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A Star Wars: Episode 3 Stunt Coordinator Claims The Final Fight Had An Alternate Ending

For a certain type of movie or TV show fan, it's fascinating to dig through a project's production history and discover unused story ideas. In some cases, these changes drastically alter the entire meaning of the story. That's the case with "Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith," and specifically the final lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan MacGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). Stunt coordinator Nick Gillard recently revealed that the original version of the scene went much differently, with Obi-Wan winning by accident.  

In an interview with Star Wars Theory, Gillard said that the original sequence omitted the part where Obi-Wan and Anakin wind up standing on droids floating in the lava river on Mustafar. Instead, they would have gone straight to the side of the volcano. There, Anakin would have disarmed Obi-Wan, grabbed his throat, raised his lightsaber to finish him off, and said, "I'm sorry it has to be this way, master." Then, Obi-Wan would have used the Force to retrieve his lightsaber. In the process of activating it, he would have accidentally severed Anakin's arm and legs. Gillard described it as a "defense gone wrong kind of move." 

Both Gillard and interviewer Niatoos Dadbeh felt that this version would have been exciting, but the final version ultimately is a stronger choice. 

The final version is much more in line with Anakin's character

Let's get one thing out of the way: yes, the final version of the scene, with Obi-Wan's infamous line, "It's over, Anakin! I have the high ground!" is one of the most derided scenes in "Star Wars" history. Even Gillard admitted in the interview that he didn't care for it. Also, the original, alternate version does make a certain amount of sense. By having Obi-Wan accidentally maim Anakin instead of doing so deliberately, it would have given Obi-Wan even more reason to regret how things turned out with his former pupil. This would have illuminated Obi-Wan's story arc in "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" in a much different light. 

However, the moment really isn't about Obi-Wan. It's about Anakin and his transformation into a Sith. The key to this scene isn't Obi-Wan taking the high ground, it's what Anakin says next: "You underestimate my power." This one line sums up everything about how far Anakin has fallen. Unlike the Jedi, who are (supposedly) fair-minded, logical, and unemotional, the Sith are driven by ego and rage. Yes, Anakin makes a highly ill-advised decision to try to take on Obi-Wan from a disadvantageous position, and that's the point. He's so blinded by anger and resentment that he makes a rash decision. In this moment, Anakin is physically and metaphorically transformed into Darth Vader.

Of course, this is just one of many major changes to "Revenge of the Sith. To name another example, Boba Fett almost had a different "Revenge of the Sith" storyline, too.  "Revenge of the Sith" could have been a much different film.