Through all the glitz and glamour of lightsaber duels in Star Wars, certain duelists shine above the rest:
Darth Tyranus, for instance, just flows between movements much better than, say, Kit Fisto (sorry Kit Fisto).
Some fans may ask, “Why?”
Ignoring the individual skills of each fighter, their dueling forms can also be brought into question. Think of a lightsaber combat form as like a martial art, but with lightsabers—cool, right?
Just like in the martial arts, some forms are impractical, or just a bit weaker compared to the Makashi or Juyo, or forms II and VII respectively.
What’s the worst lightsaber form in Star Wars?
To answer that, it’ll be helpful to cover the options we have.
Table of Contents
The Seven Forms of Lightsaber Combat
Form I: Shii-Cho
Shii-Cho is the oldest and most basic form of lightsaber combat in the Galaxy Far, Far Away.
Designed before lightsabers came to prominence within the Jedi Order (until then, they used metal swords!), Shii-Cho established the basis of modern lightsaber combat.
Fittingly, it’s often the first form taught to padawans in their lightsaber training!
Its style was often described as raw, and came straight from the slice-to-kill philosophy of early swordplay.
Its main distinction is in its goal of disarming the opponent, rather than killing them (though when your arm is chopped off, that can cut pretty close).
For its downsides:
Shii-Cho, as mentioned, is basic, and super old, so many forms have evolved to specifically counter its moves.
Thus, it really isn’t the best lightsaber combat form out there.
Form II is a different matter entirely.
Form II: Makashi
Makashi evolved as a fencing style specifically for lightsaber dueling, arriving shortly after Shii-Cho came into prevalence.
Its style focuses mainly on thrusts and penetration, rather than cuts or slices, which made it particularly great at 1 vs. 1 lightsaber duels.
Makashi is considered to be one of the most aggressive, yet refined, combat forms.
Its only downside:
Makashi struggles with a lack of defense against multiple opponents or blasters.
Such a weakness is where Form III came in.
Form III: Soresu
Designed in response to the widespread emergence of blaster technologies, Soresu maximized defense while utilizing as little movement as possible.
This was to make sure the fighter had enough stamina to keep on dueling, even if their opponent got tired!
While originally made for deflecting blasters, Soresu eventually became a much more widespread dueling form, since it was just so good at defending against attackers.
This was especially true for the Jedi, who aren’t supposed to get too aggressive when fighting.
Many on the more offensive side criticized Soresu for its lack of actual attacks, instead focusing more on dodges, parries, and other defensive maneuvers.
However, if you need to protect yourself, Soresu is the best for the job.
So that means, in no way is it the ‘weakest’ lightsaber form, unlike what some practitioners of our next form may claim.
Form IV: Ataru
Form IV, also known as Ataru, evolved some time around the Mandalorian Wars (a period just about 4,000 years before the Battle of Yavin) in contrast to Soresu’s strong defensive style.
Rather than focusing on parries or blocks, Ataru went straight for acrobatics and a barrage of attacks to catch the opponent off guard:
If you see Jedi or Sith doing flips or somersaults, that’s from Form IV!
Its main advantage is also its greatest weakness.
These acrobatics and quick, intense moves lead practitioners of Ataru to wear out extremely quickly, and leave them susceptible to defeat in longer duels.
Not to mention, those flips and gymnastics really aren’t practical in confined spaces.
While recognized as a pretty offensive style by many of the Jedi, there is yet one form considered more aggressive, and developed near the same time as Ataru.
That honor would have to go to:
Form V: Shien & Djem So
“Wait, that’s two lightsaber forms, isn’t it?”
Form V is split into what are referred to as ‘disciplines,’ Shein and Djem So being the two major schools of combat.
While both share the core traits of Form V, being an evolution of Soresu, there are some key distinctions:
Shien is the closest to Soresu, but instead of focusing on defending from blaster bolts, it focuses on redirecting bolts back to the opponent!
This element of Shien became vital in the Clone Wars, leading to many generals of the Republic, such as Aayla Secura and Plo Koon, to adopt it as their main discipline.
Djem So, on the other hand, applies these elements to lightsaber versus lightsaber combat.
Instead of redirecting blaster fire, Djem So focuses on countering enemy strikes, and opening gaps in their defenses, rather than simply waiting for those gaps to open naturally, like Soresu.
Forcing these gaps open lead to Djem So’s reputation as an aggressive lightsaber form, and it’s certainly no help that it was Anakin Skywalker’s preferred form!
Its strong, Soresu-like defenses and capable offensive strength lead to its reputation as one of the strongest lightsaber forms out there.
Unlike our next form.
Form VI: Niman
Niman naturally evolved as a blend of every lightsaber form before it:
This led to a style with no real downsides, but no real strengths either.
Its only true benefit is the philosophy behind it, which focuses on utilizing the Force rather than lightsaber combat
So, when you see Darth Vader hurling barrels at Luke in Cloud City, that’s a lesson from Niman!
Our next form encouraged a very different connection to the Force.
Form VII: Juyo & Vaapad
Form VII is known as the Ferocity Form, and for good reason!
Juyo was the first discipline of Form VII, with the sole purpose of completely obliterating a single enemy, forgoing any form of defense to focus on offensive fury.
Fittingly, Juyo was shunned by the Jedi Order, and restricted only to the most masterful of Force practitioners, leading to a limited use among the Jedi.
The Sith embraced Juyo with open arms.
The second discipline, Vaapad, is most notably the fighting style of Mace Windu, who originated the form with fellow Jedi master Sora Bulq as an evolution of Juyo.
Instead of harnessing the inner rage of Juyo, Windu described Vaapad as reflecting the opponent’s dark side energy back at them, channeling their rage rather than one’s own.
This teetering with the dark side eventually lead to Sora Bulq’s conversion to a Sith, but it undeniably proved a powerful fighting style, as evidenced by Master Windu nearly defeating Darth Sidious with Vaapad.
Its weakness, of course, is its dependence on the dark side, and lack of defensive capabilities in the heat of the moment.
So, what’s the weakest form?
For the title of weakest lightsaber form, we have two options:
Shii-Cho, by virtue of its basic moveset, and weakness against more offensive-based forms.
Or, Niman, due to its lack of any real positives.
Though Niman has no strengths, its lack of any downsides allows it to be perfected, whereas Shii-Cho is left weak in comparison to later forms.
So, for this list, we’ll go with Shii-Cho for the weakest lightsaber form.
How about the weakest lightsaber?
Say you want the weakest lightsaber to go with the weakest lightsaber form:
That would have to be a Padawan training lightsaber.
Designed to only provide a little jolt of energy rather than actually harming the opponent, a training lightsaber is mainly used for teaching young Jedi padawan the basics of lightsaber combat, and fittingly, can’t be used for actual dueling at all.
So, Shii-Cho and a training lightsaber go hand-in-hand!
Do you disagree with our picks? Have other suggestions for the weakest lightsaber or lightsaber form? Let us know in the comments!
Feel free to learn Shii-Cho, and fight with your training lightsaber to your heart’s content! We’re not legally accountable if you lose a limb or two.