Something that’s always pestered me is that of the six original movies, there are 10 light saber duels and half of them as in ROTS. Most movie had one proper big “duel” towards the end, but ROTS has:
- Obi-Wan and Anakin VS Dokou
- Obi-Wan VS Grevious
- Mace Windu VS Palpatine
- Yoda VS Palpatine
- Obi-Wan VS Anakin
I wonder if this can be changed. Count Dokou is hard to fix because it is so instrumental to the plot. The only thing I can think of is cutting after Obi-Wan goes unconscious to when we wakes up in the elevator shaft. Not the best fix, but this duel really lacks stakes.
For Grevious- what if he wasn’t a Jedi Killer, but merely a tactician? When it comes to fighting he will always run and hide, and now without Count Dokou it is only a matter of time before the Jedi hunt him down. His only purpose would be to provide a reason for Obi-Wan to be away from Coruscant. The entire duel is cut and the focus is kept on Anakin and Palpatine.
The Mace duel could be cut entirely save the opening conversation and finale. We only see what Anakin sees: Mace holding Palpatine at saberpoint.
The only thing the Yoda duel does is diminish to great powerful characters into video game bosses, so it should be cut entirely.
The Mustafar duel is epic, but could be trimmed. After watching Duel of the Fates I noticed there was a 10 minute gap and when it returned the characters were all in different places. This created the allusion the battle had been going for hours, and as we all know they mind always does it better than when explicitly told. So what if there was a cut after the first couple minutes to the lava ocean towards the end?
Over the years I’ve thought about this a lot. The conclusion I came to is that the only duel that can really be cut out is the Grievous one. However, you bring up a good point about reducing the office duel to just what Anakin sees. It’s a shame to have to cut that duel, but then again, at least that lends more natural to leaving the Jedi’s deaths to the imagination. Personally, I wouldn’t cut the whole duel, but most of it.
Also worth noting is that no matter how much of the other duels you cut, the Mustafar one remains the longest, being half of all duel time in a film with more than twice the average duel time. So funny enough, if you removed the duel everyone came for, the duel time becomes reasonable.