I saw A New Hope as a toddler in a midday mantinee with my father. The original version of the climax left such an impression, despite that action being considered old and tired now, that I came to love dogfights in films. In time, I would come to appreciate them in comics and novels; at one time, before some realities forbidding it hit me, I wanted to be a fighter pilot when I grew up.
Well, the possibility for being a real pilot came and went before I hit puberty--I became a historian for a reason--so I'm stuck with vicarious experiences, and few things reliably thrill me like a good dogfight. It's easier to do this in a visual medium than in text, but nonetheless it is possible, and I love finding good ones. Here's some of my favorite clips.
This is one of the best dogfights outside of a Macross series.
Yukikaze is a dogfight fan's dream, and if you're into them this is a must-watch.
Sky Crawlers is a beautiful, tragic story featuring glorious flight and dogfight sequences. Worth the time.
Macross Zero represents the long-time champion, the Macross franchise, for dogfights this time around.
And, finally, the sequence that got me hooked (albeit the Special Edition version):
Someday I want to publish an adventure featuring the best damned dogfight I can manage. Maybe a Star Wars book. Maybe something original. It will happen. It's just a matter of time.