I can see why people would consider OR jedi to be superior to PT jedi since PT jedi have more real combat experience since in real life someone with firsthand experience will always beat someone who read about it in a book or sparred with it, with no real firsthand experience.
That being said, this isnt real life, this is star wars, and during the era of peace the jedi were able to get overall stronger in the force and improve on their lightsaber combat by deepening their connection to the force. As earlier stated by Beni, Jedi Master Wylett had been hibernating in an ice cave on Hoth for decades deepening his connection to the force, and when he emerged he became vastly more powerful.
An interesting point, I looked into Wylett but didn't find any information on him. Does anyone have some Wookiepedia knowledge concerning him?
Also while the jedi became stronger as a whole, they didnt become overwhelmingly stronger to the point where someone like Jaric Kaedan in his prime would get easily destroyed by an average jedi knight in the PT. Where the OR had few great masters (Revan, Meetra, Kaedan, Satele (maybe she hasnt beat anyone noteworthy) the PT had many great masters (Yoda, Mace, Obi-Wan, Dooku, basically the entire PT jedi high council and then some. This is a testament to how the jedi have gotten stronger as a whole.
You list four PT Era Jedi by name, and then say the "entire PT Jedi high council"... I could just as easily say that any of the dozens on knights we see fighting in the Jedi Temple against Malgus' invasion force, or the hundreds who are said to have taken part in any given battle were, by default, more experienced and skilled in lightsaber combat since they are constantly fighting against lightsaber wielding opponents.
Narratives aside (and very good ones may I say!) allow me to reiterate a few points and pose some new ones, rather than counter the host of arguments that have been made in my absence.
Well, I didn't just raise those arguments for fun (well, actually I did, since this is Star Wars). Take a moment to look over my post at the top of page three, particularly the bits about Cin Drallig and sparring practice with lightsabers, as I feel they get close to the heart of what's being discussed here.
What is important though is to see the connection between the Force and lightsaber combat, the Force is an intrinsic component of the lightsaber, you cannot simply say they are entirely different realms. As Wookieepedia says, it is impossible to achieve true mastery over the lightsaber if you lack a strong connection to the Force.
Wookiepedia does not say that. The precise phrasing I found is this:
It was difficult to master for a number of reasons, one of them being that all of the weight a lightsaber had was in its hilt. It had been said that only a Force-sensitive individual could completely master lightsaber combat.
This implies that Force sensitivity is required to be aware of the nuances of handling a lightsaber, but does not at all state that the strength of one's connection to the Force is tied to lightsaber skills.
And the lightsaber forms themselves rely on strength in the Force e.g. Ataru and Form V. Dun moch is also evidence of this, it was often used by the Sith to unbalance their Jedi opponents by encouraging them to embrace their emotions
You raise a good point here, but it actually fits in neatly with what I was saying earlier (post at the top of page 3). The Force obviously confers many advantages when used properly in combat, and Ataru is great evidence of this. The acrobatics are enabled by the use of the Force, and the blaster bolt deflection of Soresu and Shien are also examples of how the sensitivity to the Force allows a Jedi to perceive things that others cannot. Note that this is a product of sensitivity and awareness, not necessarily raw Force channeling abilities.
As for Dun Moch, I think that's just good psychological warfare in any situation. The Jedi should develop an equivalent, because whoever unbalances their opponent is naturally going to have the edge.
Lets also consider that it is through meditation and serenity that one draws closer, and therefore more powerful, in the Force. The PT Jedi Order experienced 2000 years of peace, in which they could bring themselves closer and closer to the Force and become more powerful because of it. As such they can augment their prowess with the lightsaber with their strength in the Force.
You say 2000, but only 1000 years passed between Ruusan and the Clone Wars. A typo, perhaps?
Regardless, these years did not make each successive generation of Jedi exponentially stronger in the Force. The people being recruited would still have the same random aptitude for the Force that past generations did, what varies is the level and focus of their training. Every generation of Jedi trained during these peaceful days will have extensive instruction in the philosophies of the Force, and will spend time meditating. This will make him better at using the Force, and because of this it seems that Ataru became quite a popular sparring form since it naturally played to the use of the Force.
The argument could even be made that sparring with Ataru would be encouraged during the peaceful years because it did not focus purely on sword skills but pushed the Jedi to master their control over the Force as well. However, it is a fatally inefficient form when compared with more dueling-centric forms like Djem So and Juyo, which would have little to no practical requirement in this era.
Another thing to consider is the focus of their combat training. There are no Sith remaining in the galaxy. The Jedi Order believes them extinct, and while they theoretically guard against their return, there is no eminent threat from lightsaber or Force-wielding adversaries (aside from isolated incidents of rogue Jedi, etc.)
Soresu flourishes in this time period, since it focuses on defending against blasters. Almost every fight that a Jedi would find himself in while resolving disputes during this time period would require him to guard against blasters, rather than melee combatants. So this is the only form that is actually used in the field regularly by the Jedi.
Consider also the nature of the Clone Wars. The Jedi fought against battle droids, mercenaries, and blaster-wielding allies of the CIS. Little to no lightsaber combat, except for the few isolated duels that the main characters fought from time to time. Compare this to any given battle in the OR Era, where dozens, if not hundreds, of Jedi and Sith clashed in lethal combat.
We also cannot disregard the effect war has on teachings. Ventessel brings up 'rotations' etc. to deal with such problems, but he does not take into account a major factor: death. War takes countless lives, many of which would have been Jedi Knights skilled with the lightsaber, how can a Jedi train new padawans if they are dead? During the Great Sith War many of the Order's most skilled duelists were killed or indisposed e.g. Ulic Qel Droma, Exar Kun, Cay Qel-Droma, Vodo-Siosk Baas and many others. And lets not forget the loss of the Great Jedi Library on Ossus, at least half on the Jedi teachings were destroyed, many of which likely encompassed lightsaber combat. Then we have the Mandalorian Wars, a huge portion of the Jedi broke away from the Order, likely many of them were Jedi Guardians and Sentinels. All were lost during the Mandalorian Wars, they either died or fell to the dark side and were later killed in the Jedi Civil War. During that period the Dantooine Jedi Enclave was razed, more teachings lost. And then we have the Great Galactic War which saw the destruction of the Jedi Temple, and the loss of countless Jedi Knights. During the Cold War Jun Seros, Jaric Kaedan and Orgus Din were all killed, and that was just during the Cold War - can you imagine the loss of powerful Jedi Knights during the war itself?
You raise a valid point, but perhaps you carry it too far. Certainly, in each war many Jedi are killed. Some of those who died were experienced combatants. However, the ones who lived would also have practical combat knowledge, and one battle-hardened Jedi can provide valuable training to many Knights and Padawans. So the death of many prominent duelists does not necessarily mean that no one passed on the lessons of war to the newer Jedi.
The Jedi Civil war produced many extremely skilled duelists, since they were forced to hone their lightsaber skills in combat. Things did get pretty bad after the First Jedi Purge, but they recovered over the 300 years between then and the Great Galactic War, and had 28 years to really get the hang of fighting psychotic, lightsaber wielding Sith. 28 Years of constant dueling and so forth would really force the Jedi to practice only the most effective combat techniques, since both sides are constantly improving their technique and adjusting their training regimens over the course of the war. And while many experienced Knights were killed during the Cold War, and again during the renewed conflict, many more would have gained battle experience and become formidable fighters.
If anything, the loss of teachings when the temples were sacked would have hindered the consulars more than the guardians. You can pretty quickly copy down notes on the combat styles of current Jedi, who are experienced with dueling. However, remaking holocrons detailing Force techniques and philosophical treatises could prove impossible unless Jedi archivists happened to remember exactly what was stored in them.
All this accumulated with the next generation of Jedi being completely without substantial teaching in the Force and in lightsaber combat, so all that combat experience built up in periods of war was lost and never utilized. Do you recall Mical? When he came of age their were no Jedi left to train him, think how many other potential Jedi would have been lost and how many Jedi would have be incompetently trained by the few Consulars and Historians that remained.
Mical is a specific example from the immediate aftermath of the First Jedi Purge. Yes, things were rough right then for the Jedi Order, but they got back on their feet. I'm referring to the Jedi who lived during the wars, and in the generations immediately following such conflicts as Exar Kun's Wars, the Mandalorian Wars, and the Great Galactic War.
War has a tendency to seriously damage the population of skilled lightsaber duelists, making the next generation comparatively weak. Whereas in a period of sustained peace, this is not a problem. Knowledge is gained, retained and passed on.
War creates those duelists in the first place. The fact that some of them do not survive is simply a bi-product of their creation during duels that occur within the war's battles. In a period of sustained peace, that experience is lost when no Jedi who have combat experience are left.
Finally we are giving too much value to first hand combat experience, yes it is important but once that experience is retained it doesn't have to be lost, it can be preserved and passed down to generations to come. Take the lightsaber forms, they flourished in a period of war were Jedi could test themselves and learn from experience. But once these forms were lain down and preserved, there was no longer any need for combat experience. Because that experience can essentially be attained simply by learning a form. A Jedi can learn how to deflect blaster bolts, not by engaging in war, but by learning Soresu. A Jedi can learn how to fight a lightsaber wielding opponent by learning Makashi. Take Dooku, he had never and never has fought in a war, and yet he is immensely skilled with the lightsaber and has defeated many lightsaber wielding opponents.
Ah, this is essentially the premise that I am contesting. I believe Cin Drallig is a perfect example of how academic study of the lightsaber forms is no match for practical combat experience. Dooku is not necessarily a great example of your thinking, either. The majority of his duels were against similarly inexperienced Jedi, and he gained experience from killing those Jedi
, further honing his skills. Academic study can take you so far, but you hit a wall eventually, and only combat experience can truly develop your instincts for dueling.
Blaster bolt practice is the exception here, since a training droid can fire at a Jedi in near-perfect simulation of actual gunfire. However, recall that training is still a controlled scenario, with stun bolts. In an actual battle, the chaos and confusion could easily overwhelm an inexperienced Jedi. I will state that this is one area in which the PT Jedi, at least near the end of the Clone Wars, would certainly have been the equals of the OR Jedi, due to the overwhelming tendency of the PT Jedi's enemies to use blasters. However, they were fighting droids for the most part, which are markedly inferior to live soldiers (except droidekas... those are just trouble all over), so OR Jedi who are used to engaging Sith soldiers, etc. would have to be even more alert to survive against thinking opponents (most droids cannot be considered "thinking" enemies, they have programming and some are better than others).
So in that sense the PT Jedi Order has just as much 'combat experience' as the OR Jedi Order did, they have all the benefits of war experience and none of the negatives. The fact that many if not most Jedi survived the Clone Wars is testament to this.
No, the PT Jedi Order has approximately zero combat
experience at the start of the Clone Wars. They do have experience against blasters, which is mainly what they face during the Clone Wars, so it makes sense that many of them fared decently during an era when none of their adversaries were known to employ lightsabers or melee weapons (excluding General Grievous and MagnaGuards, but they are a rare exception).
What the PT Order has in their advantage however is a closer affinity to the Force, which does - and I cannot stress this enough - have a significant impact of lightsaber prowess, the two are inseparable. In a nutshell the PT Order is all the more stronger the OR Jedi Order because Jedi thrive in peace and are weakened by war - that is the way of the Force.
The PT Jedi's knowledge of the Force (on average) is more developed, true. However, knowledge
of the Force is not applicable to all lightsaber forms. Some forms, such as Ataru, rely on strength
in the Force to perform acrobatics. Soresu relies on the Jedi's awareness of his surroundings (derived from his sensitivity
, not necessarily his strength in the Force. See the Wookiepedia quote above).