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Star Wars “The Force Looks Back” Pt. I: ‘Episode I: The Phantom Menace’ (1999)

Designed by: SPARXArts®; Original images by: Lucasfilms & Disney Studios

Written by: J. Johnson

In seven days the franchise that define an era makes it return to theaters after a long hiatus that many fans wondered if it would ever return. Even if it did return how will the story of good vs. evil continue after its iconic villain (Darth Vader) along with his mentor (Lord Sidious)? We finally got our answer in the form of rumors that turned into teasers. It was then, the galactic fan base of Star Wars was hyped for the return of the game-changing franchise. The Force Awakens once again as the struggle of the force and hope fuel the galaxy in turmoil for a greater purpose.

It’s time to choose. Are you on the Dark side or Light side of the force?

Star Wars is full of space battles, speeder bike chases, blaster shoot-outs, AT-AT attacks, and so much more. Still, it’s the lightsaber duel that is the signature action scene of that saga set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. In our six part series “The Force Looks Back” we will look at the 6 lightsaber battles from the past leading up to upcoming “The Force Awakens” and yes, we will go back to the ones that probably didn’t fancy too many fans liking.

I. Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Maul

(From left to right) Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson), Darth Maul (Ray Park), & Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in “Star Wars ‘Episode I’: The Phantom Menace” (1999) | Credit: Lucasfilms & Disney Studios

Darth Maul (Ray Park) was sent to kidnap Queen Amadala (Natalie Portman), but the Sith Lord is no match for the Jedi Knights Obi Wan (Ewan McGregor) and Qui Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson). Although Darth Maul manages to take down Qui Gon Jinn, arguably the best Jedi in the universe at the time, it’s his cowardice and use of surprise that wins him that battle. Luckily Obi Wan is ready to strike. Fueled by the death of his mentor, Obi Wan uses the force to best Darth Maul in the end.

This battle between the dark and light side of the force has been held in high regards among many fans. It’s that way solely based on the fact that for the first time we seen a Sith Lord wield a double sided lightsaber, have such agile maneuvers, and keep such a poise personality while fighting two masterful Jedis. You can say what you want, but this is one of my personal favorites as it began the Prequel era’s first fights to have such an ominous character like Maul that said little to nothing in his entire role. Even with that he spoke volumes through his skills being a mercenary for the dark side and for Lord Sidious.

Darth Maul is a fictional character in the science fiction franchise Star Wars. Trained as Darth Sidious’s first apprentice, he serves as a Sith Lord and a master of wielding a double-bladed lightsaber. He is the primary antagonist of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace and a central villain for Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Series creator George Lucas had described Darth Maul as “a figure from your worst nightmare”. Designer Iain McCaig thus offered Lucas a design based on a nightmare of his, which was rejected, but later inspired the Nightsister Sith witch Asajj Ventress in later Star Wars tales. One day, McCaig was trying to make “Sith Lord versions” of the art department crew, and drew David Dozoretz, head of the animations group, with a circuit board on his face. Lucas was intrigued by the circuit board idea, and McCaig started producing similar caricatures.

Tomorrow exclusively here on SparxEntertainment.com comes “Pt. II: Anakin Skywalker & Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Count Dooku”. Visit StarWars.com for more information about ‘Star Wars ‘Episode I’: The Phantom Menace‘. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ hits theaters on December 18th.

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  1. Star Wars “The Force Looks Back” Pt. II: ‘Episode II: The Attack Of The Clones’ (2002) | Sparx Entertainment

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