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Star Wars: The Acolyte hopes to top the epic lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon & Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.

If you saw the premiere of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in theaters back in 1999, you’ll know that the lightsaber duel which pitted Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jin against Darth Maul was unlike anything you’d ever seen. The lightsaber duel is considered to be one of the best in the franchise (I’d argue that John Williams’ Duel of the Fates is a big reason why that is), but the upcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte hopes to give it a run for its money.

Dafne Keen, who plays Jedi Jecki Lon, told Entertainment Weekly that the cast and crew of The Acolyte frequently spoke of wanting their lightsaber battles to “match or exceed” the iconic duel from The Phantom Menace.

Yeah, that was a very frequent conversation we had,” Keen explained. “It was very much: We want to top the Darth Maul fight — the most iconic fight, I think, in the Star Wars cinematic universe. It’s such an amazing fight and we were all so excited about the saber fights. There’s such a skill and a craft to it that it feels so OG Star Wars and feels so impressive when you see it as a viewer.

Keen added that her favourite moments on the set were the lightsaber battles. “It was my favorite part of filming. I loved the whole training process of it,” she explained. “Everyone was very excited about it, which then made it much more fun. Our incredible stunt team created this kind of fusion of different martial arts and we were really trained in how to use the sabers. I feel very comfortable with a sword now, and I know that Charlie does too, and I know that JJ does too. We were all in there for hours a day training, and it was really fun to kind of explore also a different side to the characters within the fighting.” Like many actors who have played Jedi in the franchise, Keen’s enthusiasm did get the best of her at times as she was told to stop making lightsaber noises and to stop smiling during battles. “I was so excited and they kept having to come up to me and be like, ‘Dafne, you need to stop smiling. You’re fighting someone,’” she said. “And I’d be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m sorry. This is just so fun. I love this.’

Will The Acolyte be able to top the epic Darth Maul duel? I suppose we’ll have to wait and find out for ourselves when the series premieres on Disney+ on June 4th.

What’s your favourite lightsaber duel in the Star Wars franchise?

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