“This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as random or as clumsy as a blaster, but an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” Said Obi-Wan Kenobi
In the Star Wars Universe, described in its literature and movies that there exist seven main forms of lightsaber combats. Each of them has its own explanation, philosophy, strengths and weaknesses. These seven form are described below:
Form I (Known as Shii-Cho)
To put it simply, this is the most basic and traditional form of combat. It is the oldest form of fighting to exist. If you see it in terms of technique, it is almost no different from regular sword-fighting. And it perfectly makes sense since Shi-Cho was made during the time when the swords were transitioning to lightsabers. Generally, the stance, attacks, parries, maneuvers and such were held from bladed sword fighting to lightsaber combat. This is why this style is often referred to as straightforward.
In the combat field, this method of combat is remarkable for several opponents as the swords are wide-sweeping. However, sadly it is not for the one-to-one fights as it is easy for the opponents to unleash the weakness of this form.
Kit Fisto and Obi-Wan Kenobi are the two most popular practitioners of the Shii-Cho combat form.
Form II (Known as Makashi)
As mentioned above, there are certain weaknesses in Form I which were kept in mind while designing the Form II which is also known as Makashi. And, Form II techniques are made to be more elegant. For Makashi, the practitioners engage in superb swordplay which makes them formidable duelists.
There is an importance given on speed and precision and the moves are very much similar to real-life fencing with fighters retreating and advancing while staying in a single line.
In place of depending on slashes and the blocks, Makashi practitioners turn their defense and offense with light buts and accurately timed parries. This form is ideal for the single or one-to-one fights but not ideal for defending against the blasters or large groups. Count Dooku was one the highlighted Form II practitioners and he demonstrated the style’s strengths with his smooth and swift swordplay.
Form III (Known as Soresu)
The third form of the seven lightsaber combat is referred to as Soresu. It is a form which supports ultimate defense. It was created to cater the increasing blaster usage. Just like Form II, the third form utilizes the tight bladework however breaks the rigid back and forth footwork to welcome dodging. Soresu is mainly focused on the moving lightsaber and converting energy to win over any opponent to wait for them to make any fatal mistake and backfire with the defense move.
Jedi training in Soresu can fight against various or an alone opponent as long as the opponent stays calm. However, the third form lacks offensive maneuvers as the goal is to make sure that he outlasts the opponent rather than overwhelm.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was known for his excellent skills and performance in Form III and his battle with Anakin Skywalker is a highlight and displays the perks of using Soresu to bait opponents into making mistakes.
Form IV (Known as Ataru)
It is also referred to as the “The Way of the Hawk-Bat” or “The Aggression Form”. As the name suggests it is highly focused on the attacking. It is understood and makes sense that this form was made because the third form was completely based on the defense moves. Since, this is a rapid and intense style, this form is also considered as an ideal form for one-on- one fights. It is intense and extremely acrobatic, specifically how the force is partnered with somersaults and stunts in the air.
It is generally a popular fighting style as it is the most visually pleasing and exciting form of combat. Watching Yoda bounce around and utilize the force with quick blade work can also be seen as an artistic feat. However, when this form is used in battles, it is proved to be extremely detrimental since it will exhaust the user to the maximum. Likewise, it is not good for defense if encountered with blasters which is why most of the Jedi have varying fighting styles.
Apart from Yoda, the proficient practitioners of this style of combat include Qui-Gon Jinn and Ahsoka Tano.
Form V (Known as Shien or Djem So)
The fifth form has two key disciplines which are Djem and Shien. Both of these are based on the counter attacking. Shein revolves around returning blaster shots while Djem So revolves around returning the lightsaber attacks. The philosophy of the fifth form is to defend and attack which is evident that it is a combination of From III and Form IV.
This style of fighting calls for the most physical strength and some questions using the form V since it also focuses on controlling the opponents. Djem So is all about overwhelming enemies with detrimental attacks, strikes; therefore, it is no surprise that Anakin Skywalker, who later switched to the Dark Side, used this form to crush his enemies.
Form VI (known as Niman)
The sixth form is known as Niman and is a combination of all the previous five forms discussed. They are combined into a traditional style which doesn’t have outstanding strengths or weaknesses. Jedi are the group which focuses more on diplomacy or study-based Form VI as the bladework is much easier and simple.
Moreover, Niman includes the dual blades which acts as the gateway to Jar’Kai. To overcome the gap because of the simplicity, the serious practitioners were motivated to be creative with their approaches and to incorporate telekinesis along with Force pulls and pushes.
Jar’Kai is not formally categorized as any form but can be classified under the sixth form as it simply denotes the practice of utilizing two lightsabers. This is kind of a tricky technique as it needs good coordination to handle two lightsabers however, the tradeoff is worth it as Jar’Kai masters are great at maintaining an aggressive barrage.
But the practitioners are not allowed to attack or black using both hands and fighters are extremely dependent on two lightsabers. As a result, they are considerably undermined if they lose any lightsaber. Ahsoka Tano was a popular Jar’Kai Jedi who utilized a shoto to offset the weight of the two lightsabers.
Form (Known as Juyo or Vaapad)
The last and the seventh form is referred to as the Juyo or Vaapad. It is the most intense and deadliest lightsaber form, as such, calls for the Dark Side. The Sith group favors Juyo Form, which ensures their war skills and make them such powerful warriors. Juyo is also considered as an emotional form which calls for the users to channel their anger or rage or malice into destroying their enemies.
This is the key differentiating feature of this form as all others have controlled motions. Juyo also calls back the characteristics of the Form I by giving importance to the chaotic and unpredictable movements which eschew the Jedi Order’s graceful control.
Mace Windu formed Vaapad to allow his inner darkness to be channeled into fighting for the light. The Vaapad practitioners continuously use the Force to move at the speed of light and they direct their desires to win into new strength.\
The Lightsaber Combats
The lightsaber combats have a great history and the deep philosophy behind every different style. All of these styles are well-explained since these forms have unique characteristics, weaknesses and strengths. Each form examines Jedi or Sith key points from their personality and how they are incorporated in each form.
The lightsabers are unique and one of its kind weapons ever created in a fictional world. As shown in movies and literature of Star Wars, they are an all cutting weapon. They are capable of slicing away whatever comes in contact with it.
The most unique feature of the weapon is that only the people who are strong enough with The Force are capable of using it efficiently. It is a weapon of martial prowess; you are capable enough to wield a weapon only a fraction of the Galaxy could use.
And this is what we refer to as a lightsaber, a weapon. It is a specific item made for the purpose of killing people. It is designed to resemble a sword although it has much variation to it which include double bladed lightsaber, curved, shoto, and list goes etc. Just how there are different opinions and reviews related to every weapon, so are there for these.
There are multiple variations and styles of usage to use them effectively. This is combined by the fact that the saber is mostly characterized by the hilt, which is customized by the person using it. Therefore, it is given that there stands several philosophies on how to use the lightsabers in the best way.
There is one last thing that all fans must keep in mind is that all of these forms and lightsabers itself are not real but simply a very realistic fictional weapon. Fascinating, no? Therefore, when you read up the Star War literature or watch the lightsabers in the movies or anime there might be slight clashes. The most visible difference will come when you go to buy one. Yes, there are extremely surreal lightsabers available in the market today but still they differ slightly from what you have read or seen. However, the advanced programming has allowed people to edit the open source document and make variations from their imagination, which is obviously vast and deep as sea. So, pick your lightsaber, let it be neopixel light saber or baselit rgb, just customize it, and enjoy!