I'm hugely ignorant (sorry :)) about the canon outside the movies (which are, afaik, the true canon), but given that were tons of Jedi and about two Sith at a time (who very, very rarely showed themselves), the possible chance for the Jedi to get involved in duels and sword-fights seems to have been pretty low (even considering that some also very rare opponents used bladed weapons that could withstand the power of the lightsabers.)

Why did the Jedi train in fencing when there seemed to be no opponent against whom to use the skill?

The more canon the answer, the better.

  • 3
    Technically, there is no "true canon". There are different levels of canon, and you can choose which levels to "accept"
    – The Fallen
    Jan 2, 2013 at 22:35
  • @SSumner Thank you, I didn't know about this.
    – OpaCitiZen
    Jan 2, 2013 at 22:37
  • Their fencing comes from the 2nd form of lightsaber combat, and it focuses on 1 on 1 Saber dueling. Historically speaking, Italian fencing was specialized in one on one dueling... So naturally they would look like similar combat practices. look up Jensarri1 on youtube if you want a nerd to tell you all about lightsaber forms.
    – user48820
    Jul 28, 2015 at 3:38
  • @SSumner ...and now almost everything is "Legends" non-canon :)
    – Andres F.
    Jul 28, 2015 at 3:47
  • 1
    So they could use their lightsabers?
    – Wad Cheber
    Jul 28, 2015 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


There were a variety of reasons:

  1. Historical. While there were only two Sith in the period immediately preceding the "long time ago" 0 BBY perriod due to the Rule of Two, that was not the case before the Rule of Two. In the days of the wars before, there were many Sith who needed to be fought. As such, the tradition was firmly established.

    Modern military still teaches hand to hand combat to every recruit, even though a large proportion of them will spend their military career pushing buttons or doing logistics/engineering work, and highly unlikely to ever be in a weaponless fight.

  2. There were always Dark Jedi and other non-Sith lightsaber wielding opponents. Witness Yoda dueling the Dark Bhapassi Jedi (though NOT on Dagobah as per retconned G-canon :( )

  3. In addition, lightsaber combat was not merely useful against lightsaber-wielding opponents. In the entire post-SW EU, Luke Skywalker had rarely used the lightsaber to fight opponents who were Lightsaber Force-users. More frequently, he used it to fight opponents with energy weapons.

  • Thanks. Questions, notes: 1. a) What's BBY?; b) where does the Rule of Two come from?; c) Hand to hand combat may be required in wartime when even backwater military may have to combat infiltrators etc. 2. a) So, Dark Jedi != Sith?; b) What's G-canon? 3.) EU is Extended Universe, I guess? Is that canon?
    – OpaCitiZen
    Jan 2, 2013 at 22:35
  • Meanwhile @SSumner has posted a comment under the Q that enlightened me about the canon-issues, ignore those pls. Thanks.
    – OpaCitiZen
    Jan 2, 2013 at 22:38
  • 1
    1a) Before Battle of Yavin 1b) From Darth Bane 2a) See my answer to your question
    – The Fallen
    Jan 2, 2013 at 22:39
  • 1
    @OpaCitiZen - Yes. G-canon is movie canon. T-canon is TV series. C-canon is nooks/videos. The canons are explained on SFF somewhere, search for "[canon]" tag in addition to "[star-wars]" Jan 3, 2013 at 12:14

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