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"Energy constantly flows through the crystal. You're not fighting with a simple blade as much as you are directing a current of power. Your thoughts, your actions, they become energy. They flow through the crystal as well and become a part of the blade."
―Kanan Jarrus, to Sabine Wren[src]

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader engage in lightsaber combat on Mustafar

Lightsaber combat occurred when two or more opponents using lightsabers, or at least one of the combatants used a lightsaber while the other used a different bladed weapon, engaged in a duel. Such opponents were often, though not always, Sith and Jedi. Though lightsaber combat decided the results of some important conflicts throughout the galaxy, often when two Force-sensitive opponents were nearly evenly matched, they had to resort to other means to settle the conflict, such as drawing on other Force powers.

There were seven known forms of lightsaber combat: Form I, Form II, Form III, Form IV, Form V, Form VI, and Form VII.[1]


Lightsaber style Brief description
Form I: Shii-Cho The oldest known form of Lightsaber combat, it was a simplistic style that balanced traditional maneuvers intent on maiming and killing with a focus on disarming an armed foe and was used against superior number of opponents. It was a popular form among Padawans in the Jedi Order.[2]
Form II: Makashi A style regarded for its elegance, graceful presentation, and balletic approach in wielding a lightsaber. It was notable for its primary focus on facing a single opponent and the avoidance of being disarmed by an opponent while simultaneously working to disarming them.[2]
Form III: Soresu A defensive style that utilized tight, controlled movements and strict economy of action. Practioners of this form focused on defense entirely in any situation and committed to analyzing their opponents and openings created, often from the frustration and fatigue of the enemy, while not succumbing the fatigue or mistakes themselves. It remained popular even during the creation of other lightsaber forms.[2]
Form IV: Ataru A speedy, acrobatic, and aggressive lightsaber combat style that placed greater emphasis on using the Force to enhance movements in all areas of combat and required great room to attack from all directions. Due to its nature, it was considered a demanding fighting style both physically and through the Force.[2]
Form V: Shien/Djem So Two fluid disciplines of lightsaber combat, which were considered physically demanding styles due to their requirement of quick transitions from dedicated defensive stances to all-out attacks. The Shien variant had users often attack when least expected and could utilize a reverse blade grip. The Djem So variant taught users maneuvers that geared it for both saber-to-saber combat and blaster deflection, but lacked agility.[2]
Form VI: Niman Considered the most popular lightsaber combat form in the Jedi Order, it balanced the qualities presented in all the other forms but did not incorporate any notable strengths. Less demanding than all the other previous combat styles, its approach was a careful balance between offense and defense but leaned towards the latter and extensive integration of Force powers.[2]
Form VII: Juyo/Vaapad Considered the most aggressive and unpredictable disciplines and therefore the most controversial, it was a combat style with a history of the Jedi High Council of the Jedi Order forbidding it and later allowing only select users to practice the disciplines. It was a style considered both physically and emotionally exhausting.[2]

The Juyo variant focused on aggressive assault and a mindset that drew upon anger and negative emotions to fuel relentless assault. This mindset caused many users to fall to the dark side or close to it.[2]

The Vaapad variant, developed by Mace Windu, similarly drew upon anger and passion, but required the user to not give into them. This style is characterized by rapid, frenzied strikes and powerful blows. However, it was not as reckless in nature as Juyo.[2]

Jar'Kai The method of using two lightsabers during combat, be they single blades or double blades altogether.[3] Variants of this include utilizing more than two in combat or utilizing double-bladed ones at the same time (most likely due to physiological or technological capabilities).[4][5]


Fall of the Republic[]

"My powers have doubled since the last time we met, Count."
"Good. Twice the pride, double the fall."
―Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku as they engage in lightsaber combat — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

The advent of the Clone Wars brought about a resurgence in the use of lightsaber combat.

Upon the advent of the Clone Wars, however, pushed by the militant stance of Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine (secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious manipulating matters for his own ends), "aggressive negotiations" through lightsaber combat became commonplace.[6]

Skilled duelists in lightsaber combat fighting on the side of the Jedi and the Galactic Republic included Agen Kolar, Plo Koon, Kit Fisto, Obi-Wan Kenobi,[6] Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano,[7] Shaak Ti, Saesee Tiin, Luminara Unduli, Mace Windu, and Yoda.[6] Those fighting against the Jedi, either for their own reasons or in support of the Sith and/or the Confederacy of Independent Systems included General Grievous,[5] Darth Maul,[8] Savage Opress,[9] Darth Sidious,[5] Count Dooku,[6] and Asajj Ventress.[10] Still others fought at one point for the Jedi, but later fell to the dark side of the Force. These included Pong Krell,[4] Barriss Offee,[11] and Anakin Skywalker, who became the feared Sith Lord Darth Vader.[5]

Age of the Empire[]

"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Darth Vader, before the two engage in lightsaber combat — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

During the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire and Galactic Civil War, Kanan Jarrus trained Ezra Bridger, a young Force-sensitive from Lothal, in the ways of the Force and to use a lightsaber,[12] and he later trained his fellow rebel the Mandalorian Sabine Wren in using Tarre Vizsla's darksaber.[13]

There were many Jedi survivors who used their lightsabers in combat to battle the Empire or protect themselves from Inquisitors, for example, Cal Kestis utilized his lightsaber to defend himself against Inquisitors when he was discovered on Bracca and against Vader on Nur.[3]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]