- "I prefer more straightforward methods."
- — Anakin Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Form V: Shien / Djem So, the Way of the Krayt Dragon, or the Perseverance Form, is the fifth of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat. Form V is a powerful style developed by Form III practitioners that preferred a more offensive style, since the defensive nature of Form III often led to dangerously prolonged combat. Djem So evolved into a combat style by combining the defensive maneuvers of Soresu with the more aggressive philosophy/tactics of Makashi. Bold, powerful, fearless, and confident are traits often used to describe practitioners of Form V.
Form V was created by Form III masters who preferred a more offensive style, since the defensive nature of Form III can lead to prolonged combat. It evolved into an accepted style by combining the defensive maneuvers of Form III with the more aggressive philosophy and tactics of Form II. Form V also requires a higher level of physical strength than the other lightsaber forms, due to its focus on complete domination of opponents. The form was developed alongside Form IV at a time when the Jedi were increasingly called upon to actively keep the peace.
Despite its metaphorical and literal strength, Form V is not without its weaknesses. Shien is particularly weak against a single opponent and Djem So is known for having a lack of mobility. However, a skilled duelist in Form V is capable of compensating for these weaknesses and employing the form effectively in combat.
Form V has two distinct variations: Shien and Djem So. It is common for frequent practitioners of Form V to master both variations.
ShienEditShien is described as being well adapted to guarding against blaster fire and enemy strikes without compromising one's ability to launch powerful counterattacks, though it has proven to be less effective against a single opponent. With its focus against blaster fire, Shien keeps in mind that Jedi are often outnumbered by their opponents and need to defend themselves while retaining offensive capability.
The opening stance for Shien is a high guard position, with the hilt held in a two-handed grip above the user's head, and the blade angled upwards and behind the user. The dominant leg is in the back, enabling powerful step-through strikes to be utilized. Another Shien stance consists of an unorthodox horizontal grip which is used to perform long, sweeping strikes to take down several enemies at a time.
Additionally, there is an ancient Sith variant of this classic lightsaber form called Sith Shien. Sith Shien is known to focus on quick and aggressive attacks against the user's opponent.
Djem So is the creation of a group of Form III masters who felt that Soresu was too passive. It addresses the shortcomings of Form III, in which a master of that style may have proved to be unbeatable but was likewise unable to overcome a skilled opponent. Utilizing a combination of blocks and parries, a Djem So user maintains a proper foundation in terms of defense against both ranged and melee attacks.
While a Soresu user stays on the defensive, however, and only counterattacks when necessary, or when an opening appears in an opponent's defense, a Djem So practitioner is not nearly so passive. Immediately after defending against an opponent's strike, a Djem So stylist follows with an attack of their own, bringing the force of the opponent's own blow against them and seeking to dominate the duel. Djem So places a heavy focus on brute strength and pure power, with wide, powerful strikes and parries followed immediately by counterattack. One of the characteristic moves of Djem So is an overhand power blow downward upon an opponent, the lightsaber held firmly in both hands.
Darth Vader created his own variant of Form V, where he would use only one hand to strike and defend, and hold the other casually by his side. This was the case during his duel with his son on Bespin.
Known Exodus Masters of Shien / Djem SoEdit
- "Peace through superior firepower."
- — Jedi maxim on Form V