One of the few highlights in George Lucas’ underwhelming trilogy of Star Wars prequels was their lightsaber battles. The two most memorable battles (if you ask me) in the trilogy were Darth Maul vs. Obi Wan and Qui Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace and of course, Obi Wan vs. Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. While those battles for example, were astonishing to behold, many found their choreography to be a bit too perfect, focusing more on the eye-popping combat, and less on the internal struggles occurring within those wielding the sabers.
Director of the upcoming The Force Awakens (which is now less than 3 weeks away! OMG!), J.J. Abrams seems to share this point-of-view. In an interview with Empire, Abrams mentioned how he’d like to bring the more aggressive, and less slick lightsaber battles of old back this December:
“When you look at Star Wars and (The) Empire (Strikes Back), they are very different lightsaber battles, but for me they felt more powerful because they were not quite as slick. I was hoping to go for something much more primitive, aggressive and rougher, a throwback to the kind of heart-stopping lightsaber fights I remembered being so enthralled by as a kid.”
In the same interview with Empire, the director also credited visual auteurs Terrence Malick, Akira Kurosawa and John Ford as influences for what he’d like The Force Awakens to be like in terms of visual style and composition. Malick for the “powerful stillness”, Kurasowa for the “unbelievable scene choreography and composition”, and Ford for the “confidence” in their respective pictures.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18.