#1 Luke vs Darth Vader (Empire Strikes Back)
While #2 is my personal favorite, the absolute brilliance if this fight cannot be argued. It hit perfectly every stage of a great fight. Its excellence in verbal jabbing and taunting enhanced the incredible swordsmanship.
For this you must start with the great Bob Anderson. Not only did he do this fight, but the great fights in A Princess Bride, Highlander, Lord of the Rings, The Mask of Zorro and many more. He didn’t just choreograph this fight. David Prowse could not execute the moves in the Vader suit, so Bob actually stepped in and WAS Vader.
Even though the lightsabers were barely a grade up from A New Hope, they held a little better. This fight is probably the second-best use of both lightsabers and force powers. The other great thing about this fight is that for the most part we are shown Vader is toying with Luke. Even though Luke does a great job fighting Vader on the Carbon freezing platform and manages to kick him off, we are shown moments later what Vader unleashed truly looked like. Luke, while retreating, does again hold his own and even scores a hit on the overly aggressive Sith lord, but it’s not enough.
The speed and tempo go up and down perfectly. Even though limited by the time, the special effects were incredible. There is one scene in front of the giant window where the lightsaber effects get a bit sloppy. The lightsabers appear to bend a bit. In the next shot they are straight, true and powerful as the clash against each other.
This fight sits right up there with movies like The Princess Bride, of having the greatest sword fights in movie history.