace Windu battling Palpatine (a.k.a. Darth Sidious), Yoda and Palpatine locking blades and, of course, the emotional clash between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar.
Still, judging by Nick Gillard’s comment, Obi-Wan Kenobi facing off against a group of Magnaguards would have been something special. But feel free to watch the below clip from The Clone Wars animated series where Obi-Wan has to fend off General Grievous and two accompanying Magnaguards. Maybe that’ll fill the void a little bit.
With the Skywalker Saga ending later this month, it’s unclear what the future holds for the film side of the Star Wars franchise, though it has been reported that at least one Knight of the Old Republic movie, if not an entire trilogy, is in development. So if you’re a fan of lightsaber action, cross your fingers and hope that that particular project goes through.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20. Don’t forget to look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what’s hitting the silver screen in the next 12 months.
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