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What Only Hardcore Star Wars Fans Know About Obi-Wan Kenobi's Lightsaber Form

Outside of the slow, clunky duel we see between an elderly Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) in "Star Wars: A New Hope," Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor in the prequel trilogy and voiced by James Arnold Taylor in "The Clone Wars") has proven himself to be one of the greatest lightsaber duelists in the entire "Star Wars" franchise.

Amongst Obi-Wan's greatest accomplishments include defeating the Sith Lord Darth Maul (Ray Park) in "Phantom Menace," taking down General Grievous (voiced by Matthew Wood) in "Revenge of the Sith," and, of course, defeating perhaps the most powerful Jedi of all, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) in an action-packed battle across Mustafar. These accomplishments become even more impressive when you realize that Obi-Wan primarily used one of the most basic or "classic" forms of lightsaber combat, known as Form III. In fact, there's actually a very specific reason that Obi-Wan uses such a classic style of lightsaber combat, one which only the most hardcore of "Star Wars" fans would know.

Obi-Wan changed fighting styles after the death of Qui-Gon Jinn

While under the tutelage of Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson), Obi-Wan was trained primarily in Form IV, known as "Ataru" and characterized by being hyper-aggressive and fast-paced (via Wookieepedia). The lack of defensive capabilities in this form directly led to Qui-Gon's death at the hands of Darth Maul, and following this battle, Kenobi switched to the more defensive style of Form III, known as "Soresu."

Though not explicitly referenced within the films themselves, Obi-Wan's transition between fighting styles was outlined in "Star Wars Insider" 62, wherein writer David West Reynolds explored the seven forms of lightsaber combat in an article titled "Fight Saber: Jedi Lightsaber Combat." Transitioning to Soresu allowed Obi-Wan to become a master of blocking, parrying, and deflecting, and during the Clone Wars, he was renowned for being able to survive amidst hails of gunfire. Indeed, this more defensive combat technique is what helped Obi-Wan overcome Anakin's viciously aggressive fighting style during their duel.

With the highly anticipated Disney+ series "Obi-Wan Kenobi" just around the corner, we can only hope to see Obi-Wan display much more of his signature fighting style in the future –- and perhaps we'll even get to see him cross blades with Darth Vader himself one more time.