ARCHIVE Day 11: What Makes a Fight Scene?

What makes a fight scene so good?

We all know ’em, we all love ’em. The epic clash between two warriors. Our Goku VS Freeza fights. Our Harry VS Voldemort, the Percy VS Luke, and of course the Luke VS Darth Vader. These are just a few of the fights that we all know and love. But why are they so good? Why do they stand out when the rest of the story is also so good.

Emotions, that’s why.

People often don’t understand that when people fight, they do so for a reason. So, in a lot of amateur or poorly written stories, characters will just fight because… well because it’d be cool to see them fight. Hell, sometimes characters who’ve never met before just end up fighting when they first meet. Why? Because the fans want it, that’s why.

But what makes a real good fight is the emotion behind the combatents. For example, let’s look at Vader VS Luke in the Empire Strikes Back. Luke is facing down Darth Vader, the man who elegidly killed his father and the guy who murdered his mentor right in front of him. Vader is facing down his son, measuring his skills to see if he’s worthy enough to let live. At the beginning of the fight, Luke is powerless against Vader and get’s pushed back by the Sith Lord, who is giving Luke a handicap by using a single arm. It’s an emotional duel between an amateur and a master, and it sucks you right into the action.

Now let’s compare that to another Star Wars battle, Count Dooku VS Anakin and Obiwan. Why are they fighting? What did Dooku do to them? What did they do to Dooku? What does Dooku want? Why will killing the Jedi help him get that? Conversly, what do Anakin and Obiwan want? How will defeating Dooku help them achieve it?

Fuck you, you’ll never know, now watch these three guys fight it out in a bad live action cartoon.

Without motivation, reason and emotion, a fight is empty. It’s just flashy things and explosions boggling your senses until things calm down again. But a good fight will make you feel things, put you on the edge of your seat. It doesn’t matter if it’s a movie, anime or book, if the fight is good, it’ll suck you right in.

So, to summarize…

The Star Wars Prequels can go straight to hell.

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.

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