Samuel L. Jackson Went Through Intense Training For The Emperor Fight In Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith

If there's one thing you can count on in this world, it's that Samuel L. Jackson will always find a way to be a badass. Hero or villain, each character the actor plays inherits his steely charisma, making them endlessly cool whether they see any action or not. This was especially true for Mace Windu, Jackson's unflappable character from the "Star Wars" prequels. Although he didn't get much to do in the first two installments of the trilogy — unless you count his withering looks during Jedi council meetings — Jackson's gravitas seemed to ensure that his big moment would come eventually.

The moment in question finally arrived with "Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith," when the Jedi Master finally confronts Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious) and goes toe to toe with the Sith Lord. Their brawl is but one of many nail-biting duels in the film, and it's one of the more complicated — especially for Jackson, who spent over a month preparing for the scene.

Meeting his match

The prequel era was pretty notorious in its day, as much for its clunky dialogue as it was for its cumbersome CGI. But the films also boast some exhilarating lightsaber duels throughout, and a lot of work went into perfecting the choreography.

Mace Windu's fight against Palpatine consisted of nearly 100 moves on Windu's part alone. Paired with the fact that the Jedi was moving backwards through three different rooms, it's clear Jackson had a lot to master. The actor told GQ that it took "a long time" to nail the sequence. He spent two weeks learning the moves "in sneakers and shorts," and practiced for another two weeks while wearing his character's boots. He then spent yet another week practicing in full costume: "Jedi robe, boots [and] lightsaber, before we actually shot it. So, it was pretty intense."

All in all, that's about five weeks of prep — pretty wild when you realize just how brief the scene actually is. Still, Windu's confrontation (and his eventual defeat) represents a massive turning point for many of the characters in "Revenge of the Sith," so it makes sense that so much time went into perfecting it. For all the flack the prequels get, it's hard to find fault with this sequence in particular. It's Samuel L. Jackson, for crying out loud.