Why The Lightsaber Duel In 'The Phantom Menace' Is The Most Important Moment In The Prequel Trilogy, According To Dave Filoni

The best moment from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is burned into the brains of anyone who's seen it: as John Williams' epic score blares, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi face down Darth Maul, who ignites his double-bladed lightsaber and engages in a spectacular two-on-one fight.

This is one of the best live-action lightsaber battles in the franchise, but it's more than that, too. To hear Star Wars guru Dave Filoni tell it, the entire arc of the prequel trilogy hinges on that moment. Hear Filoni explain the significance of the duel below.

Dave Filoni Duel of the Fates Speech

I always thought "Duel of the Fates," the John Williams track, was referring to the symbolic fight between good and evil as embodied in the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan vs. Darth Maul. But near the end of the newest episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, the behind-the-scenes documentary series detailing the production of the Disney+ original show, Dave Filoni explained his reading of that fight and put the entire thing in a new context. The fight isn't about any of the combatants at all...it's about Anakin Skywalker.

To me, the best thing about this video is seeing directors like Bryce Dallas Howard and Rick Famuyiwa and even The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau held in rapt silence at the feet of a Star Wars master. I always find it cool to see high-profile put any ego aside and just sit quietly and listen instead of needing to command the attention of a room, and it's clear that everyone around that table has a reverence for Filoni's vast knowledge of all things Star Wars and they're eager to learn anything they can from him.

We're doing weekly recaps of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian at /Film, so be sure to check out our full write-up of this most recent episode to learn tons of other cool behind the scenes tidbits and stories about the making of the first live-action Star Wars show. And as you can see, it's also about more than only The Mandalorian. You never know what you'll learn next.