A Truly Epic Windu vs Sidious Duel Star Wars Robbed Its Fans Of

A Truly Epic Windu vs Sidious Duel Star Wars Robbed Its Fans Of
Image credit: LucasFilm/Disney

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was one of the most hyped movies in our lifetime.

Not often you can see people cosplaying the movie's characters in theatres on its premiere day. And while reception of the two other prequels was controversial, Revenge of the Sith lived to its hype in nearly everyone's opinion.

In particular, lightsaber enjoyers got a real treat, with the most duels out of any Star Wars movie, and some of the best ones in the franchise.

But what if we told you, that there was supposed to be even more of lightsaber fighting in RotS?

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One battle that was somewhat disappointing, particularly to deeply invested fans, was the fight between Palpatine and the Jedi posse that came to arrest him.

A Truly Epic Windu vs Sidious Duel Star Wars Robbed Its Fans Of - image 1

The duel with Mace Windu was not bad, if a bit short, but the "first part" of the fight, when Palpatine managed to kill three Jedi in as many seconds after a somewhat silly screaming leap that the Internet dubbed "the Sheev Spin" raised a few eyebrows. Particularly among lore buffs, who read all the supporting expanded universe material and knew that all of Windu's companions were supposed to be among the deadliest swordmasters in the whole Jedi Order.

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There were some attempts to rationalize what happened, of various plausibility. Some fans said that Palpatine managed to nearly incapacitate all opponents but Windu with his Dark Side powers for long enough to kill them, and the official novelization tweaked the scene a bit, making Palpatine so smooth that for a moment he managed to make the Jedi doubt whether he is anything more than an old politician, and used that moment of hesitation to spring his attack.

In reality, however, the fight occurred the way it did thanks to real-world decisions. The lightsaber fight between Mace Windu and Sidious was originally going to be fully performed by Ian McDiarmid 's stunt double and Samuel L. Jackson – who had spent three weeks learning it, and the whole scene was supposed to be far more extended, involving the Chancellor's guards as well.

Ironically, the final cut of that scene was the most challenging for Nick Gillard and his stunt team, as instead of the stunt double it was filmed almost exclusively using Ian McDiarmid's himself, who was 60 years old and not in the best physical shape.

George Lucas probably wanted to make close-up shots better, and the movie already was long and, as noted above, already had more lightsaber fighting than any other episode, but sadly that meant we were robbed of a potentially the most epic fight of them all.