As the sequel trilogy revealed, it was certain that Palpatine was the antagonist due to all the foreboding clues that his character embodied. Yet, it was a surprise to see him actually use a lightsaber and fight with it so competently.
It’s unanticipated because it is known that Palpatine actually hated lightsabers. For someone who abhorred lightsabers, it’s very ironic for him to be so skilled with the weapon.
Also known as Juyo, the Way of the Vornskr, or the Ferocity Form, this final lightsaber fighting style entailed that the user has already mastered the 6 prerequisite forms. This style is characterized by ferocious attacks and serious concentration.
Due to the danger of this style, the Jedi Order put a limit on its use. They were particularly concerned that the users had a larger chance of falling to the dark side if they used Form VII.
Oppositely, the Sith were able to use this form without restraint because it allowed them to use the dark side more. Many of the Sith used this style but to name a few practitioners, we have Darth Maul, Darth Bane, and Darth Vader.
In order for the Jedi to utilize this form without risking the possibility of falling to the dark side, Mace Windu and Sora Bulq devised Vaapad. According to them, this was more of a state of mind rather than a fighting technique.
It’s definitely important for the Jedi user of Form VII to have a strong mental constitution for them to use Form VII but still remain a Jedi. Basically, with Vaapad, the fighter can direct their “darkness” into the duel and at the same time absorb the violent attacks of their enemy.
Aside from Mace Windu, other Jedi who used Vaapad were Padawan Depa Bilaba and Quinlan Vos. The video below gives more details about Form VII.
Darth Sidious hated lightsabers
Darth Sidious himself said that the Sith only used lightsabers to ridicule the Jedi, and, in fact, the Sith actually had no need for this weapon. Still, many ask for the exact reason why he hated lightsabers.
When he was trained by Darth Plagueis, it seems that Sidious was forced to learn how to use the lightsaber. This is because the Jedi still found value in it.
As an intellectual, Plagueis knew that if they had no knowledge of how the Jedi fought, then this would be a weakness that could be used to defeat the Sith. Therefore, it was vital that he gave lightsaber training to Darth Sidious.
Of course, as another prodigy, he was able to master it easily. In fact, he mastered everything that he could use to kill others.
Still, as a very prideful individual, he looked down on the use of the lightsaber because to him, the Sith were powerful enough to not use such an archaic weapon. He believed that all they needed was their power over the dark side of the Force.
Indeed, we see him opt to use his Force powers by hurtling large items and senate pods when he battled Yoda. Even during this duel, I really believe that he purposefully kept his distance so that he could use the Force instead of wielding his lightsaber.
As can be seen in the video below, Yoda was overpowering Palpatine when it came to dueling with lightsabers. However, Darth Sidious drew back and kept his distance in order for him to use his Force powers without being attacked by Yoda’s blade in close quarters.
Does Darth Sidious have a lightsaber in the originals?
As mentioned above, Darth Sidious began training with a lightsaber during his apprenticeship with Plagueis. Just like the Jedi, he also made his own saber.
He kept this saber hidden when he entered politics. Furthermore, despite his distaste for this blade, he actually had a back-up of this lightsaber for times when he needed an immediate weapon.
In addition, he had his master’s lightsaber, too. He used Plagueis’ lightsaber only once.
Darth Sidious’ lightsaber was disrespectful to the Jedi
Unlike the Sith who used lightsabers for violence and bloodshed, the Jedi viewed the lightsaber as a tool for peace. As a symbolic weapon of the Jedi, it’s utterly reprehensible that the Sith used the same weapon for everything the Jedi objected to.
Moreover, high ranking Jedi were rewarded with a golden material called Electrum. They were even given the opportunity to use this for their lightsaber hilt.
Because Darth Sidious wanted to poke fun at this Jedi practice, he purposefully covered both his lightsaber hilts with more Electrum than the high ranking Jedi used. In this way, he put himself above the Jedi and poked fun at their ranks.
Darth Vader didn’t like Darth Sidious’ lightsaber
When Anakin fully transformed into Darth Vader, he didn’t have a weapon because Obi-Wan actually took his lightsaber from him. He also didn’t have time to create a new weapon.
Darth Sidious tasked him to go after the remaining Jedi after Order 66 was carried out. Thus, Vader had no choice but to use Darth Sidious’ second lightsaber, which was actually the back-up saber.
Initially, Vader found the weapon to be quite impressive because of the excellent materials and craftsmanship. It was also terrific in battle because of how light it was.
However, because the lightsaber wasn’t his, the crystals didn’t respond to him as well as he liked. Furthermore, the design was ancient and obsolete, which means it wasn’t good for duels.
Instead, it was more like an art piece and it could not be depended on for prolonged use. Eventually, Darth Vader built his own lightsaber to suit his diabolical needs.
Just like his apprentice, Vader, Darth Sidious was a prodigy. He mastered all forms of lightsaber fighting styles and other forms of combat that can be used to kill.
In terms of duels, he mixed different styles but chiefly used Juyo or Form VII. However, because he disliked lightsabers, he preferred to use the dark side of the Force, hence his Force Lightning.