The duels

Why: Obviously Dooku is in a hurry to leave and the duels can’t be too long because, well there are three of them one after another, and if they were any longer, the whole part with the duels would be too long. However, I do have to say that I was expecting a bit more from them.

The duels that we saw in TPM were pretty amazing, in fact they were what made people desperately want to see the movie over and over again. As for AOTC, the duels lack a certain “fanciness” about them. They don’t have any jaw-dropping movies like what we see in TPM, and I think just a little bit of that is needed.

There are also too many cuts during the duels. My point of view when it comes to action scenes and duels in particular is: the more cuts, the lower the quality.

How: Ok, I will divide this into individual duels.

The Obi-Wan duel: although it was great, I felt Obi-Wan needed to show off a bit more, especially after the cut to Padmé and the clone. If he could be made to do just one fancy move after the cut, that would make his duel a lot better, because the cut to Padmé is a bit of a disappointment to the viewer and they’re expecting something big from Obi-Wan, especially after TPM. So if one cool move is made after the cut, the audience would be like, “That’s what we wanted to see! OK, he can die now.”

As for before the cut, it was alright, but it did feel like it was missing something. If it could be just a few seconds longer, that would improve it a bit. I think there is a lot more footage of this duel that was filmed but cut, so that could be used.

Also, there are many cuts to Anakin just lying on the ground during the duel, and I think they should be fixed up a bit. There’s one just before the cut to Padmé in which Anakin seems like he’s regained consciousness and opened his eyes and is about to get up. This one has to be replaced with another one because he doesn’t actually move to help out Obi-Wan until a while later.

There is also another cut to Anakin in the second part of the duel that just seems useless and should be removed. It’s the first one after the cut to Padmé. Actually I would use this cut to replace the one just before Padmé, because it shows how Anakin is in pain and would give a bit of suspense when the scene cuts.

The Anakin duel: the length of the duel is fine and the quality is alright too, since we do see some fancy dueling. There are, however, a few things I’d like to mention.

First is that Anakin uses two lightsabers for too short a time. I’m sure there’s more footage and I think it should be added.

The second thing is the part where we see close-ups of Anakin and Dooku fighting in the “old style.” I personally thought that the close-ups made the movie look cheap and unprofessional, but a lot of people told me that that part in particular was made very artistically. Anyways, I’m no artist so I’m just saying what I see from my limited point of view. I personally would decrease these shots as much as possible and replace them with wider shots that actually show the duel rather than their faces.

The third thing is when Anakin gets his arm chopped off, he looks like he’s letting Dooku chop it off because there’s a long pause just before it. If the pause could be shortened or Dooku’s move fast-forwarded a bit, it would be much better.

The last thing, again, is about the cuts in-between the fighting. There is one cut of Obi-Wan, just as Anakin and Dooku start fighting, that serves no purpose and needs to be removed. It looks a lot like a re-used shot of Obi-Wan, so it should definitely go.

The Yoda duel: ok, this one’s a bit tricky because it pretty much consists of two fights: one with the Force, and one with sabers.

Let’s take care of the easy one first, the saber duel. I think it's fine the way it is except for two things: the music needs to be changed, and the contacts and sounds need to be fixed up, as mentioned before. I can’t stress on the contacts problem enough. There are shots of where Dooku just moves his lightsaber into a certain position and leaves it there waiting for Yoda to hit it. These have to be fixed if the duel is going to be perfected. As for the music, I don’t know what to say other than that I didn’t like it, so there’s really no reason to change it unless the feeling is mutual with Lucas.

Another interesting thing to do for the ending of the saber duel would be to show a sequence of close-ups of both Yoda and Dooku swinging their sabers at each other, very fiercely, just before they lock sabers one final time. This would more clearly show how Dooku fought Yoda mentioned. It would also be interesting to see Dooku look around while he's fighting Yoda, looking for a way to end the duel.

Now, as for Yoda’s entry and the Force duel, this is gonna be interesting. My idea is that we really speed it up, get rid of the un-necessary breaks and pauses, and really make the fight stand out.

First, Yoda’s entry should be modified so that it’s faster and more to the point, refelecting on Dooku’s Sith personality. I would take out the shot of Yoda’s shadow moving from a distance while Yoda is off-screen. Instead, I would put the next shot of him walking into the hangar and have him say the first line, not Count Dooku, so that he surprises Dooku in a way. It could go something like, “The dark side I sense in you, Count Dooku. Consumed by its power you have become.” We can have the shot of Dooku turning around to face Yoda while Yoda is talking. He could then reply to him with something like, “Master Yoda! I’ve become more powerful than any Jedi, even you.” Then he could proceed to start throwing objects at him with the Force. However, it should be made much more fast-paced and dynamic to really show both of their powers. Before one object even has a chance to reach Yoda, another one should already be on its way, and we could have Yoda blocking object after object with much more momentum. For this, the shot of Yoda standing there like a Kung-Fu warrior going, “Grrr,” should be removed because it’s just too goofy and would slow down the new momentum. The ceiling shot can pretty much stay the same as it’s fast enough already. A change of music could improve this new momentum, music that could really put some energy into the fight.

After the ceiling drops, Dooku should say one quick line before he starts using Force-lighting. It could be something, like, “No?” as in, “No? You want more? Then try this!” or just use his other line, “You’ve interfered in our affairs for the last time.

After the Force-lightning segment, the rest can be kept the same, except for one last minor thing. Make Yoda look less flashy when he’s taking out his lightsaber. I think too much focus is put on the fact that he actually has a lightsaber, and it doesn’t really work beyond the first watching. It should be toned down a bit, maybe by removing a second or two of when the camera is rotating around him as he’s taking out his lightsaber.

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