Countless Star Wars fans have yearned for lightsabers of their own—some have even taken up dueling as a sport!
Many fans of lightsaber duels have wondered what combat form they should use.
Or if they’ve already decided, might want to check out what the other forms have to offer.
For the dueling padawans and seasoned masters alike, read on to find out which lightsaber form you should use!
Table of Contents
- First up: Are you a Jedi, Sith, or somewhere in between?
- Next: Do you prefer your lightsaber, or the Force?
- How about your lightsaber type?
- Does your personality affect what lightsaber form you should choose?”
- Alright, now onto the forms!
First up: Are you a Jedi, Sith, or somewhere in between?
While originators of the lightsaber combat forms, the Jedi admittedly have a rather small selection when it comes to what’s generally considered acceptable.
They lean more towards the defensive prowess of Soresu, Form III, or the elegant flow of Shii-Cho, Form I.
This should not sway you from choosing a more aggressive form, like Ataru or even Vaapad. Just make sure you’ve covered the basics, first.
The Sith, meanwhile, have no such reservations.
In fact, they actively encourage dark side wielders to channel the fury of Juyo, or to learn from the offensive strength of Makashi. These forms help a practitioner release their inner dark side and defeat the opponent with 0 bars held.
For the few Grey Jedi or rogues reading in, who don’t feel too strongly either way, Niman might be your best bet, as the middle-ground between the dueling-focused forms of Makashi or Juyo, and the defensive-focused forms of Soresu and Djem-So.
Being non-committed to either side, any form can work to your advantage.
Next: Do you prefer your lightsaber, or the Force?
For our sports duelists out there, this question is easy: as we don’t have the Force (yet), it’s best to go for a fencing style such as Makashi, Djem-So, or Soresu.
If you’re roleplaying a character with the Force, for example (or perhaps have a connection yourself), then this is an important topic to consider.
Depending on your Force prowess, it may be better to go with a style that allows you to maximize your potential, such as Niman or Ataru, or even Vaapad for the dark side inclined.
How about your lightsaber type?
The build of your lightsaber can affect which form is right for you, too!
Regular hilt blades tend to work best for styles with slashes, swings, or other flowing movements, like Shii-Cho, Soresu, or Djem So.
On the other hand, curved hilt blades are perfect for Makashi, as a fencing and thrusting-based form.
Double-bladed lightsabers are best suited for forms like Niman (such as utilized by Exar Kun) or Juyo (as seen with Darth Maul), forms that heavily utilize the Force, and often aggression, in fueling their movements.
Ataru has been shown to work well with both two lightsabers, and lightsaber tonfas, given its overwhelming battle strategy.
Does your personality affect what lightsaber form you should choose?”
Certain parts of it.
Much like the Jedi/Sith/Other distinction, it has a lot to do with aggression or forthrightness, which would lend nicely to Makashi, on the refined end, or Juyo on the more guttural end.
If you’re more collected and calm, a form like Soresu will do you nicely.
Somewhere in-between? Forms that incorporate elements of various forms, such as Djem-So and Niman, offer a balance between explosive attacks and swift defense.
Alright, now onto the forms!
All this is just moot if you don’t know your options:
So here’s a list of what the dueling community has to offer, and who’s best suited for each!
Form I: Shii-Cho
The first lightsaber form of them all: easy to learn, and hard to master!
Shii-Cho was prized by Jedi Masters such as Kit Fisto for its fluidity, and—when utilized to its full potential—unpredictability.
Given its lack of real offensive strength, it’s not well-suited for any Sith or Grey Jedi out there, and fancy lightsaber styles such as tonfas or curved hilts don’t benefit the average practitioner.
However, if you’re a starter Jedi, looking for the first step into lightsaber combat, or a seasoned light-side veteran looking to master the basics, Shii-Cho may be for you.
Form II: Makashi
Form II is prized for its fencing capabilities, especially by the Sith lords who utilized its offensive strength: because of this, it may be too dark-side leaning for your average Jedi.
And while working fine with a normal-hilt blade, its full potential is reached by a curved hilt, as associated with Darth Tyranus. Fittingly, tonfas and double-bladed models don’t work well for Makashi users.
So if you’re looking for the peak of dueling capabilities, regardless of how close it veers to the Dark Side, then look no further than Makashi!
Form III: Soresu
The Resilience Form, Soresu, the time-honored dueling style of the Jedi, is well-known for its strongly defensive flair, making it fitting for the Jedi.
It doesn’t have much in the way of Force or offensive capabilities, nor is it great for double-bladed combat or tonfas.
If peacefully wearing out your opponent is your style, and you don’t mind staying a bit on the safe side when fighting, Soresu may be your best bet.
Form IV: Ataru
The acrobatically-inclined may lean towards Form IV (or leap towards it, maybe), easily the most gymnastic and visually impressive of the lightsaber combat styles.
But, this comes at the cost of heavy Force-usage, and making it incredibly easy to tire out when fighting.
It doesn’t give any advantages for a specific type of lightsaber, nor does it give you a leg up if you’re a Jedi, Sith, etc.
But, if flips and kicks are really your style, and you can keep up the endurance for an entire duel, then Ataru might be the right fit for you.
Form V: Shien & Djem-So
The two disciplines of Form V, Shien and Djem-So, each offer quite the advantages to prospective practitioners.
Shien evolved from Soresu, but with the caveat of focusing on reflecting blaster bolts back towards the opponent, which made its techniques invaluable during the Clone Wars.
Subsequently, if you’re dealing with more blaster-fire than lightsabers, Shien may be the discipline to look into.
If you want to incorporate the strong defenses of Soresu, but desire offensive capabilities to go along with it, Djem-So may be your best bet, regardless of force-inclination (Anakin Skywalker used it before and after he fell to the Sith!).
Not to mention, both forms lend themselves well to the unconventional style of dual-lightsaber usage, as seen by Ahsoka Tano (a Shien practitioner).
Tonfas may also be worth looking into, however the typical single-bladed lightsaber proves itself useful to Form V as well.
Form VI: Niman
If all these forms look good to you, and you can’t quite decide, Niman may prove of interest!
Designed to merge all pre-existing forms before it, Niman comes out with no definitive leanings any way, in terms of force-inclination, offensive or defensive posture, and physical exertion.
Though, it is notable for its emphasis on Force usage, so if you’re lacking the midi-chlorians necessary, it might help to look elsewhere.
Form VII: Juyo & Vaapad
Have some internalized aggression to take out?
Form VII has you covered!
Known for its immense internal focus required, and becoming one with the Force during every duel, Juyo naturally leans to the dark side, and is suspected of having aided in turning Sora Bulq (co-creator of Vaapad) and Depa Billaba to the darkness.
Vaapad, while similar to Juyo, expounds on the original concept, and requires the practitioner to reverse the hate and fury of the opponent back into their movements:
A tall order!
These forms may be a bit too aggressive for Jedi, and not well-adept to be used by non-Force users.
But, if you have the anger behind you, Form VII may be your best bet.
So, what form has caught your interest? Or is it maybe more than one? Tell us in the comments below what your picks are, and be sure to share with friends who could use a bit of lightsaber knowledge in their lives!
That is all, and may the Force be with you.