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Lodril's Avatar

07.17.2012 , 05:26 PM | #30
Possibly, depending on how you mean 'beat'.

Return of the Jedi is quite possibly the most brilliant work by John Williams, especially the scene you're talking about. If you go back to the scene, and don't just watch it, but listen to the music, the answers are all there. Each element in that scene has a theme, and you can tell who is winning by the music played. As Luke is fighting Vader, Vader's music surges and Luke's fades.

When Luke finally gives in and launches out of hiding, the part where he 'beats' Vader, the bold, triumphant music that surges isn't Luke's theme at all - it's the Emperor's. If you listen to the musical cues, Luke is doing terribly in that whole encounter until he throws his saber away. Once he does that, the whole scene changes, and when Vader turns, it is Luke's music that surges. That's when he wins. Using his lightsaber only earned victory for the Emperor; the weapon he needed, and won the battle with, was compassion.