- "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
Form V, also known by its two primary disciplines of Shien (pronounced shee-ENN) 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, and was geared toward and created for lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat, but also still reasonably useful for blaster deflection. Anakin Skywalker and later when he became Darth Vader was a known user of Djem So. 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.
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 turning opponents' attacks back against them, whether by literally reflecting a blaster bolt back at the shooter or following up a parry with a powerful counterattack.
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.
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 user would then directly counterattack, using their opponents momentum against them. 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.
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.
Shien and Djem So in practiceEdit
Form V was a physically demanding style, calling on the user to quickly transition from a dedicated defensive stance to an all-out attack. Whereas Ataru relied on acrobatics, Form V counted on brute strength. The key to Shien's success was attacking without warning, when the foe did not expect 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.
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 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.
- Star Wars: Forces of Destiny—Ahsoka & Padmé (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know (First identified as Form V) (First identified as Shien)
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Lightsaber Battles (First identified as Djem So)
- Knights of Fate
- (Indirect mention only)