Mace Windu was often considered the champion of the Jedi Order before the destruction of the Jedi, not only because he was one of the strongest Jedi of his time but also because he was considered the top duelist within the entire Order. But the thing about Windu was that he used a unique lightsaber combat form that allowed him to become the best duelist of his time. So, which lightsaber combat form did Mace Windu use?
The lightsaber combat form that Mace Windu used was Form VII: Vaapad, which was his own personal creation derived from Form VII: Juyo. He was one of the two known Jedi unaffected by the aggressive nature of Juyo, and that was why he was allowed to use it and develop Vaapad from it.
Mace Windu was unique in his own right because he had a lightsaber combat form that only he and his apprentice could use. That means that he has already risen through the ranks of the history of the Jedi Order as one of the greatest Jedi of all time. Of course, defeating one of the strongest Sith Lords of all time also puts his combat form on a high pedestal. Now, let’s look at what Mace Windu’s lightsaber combat form was.
Mace Windu was unaffected by the aggressiveness of Form VII
At a young age, Mace Windu tried his hand at Form VII: Juyo, a lightsaber combat form that the Jedi Council didn’t allow the Jedi to use or learn. Nevertheless, for some reason, Mace was allowed to use this form. And we must talk more about Juyo to understand what makes Mace unique among the Jedi.
The very nature of Form VII: Juyo relied on the duelist’s aggressiveness, negative thoughts, and energy. Juyo was one of the earliest lightsaber forms created, as it was derived from the basic lightsaber form called Form I: Shii-Cho. However, Juyo employed the use of techniques that weren’t in line with what the Jedi Order believed in, and that was why the Jedi weren’t allowed to use this dangerous and aggressive form.
But, over time, the Jedi saw use in Juyo due to its effectiveness in combat. Nevertheless, it was observed that those who used Form VII were more susceptible to the temptation of the dark side of the Force. That’s because Form VII relied on the person’s aggressiveness and negative emotions.
Juyo, which is often called the Ferocity Form, is the most aggressive and unpredictable out of all of the different lightsaber combat forms because it derives its strength and power from the dark side. It relied on fierce and fast strikes that were empowered by the person’s desire to hurt or kill its target with malicious intent. As such, Juyo often employed continuous onslaughts and flurries of attacks that were quick to overwhelm its enemies.
Unlike Form I: Shii-Cho and Form IV: Ataru, which are both aggressive forms, Form VII was an uncontrolled type of aggression that had malicious intentions on the practitioner’s part. This is why Shii-Cho and Ataru don’t draw on the power of the dark side of the Force despite their aggressive nature.
The danger of this form lies in the fact that the very nature of Juyo forced the user to channel strength and power from the dark side because the only way for the person to continuously attack in flurries with ferocity and aggression was to use the dark side of the Force. As such, a Jedi who used this form became closer to the dark side, which is exactly why the Jedi Council forbade Jedi from ever using this form.
On top of the fact that Juyo led the practitioner to the dark side, it was also dangerous due to how reckless it was. Unlike Form IV, which was reckless because it left a lot of openings, Form VII was reckless simply because it caused the practitioners to become unbalanced and unfocused with their attacks. As such, a well-timed counterattack to a Form VII user could be more than enough to defeat the Juyo practitioner, regardless of how skilled or powerful they may be.
However, for some reason, Mace Windu was seemingly immune to the effects of Juyo. While practicing Form VII, he wasn’t affected by its dark and aggressive nature at all. As such, he started using it as his main combat form before eventually developing a more formal and standard lightsaber form.
Windu developed Vaapad out of Juyo
Mace Windu’s mastery over his inner darkness and anger while using Form VII: Juyo allowed him to understand the very nature of this lightsaber combat form. He learned how to control his inner darkness and negative emotions and was able to channel them into his lightsaber combat form without affecting his mental and emotional state. As such, he developed Form VII: Vaapad.
By developing Vaapad, Mace Windu was able to finally develop a Form VII variant that was truly fit for the Jedi to practice. That’s because he could turn Form VII into a more controlled and disciplined form compared to the standard Juyo that the dark-side practitioners often used.
Like the standard Juyo, Vaapad also used quick flurries and fierce rapid strikes that were quick to overwhelm an enemy. The difference, however, is the fact that Vaapad was a more controlled and disciplined form that allowed the practitioner to use powerful and fierce flurries that didn’t have any malicious intentions behind them.
These attacks were disciplined because the practitioner was always in control of their actions and movements instead of recklessly throwing powerful attacks that could leave openings.
The power of Vaapad was on full display in Windu’s duel with Palpatine, who had just revealed himself as the Sith Lord named Darth Sidious. Palpatine killed three prominent Jedi Masters in quick succession but struggled against Windu’s lightsaber skills. Eventually, the controlled aggression of Windu’s Vaapad won against Palpatine’s Juyo as he was about to kill the Sith Lord if it weren’t for Anakin’s interruption.
Years before his death, Mace Windu taught Form VII: Vaapad to his Padawan, Depa Billaba, who we know was also the master of Kanan Jarrus. However, while Depa knew how to use the power of Vaapad without falling to the dark side of the Force, she preferred to use Form III: Soresu, which is also the same form that she taught to Kanan.
However, the development of Vaapad was stopped in its tracks when Mace Windu died alongside the Jedi Order. Because only Windu had the capability to teach Vaapad to a Jedi without making the Jedi draw upon the power of the dark side, no other Jedi has ever used Vaapad since his death.
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