- "Your lightsaber is an invaluable tool. Even when inactive, it can defuse a potentially volatile situation. Trust me on that."
- ―Kyle Katarn
Jedi Battlemaster, or simply Battlemaster, (or Sword Master) was the title for the premier lightsaber combat instructor of the Jedi Order's Jedi academy. Appointed by the Jedi High Council, the Battlemaster oversaw all lightsaber instruction at the academy, and was responsible for electing new instructors. While there was only one Battlemaster at any given time following the Ruusan Reformations of the Galactic Republic, the Order's satellite academies each received a respective head instructor, all of whom reported to and were hand-picked by the Battlemaster of the Jedi Order on Coruscant.
When the academy on Coruscant was founded, the Jedi High Council elected a Battlemaster to lead instruction in the art of lightsaber technique. For several generations there existed only a single Battlemaster at a time. During the Cold War and Galactic War, the title of Battlemaster was given to Jedi who had gone above and beyond in combat during the conflicts. In these years, Jun Seros served as a Battlemaster of the Jedi Order, replacing the deceased Kao Cen Darach. After the Revanite crisis ended, the Jedi Master known as the Hero of Tython, was bestowed the title of Battlemaster. All this ended with the start of the New Sith Wars. Although Lord Hoth had ascended to the official position of Battlemaster of the Jedi Order, with the vast majority of Jedi serving on the battlefronts and learning lightsaber technique on the front lines, the lords and generals of the Army of Light were declaring themselves Battlemasters as they showed prowess against the Brotherhood of Darkness' warriors. When the war ended at Ruusan, the Army was dissolved and the war-weary Jedi returned to Coruscant. While many revoked the title and took up roles as instructors, others were sent out to satellite training facilities to lead instruction on the Outer Rim. A few years after the Ruusan Reformations of the Galactic Republic took effect, Master Skarch Vaunk was serving as the head Battlemaster of the Jedi Order.
By the last days of the Republic, Master Cin Drallig led the academy's lightsaber instruction, teaching master swordsmen as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. It should be noted that while there existed only one Battlemaster, there existed a select few that served as lightsaber combat instructors, either as heads of lesser academies or serving directly beneath the Battlemaster. One such example was the Wookiee Master Kirlocca, who taught lightsaber techniques to the students of the Almas Academy in the Cularin system, serving as one of the appointed lightsaber instructors under the authority of the Battlemaster. Other such appointed lightsaber instructors active under the respective Battlemaster included Dooku, Sora Bulq, and Anoon Bondara. At the end of the Clone Wars, Drallig was killed by one of his greatest students, Darth Vader, a former Knight who was seduced to the dark side. Drallig's death ended the line of Battlemasters, as the Order was soon after disbanded.
Following the ensuing Great Jedi Purge and the Galactic Civil War, Master Luke Skywalker began efforts to begin rebuilding the Order, and eventually raised the first class of the next generation of Jedi Knights. Because of his prior experiences in lightsaber combat as a former member of the Dark Side Elite, Kam Solusar was appointed head of combat instruction at the Jedi Praxeum. During Solusar's years as the head lightsaber instructor, Solusar educated the earliest Jedi Initiates by creating the three rings of defense, the new Order's basic defensive principles. Kam Solusar would retain this title until after the defeat of the Dark Jedi Desann, when the title of Battlemaster was bestowed upon Master Kyle Katarn, circa 13/14 ABY. Katarn, who was already an experienced fencer, was known for introducing the three combat styles—the Fast, Medium, and Strong styles—of the Order, complete with their own Katas and maneuvers, encompassing techniques specific for single, dual, or even double-bladed lightsaber combat.
Behind the scenes
It is a strong possibility that Anoon Bondara was the Jedi Battlemaster prior to Cin Drallig. In both of Anoon's appearances he is described as having lightsaber skills second to none, also the fact that he was the lightsaber instructor to Younglings and Padawans such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and that he died in 32 BBY, the same year Cin Drallig became Battlemaster, support this possibility. However, it is unknown whether or not he was the head lightsaber instructor at the Temple and therefore the Battlemaster.
There is also a possibility that the Echani Jedi Master Raskta Lsu was the Battlemaster of her generation, as she had mastered all forms of lightsaber combat and was noted as to being the greatest duelist of her time. Sora Bulq, the co-creator of the infamous Vaapad, was credited as being a master of every known form of lightsaber combat.
He was so proficient with the weapon of a Jedi that Master Mace Windu commissioned Sora's help in creating Vaapad. As one of the Order's greatest lightsaber instructors, Sora Bulq was credited with training a great many students over the years. Sora was an active Jedi during the time Cin Drallig was the head lightsaber instructor at the Jedi Temple (before he fell to the dark side), so it is probable that he was not the premier Battlemaster, but rather one of a select few.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Onslaught
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sabotage"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (Appears in hologram)
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith game
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi Companion
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- The New Essential Chronology
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force