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"You often use a variant of Form five, but if you'd use Form six against me, it would have been more effective."
Barriss Offee, to Ahsoka Tano[3]

Form V, also known by its two primary disciplines of Shien and Djem So, was the fifth form of lightsaber combat used by members of the Jedi Order. The Djem So variant of Form V was based on defending with solid blocks and parries, then immediately countering with strong counterattacks and ripostes. Although it was a form geared toward and created for lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, it was nonetheless reasonably useful for blaster deflection. Anakin Skywalker was a known user of Djem So, both during his initial stint as a Jedi and later when he subsequently fell to the Sith. The Shien variant of Form V allowed the utilization of an unconventional reverse grip, which Ahsoka Tano was known to prefer and use during battles.


Form V was developed by practitioners of Form III who saw the need for better offensive capabilities. These Jedi valued Soresu's defensive techniques but sought a form that better incorporated attacks. While Form IV went in an entirely opposed direction, focusing almost exclusively on offense, Shien practitioners tempered Form III's potent defensive maneuvers with an increased emphasis on attack.[2]


Ahsoka Tano favored the reverse grip Shien variant whether wielding one or two lightsabers.

In the eyes of some Jedi, Form III wasted time and energy by focusing exclusively on defense and simply waiting for an opportunity to attack. Form V maintained many of the defensive techniques of Soresu but instead actively sought to create an opening to attack. The form achieved this primarily by redirecting opponents' attacks back against them. This could range from literally reflecting a blaster bolt back at the shooter or following up a parry with a powerful counterattack.[2]

Form V's Shien variant was the first to appear. Shien continued down Soresu's path in seeking an effective combat style in light of the continued prominence of blasters throughout the galaxy. Shien's primary focus in this regard was the use of a lightsaber to not only stop blaster bolts, but reflect them back at the very enemies firing them, transforming the enemy's blaster into a weapon of the Jedi. This technique proved so successful and effective that virtually all Jedi incorporated it into their repertoires, regardless of their favored form.[2]

Shien vader

Despite its focus on melee attacks, Form V could also be used to deflect ranged assaults, such as blaster bolts.

The Djem So variant of Form V developed some centuries later to address the inadequacies of the form for combating opponents in melee. Djem So emphasized defense against melee attacks, particularly by foes wielding lightsabers. The principles and approach, however, were largely the same as Shien, and the maneuvers and techniques that did vary were not adequately different to mark Djem So as a distinct form. Most practitioners of Form V practiced both Shien and Djem So techniques to remain prepared for any type of foe, though practitioners might have favored one over the other.[2]

Form V was a fluid style. Practitioners had to be always ready to spring to the attack from a defensive position and to return to protection when momentum ran low. While Shii-Cho and Ataru forced the situation and Soresu waited patiently for an opportunity, Shien and Djem So sought to control the momentum of battle, cleverly using whatever circumstances arose to their advantage.[2]

Shien and Djem So in practice[]


Ahsoka Tano and Darth Vader, both skilled users of Form V, clash on Malachor.

Anakin Skywalker was very skilled at Djem So and showcased his mastery over the form during the Clone Wars.[4] His Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, was also known to favor Form V.[3] Form V was a physically demanding style, calling on the user to quickly transition from a dedicated defensive stance to an all-out attack. The key to Shien's success was attacking without warning, when the foe least expected it. Both strength and speed were required to immediately follow up a block or parry with a powerful series of strikes before enemies could prepare their own defense.[2]

Form V contained a number of maneuvers for closing with a blaster-wielding opponent. However, it lacked the mobility of Ataru. Once locked in melee, a Djem So fighter moved little except for what footwork was required to press the assault against a foe. Likewise, shielding oneself from the blaster fire of numerous opponents greatly limited one's mobility. Shien practitioners[2] like Tano[3] sometimes used a distinctive reverse grip considered antiquated by the time of the Clone Wars. Advocates of the technique believed that this grip allowed a warrior to leverage power. Others argued that it was less effective for defensive maneuvers which marked the approach as quite moot among Form V masters.[2]



SentinelShienExpert EV Cristi Balanescu

A female expert of the Shien variant of Form V

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