Lightsaber duels are probably the most anticipated part of any Star Wars movie. Whenever a new movie is out, fans dress up as their favorite character and imitate iconic fight scenes.
In fact, there are those who take it very seriously. There’s even a lightsaber combat academy!
This isn’t surprising since the lightsaber fighting styles are actually based on and inspired by all kinds of martial arts. Because of how intricate the techniques are, many fans are curious about what lightsaber form would best suit them.
How many Lightsaber Forms are there?
Just as Yoda or Luke have different techniques, your favorite character fights in a specific way, too. There are many ways of dueling but they fall under different categories.
Seven Forms of the Jedi Order
This is the most popular basis of lightsaber fighting styles. If you want to know more about lightsaber dueling styles and if it’s right for you, getting to know the 7 forms of the Jedi Order is an absolute must.
It might be obvious that how Yoda fights is vastly different from Mace Windu. This is because their fighting styles are based on how they use the Force, their body, and their strengths.
Based on this, you can deduct that each form has its own function and obvious characteristics. For instance, some are more centered toward strength, while others have agility as the focal point.
Three Forms of the New Jedi Order
After the fall of the Galactic Empire, the Jedi Order was reformed. At this time, the three main styles became prominent. Of course, the 7 styles are still practiced.
Other Forms and Styles
The Star Wars universe is vast and there are many races and planets. Knowing this, we can’t deny the existence of other ways of fighting that don’t fall under Jedi or Sith styles.
There are 10 known hybrid or unorthodox fighting styles, and 5 saber-centered fighting types.
List of Lightsaber Forms
To find out what fighting style is right for you, the following list will help you out. We’ll focus on the Seven Forms of the Jedi Order as it’s the most detailed and popular list of fighting styles.
1. Form I (Shii-Cho)
To be brief, this is the basics. It’s the oldest style out of all of the fighting forms.
In terms of technique, it is almost no different from basic sword-fighting. And I find that this makes sense because Shii-Cho was created during the time that swords were transitioning to lightsabers.
Basically, the stance, attacks, maneuvers, parries, and such were carried from bladed sword fighting to lightsaber fighting. Some might even call this style straightforward.
In the battlefield, this method of combat is great for multiple opponents because the swords are wide-sweeping. Unfortunately, it’s not for one-on-one fights because it is easy for opponents to find the weakness of this form.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kit Fisto were some of the most famous practitioners of Shii-Cho. Watch the video below to see how Form I looks in real life.
2. Form II (Makashi)
Taking a step back in Star Wars history, this dueling form was generated when Jedi’s and Darksiders engaged in combat frequently. Unlike Shii-Cho, this style is good for one-on-one combat.
Focusing on and anticipating the attacks of the opponent, reflexes are vital to this fighting style. It’s a graceful and flowing combination of precision, timing, and technique.
Lightsabers used for Form II often had a curved hilt which was practical for the one-handed lightsaber maneuvers of the Makashi practitioners. Speaking of practitioners, Dooku is surely the most popular one.
3. Form III (Soresu)
This style also has 2 other titles: “The Way of the Mynock”, and “The Resilience Form”. By now, we are well aware that Form I was used for deflecting blasts.
Form III adapted and enhanced the quick strokes and evasion of Form I, making Soresu specialized for blast-deflecting. This also means that this is a defensive style.
Essentially, the goal is to defend long enough that you outlast the opponent and find an opening to strike a counter-attack. Though this style focuses more on survival, it does lack offensive techniques.
Some notable characters who used this style are Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Watch the video below to see how Soresu defends against blasts.
4. Form IV (Ataru)
Also known as “The Way of the Hawk-Bat” or “The Aggression Form”, you can guess that it’s highly focused on attacks. It’s quite understandable that this was created because of how Form III is mostly defensive.
Because this s a rapid and intense style, it’s perfect for one-on-one duels. It’s extremely acrobatic, especially because of how the Force is partnered with stunts and somersaults in the air.
It’s actually one of my most favorite fighting styles as it’s the most visually pleasing and exciting. Seeing Yoda bounce around and use the force with quick blade work can even be seen as an artistic feat.
However, when it comes to drawn-out battles, it will prove to be detrimental since it will tire out the user. Similarly, it isn’t good for defense against blasters, which is why many Jedi have multiple fighting styles.
Aside from Yoda, my other favorite characters who use Ataru are Ahsoka Tano and Qui-Gon Jinn. The video below will surely impress you.
5. Form V (Shien / Djem So)
This style of combat is a more refined version of Form III with the added feature of offense. Aside from blocking blasts with the lightsaber, it also ricochets it back to the opponent.
But it isn’t only limited to countering blasts, Djem So can also be used for lightsaber battles. A popular character that used Djem So was Darth Vader.
To simplify, the fighter will mostly use blocks and evading techniques. The offense will come from counter-attacks.
On the other hand, Shien is the technique used by Ahsoka Tano. It’s characterized by the reverse grip. Read more about the Form V.
6. Form VI (Niman)
This 6th form is also known as Niman, the Diplomat’s Form, the Way of the Rancor, and the Moderation Form. It’s said that this form has no weaknesses.
Ultimately, this is a combination of all the preceding lightsaber fighting styles. While it encompasses so many specializations, it anchored itself on moderation.
While there are no weaknesses, there are also no significant advantages. One word that can describe this style would be “relaxed”. Quite fittingly so as it’s mostly used by Jedi who preferred diplomacy.
What the style compensates for, however, is the use of the Force to pull and shove in tandem with their lightsabers. In addition, it also emphasized the use of double blades.
Darth Maul and Exar Kun are some of the users of Form VI. Below, you can see how well Saber Tribe showcases this style.
7. Form VII (Juyo / Vaapad)
Finally, we have Mace Windu’s preferred style of fighting. Out of all seven forms, this is regarded as the most erratic and destructive.
The problem with this style is that many who use it often fall to the dark side. Mace Windu is the only one in the whole franchise who mastered Form VII without turning to the Sith.
While it is not so popular among the Jedi, it’s often used by the Sith. In fact, Darth Maul and the Grand Inquisitor were popular practitioners of this style.