"Every parry is deliberate," Gillard says. "There is no pure cinema stuff, no meaningless flourishes. There are no moves that would actually leave the fighter open. In some cases the fights are going so fast that you can hardly see all this, but if you slow it down, you can see that every move is for real. Both Ewan and Liam got into this so deeply that they became literally as fast as our stunt guys. They were incredible."
For all the work that has gone into making these fights as complex as a chess game between masters, Gillard is most pleased about the way in which the lightsaber battles support the story. "It's all subtle, and I suppose no one will ever notice this sort of thing, but every fight has a story structure in it. Each confrontation is about the warriors learning what they are up against, learning about their opponents. And the moves of each character grow specifically from that character's nature, their position in relation to the light and dark sides of the force."
"In this situation, it would be so easy to go overboard," Gillard reflects. "But this work shouts to be controlled, subtle. The Jedi are doing the moves they have to in order to survive. The realism in the fights tones the fighters down to a human level. Their moves are limited; they have Jedi powers but they are not super heroes with magic abilities. They are more like you. They could lose. And that makes you feel more for them, I hope."