Obi-Wan Kenobi originally specialized in Form IV, trained in the form by Qui-Gon Jinn. However, upon witnessing his master’s death due to Ataru’s lack of defensive capabilities, Kenobi decided to switch his focus to Soresu in order to eliminate this weakness in his own technique.
Kenobi’s resulting skills in Form III stood him in good stead against skilled gunslingers like Jango Fett or during chaotic firefights on Geonosis. His strong defense and energy-efficient moves enabled him to pull and survive where most of the Jedi Strike Team could not. However, when facing Dooku, Kenobi’s skills in Soresu were insufficient to effectively counter Dooku’s skills in Form II lightsaber combat. Although Kenobi was a skilled Soresu practitioner, he could not match Dooku’s precision and economy of speed. During their duel, many of Kenobi’s cutting parries directly missed Dooku’s blade, forcing Kenobi into numerous grappling situations and tiring him out quickly. Kenobi was eventually taken down by the light, incapacitating cuts across his left arm and leg.
Obi-Wan Kenobi was highly skilled in Form III.
During the Clone Wars, Kenobi continued to develop his skills. His blast-deflection technique was advanced to the point where Kenobi could walk “through a hornet-swarm of blasterfire unscathed”. Kenobi’s skills as a lightsaber duelist also improved considerably, hardened by thousands of hours of lightsaber sparring with Anakin Skywalker and others, and numerous engagements with enemy duelists such as General Grievous, Asajj Ventress, and even Dooku himself. Even unarmed, Kenobi was a formidable opponent, working his way to avoid enemy attacks and physically attacking them inside the opponent’s defenses, demonstrating this technique against the likes of Ventress and Prey Vizlad.
By the end of the war, Kenobi’s skills in Soretsu had developed to the point where he could compete with Dooku. In their final confrontation with Dooku aboard the Invisible Hand, both Kenobi and Skywalker used rudimentary lightsaber tactics and techniques, aimed at lulling Dooku into a false sense of confidence. When they suddenly shifted to the advanced fighting methods they had practiced and developed in the interim, Kenobi displayed his full skill at Soretsu. Dooku marveled at the simplicity and skill of her bladework, but also her astonishing speed and precision. Caught off guard and forced to retreat, Dooku only succeeded in defeating Kenobi thanks to the superior skill of his forces. In his final confrontation with Grievous, Kenobi provided one of the purest displays of his Soretsu. His complex pattern of blade blocks and parries moved quickly enough to subtly interfere with Grievous’ multiple strikes, while his slight dodges and position changes helped him evade the rest of them. Frustrated, Grievous increased the intensity of his attack, Kenobi changed the angle of his parry, severing both of Grievous’ mechanical wrists. However, Grievous was mortally wounded by Mace Windu during the Battle of Coruscant and had virtually no time to recover before confronting Kenobi, which may have contributed to Kenobi’s victory. Kenobi proved to be the only Jedi able to engage Darth Vader and emerge victorious, as his Soresu expertly countered Vader’s enraged Form V. Kenobi simply dodged and blocked Darth Vader’s constant barrage of blows, returning blows himself to disrupt Vader’s attacks. , all the while taking the battle to the place of his choice, before finally dismembering the helpless and enraged Sith Lord when his defenses failed.
Obi-Wan Kenobi using Soretsu against Darth Vader
However, during his long isolation on Tatooine, Kenobi’s skills as a swordsman declined, as he only engaged in one lightsaber duel during his exile. Despite this, he was a powerful Form III practitioner and was able to hold off Darth Vader for a short time during their rematch on the Death Star. However, unlike their fight with Mustafar, Vader maintained a careful, controlled offense rather than a reckless attack, and Kenobi found no opportunities to exploit. Due to Vader’s tactics and his own advanced age changes, Kenobi quickly grew tired and eventually chose to sacrifice himself to distract Vader from his fleeing compatriots.
The key to truly mastering Soresu seems to come from grasping the concept and philosophy of the form rather than adhering to its techniques and tricks. While Kenobi displayed a strong preference for Soresu, he relentlessly applied elements of Dogged Form I as well as Ataru’s erratic strokes and acrobatics. At one point just before the end of the Clone Wars, Mace Windu acknowledged Obi-Wan Kenobi as the “Master of Soresu”.
Was Obi-Wan a defensive style?
Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the greatest defensive fighters in Star Wars; however, his form may connect more to the Jedi master than many realize. One of the most skilled defensive fighters in all of Star Wars is Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. He was a master of Form III, a.k.a. Soresu.
What is Obi-Wan’s stance called?
Obi-Wan’s Lightsaber Stance
You’ll recognize his initial lightsaber stance from Revenge of the Sith, which is known as “Form III,” or “Soresu,” the Jedi fighting style preferred not only by Obi-Wan but Luminara Unduli, Depa Billaba, Kanan Jarrus, and others.