The Acolyte’s Dafne Keen Aims to ‘Top the Darth Maul Fight’

Dafne Keen reveals her ambition to “top the Darth Maul fight” from Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Keen expressed her excitement about training with and using her lightsaber on the set of the upcoming Disney+ series, The Acolyte. Reflecting on her childhood, Keen fondly recalled pretending sticks were Jedi weapons, saying, “I have a saber!”

Pulling off a better lightsaber duel than the one between Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace is quite the lofty goal. That’s exactly what Dafne Keen and the creatives behind the The Acolyte Disney+ series set out to do, as the actress portraying Jedi Padawan Jecki Lon recently revealed. Keen mentioned in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

“We want to top the Darth Maul fight — the most iconic fight, I think, in the Star Wars cinematic universe. It’s such an amazing fight, and we were all so excited about the saber fights. There’s such a skill and a craft to it that it feels so OG Star Wars and feels so impressive when you see it as a viewer.”

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The famed Darth Maul lightsaber duel is renowned for its choreography, thanks to stunt coordinator Nick Gillard, the talents of Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, and the performance of Ray Park. Topping that fight is a significant challenge, but Keen and her team seem ready. Keen also shared that using a lightsaber on set was her “favorite part of filming,” saying:

“It was my favorite part of filming. I loved the whole training process of it. Everyone was very excited about it, which then made it much more fun. Our incredible stunt team created this kind of fusion of different martial arts, and we were really trained in how to use the sabers. I feel very comfortable with a sword now.”

Dafne Keen Upgrades from Sticks to Lightsabers

Darth Maul might not have enjoyed much screen time, but his lightsaber duel and imposing presence in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace led to his popularity in The Clone Wars. For Dafne Keen, childhood memories of pretending sticks were lightsabers fueled her love for Star Wars. Keen said:

“I remember watching Star Wars when I was a kid, then playing with sticks on the street and being like, ‘I have a saber!’ And now finally getting to learn these incredible choreographies that the stunt team put together was just honestly such a privilege, because we had such an amazing stunt team.”

Wrapping Up

The two-episode premiere of The Acolyte drops Tuesday, June 4 on Disney+.

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