‘Ahsoka’: Ezra’s Force-Based Martial Arts Explained

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We all know that Ezra Bridger handed his lightsaber to Sabine Wren at the end of ‘Star Wars: Rebels’ before disappearing. Then, in ‘Ahsoka,’ Huyang called this lightsaber Sabine’s lightsaber because Ezra gave it to her. Of course, in episode 7 of ‘Ahsoka,’ we saw Ezra rejecting the same lightsaber because he had a different way of fighting. So, how was Ezra able to fight without a lightsaber?

Ezra Bridger developed a Force-based martial arts that allowed him to fight using his body and the Force. In doing so, he could fight armed combatants, including a lightsaber-wielding enemy, unarmed, relying only on his open-hand strikes, kicks, and the use of the Force.

Of course, ten years without a lightsaber forced Ezra to find a way to develop a new way of defending himself against his enemies without necessarily killing them. In doing so, he created his own way of fighting unarmed by relying on martial arts and his mastery over the Force. So, with that said, let’s look at Ezra Bridger’s new fighting style.

Ezra rejected his lightsaber

One of the things that we saw in episode 7 of ‘Ahsoka’ was that Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren found themselves in a pickle when Shin Hati and her band of mercenary bandits found and attacked them and the Noti caravan. While they tried their best to flee, it became clear that they needed to fight back to defend the Noti.

Clearly facing numerous enemies, Ezra asked Sabine what her plan was. That was when Sabine tried to hand his lightsaber over to him, only for Ezra to reject it. This is where it got interesting because Sabine thought that Ezra was just joking. But it was clear that Bridger had no intention of taking the lightsaber from Sabine because he had already given it to her around a decade ago, making it her lightsaber.

So, in that regard, Huyang was right when he said that the lightsaber already belonged to Sabine because Ezra gave it to her. Although Ezra was the one who found the Kyber crystal that the lightsaber used and was also the one who constructed it after he lost his original lightsaber, he already gave it to Sabine.

There’s also the fact that Sabine had been training with the lightsaber longer than Ezra. Let’s not forget that Ezra only trained in lightsaber combat for around four years before disappearing. Meanwhile, Sabine had more training with it because she had it for a longer period of time while receiving formal training from Ahsoka Tano.

Let’s not forget that Ezra was never the most talented lightsaber duelist. He knew all the basic forms and attacks but was never a talented duelist, especially compared to the Inquisitors and the other Force wielders we saw in ‘Rebels.’ On the other hand, Sabine was born a warrior and had a better handle on weapons than Ezra ever did.

The Force was Ezra’s only ally, kind of

While Ezra rejected his former lightsaber so that Sabine could use it instead of him, he still came to that fight with Shin and the mercenaries prepared. That’s because he was still a master of the Force. And there was a good reason why he survived around a decade on Peridea without any weapons.

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Ezra told Sabine that the Force was the only ally he needed, and he proceeded to show just how far he had progressed in using the Force. He could sense trouble before it came and was skilled at using Force push to neutralize his enemies. On top of that, he also combined his use of the Force with open-palm strikes and kicks.

To that end, Ezra had mastered the art of unarmed combat by combining it with the use of the Force when it comes to evading strikes and dishing out his own attacks as well. He likely mastered this art while he was on Peridea, as he had to survive on that planet with nothing but his knowledge of the Force.

There was a reason why Thrawn couldn’t kill Ezra while they were both stranded on Peridea for around a decade. Ezra proved himself capable enough of fighting unarmed and without the use of any weapons at all. And he mastered this Force-based martial art to such a degree that he no longer needed the use of a lightsaber.

Nevertheless, true to his nature as a comedic character, Ezra lied about the Force being the only ally he needed. That’s because he used a blaster he stole from one of the bandits he defeated. This proves he was still true to his nature as the comedic, overconfident character we all loved back in ‘Rebels.’

Ezra fought Shin on par unarmed

Proving that he didn’t need a lightsaber to fight, Ezra could fight Shin Hati on par even though he was basically unarmed. He could sense her incoming strikes using his mastery of the Force and evade all of her attacks without the need to parry or block them using a lightsaber.

On top of that, Ezra also showed mastery over Force Push by using it to block some of Shin’s strikes, proving that he was now more powerful than ever. And while he probably couldn’t have defeated Shin without Sabine’s help, Ezra would have spent the entire fight dodging and blocking her attacks to the point of frustrating the fallen Jedi apprentice.

We haven’t seen a lot of characters using the Force to block lightsaber attacks. Most of those who could do so were already experienced and powerful Force wielders. In that regard, Ezra proved himself powerful enough in the use of the Force by being able to block lightsaber attacks using nothing but the Force.

Jedi should be masters of unarmed combat

One of the things that we know about the Jedi is that they were also trained in the ways of unarmed combat while they were still in the Jedi Temple. Of course, we never saw Kanan Jarrus training Ezra in unarmed combat, as it is possible that he focused more on teaching him how to wield a lightsaber and the Force. But in the High Republic comics, Jedi Master Porter Engle once said that only those who can fight unarmed deserve to be called Jedi Knights.

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As such, while he was never able to graduate from his status as a Padawan, Ezra Bridger proved himself a true Jedi Knight when he was able to master unarmed combat at a level that we haven’t seen from a lot of Jedi. Of course, we did see some of the Jedi during the events of the Clone Wars displaying their mastery of unarmed combat. 

But in Ezra’s case, he took it to the next level by being confident enough to reject a lightsaber so that he could focus more on using the Force and his mastery over his own martial arts. As such, Ezra allowed us to see an entirely different kind of Jedi who doesn’t have to use a deadly weapon to neutralize an opponent.

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