Luke Skywalker is perhaps singlehandedly the greatest Jedi to ever live. In terms of both his skill with a lightsaber and his connection to the Living Force, Luke is unrivaled in skill and power by both the Jedi who came before him and those who came after.
(That statement is made while keeping the Legends continuity in mind, but could probably hold true in the New Canon too)
And while we just mentioned how Luke was beyond skilled with the Lightsaber, we know for a fact that lightsaber skill is not dependent on pure talent like we mentioned in our previous articles.
But the matter of the fact is that Luke Skywalker was the only Jedi Knight in history to receive little to no training in the art of Lightsaber combat. This was purely based on the fact that he did not have any Jedi around to teach him.
But like we see in the movies, Luke can hold his own with a Lightsaber against Darth Vader (and many others in the Legends Canon). This means that Luke had some amount of skill with the Lightsaber despite his apparent lack of training.
So, the first question that we must answer is just how did Luke Skywalker learn the art of lightsaber combat?
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Where did Luke Skywalker learn how to use the Lightsaber?
Luke was the first of a new generation of Jedi and this meant that his responsibilities extended to more than just defeating the Empire and bringing balance to the Force. It meant that Luke was also responsible for rebuilding the Jedi Order to maintain peace throughout the Galaxy.
The Jedi Order was famous for teaching Force Sensitive younglings the ways of both the Force and the art of using a Lightsaber effectively in combat. But a fact that is usually overseen is that Luke because he was the first, had nobody to teach him.
And even though Yoda did teach him the ways of the Force to a certain degree in his time on Dagobah, Luke was unable to complete his training. This resulted in Luke fighting Darth Vader on Cloud City with little to no formal Lightsaber training.
So, despite Vader’s comment about Obi-Wan having taught Luke well, Obi-Wan had in fact not taught Luke anything at all except how to properly hold a Lightsaber.
But then, how was Luke able to hold his own against Vader’s decades of skill and experience? The answer to that is his latent talent with the weapon; much like his father before him. The raw talent in his bloodline allowed Luke to learn as he fought and adapt to situations when needed.
This means that the first true lesson that Luke Skywalker had in the art of Lightsaber combat was his fight with Darth Vader. We can see throughout the fight that Luke goes from being on the backfoot and retreating, to being able to match Vader blow for blow.
This was because Luke was analyzing Vader’s movements and attacks throughout the duel and was able to base his own attacks on how Vader was fighting.
What Form did Luke Skywalker learn during his ‘training’?
As we discussed previously, Luke never received any formal training in the art of Lightsaber combat. We also learned through our analysis that he learned by fighting Darth Vader and adapting his style of Lightsaber combat to his own needs.
This meant that Luke’s style of Lightsaber combat was the same as Vader’s, with a few variations here and there. This means that to be able to answer the question of what form Luke Skywalker learned first, we will have to dive into Darth Vader’s combat style.
Darth Vader, also known as Anakin Skywalker, was trained in the Jedi Order in the years before the Clone Wars. But when the Clone Wars started, Anakin changed forms to the more balanced Form V, Djem-So and Shien.
After his defeat at Mustafar at the hands of his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and his transformation into Darth Vader, Anakin’s Djem-So became a slower variation of its former self.
The movements Vader used were slower and tighter compared to Anakin’s due to the use of prosthetic limbs and his robotic replacements. This translated over to what Luke learned by watching Vader fight with a lightsaber.
Eventually, the variation of Djem-So that Luke would adapt from Vader is the more concise and slower version. Nonetheless, this would not end up mattering because Luke would use this version of Djem-So along with his natural athletics.
This meant that in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi, when Luke did apply Form V to combat, his version of Djem-So was much closer to the original variation than the modified version that Darth Vader was using and the version he learned from.
This shows us that throughout his time as a learner, Luke started off, learned, and perfected both aspects of Form V, Djem-So and Shien, before his fight with Darth Vader and the Emperor on the Death Star.
But now that we know what forms he learned initially, let us see what other forms he learned and mastered throughout his life.
What other Lightsaber Forms did Luke Skywalker know?
If we stick to the New Canon, Luke only knew Form V and the basics of Form III, Soresu. Other than this, he may have learned about the other Forms during his journey throughout the Galaxy before establishing the New Jedi Order before Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
There is one other theory that might hold true which states that throughout his time on Dagobah, Luke was taught Form I: Shii-Cho, which contains the basics of lightsaber combat and is where all the other forms stem from.
Yoda may or may not have also told him about the other forms and showed off his mastery of Form IV: Ataru. Both of these factors would explain why Luke would prefer to twirl and flip around during fights rather than stand his ground in one position.
But, if we move past the New Canon and dive into Star Wars: Legends, Luke Skywalker was the single greatest swordsman to have ever lived in the Galaxy. It was said that fighting against him seemed like taking on fifteen opponents at once.
It was safe to assume that the Legends version of Luke had not only learned but mastered all seven of the Lightsaber Forms and even the additional form known as Jar’Kai, which was used when dual-wielding two Lightsabers.
What Lightsaber Form did Luke Skywalker use?
Luke was seen using Form V most often throughout the Original Trilogy against both Stormtroopers and in his fights against Darth Vader. So, it is safe for us to assume that Djem-So was the form that Luke favored the most.
But other than the New Canon, Luke was skilled enough to use any lightsaber combat form he wanted to use, irrespective of whether he preferred it or not. Other than this, in most normal situations, his movements were too fast to allow a visible pattern to be discerned.