Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (2022)

The Jedi and the Sith use seven different forms of lightsaber combat in Star Wars - here's all you need to know about each of them, and who uses what.

By Thomas Bacon Updated


Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (1)

Star Wars' lightsaber is the traditional weapon of the Jedi and the Sith, and here is your guide to all seven lightsaber forms.When Luke Skywalker first saw his father's lightsaber, he was fascinated by it. "This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight," Obi-Wan Kenobi explained to him. "Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized time." This was just the beginning of Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber lessons for Luke. For masters Jedi Masters like Obi-Wan, lightsaber combat is an artform,a symbolof Jedi traditionsas well as a reflection of one's mastery of the Force.

Years later, Luke would begin to teach others the ways of the Jedi, and some of his notes are preserved in the in-universe guidebookSecrets of the Jedi. There, he reveals just why a lightsaber is unlike any other weapon."It's said that wielding a lightsaber is less like swinging a sword and more like directing a current of power," he wrote. "When you're attuned to the Force, your thoughts and actions all become part of the same flow of energy, which is then directed through the kyber crystal and into your lightsaber's blade." Consequently, while real-world fighting techniques can be identified on occasion in lightsaber combat, they've been heavily modified.

Star Warshas a total ofseven forms of lightsaber combat. By the prequel era, all Jedi seem to be trained in forms I and III, but as Padawans in training, they are encouraged to experiment with other forms in order to find the one that suits them the most. Naturally, there is a fashion to these things; certain forms are better suited to combat, thus becoming more common when the galaxy is at war, while others are defensive and thus seen in more peaceful times. The best Jedi in the galaxy master multiple lightsabers forms, switching between them when the need arises. Here's everything you need to know about all seven forms of Star Wars' iconic lightsaber.

Form I: Shii-Cho

Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (2)

Shii-Cho is generally regarded as the oldest lightsaber form, and the most elementary; as a result, every Jedi begins by learning Shii-Cho, and often a Jedi will fall back on this fighting style when all other techniques have failed. Almost all the Jedi seen inStar Wars: The Clone Wars resort to Shii-Cho on occasion. This can also be observed in when Jedi were cornered during Order 66's execution. Form I is basic but effective, and it can appear quite brutal and aggressive because it involves a fast flurry of strikes.Practitioners of Form I always slip back to a defensive posture after attacking, and consequently while Sith learn Shii-Cho, they usually ditch it in favor of more genuinely aggressive forms.However, the basic appearance of Shii-Cho can be misleading, because a Jedi only really becomes a master of Form I when they have attained inner peace, which enables Jedi to utilize the lightsaber blade as an extension of their being.

Form II: Makashi

First developed when lightsabers started becoming more common among both the Jedi and the Sith, Makashi, or Form II, is a graceful form suited to skilled duelists.Relying on careful and controlled strikes instead of power and strength, Form IIis dedicated to getting the upper hand in one-on-one duels. Makashi has also been designed to accommodate more experimental lightsaber designs, such as the crossguard lightsabers common during the Hundred Years of Darkness, or even the use of a second shoto blade.Makashi fell out of fashion when the Sith were believed to be extinct, but there were still a few Jedi who practiced it, including Ki-Adi-Mundi. Count Dooku was a master of Makashi, proud of his reputation as a fearsome duelist. Indeed, that pride may well have been one of the things that led Dooku to the dark side.Dooku trained Asajj Ventress in this form, and Yoda was able to recognize his handiwork at a glance.

(Video) All 7 Lightsaber Combat Styles Explained

Form III: Soresu

Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (4)

Soresu is the Third Form, generally believed to have been developed in response to the growing number of blasters in the galaxy. Form III is also the style that accounts for how Jedi reflect blaster bolts using lightsabers. By the time of the prequel trilogy, all Jedi were trained in Soresu, in part because this is actually a tremendously useful exercise. "At first, [Padawans'] primary focus was defense, learning to block laser blasts while wearing special helmets that obscured their sight," Luke Skywalker notes in the in-universe guide book "Secrets of the Jedi." "By doing so, they could learn to let the Force be their guide. Only after mastering the defensive arts could they begin to study offensive techniques under the tutelage of some of the finest duelists the Jedi Order had to offer." Obi-Wan Kenobi's lightsaber form of preference was Soresu, and Kanan Jarrus was also skilled inthe form.

Form IV: Ataru

Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (5)

Ataru is one of the most aggressive forms, relying heavily on Force-assisted acrobatic. As such it has been mastered only by the Jedi who are strongest in wielding the Force. Similar to Makashi, Ataru is at its best during one-on-one duels, when the master of Form IV attempts to conclude a duel as swiftly as possible. The best Ataru masters ricochet around their environment, launching sweeping strikes that seem to come out of nowhere, forcing an opponent to be on the defensive. It was most visibly used by Master Yoda in his duel with Count Dooku inStar Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. Because Ataru is so aggressive, many of its masters have proved susceptible to the seduction of the dark side,accounting for Form IV's popularity among the Sith.

Form V: Shien & Djem So

Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (6)

Shienand Djem Sowas developed by practitioners of Form III who saw the need for a more offensive edge.Shien isdesigned for distance,allowing practitioners toswat back blaster bolts, while Djem So is designed for blade-on-blade combat. Apersonal favorite of the Jedi Ahsoka Tano,Djem So uses an unconventional reverse grip.ShienandDjem So incorporates many of Form III or Soresu's strengths, including the use of solid blocks, parries, stronger counterattacks, ripostes. Because of Form V's adaptiveness, it became Anakin Skywalker favorite form. Interestingly, many Jedi felt that ShienandDjem So was not faithful to the Jedi way, because it came perilously close to using the Force itself for offense rather than defense.

(Video) The 7 Forms of Lightsaber Combat Simplified | Star Wars

Form VI: Niman

Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (7)

Form VI, Niman, is often viewed as a synthesis of previous forms. It was the last form to gain widespread acceptance among the Jedi, and it emphasizes balance in the Force. According to theKnights of Fate sourcebook, the Jedi who developed Niman wanted to triumph without dominating their opponent. They wanted to defend themselves and even deliver justice without the temptation of power. It is surprising, therefore, that Darth Sidious' apprentice, Darth Maul, depended on Niman inStar Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, suggesting that his teacher deliberately subverted the Jedi's favored combat style. Indeed, a Niman practitioner frequently blends lightsaber combat with use of the Force itself, and as such this form became popular with many Jedi who were disinterested in the art of combat.

Form VII: Juyo (or Vaapad)

The final lightsaber combat form, Vaapad, is the most controversial. According to various sourcebooks, it probably originated millennia ago, as an outgrowth of Form I. Unlike other forms, Vaapad encourages a Jedi to embrace their emotions, using them to fuel a relentless assault. Consequently, most Jedi who have trained in Vaapad have ultimately fallen to the dark side, and for a long time Form VII was banned outright. In the Star Wars prequel era, the Jedi MasterMace Windu, who famously wielded a purple lightsaber, became the sole known master of Vaapad,developing the form to control his inner darkness and channel it into worthy goals. Windu was wary of teaching others Vaapad, lest they fail to master it as he had done, and thus succumb to their emotions rather than control them.

Whose Lightsaber Obi Wan Might Be Holding On The Obi Wan Kenobi Poster

Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (9)

Is Obi-Wan holding Anakin's lightsaber? Star Wars' Obi-Wan Kenobi series continues the legacy of the lightsaber through its promotional posters, not just as the Jedi and Sith's traditional artifacts, but also as key plot devices in the beloved sci-fi franchise. The series' first poster has prompted fans to ask whose lightsaber Obi-Wanis holding. As fans have noted, Obi-Wan's lightsaberisn't shaped like the Jedi Master's own lightsaber, andit looks instead like he's holding one of Anakin's old Jedi weapon. Indeed, rather than Obi-Wan's more retro lightsaber, it bears more resemblance to the shape of the slanted emitter and "bunny ears" on Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. In short,Obi-Wan Kenobi could finally explain why Obi-Wantells Luke, “Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough,” when he gives Anakin's lightsaber to Luke inStar Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,a claim that's unsupported by any of Anakin's lines in the prequels.

(Video) EVERY SINGLE Lightsaber Combat Form And Fighting Technique Explained In Depth [Canon + Legends]

Another Star Wars'Obi-Wan Kenobiposter also features Darth Vaderbrandishing the red blade of his Sith weapon. Curiously, in this image, Obi-Wan's own retro lightsaber hangs on his belt. Combined with the previous poster in which Obi-Wan allegedly holds Anakin's old lightsaber, all this implies that not only will Obi-Wan and Anakin meet again, but that Darth Vader finds out about Luke before their fated meeting in the Death Star. These clues from Star Wars'Obi-Wan Kenobidefinitely hint at anotherlightsaber duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader.Obi-Wan, using both his and Anakin's lightsaber, could even wield two lightsabers at once and employ Anakin's favorite style, Shienand Djem So, against his former student. In any case, Obi-Wan Kenobiis bound to showcase more of the different lightsaber combat formsand reveal more about what happened between Obi-Wan and Vader before Star WarsEpisode IV: A New Hope.

More:Clone Wars: Why Anakin Made Ashoka's New Lightsabers Blue


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About The Author

Star Wars: All 7 Lightsaber Combat Forms Explained (& Who Used Which) (11)

Thomas Bacon (5304 Articles Published)

Tom Bacon is one of Screen Rant's staff writers, as well as a Peer Mentor for new writers and a member of the Care Team, offering support and a listening ear to members of the Comics group. A lifelong fan of major franchises including Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Marvel, Tom is delighted his childhood is back - and this time it's cool. You can find him on Twitter @TomABacon. A graduate of Edge Hill University, Tom remains strongly connected with his alma mater as a volunteer chaplain. He's heavily involved with his local church, and anyone who checks him out on Twitter will swiftly learn he's into British politics too.

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(Video) All SEVEN Form of Lightsaber Combat EXPLAINED! | Who is the BEST Lightsaber Fighter? | STAR WARS


Who has mastered all 7 forms of lightsaber combat? ›

While Sidious succeeded in dispatching three Jedi Masters with his skill in lightsaber combat, Windu was a master practitioner of Form VII, also known as "The Ferocity Form." He had perfected the art of Vaapad, a variant of Form VII, to channel his inner dark side into serving the Jedi cause.

What are the names of the 7 forms of lightsaber combat and what do each form focus on? ›

The Way of the Saber: 7 Forms of Lightsaber Combat
  • Form I: Shii-Cho. When learning lightsaber techniques, a Jedi or Sith apprentice is trained to recognize all seven forms of combat. ...
  • Form II: Makashi. ...
  • Form III: Soresu. ...
  • Form IV: Ataru. ...
  • Form V: Shien & Djem So. ...
  • Form VI: Niman. ...
  • Form VII: Juyo (or Vaapad)

Who used Form 6 of lightsaber combat? ›

Darth Maul was the apprentice of Sidious, and he also learned the form 6 lightsaber stances. He wielded a double-bladed lightsaber and had an advantage against multiple opponents.

Who used Form 1? ›

Form I, also known as Shii-Cho, The Way of the Sarlacc, or The Determination Form, was the oldest and most rudimentary form of lightsaber combat developed by the Jedi Order and was taught to all members of the Jedi Order.

Is there an 8th lightsaber form? ›

Sokan was a form of lightsaber combat. Developed by the ancient Jedi Knights during the Great Sith War, Sokan combined tactics that allowed for evasion and mobility with the kinetic motions of Form V combat.

Who used Form 4 lightsaber? ›

Kyle Katarn and Jedi Knight Alema Rar, among others, were trained in the use of the fourth form of lightsaber combat. Grand Master Luke Skywalker also had knowledge and skill in the use of Ataru, as did his wife, Mara Jade Skywalker.

What is the hardest lightsaber form? ›

Juyo was described as the most vicious form of lightsaber combat and was said to be filled with both fury and "malignant grace." The form was given the title of the most difficult and demanding form in all of the lightsaber combat.

Which form is jar Kai? ›

Jar'Kai was originally a style of swordplay that utilized dual blades, developed by the Yovshin Swordsmen. A similar dual-blade technique referred to as Niman was developed by the Royale Macheteros of the Kashi Mer monarchy.

What form did starkiller use? ›

The Force Unleashed's Starkiller is a practitioner of Form V, a defensive and opportunistic approach to using a lightsaber. There are seven forms in total, but some - including Form V - have multiple disciplines.

What form did KYLO Ren use? ›

Kylo Ren was most likely a user of Form V. Form V, aka Djem So, is a simple, straightforward, and undeniably deadly lightsaber form. With extremely fast strikes and footwork geared towards power and dominance, Form V was the preferred form of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in both continuities.

What is Yoda's fighting style? ›

Yoda's preferred style of lightsaber combat was Form IV, an aggressive and fast-paced fighting style ideal when dueling a single opponent. Form IV is what Yoda used against Dooku in Attack of the Clones, which explains why Yoda was jumping all over the place and at such fast speeds.

Who used Form 5? ›

Practitioners of Form V included Jedi Masters Aayla Secura, Adi Gallia, Plo Koon and Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Ulic Qel-Droma, and Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Bane.

Who is the master of Form 6? ›

Jedi Master Cin Drallig was considered the most prolific instructor of Form VI, as he was of the five forms below it, teaching Niman to thousands of students during his Jedi career.

Which lightsaber form did Luke use? ›

What makes Luke Skywalker's instinctive use of Form V incredibly distinct is how his father was considered the master of Form V. Even Luke's use of Jar'Kai is telling, since again, Anakin used Jar'Kai and taught Ahsoka the style. In some ways, it makes sense that Luke developed Form V.

Who uses Form 3 lightsaber combat? ›

Proficient in its use, Jedi Master Depa Billaba taught her students, including Caleb Dume—who changed his name to Kanan Jarrus after Order 66—to use Form III during close-quarter fighting.

Who used Form 2? ›

Other Jedi practitioners of Makashi included Dooku's former Padawan Qui-Gon Jinn; famed Jedi Battlemaster Cin Drallig; Jedi Council Master Shaak Ti; and Master Jerec, who was said to have mastered the form. Grand Master Yoda appeared to have also used the form, as he had once taught Dooku the Makashi salute.

What form did Palpatine use? ›

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.

Who is the best lightsaber duelist? ›

Anakin is one of the best, if not the best, lightsaber duelist across the 9 movies. Even aside from his connection to the Force, he showed immense skill, ingenuity, and power when engaged in lightsaber duels, such as his fight against Count Dooku.

What is the most powerful lightsaber color? ›

This one is the black lightsaber, affectionately known as the “Darksaber.” Quite frankly, this lightsaber has been known to be the strongest overall. The Darksaber is similar to a black hole in the regular laws of universal physics.

What form does Kenobi use? ›

Obi-Wan Kenobi originally specialized in Form IV, trained in the form by Qui-Gon Jinn. However, upon witnessing his master's death due to Ataru's lack of defensive capabilities, Kenobi decided to switch his focus to Soresu in order to eliminate this weakness in his own technique.

What form did maul use? ›

Darth Maul's Lightsaber Form is the offensive variant of Form 7, known as Juyo, or the Ferocity Form. It is the most energetic, violent, chaotic, and unpredictable Lightsaber Form.

What form did revan use? ›

Over time I believe he also learned some form 2 from Kreia and naturally eventually became a form 6 practitioner. However when he switched to the sith I believe he started to use more form 7 and form 5 as a back up but using the sith shien variant.

Which lightsaber form did Qui Gon use? ›

Ataru is the most acrobatic of the Jedi lightsaber forms - but it's this very ability that made it so suitable for Qui-Gon. Due to the demands of the acrobatics, Ataru users typically used their connection to the force to suplement their physical skill.

What is the weakest lightsaber? ›

Red lightsabers are the weakest, according to a Star Wars study conducted at the University of Leicester regarding lightsaber colors. Decades of Star Wars lore has dictated that the red lightsabers favored by The Sith offered greater offensive capabilities than the softer colors favored by The Jedi.

What form is Vaapad? ›

Form VII, known by its two primary disciplines of Juyo and Vaapad; and also known as The Ferocity Form, was the seventh form of lightsaber combat. It was considered the most aggressive and unpredictable form.

Who uses jar Kai? ›

Asajj Ventress and Ahsoka Tano were two notable practitioners of Jar'Kai, preferring to use two lightsabers as opposed to one. The cyborg General Grievous had been outfitted with arms that could split in half, enabling him to choose between holding two lightsabers or four lightsabers.

What is Ahsokas lightsaber form? ›

Having trained under Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka learned to mainly use lightsaber Form 5 in combat. Specifically, she learned a variant of Form 5 called Djem So (gjem SO) which was favored by Anakin. This form of lightsaber combat focuses on alternating between a strong defense followed by a swift counter-attack.

Which form did ahsoka use? ›

Ahsoka Tano is trained in various lightsaber fighting styles

After mastering the basics, Ahsoka grew to learn a more fast and aggressive technique called Form IV (or Ataru).

How old is Starkiller? ›

Lord Starkiller, born Galen Marek, was a 20 year old Human male, and Dark Lord of the Sith. He was born in 18 BBY to two Jedi on Kashyyyk. He is the apprentice to Darth Sidious, and master to Darth Karidius, formerly Luke Skywalker.

Is Starkiller stronger than Vader? ›

In Star Wars Legends and Canon, Galen Marek (Starkiller) is the only Jedi (other than Obi-Wan Kenobi) to put a beat down on Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker.

Does Starkiller have a black lightsaber? ›

Black lightsabers appear in several Star Wars video games. Players of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II may find and use a black kyber crystal to modify the Galen Marek / Starkiller lightsaber to emit a black blade.

What is the best lightsaber fighting style? ›

Dubbed the Way of the Ysalamiri and Contention form, Makashi is often considered the best dueling style, heavily favoring saber combat. While poor against blasters, Makashi uses precise and elegant maneuvers to deflect opposing attacks while responding with its own.

What form did starkiller use? ›

The Force Unleashed's Starkiller is a practitioner of Form V, a defensive and opportunistic approach to using a lightsaber. There are seven forms in total, but some - including Form V - have multiple disciplines.

What form does Cal Kestis use? ›

Cal Kestis is extremely skilled at using Form I, Shii-Cho, and Form VI, Niman. We also see that he can use both the single-bladed and the double-bladed version of Niman. Lastly, he is also skilled in using Jar'Kai to a certain degree.

What form did Plo Koon use? ›

Knowledge of the form survived the Great Jedi Purge initiated in 19 BBY and into the era of the New Jedi Order. Practitioners of Form V included Jedi Masters Aayla Secura, Adi Gallia, Plo Koon and Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Ulic Qel-Droma, and Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Bane.


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