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I recall reading somewhere that many of the Jedi practice lightsaber techniques that are specifically for dueling with other lightsabers. It went on to say the fact that they utilized fencing techniques was the reason why so many died on Geonosis in the first battle of the Clone war. The heroes we follow used fighting techniques that were also good against blaster fire, which is why they survived.

Now, fighting directly against the Sith in a lightsaber duel seems historically to be a fairly rare occurrence (rule of 2, etc.) and such situations comprise a very small part of a Jedi's duties leading up to the Clone Wars. Usually, they are up against enemies with blasters, darts, thermal detonators, etc.

Why don't the Jedi focus their training on fighting against blaster fire instead of dueling?

If anyone is an expert on lightsaber techniques and their names, feel free to edit liberally.

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    I'm not sure how accurate this is. Even the younglings we see training with lightsabers are working with remote droids that appear to be similar to the one Luke used for training against blaster fire.
    – phantom42
    Jul 21, 2017 at 20:58
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    Jedi seem to be not so bad at deflecting singular blaster shots, but they were vastly outnumbered on Geonosis, and thus seemed to be poor at it. Jul 21, 2017 at 21:00
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    @phantom42 - Perhaps that early experience stigmatizes this sort of practice as kids' stuff.
    – Gaultheria
    Jul 21, 2017 at 21:10
  • I thought my answer to this one was reasonably solid, given the book quote. Is there anything else you'd want me to address before considering an acceptance?
    – Valorum
    Oct 1, 2017 at 15:47
  • @Valorum your answer is great, but I think it only addresses part of the question. Most of a jedi's duties as a peacekeeper are spent dealing with blasters, etc. Wouldn't they find other techniques to be more practical? I was focusing my question more on that aspect and less on fighting sith.
    – BlackThorn
    Oct 1, 2017 at 16:04

1 Answer 1

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Yoda's internal monologue in the Revenge of the Sith novelisation is especially telling. In short, as leader of the Jedi (for the best part of a thousand years) he's been assiduously training young Jedi to re-fight the last war. That means an over-emphasis on lightsaber fighting and a dramatic under-reliance on things that might have actually helped them; winning the hearts and minds of the populace and engaging in espionage that might help to root out any dark side users of the Force.

He’d never had it. He had lost before he started.

He had lost before he was born.

The Sith had changed. The Sith had grown, had adapted, had invested a thousand years’ intensive study into every aspect of not only the Force but Jedi lore itself, in preparation for exactly this day. The Sith had remade themselves.

They had become new. While the Jedi- The Jedi had spent that same millennium training to refight the last war.

The new Sith could not be destroyed with a lightsaber; they could not be burned away by any torch of the Force. The brighter his light, the darker their shadow. How could one win a war against the dark, when war itself had become the dark’s own weapon?

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Official novelisation


To put it another way, Yoda was expecting the Sith (or whoever) to turn up like this

enter image description here

rather than like this

enter image description here

And encouraged training that would suit this kind of fight.


As to the question of blaster deflection, this is something that the Jedi do deal with in their early training. We see younglings practicing with the same sort of remote that Obi-Wan had Luke swinging at.

Various articles about lightsaber training (including the excellent Fightsaber) address the fact that while many Jedi are happy to deflect blaster bolts (using a modified form III), relatively few were willing to take this to the next level with Form V (deflecting bolts back on those who had fired) for ethical reasons. A fully trained Jedi might still be ill-equipped to deal with the sort of threat that dozens of well-trained and blaster-equipped soldiers would pose.

enter image description here

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  • Yep, the Jedi from that SW:TOR trailer got thrashed rather quick. Always one step behind :( Jul 22, 2017 at 0:02
  • "Yoda was expecting" - at least in that monologue, Yoda was exactly not expecting that, but most of the Jedi order acted as they were expecting what you describe. Jul 22, 2017 at 22:22
  • @O.R.Mapper - He wasn't specifically expecting the Sith, but he was certainly anticipating that dark side users (of some description) would turn up mob-handed. If the Sith had been dumb enough to confront the Jedi directly, they'd have been massacred.
    – Valorum
    Jul 22, 2017 at 23:02
  • @Valorum Darth Maul would have supported that distorted way of thinking. He was certainly your run-of-the-mill lightsaber-wielding Sith.
    – Joel H.
    Jul 25, 2017 at 13:23

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