Recently in a video interview for GQ Sam Jackson talked a little bit about his lightsaber fight on Revenge of the Sith. Jackson said it took five weeks to learn the choreography. He spent two weeks in sneakers and shorts, two weeks in Jedi boots, and a final week in full costume before shooting the scene. Jackson stated: “The last (fight) I had with the Emperor was 99 moves through three rooms, backwards for me…..It was pretty intense.”
While one of the less impressive fights in terms of swordsmanship, to learn that many moves all why being pushed back on your heels is no small task. You can’t blame the less than impressive nature of this fight on Sam Jackson. The truth of this scene actually comes from his costar Ian McDiarmid. In one of his many convention appearances, McDiarmid talked about this fight. A stunt person was expected to do most of the fighting, so Ian did very little training for it, However it was later decided too many close ups were needed for the fight. Ian would in fact have to do a large part of the fighting himself. The stunt person received a much smaller role in the duel. Ian received a crash course shortly before filming.
Sam Jackson also talked about how in acting school it was required to take fencing lessons. He talked about how that differs from movies as movies fights are scripted and rehearsed down to the footstep and stroke. The Revenge of the Sith DVD extras have some great behind the scenes footage of what Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christiansen went through for their fight.
Too bad Mace died in Revenge of the Sith right? Well…..maybe. For now Windu remains one with the pavement, but you can never fault Jackson for his love of his character and doing Star Wars. Jackson has campaigned on multiple occasions that not only does he want to come back for more Mace Windu, he insists that Mace survived the dive out the window and is still alive, roaming the Star Wars universe somewhere. You gotta love the ma’s passion.