Different Force users in Star Wars have their own way of fighting, but most rely on certain lightsaber combat forms that they are most comfortable with. In that regard, we know that Anakin Skywalker was one of the greatest duelists of his time and could strike fear into the hearts of runaway Jedi Knights with his strength as Darth Vader. But what lightsaber combat did Anakin use?
Anakin Skywalker used Form V, which is divided into two sub-forms: Shien and Djem So. Shien focused more on deflecting blasters, while the Djem So form focused more on lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat. Form V emphasizes quick transitions from defense to offense by utilizing counterattacks.
Form V was always one of the most demanding lightsaber combat forms in the storyline of Star Wars due to how the practitioners need to be quick, nimble, and disciplined enough to launch counterattacks after transitioning from defense to offense in a hurry. In that regard, this style fit Anakin’s way of fighting as he relied more on finding openings when fighting a fellow lightsaber duelist. Now, let’s try to learn more about Form V.
Anakin Skywalker and Form V
Throughout the storyline of Star Wars, we learned that Anakin Skywalker, both as a Jedi and as the feared Sith Lord named Darth Vader, was a great lightsaber duelist that was able to overwhelm his opponents. Of course, we also learned in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace that he was innately gifted in the Force and was the prophesized Chosen One. As such, when he started training as a Jedi, he showcased incredible potential and was quick to rise as one of the best duelists in the Jedi Order, especially during the time of the Clone Wars.
Of course, Anakin was a great duelist that relied on a lightsaber combat style that fit his methodical way of fighting. He excelled in using Form V, which has two sub-forms in Shien and Djem So. And both of these forms have specific purposes.
Shien is a lightsaber Force that emphasizes countering blaster bolts and finding ways to create an opening for a counterattack. Because Shien is more concerned with deflecting blaster bolts, the practitioner can use a reverse grip. Ahsoka Tano was an excellent user of Shien, considering she was Anakin’s Padawan and could combine Shien with Djem So using Jar’Kai (duel-wielding).
On the other hand, Djem So is the style Anakin often uses. While Shien is known for countering blaster bolts, Djem So was created for lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat while allowing the practitioner to deflect blaster attacks. But it was mostly used for fighting other lightsaber users, and it is possible that Anakin perfected Djem So because he knew that the Sith was still out there after losing Qui-Gon Jinn to a Sith Lord.
Djem So is a physically demanding form focusing more on a good combination of defense and offense. The practitioner needs to be able to react quickly to the attacks of an opponent so that they can create openings for a counterattack. As such, Djem So relied more on quickly transitioning from a defensive stance to an offensive stance that required the practitioner to go all-out on offense before switching back to defense again. In most cases, the practitioner relied on using quick ripostes.
It is often said that Djem So was a product of the fact that Shien wasn’t equipped for close combat. As such, Djem So was created to address the fact that practitioners of Form V still needed to fight melee combats. It is also said that it was derived from Form III: Soresu, the most defensive style of lightsaber combat. However, Soresu relied more on staying on the defensive while allowing the opponent to tire themselves before launching a counterattack. In contrast, Djem So relied on launching counterattacks often after a successful defensive stand.
Anakin perfected this form and used it masterfully in duels he engaged in. The younger version of Anakin was much more fluid and mobile in using Djem So because he still had three of his four limbs back then and was yet to suffer life-threatening injuries. On the other hand, Darth Vader was more economical and methodical in his approach with Djem So instead of using the same kind of quick and mobile attacks that Anakin was known for.
Nevertheless, both Anakin and Vader perfected the use of Form V and won many lightsaber duels with it. Anakin defeated the likes of Count Dooku, a very powerful Sith Lord that was considered one of the best duelists during his time with the Jedi Order. Meanwhile, Vader used Djem So to hunt down numerous Jedi during the reign of the Empire.
Who Else Uses Form V?
Even though Form V isn’t the most popular lightsaber combat form among the Jedi, it is the one that the Skywalker family used the most, as most people associated with the Skywalkers used it. Luke Skywalker, Rey Skywalker, and even Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) used Form V. As mentioned, Anakin’s Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, also used Form V but favored Shien.
However, other Jedi also used this form during the time of the Jedi Order. Names such as Aayla Secura and Adi Gallia also used Form V. But because this style was always demanding on the practitioner’s part, it wasn’t as popular as some of the other lightsaber combat forms.
Is Form V the Best Lightsaber Form?
Throughout the storyline of Star Wars, most of the main characters used Form V as their lightsaber combat form. As mentioned, the Skywalkers used this form, as did the people trained under them. So, does that mean that Form V is the best lightsaber form?
There is no such thing as the best lightsaber form in Star Wars because all forms have specific strengths, weaknesses, and uses. For example, Soresu may not seem like a great style for those who prefer offense, but it was always dangerous in the hands of a masterful defensive specialist in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Meanwhile, Form VII: Juyo/Vaapad was difficult for normal Jedi due to the innate darkness involved with this style, but Mace Windu could use this form without any negative impact.
Meanwhile, Form VI: Niman is the most popular style among all of the Jedi because it is the most balanced fighting style out of all of the forms and is not as physically demanding as Form V. As such, it is best for Jedi that prefers to drag out a fight while being able to balance offense and defense well.
As such, it all depends on who the user is and how well the practitioner uses the form. Even if Form V is effective in saber-to-saber combat, a Padawan couldn’t defeat a Jedi Master that relies solely on Form I but has perfected it.
Form V looks like it is the best lightsaber form because it was often used by exceptionally gifted and skilled Jedi like the Skywalkers. But it probably isn’t a very effective style for a novice or someone who doesn’t have the same gifts as the Skywalkers.