Star Wars – Lightsaber Form IV: Ataru, Explained | Games Rants
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Star Wars – Lightsaber Form IV: Ataru, Explained | Games Rants

Exploring the various methods of wielding a lightsaber, such as the art of Lightsaber Form IV: Ataru, offers a delightful experience for dedicated Star Wars enthusiasts. The third form, Soresu, heavily focuses on defense, often at the expense of other combat aspects. While effective within its defined boundaries, this form’s drawback lies in its limited offensive tactics.


As lightsaber combat styles evolved over time, the weaknesses of Lightsaber Form III: Soresu gradually became apparent. To address these limitations, a new form emerged. Form IV, known as Ataru, balances offense just as Soresu emphasizes defense, earning it the nickname of the Aggression Form. By blending Force-empowered acrobatics with a rapid, unrelenting stream of attacks, Ataru stands out as the most kinetic and visually interesting among all the combat forms. Engaging in lightsaber duels while applying this form creates a genuinely captivating spectacle.

RELATED: Star Wars – Lightsaber Form III: Soresu, Explained


Origin of Form IV: Ataru

star wars yoda lightsaber

Ataru, recognized as an assertive combat technique, relies on a skillful blend of rapidity and nimbleness. This unique approach earned it alternative titles like the Way of the Hawk-bat and the Aggression Form. The history of Ataru stretches back into the times of the Old Republic. Records trace its use as far back as the Mandalorian Wars, during which it became a favored choice for the Jedi of that era. As history progressed, Ataru retained its popularity among Jedi in the later periods of the Republic. Even the Sith were known to adopt its principles.

Form IV’s prowess in Star Wars lore was especially notable in close-quarters combat, proving effective against solitary adversaries. However, due to its aggressive nature, Ataru wasn’t suited for encounters involving multiple foes. It displayed limitations against blaster attacks, especially from numerous opponents.

Famous Practitioners

star wars ataru practitioners

Prominent figures from the Old Republic era, including Yoda and Qui-Gon Jinn, embraced the Ataru combat form. Yoda, in particular, achieved mastery in Form IV through his deep connection with the Force. This proficiency was visible in his frequent utilization of the form in battles, rendering him nearly invulnerable against various adversaries, including Separatist battle droids. Despite his diminutive stature and advanced age, Yoda’s command over Ataru made him a force to be reckoned with.

Another adept of Ataru was Obi-Wan Kenobi, who learned the form from Qui-Gon Jinn during his apprenticeship. Following his master’s demise on Naboo, Kenobi shifted his focus to Soresu, aiming to combine the strengths of both forms. This helped him compensate for Ataru’s inherent lack of defense.

The spirited demeanor of Anakin Skywalker, as a Padawan, resonated well with the vibrant nature of Ataru, prompting him to study the form. His affinity for this style laid the foundation for his mastery of Form V later. During the Clone Wars, despite his expertise in Djem So, Anakin demonstrated advancement in Ataru, incorporating its agile maneuvers into his lightsaber engagements. He even passed on his knowledge of Ataru to his apprentice, Ahsoka Tano.

Form IV found adept practitioners in diverse Jedi, such as Weequay Jedi Sora Bulq, Lannik Jedi Master Even Piell, and Nautolan Jedi Master Kit Fisto. Even Piell’s apprentice, Jax Pavan, along with other forms, honed his skills in Ataru during Jedi training. Master Luke Skywalker and his wife, Mara Jade Skywalker, also possessed proficiency in Ataru.

Darth Vader’s transformative journey after his defeat on Mustafar saw him integrating elements of Form IV into his personalized variation of Form V. He imparted Ataru teachings to his secret apprentice, contributing to the apprentice’s familiarity with the style. Additionally, Marek’s droid PROXY endeavored to replicate Ataru, drawing inspiration from Qui-Gon Jinn’s abilities. Though formidable, PROXY’s emulation lacked the aid of the Force, a notable vulnerability that Marek exploited. Nonetheless, Marek acknowledged PROXY’s impressive execution of Ataru techniques.

Known Maneuvers

star wars anakin skywalker sabers

Ataru placed speed as a paramount factor, differing from the emphasis on power seen in Form I. This transition was logical considering the unique attributes of lightsabers. Unlike conventional metal blades, the wielder’s physical strength held less significance.

The foundational stance in Ataru was a poised two-handed guard, with the lightsaber held vertically by both hands, positioned on either the right or left side of the body. One potent technique in Ataru is the Hawk-Bat Swoop. This tactic aimed to catch the opponent off-guard with swift strikes, preventing them from reacting promptly and allowing the attacker to escape before retaliation ensued.

Another proficient move in the Ataru arsenal was the Saber Swarm. This tactic involved launching a series of rapid, brief strikes at the adversary, forcing them into a defensive stance. Ataru practitioners exhibited remarkable finesse in executing this combination. Both the Hawk-Bat Swoop and the Saber Swarm correlated with the Falling Leaf technique, gaining prominence during the era of the New Sith Wars.

Form IV: Ataru marked a departure from its predecessor by placing an emphasis on agility and speed rather than raw strength. This shift was not only a logical progression, but also a reflection of the distinct nature of lightsabers in the Star Wars universe compared to traditional metal blades. It demonstrated the lightsaber’s unique capabilities as an energy weapon, and as an icon in the franchise’s universe.

MORE: Star Wars – Lightsaber Form II: Makashi, Explained

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