Registered: Oct 2017
Strikes Per Second in the Movies
I know this isn't hugely relevant to anything, but I wanted to try and determine how many strikes per second each character in the Star Wars movies was capable of delivering/blocking. I took each character's fastest showing in the movies, and what I found kind of surprised me. It probably won't have much of an impact on most people's opinions of these characters, but perhaps it will catch someone's interest.
Obi-Wan: When facing General Grievous, 3 strikes in .8 seconds (3.75 per second)
General Grievous: When facing Obi-Wan, 3 strikes in .8 seconds (3.75 per second)
General Grievous Theoretical Max Speed: When Grievous is spinning the blades of his lightsabers, we can see him rotate his wrists upward of 5 times a second. This means he is theoretically capable of 20 strikes per second, just as the novelization suggested. However, Grievous' actual number of strikes per second in practice is not the same as in theory, as his wrists aren't all constantly spinning with every attack.
Obi-Wan: When facing Darth Vader, 5 strikes in 1.4 seconds (3.57 per second)
Darth Vader: When facing Obi-Wan, 5 strikes in 1.4 seconds (3.57 per second)
Anakin: When facing Obi-Wan, 12 strikes in 4.17 seconds (2.88 per second)
Obi-Wan: When facing Anakin, 12 strikes in 4.17 seconds (2.88 per second)
Obi-Wan vs. Anakin Peak Speed: At one brief moment, Obi-Wan and Anakin exchange 6 strikes in 1.5 seconds, for a whopping 4 strikes per second!
Dooku: When facing Anakin with two sabers (AotC), 5 strikes in 1.83 seconds (2.73 per second)
Anakin: When facing Dooku (RotS), 10 strikes in 3.67 seconds (2.72 per second)
Dooku: When facing Anakin (RotS), 10 strikes in 3.67 seconds (2.72 per second)
Luke: When facing Darth Vader (RotJ), 4 strikes in 1.47 seconds (2.72 per second)
Darth Vader: When facing Luke (RotJ), 4 strikes in 1.47 seconds (2.72 per second)
Luke: When facing Darth Vader (ESB), 4 strikes in 1.5 seconds (2.67 per second)
Darth Vader: When facing Luke (ESB), 4 strikes in 1.5 seconds (2.67 per second)
Obi-Wan: When facing Darth Maul, 4 strikes in 1.5 seconds (2.67 per second)
Darth Maul: When facing Obi-Wan, 4 strikes in 1.5 seconds (2.67 per second)
Mace Windu: When facing Sidious, 4 strikes in 1.54 seconds (2.60 per second)
Sidious: When facing Mace Windu, 4 strikes in 1.54 seconds (2.60 per second)
Yoda: When facing Sidious, 7 strikes in 2.9 seconds (2.41 per second)
Sidious: When facing Yoda, 7 strikes in 2.9 seconds (2.41 per second)
Yoda: When facing Dooku, 9 strikes in 3.94 seconds (2.28 per second)
Qui-Gon Jinn: When facing Darth Maul, 5 strikes in 2.2 seconds (2.27 per second)
Anakin (one saber): When facing Dooku (AotC), 8 strikes in 3.93 seconds (2.03 per second)
Obi-Wan: When facing Dooku (AotC), 6 strikes in 3.14 seconds (1.91 per second)
What my findings were from all of this:
First off, the Revenge of the Sith novelization was actually accurate with General Grievous' maximum speed. Watching closely, I found that Grievous can rotate his wrists up to 5 times per second, for a maximum of 20 strikes per second with all four arms in use. However, he never has all four arms spinning at full speed in the film. As a result, his fastest attack sequences are two separate showings where he strikes at Obi-Wan with 3 separate arms in sequence over the course of .8 seconds. This puts his fastest attack speed in the film at 3.75 strikes per second.
Second, I found that Yoda and Sidious were far slower (regarding attacks per second, at least) than many people seem to assume. There's a different reason in each case, but they're both pretty obvious. Yoda could attack far faster if it weren't for the frequent spins and flips. However, because his body is constantly spinning around, the vast majority of his time in motion is not spent attacking his opponent. So despite how quickly his body moves in his duels, he only had a maximum speed of 2.41 strikes per second in RotS, and 2.28 in AotC. For Sidious, it has more to do with the age of the two actors involved in the duel between Sidious and Mace Windu. Samuel L. Jackson was 56, and Ian McDiarmid was 60 at the time, and very much out of shape. George Lucas has gone on record saying that he prefers to use the real actors instead of stunt doubles as much as possible, so for much of that duel, the actors were quite slow. However, the fastest sequence of attacks and parries launched by Sidious in RotS is from his duel with Mace, where it is clearly a stunt double whose face has been digitally edited to look more like Ian McDiarmid.
Third, I learned that Luke's max speed (which he displayed at the very beginning of his duel against Darth Vader) was 2.72 strikes per second. If I'd opted to take a different sequence of attacks, I believe it would have pushed the number up slightly to 2.73, (the difference of 4 strikes over 1.47 seconds vs. 3 strikes over 1.1 seconds. I took the 4 strikes, as it felt like a more fair example of Luke's speed). This number, 2.72, is actually the same as Anakin's maximum speed displayed against Count Dooku at the start of Revenge of the Sith. This is surprisingly in line with George Lucas' statement about how Luke Skywalker was basically a realized version of what Anakin would have been had he never turned to the Dark Side. Knightfall Anakin, on the other hand, was fighting around 2.88 strikes per second against Obi-Wan in several different instances (I checked four different attack sequences throughout the duel and got two examples of 2.87 and one of 2.88). However, in one particular sequence, Anakin and Obi-Wan were able to exchange 6 strikes in just 1.5 seconds, putting them at a massive 4 strikes per second! So while Luke might match normal RotS Anakin's raw speed, he's still behind the likes of Knightfall Anakin and RotS Obi-Wan.
Finally, I found that a particular lightsaber sequence between Old Ben and Darth Vader was shockingly fast. 5 strikes over the course of 1.4 seconds. This puts Old Ben and Darth Vader just a small bit behind General Grievous in terms of raw speed when both cut loose and attack as fast as possible. For all those saying Old Ben and Darth Vader are just "shadows of their former selves," I'd say this showing proves that they've still got at least some fight in them.
I don't expect to see these numbers get brought up in versus matches, or really used at all. After all, outside sources seem to directly contradict the speeds shown in the movies all the time. I just thought this was a fun observation and felt like sharing it with all of you lovely people. Hope you found this worth your time!
(For the record, I have a video on YouTube where I posted the clips of each lightsaber duel that I used to determine these speeds. However, I'm currently not able to post links due to not being 'well known' enough on this forum. If you're interested in seeing it, look up Strikes Per Second Per Character Underachiever on YouTube.)