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Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku engage in lightsaber combat.
"I've been trained in your Jedi arts by Count Dooku."
General Grievous to Obi-Wan Kenobi

Lightsaber combat was the preferred method of fighting used by the Jedi and Sith, which was initially based on ancient sword-fighting techniques. Throughout the millennia since its creation it developed into seven "classic" forms and numerous other styles. It was difficult to master for a number of reasons, one of them being that all of the weight a lightsaber had was in its hilt. It had been said that only a Force-sensitive individual could completely master lightsaber combat. Only 2 clones were able to engage in lightsaber combat. The clones were X1 and X2. All seven traditional lightsaber forms included the same basic techniques as ancient sword-fighting styles, such as defensive postures, overhand strikes, parries, and counterstrikes.

Mace Windu and Darth Sidious engage in lightsaber combat.

The lightsaber was a very versatile weapon, owing to its unique lightness and omni-directional cutting ability. It could be wielded one-handed or with both hands. Early in the weapon's history, when the Sith were numerous, the art of lightsaber dueling flourished. In later periods though, only rarely would Jedi face an adversary with a weapon capable of repelling a lightsaber.

Although the blade was weightless, two-handed slashes were the most common movement. This was because inertia was still needed to cut through solid objects. Solid objects were repelled by the blade arc until they were changed to gas or plasma. Therefore, inertia was required to counteract the initial repelling force. The stronger the swing, the faster and easier the blade would cut. If little force was applied to the swing, the repelling force of the blade arc would leave shallow cuts. When two lightsaber blades came in contact with each other, the two repelling forces made the blade appear to be solid. If the lightsaber is dropped, the blade will retract automatically, so the user will not be injured.

Also, the field that caused the energy to arc back into the blade caused some gyroscopic effects. While technically weightless, the blade still had some resistance to changes in motion. The slight gyroscopic effects were easily controlled by a trained force user, but could become problematic for lay person.

The Jedi were trained to use the Force as a conduit between the wielder and the weapon. Through this bond in the Force, the blade became an extension of their being; it moved with instinct as though it were a part of the body. The Jedi's attunement to the Force accounted for the almost superhuman agility and reflex illustrated in the use of the lightsaber.


The Seven Forms

Three Jedi Masters using different forms of lightsaber combat.
"Six there were for generations of Jedi. The seventh, is not well-known."

Each Jedi chose the style of lightsaber combat that best suited him or her. For example, Grand Master Yoda used the Ataru form to compensate for his lack of reach and height; Mace Windu used Vaapad to turn his inner darkness into a weapon of the light; Count Dooku's practice of the Makashi form fit first of all his intention to frequently engage in lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, and second his emphasis on class and elegance as well as precision. Jedi learned elements of each form, though few ever mastered all of them.

  • Form I: Shii-Cho "Way of the Sarlacc" or "Determination Form"
    • Form I is the most basic of the seven forms and is learned by every Jedi Youngling. Shii-Cho includes the fundamental elements of all the lightsaber forms including the basic attack, parry, body target zones, and practice drills called velocities.
  • Form II: Makashi "Way of the Ysalamir" or "Contention Form"
    • Form II represents the ultimate refinement of lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat. Masters of Makashi develop unique offenses and defenses and train studiously against having their sabers taken or damaged.
  • Form III: Soresu "Way of the Mynock" or "Resilience Form"
    • Form III was first developed in response to the advancement of blaster technology in the galaxy. Soresu's emphasis on tight, efficient movements that expose very minimal target areas, make it the most defensive and passive of the seven forms.
  • Form IV: Ataru "Way of the Hawk-Bat" or "Aggression Form"
    • Form IV is the most acrobatic of all the forms and requires a Jedi to first master the Force Run, Jump, and Spin abilities. By incorporating all the Force powers that allow a Jedi to exceed standard norms of physical abilities, Jedi may resemble nothing less than a blur when using this style.
Jedi Master Yoda, was a master of all forms
  • Form V: Shien / Djem So "Way of the Krayt Dragon" or "Perseverance Form"
    • Form V was also created in response to the advancement and frequency of blaster use in the galaxy. Unlike the strictly defensive style Soresu, Shien exploits the ability of a lightsaber to block blaster bolts and deflect them back at an opponent in a counter-attack maneuver. In a duel, the Djem So variation of this form, which focused on strength, would be used.
  • Form VI: Niman "Way of the Rancor" or "Moderation Form"
    • Form VI seeks to balance the emphases of forms I through V. Niman allows a Jedi to fight with harmony and justice without having to resort to powerful, aggressive movements or overt emotion.
  • Form VII: Juyo / Vaapad "Way of the Vornskr" or "Ferocity Form"
    • Juyo instead employs bold, direct movements, more open and kinetic than form V, but not so elaborate as the acrobatic form Ataru. Juyo requires greater energy and intensity out of the practitioner because his focus is wielded more broadly and draw upon from a deeper well of emotion; while the outward bearing of a Form VII practitioner is one of calm, the inner pressure verges on explosive. It was also considered to be the most dangerous in regard to falling to the Dark Side, because it required a certain amount of enjoyment in the fight from the person experiencing it.

The seven forms were not merely swordplay moves, they represented seven different kinds of philosophy. In addition, a lightsaber was not necessary to execute the seven forms: each form could be applied in unarmed combat. Jedi Masters Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kit Fisto had demonstrated such talent during the Battle of Haruun Kal and the Bio-Droid Threat respectively.

Other forms of lightsaber combat

These forms were not considered a part of the seven main or "classic" forms. Some were systematized methods of lightsaber combat, while others were merely techniques or principles of combat applied to lightsaber combat. They were mostly based on other forms, with the exception of Form "Zero", which emphasized avoiding conflict whenever possible.

A fighting method that focused tactical superiority; on using the terrain to one's advantage.

A fighting style that focused on dual-blade combat.

Little is known of this style, though it is known that Grievous and his MagnaGuards received training in it from Dooku.

Anakin Skywalker using Jar'Kai

A Jedi doctrine of avoiding conflict unless absolutely necessary.

A Sith technique of psychological warfare, utilizing taunts and telekinetic assaults to distract and demoralize opponents.

Wielding a lightsaber with the Force and attacking from a range.

A type of aerial dueling, essentially flying lightsaber combat.

Fighting from a mounted position, either on a beast of burden or a vehicle, usually of an open cockpit design.

A fighting style designed specifically for the use of Double-bladed lightsabers.

A fighting style designed specifically for the use of Lightwhips.

A combat style that was designed to take advantage of a lightsaber's ability to be quickly activated and deactivated.

The Unorthodox

"Stop using the standard attacks, use the unorthodox!"
Dooku to Grievous
General Grievous wielding four lightsabers.

Several techniques fell outside the traditional and practiced forms of the Jedi. General Grievous could employ more varied movements. His attacks were intended to misdirect and confuse traditionally trained sword fighters. Grievous was exceptionally capable of this due to the flexibility of his joints, robotic reflexes, and his many limbs. Only the most experienced and talented Jedi could withstand his attacks. For example, Grievous could hold one lightsaber in each of his four hands, spinning two of them very rapidly in front of him as a shield. Grievous used this against Obi-Wan Kenobi on Utapau, though his capabilities may have been inhibited after injuries sustained on Coruscant from Mace Windu.

Another unique lightsaber style was that of Adi Gallia who held her saber with a one-handed reverse grip resulting in wide, long swings. This was a personal variation of Shien, much as Vaapad was Mace Windu's personal variation of Juyo. Anakin Skywalker's first Padawan Ahsoka Tano and later his secret apprentice Galen Marek also seemed to prefer this style.

Dark Jedi Boc's combat style was an unorthodox mixture of the dual saber based Niman & Jar'Kai and highly aggressive jumping attacks directed straight at his opponent. He used this against Kyle Katarn in a duel on Ruusan, but—with some help from his friend Jan Ors and the Force—Katarn was able to defeat Boc.

The three styles of the New Jedi Order

Two Force-sensitives engaged in lightsaber combat.

In addition to the above-mentioned forms, there were three pace-based styles, probably applicable to all of the conventional and less conventional forms, though each style was more compatible with some forms than with others.

These three styles were taught to the students at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Praxeum around the time of the crises of Desann's Reborn and the Disciples of Ragnos. One member of the New Jedi Order who mastered all three styles was Kyle Katarn. Katarn lectured students Jaden Korr and Rosh Penin on them already at their first training session.

The three styles, along with most lightsaber combat skill taught in the New Jedi Order, were based on the principle of the Three Rings of Defense which were introduced very early on in the history of the Order by one of the first students, Kam Solusar.

Marks of contact, maneuvers and Thrust

All seven forms of lightsaber combat utilized these ancient terms used by the Jedi for describing the objectives, maneuvers to use, and the various outcomes that could arise out of a fight involving lightsabers as weapons. They could help focus a Jedi’s attacks and defenses on a few clearer categories, rather than diffusing awareness across an infinite number of possibilities in a duel.

Marks of contact

Cho mai

The basic body zones of lightsaber combat

A cho mai was the act of cutting off an opponent's weapon-using hand. This move showed that the Jedi using it had the honor to cause the opponent minimal physical damage; it also showed the skill and mastery of the Jedi performing the move to the opponent. Darth Vader demonstrated this on Luke in Cloud City.

Cho mok

A cho mok was the act of cutting off an opponent's limb, such as a humanoid's leg. This was demonstrated by Obi-Wan Kenobi in his Duel with Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar

Cho sun

A cho sun was the act of cutting off an opponent's weapon arm. This was demonstrated by Obi-Wan Kenobi cutting off the arm Ponda Baba held his blaster in during a scuffle in the Mos Eisley Cantina. It was also demonstrated by Count Dooku cutting off the lower half of Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber arm.

Sai cha

A sai cha was the instance when a Jedi beheaded his or her opponent. Sai Cha comes from ancient words meaning "separate" and "head" This was often reserved for the most dangerous of enemies—the ones a Jedi could not afford to keep alive. It could also be used on a being that was lethal but not sentient, such as an assassin droid. The form was used by Mace Windu to kill Jango Fett, as well by Anakin above Coruscant on Count Dooku, at the persuasion of Chancellor Palpatine.

Sai tok

A sai tok, frowned upon by the Jedi because of its Sith-like nature, was the act of cutting an opponent in half, usually separating his or her legs from the torso at the waist. This was demonstrated by Obi-Wan at the ending phase of his duel with Darth Maul.


A shiak was the act of stabbing an opponent. Jedi usually stabbed in the leg or arm, but a Sith variation of this is to stab through the chest, therefore assuring almost certain death to the unlucky victim. This was demonstrated by Darth Maul when he killed Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Sidious when he killed Agen Kolar.


A shiim was a more minute wound to an opponent by the edge of a lightsaber's blade. Depending on circumstance, this could be seen as either a desperation attack or to immobilize an opponent through pain. Jedi used this to stop opponents whom they wanted alive. Count Dooku demonstrated this on Geonosis against Obi-Wan; Dooku made minor cuts on Kenobi's arm and leg in order to immobilize him so that Anakin would be forced to duel Dooku one-on-one.

Sun djem

A sun djem was an attack used by Jedi that deprived the opponent of his/her weapon, the objective usually being not to physically harm the opponent. Sun djem was a very diverse sub-form; moves ranged from spinning a lightsaber to dislodging an opponent's weapon to kicking or punching the opponent.

Mou kei

Obi-Wan Kenobi, having severed his former Padawan with a Mou Kei attack, ending their dramatic duel.

A mou kei was an attack used by the Sith and some Jedi that dismembered an opponent through a circular motion of the lightsaber, aimed at the major limbs. The objective was to finish a dangerous opponent. This was the attack used by Obi-Wan Kenobi to end his duel with Darth Vader on Mustafar.



A jung in lightsaber combat was a 180-degree turn.

Jung ma

A jung ma was a maneuver used by Jedi to perform a 360-degree spin in which power was gained for an imminent attack on the opponent. Darth Vader and Obi-Wan can be seen using jung ma during their battle on Mustafar. Obi-Wan performed the maneuver again years later moments before he disappeared and became one with the Force during a battle with Darth Vader on the Death Star.


Not a maneuver per se, the kai-kan was a re-enactment of a famous, usually ancient, very dangerous, lightsaber or even sword battle, which only very well trained Jedi attempted to perform.


Dooku applying the sai maneuver during his bout with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

A sai was a jump used by Jedi to evade an attack directed at the legs. The Force was the main backbone of the strength, height, and speed at which the jump was executed. The Jedi could then strike downwards, using the fall as a fulcrum for more power. Known uses of it include by Luke Skywalker against Darth Vader during the Battle of Endor, by Anakin Skywalker against Count Dooku at the Battle of Geonosis, Obi-Wan against Darth Vader in their lightsaber fight on Mustafar on the connecting end of the collection arm and by Mace Windu against Darth Sidious. However, this maneuver was used many times by Jedi Knights all over the galaxy.


A shun was a 360-degree turn performed with just a one-handed grip, thus gaining speed for an attack. Darth Vader uses this technique when he spins during the second part of his ill-fated fight with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar.

Flowing water

The Flowing Water cut was a lightsaber combat technique designed for going blade-to-blade with one's opponent, based on the principle of using the space created when the opponent withdrew their lightsaber offensively to one's own advantage. As the opponent pulled their lightsaber back from a bind, the user would follow it with their blade, in effect causing the opponent to pull the user's blade into themselves.

Falling leaf

A Jedi applies the falling leaf technique in combat.

The Falling Leaf cut was an ancient lightsaber combat technique that involved spinning on one's feet to "slash from the sky". It might be related to the jung ma and shun techniques. The basic maneuver involved the user spinning and making a fast slash at an opponent standing behind them and then return to face the way they were before the maneuver.

Alter damage

Alter Damage was not a combat maneuver, but rather a rare Force power by which the Jedi could inflict minimal damage with an otherwise lethal cut or stab. This was used to pacify enemies without killing them or injuring them lethally.

Saber barrier

Saber barrier was a defensive telekinetic lightsaber combat technique. Designed for dual saber combat, it created a barrier of lightsaber blades by having the lightsabers spin around the saber-wielding Jedi. Kreia used this power against the Jedi Exile in the Trayus Academy on Malachor V, and the Dark Jedi Alora may have used it years later against Jaden Korr. Mace Windu also mastered this technique.

Saber throw

Saber throw was an offensive usage of the lightsaber, combining Force Push and Force Pull allowing the Jedi to throw their lightsaber at targets in a boomerang-like fashion. It was a common Force power, as it was a good long range alternative to the typical short range lightsaber attacks. Darth Vader used the saber throw against Luke Skywalker in their fight on the second Death Star. Since lightsabers switch off when they leave their owner's hand, the thrown lightsaber needed to be telekinetically kept on, however, some lightsabers had a special "blade lock" feature.

Spinning attack

The spinning attack technique was a trispzest-based technique, mastered by Maw. It consisted in the trispzest-user spinning wildly in the air while lashing out to all sides with the lightsaber, and was highly effective against multiple opponents. Jedi Grandmaster Yoda used it against Darth Tyranus during their duel on Geonosis. Yoda once again used this technique to battle Darth Sidious in the Senate chamber on Coruscant, though the skills of the Emperor as a duelist were great enough to counter this magnificent move.

Physical Combat

A'Sharad Hett bucking Obi-Wan Kenobi in the face with his lightsaber hilt.

For a style and method of fighting as focused on grace and precision as lightsaber combat, duelists resorted to physical contact with astonishing regularity.

  • A frequent tactic among duelists was to buck opponents in the face with their lightsaber hilts, using it as a set of knuckbusters and leaving the opponent momentarily stunned. Examples of this tactic include when Darth Maul smashed his hilt into Qui-Gon Jinn's face during the final portion of their bout, stunning the Jedi Master and opening him up for a fatal thrust to the gut.[1]
  • Kicks were often applied in combat, as they allowed a duelist to attack an opponent's open body zone while their blade was occupied, or to off-balance the enemy duelists and knock him off his feet. Examples of this move include during the Duel on Mustafar, as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader were seen frequently kicking the other back to give themselves a moment to regain their composure,[2] or during the Battle of Geonosis, where many Jedi combatants kicked down battle droids.[3] In fact, it was not unheard of for duelists to augment their kicks with the Force, literally sending their opponents flying, such as when one of the Sith combatants during the Sacking of Coruscant kicked his Jedi counterpart.[4]
  • Punches saw frequent use in lightsaber duels, a common manuever being to drive aside an opponents blade then catch him in the face with either a hook or a backhand. Examples of this include during the Duel in Theed when Qui-Gon Jinn backhanded Darth Maul, knocking the Sith Lord off one of the catwalks in the Theed Power Generator complex.[1]
  • As the Force provided vastly enhanced physical strength, many more aggressive duelists would physically grab their opponents, usually by the neck to throttle, or by the wrist to disarm. Anakin Skywalker applied this tactic during his first duel with Asajj Ventress, albiet with the normal strength of his prosthetic arm rather than the Force, seizing her wrist and disarming her.[5] Darth Vader applied both tactics simultaneously during his bout with Obi-Wan Kenobi, seizing Kenobi's wrist with his left hand and clamping down on the Jedi Master's throat with his right.
  • As disarming was a common goal in lightsaber duels, it was not unheard of for both opponents to lose their weapons, causing the fight to degenerate into a brawl. Such unarmed combat was applied during the bout between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Grievous, though Grievous' cyborg body provided him with a clear advantage;[2] or during the Battle of Dantooine, when Mace Windu lost his lightsaber in the chaos of the Seismic tank's attack, and proceeded to physically tear the droid army apart with his bare hands, augmenting his strength and stamina through the Force.[6]
    • As the various forms of lightsaber combat were combat forms, they were not limited to use with the lightsaber, and unarmed combat training was standard among many Force-based organizations.[7] Combatants who display exceptional skill at applying their chosen form while unarmed include Kit Fisto, who was described as a "martial arts hurricane";[8] or Mace Windu, whose unarmed application of his Vaapad form was of such an advanced level that his fists were described as being too fast to see.[9]


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A Gand Jedi implementing Twin Strike
  • Assured Strike
  • Barrier of Blades
  • Circle of Shelter
  • Contentious Opportunity
  • Deflecting Slash
  • Disarming Slash
  • Draw Closer
  • Falling Avalanche
  • Fluid Riposte
  • Hawk-Bat Swoop
  • High Ground Defense
  • Makashi Riposte
  • Pass The Blade
A Selkath Jedi uses Pushing Slash
  • Pushing Slash
  • Rising Whirlwhind
  • Saber Swarm
  • Sarlacc Sweep
  • Shien Deflection
  • Swift Flank
  • Tempered Aggression
  • Twin Strike
  • Unbalancing Block
  • Unhindered Charge
  • Vornskr's Ferocity

Trial of skill

Lightsaber combat was the base point for a Jedi in the traditional Trial of Skill. To pass as a Jedi Knight, a Padawan must show the following:

  • They must know all the forms, all the maneuvers, marks of contact (and perform these) of basic lightsaber combat.
  • They must show they can use the Force to aid their combat
  • They must go through a series of obstacles, often devised by the master for a personal course designed to test the Jedi's weaknesses and skills using the Force, their skills and prowess, and their lightsaber.
  • They must prove themselves worthy by proving in combat that they know at least one main form to a very advanced degree and tested to a Jedi standard in a variety of ways and show that they have the skill.
  • Must be able to use the saber throw efficiently and effectively.

Behind the scenes

Ataru used by Obi-Wan Kenobi against Darth Maul's Juyo in 32 BBY.
  • Peter Diamond created the original trilogy lightsaber choreographies. It was based by a bit of Kendo and fencing. It was Peter who thought about how to hold the lightsaber by two hands.
  • In the documentary about lightsabers in the Bonus features DVD of the original trilogy DVD set, George Lucas is noted stating that the period of time during the prequel trilogy, the Jedi (and Sith) had reached the peak of power and skill in lightsaber combat in the history of the galaxy.
  • In behind the scenes of TPM - "Prime of the Jedi", Nick Gillard says, "I wrote them very much like a game of chess played at a thousand miles an hour. And every single move is check."
  • Nick Gillard developed a ranking system for the level of skill and power of each major lightsaber fighter in the Prequel Trilogy to choreograph action-packed sequences in Revenge of the Sith. The fighting prowess of each of the characters were ranked against other Jedi on a scale of 1 to 10. "Obi-Wan is at a level 8, which is where Anakin starts. But Anakin jumps to level 9 -- and the difference between 8 and 9 is enormous. A Jedi can get to level 9, but that's the difference between light and dark. The duel actually gives you quite an idea about these characters, because Anakin has learned the fighting, he's enormously talented -- but he hasn't learned the mental side of it. Knowing all of that from a story standpoint was enormously helpful in choreographing the sequence," Gillard says. The specifics of this ranking system remains unknown. [1]
  • Due to his age and consequent lack of mobility, Christopher Lee was replaced by stunt double Kyle Rowling for Count Dooku's more complex dueling shots. However, Lee was able to perform some of the moves, particularly during the close-up shots. This explains Dooku's characteristic use of Makashi in the lightsaber duels.
  • In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas had Ian McDiarmid do most of the close-up shots during his fight between Mace Windu, but doubles were called in for some of the faster wide shots. The same was done for Samuel L. Jackson as well. However when McDiarmid and Jackson came in later in the day to film the close up shots, they chose to do the scenes themselves, and had to learn all the choreography in an afternoon.
  • The Fast, Medium, and Strong styles were introduced as different lightsaber fighting modes in the computer game Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. The player, in the form of Kyle Katarn, acquires the styles as the game progresses. They also appear in the sequel Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. In the training mission of the sequel game, Katarn tells Korr and Rosh about the advantages of being able to switch between multiple fighting styles. In both games, the styles are described in an encyclopedic fashion upon acquisition. However these may simply be game mechanics.


  • Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire
  • Tales of the Jedi: Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon
  • Tales of the Jedi: The Saga of Nomi Sunrider
  • Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising
  • Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith
  • Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War
  • Tales of the Jedi: Redemption
  • Darth Bane: Rule of Two
  • Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
  • Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace junior novel
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (Non-canonical appearance)
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Non-canonical appearance)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront
  • Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones junior novel
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars video game
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV series)
  • Star Wars The Clone Wars: In Service of the Republic
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith junior novel
  • Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight
  • The Last of the Jedi: A Tangled Web
  • The Last of the Jedi: Return of the Dark Side
  • The Last of the Jedi: Secret Weapon
  • The Last of the Jedi: Against the Empire
  • The Last of the Jedi: Master of Deception
  • The Force Unleashed
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope junior novel
  • LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Non-canonical appearance)
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back junior novel
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi junior novel
  • X-wing: The Krytos Trap
  • X-wing: The Bacta War
  • I, Jedi

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Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  2. 2.0 2.1 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  3. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  4. Star Wars: The Old Republic
  5. Clone Wars Chapter 19
  6. Clone Wars Chapter 13
  7. Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
  8. The Cestus Deception
  9. Shatterpoint (novel)

See also

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 "Lightsaber combat" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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Darth Maul duels Qui-Gon Jinn with lightsaber combat.

Lightsaber combat was the preferred style of fighting used by the Jedi and Sith, which was initially based on ancient sword-fighting technique. Long after the Yuuzhan Vong War, the Jedi Order finally achieved their respected status in the universe. As a result of their experiences both the Jedi and the Sith revamped the recognized lightsaber styles, including new styles and changing some of the existing ones.


Official styles of lightsaber combat

Three Jedi using Yovshin, Shien, and Ataru styles of lightsaber combat, respectively.
  • Form I: Shii-Cho "Way of the Sarlacc" or "Determination Form"
  • Form II: Makashi "Way of the Ysalamiri" or "Contention Form"
  • Form III: Soresu "Way of the Mynock" or "Resilience Form"
  • Form IV: Ataru "Way of the Hawk-Bat" or "Aggression Form"
  • Form V: Shien/ Djem So "Way of the Krayt Dragon" or "Perserverence Form"
  • Form VI: Niman "Way of the Rancor" or "Moderation Form"
  • Form VII: Juyo/ Vaapad "Way of the Vornskr" or "Ferocity Form"
  • Form VIIb: Täius (Variant of Juyo/ Vaapad)
  • Form VIII: Sokan "Way of the Tauntaun" or "Strategy Form"
  • Form IX: Shien Dai "Way of the Nexu" or "Persistance Form"
  • Form Xb: Yovshin (Aggressive Jar'Kai)
  • Form XI: Tràkata "Way of the Stillness" or "Restraint Form"
  • Form XII: Sapendo "Way of the Droid" or "Probability Form"
  • Form XIII: Discreti "Way of Evil" or "Dark Side form"

Though there are many styles and variations on styles, these styles are the styles recognized by the High Jedi Council on Coruscant.

Unofficial styles of lightsaber combat

Some lightsaber styles are not recognized by the High Council, though they may be taught and used by many Jedi. They may also be styles that have never even been seen before or are so uncommon that they become outcast. They are used by untrained or outcast Jedi and/or Sith.

  • Form VIII: Kendosu "Way of the Varactyl" or "Speed/Chaos Form"
  • Form XIII: Renzou "Way of the Acklay" or "Reverse Form"
  • Form XIV: Ikodu "Way of Reflection" or "Redirection Form"
  • Form XV: Viendul "Way of the Novice" or "Drunken Form"
  • Form XXIX:Am-Makash
  • Kadeesh
  • Form XX: Haronet (can also be considered personal saber form)

Universal Techniques

Universal techniques were widely-recognised methods of lightsaber combat that would often be employed when the conditions were favorable. However, whilst widely known, these techniques were usually quite basic or only had narrow usages, and thus were usually not applicable enough to devote an entire Form to. Rather, these techniques were geneally taught to most Jedi as a minor lesson in lightsaber combat. Sometimes these techniques can blossom into full forms given enough time and application, as both Sokan and Shien were universal techniques before being developed into full forms.

Personalized styles of lightsaber combat

There are some lightsaber combat styles that are created or customized for the user. These are rare, and unpredictable. These are some known styles.

  • Form XIX: Krij'Val "Way of the Hssiss" or "Power of the Hssiss"
  • Form XLII: Zastra "Way of the Nexu" or the "Combative form"—invented by Darth Tyler
  • Form CXVI: Éhonté "Way of the Salvar or "Faith Form"

Unorthodox Lightsaber combat

Unorthodox lightsaber combat is a loose term that defines lightsaber styles by a requirement for a particularly unusual style of lightsaber, such as the saberstaff or lightwhip. These styles tend to be significantly rare, and often die out over time due to a small number of followers. Form IX: Shien Dai could be considered an unorthodox style, as it requires a cortosis plate as well as a lightsaber, but due to its popularity it is considered a proper form.

  • Form X: Nevui
  • Form XXIV: Minotaurus
  • Form D "Way of the Swordsman" (extinct form)
  • Saberscythe lightsaber combat

Organization-based lightsaber combat styles

This is a list of lightsaber forms that were either created by or utilized almost exclusively by particular organizations.

Sith styles of lightsaber combat

Though most Sith Knights study the primary twelve lightsaber styles or the unorthodox, some lightsaber styles are exclusive to the Sith. These are the styles styles know to be used only by the them.

  • Form XXI: Karn-Mak "Way of the Wampa" or "Slaughtering Form"
  • Form XXIII: Esquiventar "Way of the Kissai"
  • Form DCLXVI: Atra-Manua "Way of the Black Hand"

Unarmed lightsaber combat

Main article: Unarmed lightsaber combat

Unarmed Lightsaber combat was the techniques used by Jedi, Sith, and other Force sensitives when they were unarmed and without a weapon. Most of the maneuvers involved the Force, but this wasn't always true.

Most Force users used the basic Teräs Käsi, the ancient but reliable form of combat. Others, however, went on to invent their own unique styles.

Inspired by these techniques, New Republic SpecForce commandos have been known to incorporate Unarmed Marksmanship into their training regimen, in the event they run out of ammunition on the field.

The True Sith had their unique unarmed combat style, called Jeet Kune Doshu, created by possibly one of the greatest unarmed fighters of all time, Bruce Lean Lee. Through his holocron, Bruce taught Kundun his style, and later Kundun passed it to his Midi-Knights. It was said to be the greatest combat style in the Galaxy and some duelists like Hulk Hogan made great use of it.

Blaster bolt ratio

This was a basic ratio algorithm developed during the first era of lightsaber-blaster combat, in order to determine at a glance how successfully differing forms of lightsaber combat are at defending against blaster bolts, both from a single enemy and from multiple opponents.

As an example, Form VI: Niman has a BBR of 180/3, and is one of the poorer styles for defending against blaster fire. The first part (180) is how fast one blaster must fire before a master is overwhelmed, so for our example it takes a blaster firing 200 times a minute before a master at that form will be overwhelmed. The second part is how many people firing at 50 shots per minute would it take to overwhelm a master at that particular form so it would take 3 people firing 50 shots per minute to overwhelm a master.

It is worth noting that the Blaster Bolt Ratio proved to be rather imprecise guesswork at best generally, as even masters of the same form tended to do things differently, and every different situation, context and the skill of the opponents tended to throw these numbers out significantly, to the point where there was no regular, logical mathematical formula to determine such a ratio, and as such the BBR did not exist for very long before falling out of general use.

Strength/ Weakness Rating System

In recent times, a Jedi padawan who happened to be an avid fan of the interactive computer games of the day conceived a system for rating the strengths and weaknesses of the Lightsaber Combat Forms. While the detractors of this system state that it is overly generalized, the padawan was quick to defend it, stating that it painted an easily understood picture of how effective various forms would be in combat, providing quick statistics.

The rating system is chart based, rating all the different elements of Lightsaber Combat used with a specific style with the titles Excellent, Strong, Moderate, Low and Weak, the meanings of each title being self-explanitory. The elements are listed as follows: Standard, Speed, Precision and Power. Again, self-explanitory titles.

Example Chart

Action Standard Speed Power Precision
Attack Example Example Example Example
Defense Example Example Example Example

See also

Form I: Shii-Cho (Powerstaark)

Form II: Makashi (Powerstaark)

Form III: Soresu (Powerstaark)

Form IV: Ataru (Powerstaark)

Form V: Djem So (Powerstaark)

Form VI: Shien (Powerstaark)

Form VII: Niman (Powerstaark)

Form VIII: Juyo/Vaapad (Powerstaark)

Jar'Kai (Powerstaark)

This article uses material from the "Lightsaber combat" article on the Star Wars Fanon wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

SWG Wiki

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From SWG Wiki

Lightsaber combat on Dantooine

Lightsaber combat was the preferred style of fighting used by the Jedi and Sith. The lightsaber was more than just the distinctive weapon of the Jedi, it was a segment of the order's history and its ultimate symbol for millennia. There could be no Jedi without a lightsaber and no lightsaber without a Jedi in the eyes of galactic denizens. Over the years, it came to be associated with gallantry and elegance otherwise lost in an age of blasters. Jedi traditionally constructed their own lightsaber as part of their training. To carry a lightsaber was an example of incredible skill and confidence, dexterity and attuning to the Force. Since its plasma blade was essentially weightless, the weapon produced a gyroscopic effect, and so it was very difficult to handle safely. Yet this made the weapon ideal for force-sensitive users whose ability to predict the various energy pulsations through the force allowed him or her to compensate for them. They also served as a means by which a Jedi's focus was attuned to the force during combat. For the same reason, it was also a very quick weapon, and superhuman reaction times were necessary to capitalize fully on this advantage. Only a handful of non-Force Sensitives have been known to master it, and none of them has ever presented a challenge for a fully-trained Jedi, save the lethally effective General Grievous.

The Seven Forms in SWG Terms

Each Jedi chose the style of lightsaber combat that best suited him or her. For example, Master Yoda used the Ataru form to compensate for his lack of reach and height; Mace Windu used Vaapad to tap into his anger and employ it constructively (albeit without giving himself over to the dark side); Count Dooku's practice of the Makashi form fit first of all his intention to frequently engage in lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, and second his emphasis on class and elegance as well as precision.

In game terms, the seven forms are represented by the following Force Sensitive powers:

  • Form I: Shii-Cho "Way of the Sarlacc" or "Determination Form" by Shii-Cho Stance
  • Form II: Makashi "Way of the Ysalamiri" or "Contention Form" by Makashi Focus
  • Form III: Soresu "Way of the Mynock" or "Resilience Form" by Soresu Stance
  • Form IV: Ataru "Way of the Hawk-Bat" or "Aggression Form" by Ataru Focus
  • Form V: Shien / Djem So "Way of the Krayt Dragon" or "Perseverance Form" by both Shien Stance and Djem So Focus
  • Form VI: Niman "Way of the Rancor" or "Moderation Form" by Niman Stance
  • Form VII: Juyo / Vaapad "Way of the Vornskr" or "Ferocity Form" by both Juyo Focus and Vaapad Focus

It should be evident that these forms I-VII are not a linear progression; that is, while Form VII Vaapad (CL90) is deadlier than Form II Makashi (CL14) in game terms, Form III Soresu (CL70) is deadlier than Form VII Juyo (CL62). Rather, the in-game forms are supposed to reflect different ways of using the Force in combat.

Two Makashi in SWG??

Of note is Form II Makashi. In the game it is represented by both Makashi Focus, a CL14 attack focus, and Makashi Stance, a defensive stance granted at CL54 that increses one's defense by 540. It is unclear why Makashi is given two totally distinct manifestations in the game, unless it is because Makashi was always a duelist specialty and it was thought that a defensive feat should be named after it as well.


This article uses material from the "Lightsaber combat" article on the SWG Wiki wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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