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Cho mai: Misc



Up to date as of February 04, 2010

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Luke Skywalker loses his hand.
"Cho mai translates as "to cut off the weapon hand." Because this strike instantly ends an opponent's ability to use a weapon but does not kill, cho mai is always a preferred move in combat."
Cin Drallig

In lightsaber combat, cho mai was the act of cutting off an opponent's weapon hand.



The cho mai was considered honorable among the Jedi, as it showed respect to an opponent by causing minimal physical damage, but it also demonstrated the skill and mastery of the Jedi in question. The strike was considered merciful by Darksiders, as such individuals usually prefered to kill opponents rather than maim.[1]

Darth Kruhl uses cho mai against Rikkar-du.

In lightsaber combat, cho mai was often performed by simply driving the opponents blade aside before cutting at the wrist, as Darth Vader demonstrated against Luke Skywalker on Bespin.[2] A more defensive application is simply altering the angle of one's parry to catch the opponent's wrist rather than the blade when he attacked, a method Obi-Wan Kenobi applied against Grievous during their duel on Utapau. Kenobi also applied a somewhat more aggressive method when he slid his blade inside Grievous' guard during a bladelock and cut off the cyborg's hand. An even more vicious method consisted of simply grabbing the opponents wrist and holding it in place while cutting it off, as Anakin Skywalker demonstrated against Dooku onboard the Invisible Hand, removing both of the Sith Lord's hands.[3]

However, executing the cho mai was oftentimes more a question of recognizing an opening and exploiting it, simply attacking when the opponent left their weapon hand vulnerable. Darth Traya was victimized by such cunning opponents on two seperate occasions, losing both hands.[4][5] Such was usually the case against blaster wielding opponents.

Notable Examples

Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Bane severed the weapon hand of Johun Othone while they dueled in Belia Darzu's stronghold.[6]

At the end of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker again applied cho mai on Mace Windu, as he saw only a brief opportunity to prevent the death of his future Master.[3]

In 19 BBY, Darth Vader assailed a secret meeting of surviving Jedi. The first to die by his blade was the Jedi Knight Sia-Lan Wezz, having been impaled by the Dark Lord. He then executed a cho mai strike as she fell dead, adding insult to injury.[7]

During their duel on Tatooine, Obi Wan Kenobi used this technique to sever A'Sharad Hett's right arm, although Hett still carried a lightsaber in his left arm.

Namman Cha uses cho mai on a B1 battle droid.

Luke Skywalker returned the favor during his rematch with Vader during the Battle of Endor.[8]

In a brief but fierce duel, Luke Skywalker proved victorious after cutting off the hand of a reborn Emperor Palpatine during the Battle of Pinnacle Base.[9]

Years later, Lumiya, the Dark Lady of the Sith, used this maneuver on Luke Skywalker during their duel at the Roqoo Depot.[10]

Imperial Knight Elke Vetter lost her hand to Darth Talon.

Sith Lord Darth Kruhl applied cho mai against Rikkar-du in between application of two brutal shiim marks. He then killed Rikkar-du.[11]


  • Light and Shadow
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Darth Bane: Rule of Two
  • Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Non-canonical appearance)
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones junior novel
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novel
  • Star Wars: Purge
  • LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Non-canonical appearance)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Dark Empire
  • Dark Empire audio drama
  • Tempest
  • Star Wars Legacy 13: Ready to Die
  • Star Wars Legacy 42: Divided Loyalties


Notes and references

  1. Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
  2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  3. 3.0 3.1 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  4. The Sith Lords: Peragus escape sequence.
  5. The Sith Lords: Final conversation with the Jedi Exile.
  6. Darth Bane: Rule of Two
  7. Star Wars: Purge
  8. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  9. Dark Empire
  10. Tempest (novel)
  11. Star Wars Legacy 13: Ready to Die
Combat Duel · Dun Möch · Fast style · Medium style · Strong style · Form "Zero" · Mounted · Niman/Jar'Kai · Sokan · Three rings of defense · Trispzest · Tràkata
Forms I: Shii-Cho · II: Makashi · III: Soresu · IV: Ataru · V: Shien / Djem So · VI: Niman · VII: Juyo / Vaapad
Techniques Cho mai · Cho mok · Cho sun · Dulon · Faalo's cadences · Faalo's Will · Falling Leaf · Flowing Water · Jedi ready · Jung · Jung ma · Kai-kan · Lus-ma · Mou kei · Sai · Sai cha · Sai tok · Sequence · Shiak · Shiim · Shun · Su · Sun djem · Twin Suns · Velocities
Variations Crossguard lightsaber · Curved-hilt lightsaber · Dual-phase lightsaber · Double-bladed lightsaber · Imperial Knight lightsaber · Lightclub · Lightfoil · Lightwhip · Long-handle lightsaber · Lightsaber pike · Protosaber · Shoto / Guard shoto · Training lightsaber / Sith training saber
Lightsaber-resistant materials Armorweave · Cortosis · Darkswords · Force Weapon · Mandalorian iron · Neuranium · Orbalisks · Phrik · Sith alchemy · Ultrachrome
Technology Blade emitter · Crystal · Diatium power cell · Emitter matrix · Focusing lens · Hilt · Inert power insulator · Pommel cap

This article uses material from the "Cho mai" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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