I've just read a question about Luke Skywalker learning Form IV from Yoda. This would have had to happen before Yoda died (maybe).

I don't remember lightsaber combat forms being mentioned in the films, so it must have been added retroactively to the canon, right? Except I know midichlorians were thought of by George Lucus long before they were mentioned in the prequel trilogy.

When did the idea that lightsaber combat had forms first occur?

  • There was mention of other styles of Lightsaber combat in Shadows of the Empire. I read that 15 years ago and do not have a copy anymore but I remember something about Yoda telling Luke he would need to learn to use and defend against different styles. I do not remember any names(like Form IV) being used in the book though.
    – Chad
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 12:27
  • Are you interested in the first mention of forms' existance or their names? Chad's comment seems to contradit DavRob's answer if it's the former. Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 13:49
  • @Chad that's more what I'm after, first mention of forms, first acknowledgment they exist in the mind of George Lucus
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 17:04
  • 1
    I do not know that Lucas had any in mind. The books are not really handled by Lucas other than he reads the key plot points and gets to veto and significant changes if he wants. Mostly it is the publishers that take the story line ideas to them for approval. This is not something that is ever mentioned in the books and I do not think the tv show which are the projects that Lucas is actively involved in.
    – Chad
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


The Behind the scenes section on the Form IV: Ataru Wookieepedia article state that :

Ataru, along with forms II, III, and VII was first mentioned in Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary, but little information was given about the form other than a brief description of it, and listing Anakin Skywalker as a known practitioner. Along with the other six classical forms, it was fully fleshed out and described by David West Reynolds in Fightsaber: Jedi Lightsaber Combat after the release of Episode II, as part of Star Wars Insider 62. Reynolds was aided in this work by fencer Jack "Stelen" Bobo.

So Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary was was published on April 2002 and Star Wars Insider 62 was published on October 2002, before that I thought it was introduced in the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, but it was published in summer 2003.

  • Was this, like the midichlorines, something that was planned early, but mentioned later on?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 16:59
  • I wouldn't bet on that.
    – DavRob60
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 17:52
  • But no evidence? I think that's good enough for me.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 17:55
  • 1
    I read Shadows of the Empire in the 90's and the first time I learn about Forms was in Knights of the Old Republic. I don't see anything that could indicate it was planned early.
    – DavRob60
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 18:27

The reference came in the comic series Crimson Empire III

"This style of fighting was taught to me by Master Yoda. In most cases, you will not use it as a first resort, but you'll find it often works as a last resort." Luke Skywalker

More detail on the form on the wikia page, specifically the behind the scenes section.

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