Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn was one of the most influential characters in Star Wars long after his death because it was through his understanding and mastery over the Living Force that the other Jedi could return after death as Force Ghosts. Of course, during his time alive, Qui-Gon was a prominent Jedi Master and a skilled duelist. So, what lightsaber combat form did Qui-Gon Jinn use?
Qui-Gon Jinn specialized in the use of Form IV: Ataru, which is often called the Aggression Form, due to how aggressive it is. It is the most aggressive of the six standard lightsaber combat forms taught to the Jedi and is second only to Form VII: Juyo in terms of its offense. However, Ataru lacks defense.
It is worth mentioning that Obi-Wan Kenobi was an early practitioner of Qui-Gon’s Form IV: Ataru because his master taught him how to use this form. Nevertheless, the fact that this form was offensive in nature and not in line with Kenobi’s defensive mindset was why he abandoned it. So, with that said, let’s look at Qui-Gon Jinn’s lightsaber combat form and how effective it was.
Qui-Gon’s Form IV: Ataru explained
Fans of the prequel trilogy of Star Wars would know that Qui-Gon Jinn was such a “what if” kind of character due to the possibility that the entire trajectory of Anakin Skywalker’s life might have changed if he was the one who trained him instead of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
While there is nothing wrong with Obi-Wan’s leadership and mentorship, Qui-Gon would have been a better fit for Anakin. And we all know that Qui-Gon’s death was tragic as it was ultimately his lightsaber form that did him in.
The thing about Qui-Gon Jinn was that he wasn’t really the most gifted Jedi Master during his time, but he had a different kind of wisdom that made him adhere to beliefs that were different from what the Jedi Order often believed in.
Of course, like all Jedi Masters, he was a well-trained swordsman who learned the ins and outs of what it meant to be a Jedi under the leadership and mentorship of none other than Count Dooku, who used to be a prominent Jedi Master himself before he turned to the dark side.
Qui-Gon, of course, followed a fighting style that was different from his master’s own style. He excelled in the use of Form IV: Ataru. Unlike most other fighting styles that the Jedi specialized in, Qui-Gon’s Ataru was almost exclusively an offensive style called the Aggression Form due to how aggressive it was on the offensive end.
Form IV: Ataru used different acrobatic movements, spins, and flips. It was developed as the complete opposite of Form III: Soresu, which is the most defense-oriented lightsaber combat form. The reason why Ataru was developed was to allow the Jedi to end the battle quickly due to its offensive approach.
Before the creation of Form IV, Form I: Shii-Cho was the most offense-oriented lightsaber form. But the Jedi’s mastery over the Force had already improved since the development of Shii-Cho, and that meant that Form IV incorporated more of the Force into the Jedi’s movements and attacks. That is why Ataru often relies on using the Force for quick and acrobatic movements, such as jumps, spins, and Force-empowered strikes.
Ataru also relied a lot on spacing because ample space allowed the user to move around and gain momentum using Force-empowered jumps and quick movements. In that regard, it was best used in open battle and whenever there was enough room for the Jedi to employ numerous acrobatic moves.
And the fact that Ataru was so movement-intensive was the reason why it was one of the most demanding styles.
Masters of this form often moved with lightning speed that the Force empowered. On top of that, moves such as somersaults and other demanding maneuvers were impossible to do without using the Force. That is why Form IV isn’t only physically demanding but also intensive when it comes to using the Force.
In Qui-Gon Jinn’s case, he employed Ataru in his open-desert duel with Darth Maul when he first encountered the Sith apprentice. After that, he used the same lightsaber form against him on Naboo when they had their final duel, which ended in Qui-Gon’s death.
Despite losing to Maul, it was still clear that Qui-Gon excelled in this lightsaber combat form because he could perform somersaults and other difficult moves in his old age. He was already 60 years old at the time of his death, proving that he could use Form IV effectively despite being much older than Darth Maul at that time.
Qui-Gon was the reason why Obi-Wan used Form III instead
As mentioned, Qui-Gon Jinn died at the hands of Darth Maul when the Sith Lord found a way to isolate the Jedi Master from Obi-Wan Kenobi. And we all know that Kenobi eventually avenged his master by defeating Darth Maul on Naboo.
Apparently, Obi-Wan actually learned the basics of Form IV: Ataru while he was a Padawan learner under Qui-Gon. He used this form often during his younger years before eventually transitioning to the more defense-oriented Form III: Soresu. And it was because he assessed his master’s death he eventually realized that a more defensive form was better for him.
The problem with Qui-Gon’s Ataru form was that it was almost always geared toward offense while leaving little to no room for defense. Form IV was created to end a battle quickly, and that meant that the duelist would eventually become vulnerable if the fight were to drag on due to the opponent’s defense.
Ataru also left a lot of holes and openings for opponents to take advantage of because it hardly uses defensive stances.
Qui-Gon was also already 60 when he fought Maul, which explains why he wasn’t as quick as he used to be. This made it more difficult for him to minimize the openings in his stance while he was on the offensive. In fact, Maul was able to kill him because he had a very open stance that allowed the Sith Lord to strike his face using his lightsaber hilt before going for the killing stab.
Yoda, who was also a master of Form IV: Ataru, could minimize the form’s weaknesses because he was too small. The openings that Ataru often leaves behind are minimized whenever Yoda uses this combat form because his size makes it difficult for opponents to take advantage of whatever openings he leaves. And this is why Yoda utilized this form masterfully despite its apparent weaknesses.
So, because Obi-Wan Kenobi understood the weaknesses of Form IV and how it led to his master’s death, he decided to flip the switch and focus more on Form III. This allowed him to become the best defensive Jedi of all time.
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