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J.J. Abrams Says ‘Force Awakens’ Lightsaber Duels Will Look Nothing Like ‘Star Wars’ Prequels


Just in case perhaps you forgot, Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams would like to remind you again this his movie will be nothing like the Star Wars prequel trilogy. While he’s been very diplomatic publicly about The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, everything Abrams and Lucasfilm have done since taking over the franchise has been to distance themselves from those movies as much as possible. And that includes the lightsaber duels, which Abrams says are very much a “throwback” to the epic battles in both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

Abrams spoke to Empire Magazine for their cover story and spoke about how the lightsaber duels in his film will be more “primitive” than some of the flashier, kung-fu styled fights in the prequel trilogy.

When you look at Star Wars and Empire, 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.

Just keep saying all the right things, J.J.

One of the many (many, many, many) knocks against the prequels was the over-reliance on a more slick and stylized lightsaber choreography, one that included a digital Yoda flipping all around the room. Now, like Kylo Ren’s crossblade lightsaber itself, the duels are described as more “primitive, aggressive and rougher” which scratches me right where I itch.

Now, the question is, how many lightsaber duels will we actually see? We know, from the trailers, that Kylo Ren and Finn will eventually face off in the snow, with Finn using Luke’s lightsaber. And Finn also uses that same lightsaber against a stormtrooper who’s equipped with a fancy device used to deflect such weapons.


But, will Rey ever get to use the weapon? Or, *gasp*, Luke himself? We’ll have to wait and see when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens, but at least we know that in one very important way, Lucasfilm is making the right move.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18.

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