RIP Bob Anderson: Princess Bride, Star Wars sword master


Olympic fencer, sword master, and stunt performer Bob Anderson passed away yesterday in an English hospital. He was 89 years old. In his decades in the film industry, Anderson worked with Errol Flynn, helped with stunts and action on several Bond movies, and guided the fencing and swordplay in Barry Lyndon, Highlander, and The Mask of Zorro.

One of Anderson’s best known works is the Westley/Inigo Montoya duel from The Princess Bride, which is a masterpiece of a fight scene. It’s one of the best sword fights on film, right up there with the Tyrone Power/Basil Rathbone duel in The Mark of Zorro and the Tony Curtis/Ross Martin duel in The Great Race.

Anderson is also responsible for the lightsaber duels in the original Star Wars trilogy. He choreographed the Obi-Wan/Vader fight in A New Hope, and played Darth Vader in all of the lightsaber duels in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Anderson was also the sword master on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, reprising this role on forthcoming Hobbit films.

After the cut, I’ve included clips from four of Bob Anderson’s works: The Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi, The Princess Bride, and The Fellowship of the Ring.

[Via Collider]

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Return of the Jedi (1983)


The Princess Bridge (1987)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Lurtz vs Aragorn en amon hen



Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.