I was thinking last night about the evolution of lightsaber use over the movies.
Ep4 - Two old men of a long-dead era. Maybe more ritualistic than anything.
Ep5 - The young pup struggling against an old master in a battle he's not prepared for, with a weapon he doesn't understand. Luke pulls out his saber eager to take on Vader, and Vader indulges him. Really no question ever who's going to win, despite Luke's attempt at gallantry.
Ep6 - A more refined Luke introduces us to deflecting blasters on Jabba's barge, and then goes toe-to-toe with Vader, embracing the old ways.
Ep1 - Darth Maul and the 2-Jedi duel introduces more visceral lightsaber use. Like VaderDave said, it's less ritual and becomes an actual form of combat.
Ep2 - Things start to get out of hand. I think after AotC you have the source of things like the recent Duracell commercial where, while fantastic, you basically have two Jedi facing down a small army. I don't think Jedi were ever intended to be this "powerful" in the beginning - fighting an entire war on their own - but you have film entering the Michael Bay era where as much havoc on screen as possible sells more tickets. I mean, c'mon - the scene with Jedi leading troopers into battle on the plains of Geonosis is just dumb. Jedi are really not suited to actual "space warfare," with tanks rolling about and explosions going off.
Ep3 - Pure baroque. (Love that description).
(really? just hit each other
Where does the biggest jump occur? I'd daresay that RotJ with the introduction of a lightsaber as a Jedi-specific tool. Luke bumbles around with his saber in Ep5, using it crudely with the wampa, and then Han uses it as a semi-practical tool to cut open the tauntaun. Lightsabers as a really "Jedi-thing" only come into themselves in RotJ when Luke goes flipping around the barge, deflecting blaster shots, and then taking on Vader in a more even matchup.
Ep1 shows Jedi in their glory day doing many of the same things. The only thing that can up the anty at that point is to speed things up - which works well enough in Ep1, but then goes too extreme in the following two prequels (a lot of saber-spinning for spinning's sake).
I do eagerly anticipate seeing Finn get his trash handed to him by Kylo Ren. I think that fight will be built up to be most similar to Ep5 in emotion and obvious skill discrepancies.