Training to be a Jedi in a Star Wars movie is not an easy task. Samuel L. Jackson reveals that he spent five weeks in training for a Lightsaber duel scene that lasted two minutes. To make matters worse, all of that work resulted in the death of his character, Mace Windu. Jackson starred as Windu in The Phantom Menace, Clone Wars, and Revenge of the Sith over the course of 6 years and states that those fighting scenes aren’t as easy as they look, especially when you have to learn nearly 100 moves.
Samuel L. Jackson is out promoting The Incredibles 2 and was asked about sword training for actors in a recent interview. The actor seemed to be surprised by the question and gave some awesome insight in what it’s like to train for a Star Wars film. In Revenge of the Sith, Jackson’s Mace Windu goes head to head with Emperor Palpatine in a Lightsaber duel. There’s a lot of fighting packed into that two minutes though, and Jackson says that it took quite a while to be able to pull off convincingly. He had this to say.
“Lightsaber battles? It takes a long time to learn those, or it did when I was doing them. The last one I did with the Emperor was 99 moves through three rooms, backwards for me. So, two weeks in sneakers and shorts, two weeks in boots, another week in Jedi robe/boots/lightsaber before we actually shot it. So, it was pretty intense.”
99 fighting moves is incredible to think about and Samuel L. Jackson stating that it was “pretty intense,” seems like a massive understatement. Five weeks of training with his purple Lightsaber all down the tubes to get killed off by the Emperor. However, it does look really good and Jackson made one of the more memorable scenes in the Star Wars prequels with that one battle, so one can say that all of his hard work paid off in the end.
Samuel L. Jackson has had great success over the years and most recently he has been involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Nick Fury. After a brief cameo in Infinity War, Jackson will be seen on the big screen again as a young Nick Fury in Captain Marvel, which hits theaters in March of next year. However, Jackson has stated that he would love to come back to the Star Wars universe at some point. Lucasfilm apparently has a lot of secret movies that are in various stages of development, maybe a Mace Windu story is one of them.
While a Mace Windu Star Wars spin-off seems far-fetched, it has been rumored that Lucasfilm was working on a Mos Eisley movie, so it seems that literally anything is possible at this point. We probably won’t end up seeing Samuel L. Jackson back as Mace Windu for a while, so going back to watch that Lightsaber duel with the Emperor in Revenge of the Sith sounds like a good idea after learning about how much work went into learning and memorizing all of the choreography. You can watch the interview below, from GQ’s YouTube channel. The Lightsaber talk is at the 5:55 mark.