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"Sun djem is the ancient term for 'disarming'."
Cin Drallig[1]
Force Clarity SoC by Mark Evans

Sun djem in practice

In lightsaber combat, Sun djem was an attack used by the Jedi that destroyed or disarmed the weapon of an opponent, the objective usually being not to physically harm the wielder.

Sun djem was a goal of early Form I duelists, as disarming or destroying the opponents' weapons could ensure victory without causing injury, which was always a Jedi objective. However with the rise of Form II lightsaber combat, Sun djem became nearly impossible as Makashi duelists were well trained to prevent their own weapons being taken or destroyed.


"Not bad, you remembered to destroy their weapons first."
"I'm improving your technique."
―Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano[2]
Sundjem Doublelightsaber

Darth Malgus disarming Satele Shan by cutting her second saberstaff in half.

There were several ways in which a duelist could perform the sun djem.

In lightsaber combat, it was common for a skilled duelist to try twisting or bashing the opponent's lightsaber from their grip with either a bind or sudden power blow, the Shii-Cho technique "disarming slash" having been developed for this purpose. Luke Skywalker was disarmed in this manner during his duel with Darth Vader on Cloud City,[3] and again during his fight with Darth Sidious on Byss.[4]

In such engagements, it was also common for a duelist to simply destroy their opponent's weapon, cutting the lightsaber hilt in two with his own blade. Darth Tyranus utilized this method when he flicked one of Anakin Skywalker's lightsabers out of his hand and cut the hilt in two in midair.[5] Obi-Wan Kenobi attempted to apply this method against Darth Maul during their duel in the Theed Power Core, but one end of Maul's saberstaff continued functioning, allowing the Sith apprentice to keep fighting.[6] The same method was tried by Darth Vader when battling with the reborn Maul on Kalakar Six; this time, however, both halves of the saberstaff remained in working order.[7] Against blaster-wielding opponents, this was standard procedure, as Ahsoka Tano demonstrated during the Battle of Teth.[2]

Sun djem could also be performed with a sudden physical attack, such as a punch or a kick. These methods were demonstrated by such duelists as Darth Bane, who punched Valenthyne Farfalla's lightsaber from his grasp before decapitating him,[8] or Anakin Skywalker, who kicked Asajj Ventress' paired lightsabers, disconnecting the weapons, before kicking one of the two hilts aside.[2] Mace Windu inadvertently utilized this method when he kicked Darth Sidious in the face during their duel on Coruscant, causing the Sith Lord to drop his lightsaber as he flailed for balance.[9]

Sun Djem GH by Michael Komarck

Rachi Sitra using sun djem to disarm an opponent.

One of the more extreme demonstrations of physical disarmament was performed by Anakin Skywalker during his duel with Asajj Ventress on Yavin 4. After being disarmed by Ventress, he seized both of her wrists and began squeezing the left one in his prosthetic hand, nearly breaking it and causing Ventress to drop her weapon.[10] A similar feat was done by the recently transformed Savage Opress, who had not yet begun to use a lightsaber, during a mission on Devaron as he fought Jedi Master Halsey with a pike: a remarkable performance, considering this was the first time he had ever encountered a Jedi.[11] A considerably more simplistic method favored by Starkiller involved simply grabbing an opponent's weapon and ripping it from their grasp, a technique Starkiller often displayed against riot stormtroopers.[12]

More experienced Force users even demonstrated the ability to disarm opponents telekinetically. Darth Maul and Asajj Ventress would occasionally use the ability to do this against adversaries with long-range weapons.[2][13] In fact, any well-trained Force user could rip away weapons from a group of enemies, as demonstrated by Maul and Vodo-Siosk Baas.[14][15] When Ventress attempted to assassinate King Katuunko, Yoda deactivated her lightsabers while she held them, and yanked them from her grip.[16] Darth Tyranus was also capable of performing this technique, as he demonstrated on Ventress during their duel on Rattatak—he tore Ventress's lightsabers from her hands with telekinesis and cut them in half with his own lightsaber, besting the Dark Jedi.[17] Starkiller was also capable of utilizing this technique to a degree. After losing his lightsabers during his duel with Darth Vader, Starkiller tricked the Dark Lord into lowering his guard, blasted him with Force lightning, and proceeded to pull the stunned Sith's lightsaber from his grasp with the Force.[18] This particular technique was known as Force Disarm.[19]

L defeated by P

The reborn Darth Sidious applying sun djem against Luke Skywalker.

Darth Sidious was known to display extreme versions of disarming, such as when he blasted Yoda's lightsaber from his grip with a barrage of Force lightning during their duel,[9] or when he caused a lightsaber held by Leia Organa Solo to explode in her hands.[4] Darth Vader was also capable of similar feats, as displayed when he utilized a Force blast to disarm Starkiller during their duel, obliterating his dual lightsabers in the process.[18]

Behind the scenes[]

Grandma 1982 001

Non-canon appearance of Obi-Wan Kenobi applying sun djem against General Grievous

In both the comic and novelization of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi applies sun djem against General Grievous. However, both instances contradict the movie and are outweighed in canonical value.

Mace Windu displayed his mastery of Sun djem in the novelization of Episode III by slicing Darth Sidious's lightsaber in half. In the comic, Mace displayed another variation of Sun djem by kicking Sidious's right palm to knock away the Sith lightsaber. However, both scenes directly contradicted the movie and were outranked in canonical value.



Notes and references[]

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