Breaking down The Last Jedi’s throne room fight against the Praetorian Guards


In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren and Rey fought off Supreme Leader Snoke’s Praetorian Guards together. But was the fight really that good?

Although nothing will compare to the remixed versions of the throne room fight sequence, the Praetorian Guards are still one of the best parts of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

It also marks a pivotal moment in the film, where Rey gives Kylo Ren the opportunity to embrace his Ben Solo side once more. If he called off the fleet, the war could end and they could lead side-by-side… or something like that. But instead, he takes on the mantle of Supreme Leader, then leads the First Order to Crait in an attempt to annihilate the last of the Resistance.

All because the lightsaber breaks and Rey leaves him there alone, apparently.

Anyway, the fight itself is very emotionally driven. There’s a lot of red for some reason, perhaps to cut down CGI costs. At one point, Snoke drags Rey across the room and we can all but see the wire work being done. In its entirety, each actor elevates it to something more poignant than it deserves to be.

But if we just look at the scene uploaded to the official Star Wars YouTube page, it’s slightly less jaw-dropping than when we saw it for the first time on the big screen.

Check it out:

The Praetorian Guards wear outfits inspired by samurai. That’s fine. But what are these garments made of that, at 0:25, one guard uses his gauntlets to stop Kylo Ren’s lightsaber? Last time I checked, lightsabers can get all the way through blast doors.

We can excuse Rey’s choreography and chalk it up to her being a novice, but what’s Kylo Ren’s excuse? He trained as a Jedi, and should have no problem whipping around with the Force. Instead, he seems so weak in this fight. For the sake of fairness, we can see that his feelings are conflicted and he can barely use the Force. However, the movie doesn’t sell that well enough. Therefore, it should’ve given him some more power.

For comparison when it comes to choreography, let’s look at what is easily Star Wars‘ best lightsaber duel:

It’s twice as long with full Force powersets used. Granted, they both trained for a long time as Jedi and have a lot riding on this duel. But combined with the music, it’s completely unforgettable. Not to mention, it took a lot of work for Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen.

Meanwhile, the throne room fight falls behind Darth Maul vs. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader’s lone savagery as well. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the prequels (and Rogue One) set the bar based on the technology available. As of 2017, there’s no reason the Praetorian Guards’ weapons should look like Walmart toys.

Of course, Lucasfilm wants to sell toys, but come on.

Next: 10 actors we want in the Star Wars franchise

If we all love Star Wars and want it to continue, we can be more critical. The exposition might not be great, but things like lightsabers duels are an easy fix. And if they can make it awesome in animation, the live-action films should try a little harder.