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The Myth of the PT Jedi Guardians

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
The Myth of the PT Jedi Guardians

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Ventessel
02.21.2013 , 11:50 PM | #1
Are the Prequel Trilogy Jedi all they're cracked up to be?

The Golden Age of the Old Republic, the millenium or so after the Ruusan Reformations, saw peace and prosperity return to a galaxy that had been ravaged by almost constant warfare for centuries. During this time the Jedi Order settled in and kept the peace, acting as negotiators and mediators throughout the Republic.

Supposedly, this was a flourishing of the "Jedi Arts", until the beginnings of the Clone Wars. While certainly, the centuries of peaceful meditation led the Jedi to a greater understanding of the Force and its mysteries... what did they really accomplish? Peaceful introspection is the ultimate calling of the Jedi code, especially for consulars. But were the Jedi Guardians we see during the prequels really the best that the Jedi Order had ever produced? Quite doubtful.

For a thousand years, the Jedi did not see open warfare. In fact, the purpose of the Ruusan reforms was to demilitarize the galaxy. The Army of Light disbanded, and the conventional Republic forces were no more. What few conflicts did occur were dealt with by local planetary forces. The claims that somehow, the PT Jedi Order had perfected the arts of combat in this era are absurd. While the technical aspects of the lightsaber forms were of course still known to the Jedi, they lacked practical experience with combat. Even worse, each generation of instructors who lacked experience in warfare then trained another generation, multiplying the effects of their inexperience.

In the old days, starting the the Hundred Years Darkness and concluding with the Ruusan Reforms in the time of Darth Bane, lightsaber combat was not just a flourishing art. It was life or death, as force sensitive combatants fought on all sides of every war in those eras. And wars were frequent.

It was during these days that we saw the most rapid evolution of the lightsaber forms, rapidly expanding from the simplistic movements of Shii-Cho to incorporate the dueling form of Makashi, and so on until the time of Exar Kun, when Niman had been developed. By the days of the Jedi Civil War, Juyo was in practice, even if frowned upon by the Jedi Council.

In these times, any battle would involve numerous lightsaber duels. These were not artistic, complex affairs, but rather deadly contests on the field of battle. Jedi regularly fought Sith, and Dark Jedi of all stripes. Even amongst the Sith, lethal duels were extremely common, seen as both preparation for facing the Jedi and to weed out the weak among them.

Count Dooku lamented the way the Jedi Council had allowed dueling techniques to deteriorate by the times of the PT, and even in the times of the First Jedi Purge, Kreia warned the Jedi Exile that compared to ancient masters like Tulak Hord and Marka Ragnos, more modern Jedi were merely "children playing with toys". It is clear that during the ancient times, duelists were far more formidable than in the PT era. This is not to say that the vaunted Master Yoda did not possess vast wisdom and knowledge of the Force, but that the combat skills of the PT Jedi were not up to scratch when the Clone Wars opened up.
The Heir to ChaosAdded Chapter Sixteen-- 17 APR 2013
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ~ George Orwell

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BradTheImpaler
02.22.2013 , 12:25 AM | #2
You seem to be forgetting Yoda's words" "Wars not make one great".

What made many of the most revered Jedi of this era such was their role as "guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic". Obi-Wan, for instance, was not exactly the strongest of Jedi and even almost got sent to the AgriCorps. Still, he was the embodiment of a true Jedi.

Mace Windu is one notable example. Never mind maintaining the old styles of lightsaber combat---he created a style! It worked pretty well in the right hands, too. You might say "Well he's the exception that proves the rule", but he was not the only skilled duelist. Yoda was, of course, and Kit Fisto and Cin Drallig, for instance, were no pushovers.

It's to be expected that, as you say, peace time will bring less experience with deadly lightsaber combat, but sometimes the best skill is knowing when to use force and when there are better alternatives, and Kreia said something along these lines as well. When she compared modern Jedi to children playing with lightsabers she did not mean to say that wanton violence improves technique (and the "modern Jedi" in her days, by the way, had seen plenty of wars).

I probably rambled a bit, but the point is that:

1. There's more to being a good Jedi than combat ability.
2. Wars can make for improved techniques, but it seems they don't necessarily.
3. There were revered duelists in that era. They stood out as few probably because of the sheer amount of Jedi.
In the Imperial Army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.

Estriga's Avatar


Estriga
02.22.2013 , 12:44 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
1. There's more to being a good Jedi than combat ability.
Indeed, but the OP is talking about strictly martial skills. Sparring can only take you so far, because the rest is dependent on combat experience, where theory doesn't always apply.
Quote:
2. Wars can make for improved techniques, but it seems they don't necessarily.
True enough.
Quote:
3. There were revered duelists in that era. They stood out as few probably because of the sheer amount of Jedi.
I can agree with this, but we really lack a frame of reference. I mean sure, Mace Windu was one of the best duelists of his time, but how would he stand against a staple of the Old Republic era like Darth Malgus (himself very skilled with a lightsaber) or the Hero of Tython?

Ventessel's Avatar


Ventessel
02.22.2013 , 12:45 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by BradTheImpaler View Post
You seem to be forgetting Yoda's words" "Wars not make one great".
....
1. There's more to being a good Jedi than combat ability.
2. Wars can make for improved techniques, but it seems they don't necessarily.
3. There were revered duelists in that era. They stood out as few probably because of the sheer amount of Jedi.
All excellent points, however, I never disagreed with Yoda's philosophy or your first point there. Jedi are not all about combat, and I think that Yoda's statement is an excellent insight into the mindset of the Jedi. They do not revere war, and unlike the Sith, do not hold combat skills in as high regard as they do other areas of expertise.

Kreia's statement is certainly a controversial one, and interpreted many ways. However, I think she was speaking more to the exceptional dueling abilities of the Sith Lords entombed on Korriban, as compared to current combatants. I include her statement only to counter the inevitable "newer Jedi/Sith are exponentially better than the older ones!" that seems to get brought up all the time. I like to interpret it as meaning that combat skills ebb and flow, and after the First Jedi Purge combat knowledge with lightsabers was dwindling, whereas during the days of Marka Ragnos and co. it flourished.
The Heir to ChaosAdded Chapter Sixteen-- 17 APR 2013
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ~ George Orwell

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
02.22.2013 , 11:50 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Estriga View Post
I can agree with this, but we really lack a frame of reference. I mean sure, Mace Windu was one of the best duelists of his time, but how would he stand against a staple of the Old Republic era like Darth Malgus (himself very skilled with a lightsaber) or the Hero of Tython?
He very likely defeats them, perhaps even with relative ease. Lets remember this is the Jedi that defeated the most powerful Sith Lord ever to come into existence, in pure lightsaber combat - that in itself speaks volumes for how far the Jedi Order has come.

War is simply not good for a Jedi Order. For one, such an act of aggression draws them closer to the dark side, as beings of the light this does not strengthen them, but unbalances them and makes them weaker. Yes in the Force, but the Force is a key component of skill with the lightsaber. In times of peace Jedi can draw themselves closer to the Force through meditation, making them stronger in every respect. War also has a negative effect on teachings, do you think in a 30 year period of war there is going to be an abundance of time to train new Jedi? No, the teachings will be rushed, unfocused, with few Masters available to teach them. Lets not also forget the catastrophic effect the First Jedi Purge of the Dark Wars must have had on the Jedi and their teachings, not to mention of destruction of the Jedi Temple in the Sacking of Coruscant.

But why not see for yourself: PT Jedi Order possessed a great many number of powerful lightsaber duelists. For example lets compare the Jedi Council of the Old Republic with the Jedi Council of the PT era.

Old Republic: Atris, Vrook Lamar, Kavar, Lonna Vash, Zez-Kai Ell - remember those guys? I expect vaguely as they were never displayed to be particularly powerful or to have achieved much, that is because they were not. Only Kavar and Vrook where known to have mastered multiple forms, none mastered all of them.

And then we have the Jedi Council of the Great Galatic War, whose Grand Master was easily defeated by Braden, a bounty hunter, with a single shot. The other members we know little about, but the only one who seems worthy of mention was Satele Shan.

Prequel Trilogy: Both Mace Windu and Yoda were mastered all seven forms of lightsaber combat and Mace Windu created his own. Kenobi was one of the most esteemed swordsmen in Jedi history, mastering Soresu, Shii-Cho and Niman among others. Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, Plo Koon and Saesee Tinn where all renowned for being master lightsaber duelists as were almost every member of the Council.

We can also compare Battlemasters, Cin Drallig mastered every form save Juyo/Vaapad and held his own against Darth Vader. On the other hand Jun Seros was defeated by the Grand Champion of the Great Hunt - a bounty hunter. May I take this moment to point out that Jango Fett, renowned as the best bounty hunter of his day, failed to defeat Obi-Wan Kenobi and was easily dispatched by Mace Windu.

Sure the Jedi High Council and Battlemasters are the best of the best, but comparing Councils of different eras does give insight into the general ability of that given era. But for the sake of argument consider the likes of:

Anakin Skywalker, Ashoka Tano, Dooku, Qui-Gon Jinn, Aayla Secura, Luminara Unduli - all these Jedi were exceptionally skilled in lightsaber combat. Looking at the Old Republic, there are only a handful of names that really stand out - Revan, Surik, Exar Kun, the Hero of Tython, and all but one of these learned at the feet of others, not just the Jedi.

If anything Kreia's quote supports the above. She compared the prowess of the old masters with that of the Old Republic Jedi, implying that the OR Jedi where far from as skilled as the old masters. Whereas she likely would have spoke quite differently if she had lived in the PT era. Let's also consider that they were Sith, which is a completely different story.

It is for these reasons I believe the Jedi Order of the PT era is more powerful than that of the OR era, the sheer number of exceptionally skilled duelists in that era is enough to prove that.

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TalonVII
02.22.2013 , 11:59 AM | #6
A Problem I see, is the fact of what is truly the measuring stick for a Jedi/Sith dueling prowess? I mean seriously what is it? In Episode 2 Anakin was easily bested by Dooku, but in Episode 3 turned around and beat him like Dooku was a Novice. Sure we have many people who stand out with a light saber, but look at Jaina Solo. Yes many hate the EU, but I think in a pure lightsaber duel, she could go toe to toe with Mace and stand a chance of winning.

Again without a real good measuring stick and seeing battles where we actually SEE different jedi stack up and actually fight[which will never happen] I fear we will never know which side of the question is actually right.
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Beniboybling
02.22.2013 , 12:06 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by TalonVII View Post
A Problem I see, is the fact of what is truly the measuring stick for a Jedi/Sith dueling prowess? I mean seriously what is it? In Episode 2 Anakin was easily bested by Dooku, but in Episode 3 turned around and beat him like Dooku was a Novice. Sure we have many people who stand out with a light saber, but look at Jaina Solo. Yes many hate the EU, but I think in a pure lightsaber duel, she could go toe to toe with Mace and stand a chance of winning.

Again without a real good measuring stick and seeing battles where we actually SEE different jedi stack up and actually fight[which will never happen] I fear we will never know which side of the question is actually right.
Well, with our understanding of the Light Side of the Force we can understand the negative effects war has on a Jedi, we also have knowledge of how many forms said Jedi mastered, as well as the feats they accomplished. Standards like lightsaber form mastery, the Force, and say, the ability of a bounty hunter, remain the same - and it is this that we can use as a 'measuring stick'.

And then there's just logic. Mace Windu invented his own lightsaber form and defeated the most powerful Sith in galactic history in lightsaber combat - that in itself gives considerable weight to the lightsaber prowess of the PT Jedi Order.

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Aurbere
02.22.2013 , 12:13 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
He very likely defeats them, perhaps even with relative ease. Lets remember this is the Jedi that defeated the most powerful Sith Lord ever to come into existence, in pure lightsaber combat - that in itself speaks volumes for how far the Jedi Order has come.

War is simply not good for a Jedi Order. For one, such an act of aggression draws them closer to the dark side, as beings of the light this does not strengthen them, but unbalances them and makes them weaker. Yes in the Force, but the Force is a key component of skill with the lightsaber. In times of peace Jedi can draw themselves closer to the Force through meditation, making them stronger in every respect. War also has a negative effect on teachings, do you think in a 30 year period of war there is going to be an abundance of time to train new Jedi? No, the teachings will be rushed, unfocused, with few Masters available to teach them. Lets not also forget the catastrophic effect the First Jedi Purge of the Dark Wars must have had on the Jedi and their teachings, not to mention of destruction of the Jedi Temple in the Sacking of Coruscant.

But why not see for yourself: PT Jedi Order possessed a great many number of powerful lightsaber duelists. For example lets compare the Jedi Council of the Old Republic with the Jedi Council of the PT era.

Old Republic: Atris, Vrook Lamar, Kavar, Lonna Vash, Zez-Kai Ell - remember those guys? I expect vaguely as they were never displayed to be particularly powerful or to have achieved much, that is because they were not. Only Kavar and Vrook where known to have mastered multiple forms, none mastered all of them.

And then we have the Jedi Council of the Great Galatic War, whose Grand Master was easily defeated by Braden, a bounty hunter, with a single shot. The other members we know little about, but the only one who seems worthy of mention was Satele Shan.

Prequel Trilogy: Both Mace Windu and Yoda were mastered all seven forms of lightsaber combat and Mace Windu created his own. Kenobi was one of the most esteemed swordsmen in Jedi history, mastering Soresu, Shii-Cho and Niman among others. Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, Plo Koon and Saesee Tinn where all renowned for being master lightsaber duelists as were almost every member of the Council.

We can also compare Battlemasters, Cin Drallig mastered every form save Juyo/Vaapad and held his own against Darth Vader. On the other hand Jun Seros was defeated by the Grand Champion of the Great Hunt - a bounty hunter. May I take this moment to point out that Jango Fett, renowned as the best bounty hunter of his day, failed to defeat Obi-Wan Kenobi and was easily dispatched by Mace Windu.

Sure the Jedi High Council and Battlemasters are the best of the best, but comparing Councils of different eras does give insight into the general ability of that given era. But for the sake of argument consider the likes of:

Anakin Skywalker, Ashoka Tano, Dooku, Qui-Gon Jinn, Aayla Secura, Luminara Unduli - all these Jedi were exceptionally skilled in lightsaber combat. Looking at the Old Republic, there are only a handful of names that really stand out - Revan, Surik, Exar Kun, the Hero of Tython, and all but one of these learned at the feet of others, not just the Jedi.

If anything Kreia's quote supports the above. She compared the prowess of the old masters with that of the Old Republic Jedi, implying that the OR Jedi where far from as skilled as the old masters. Whereas she likely would have spoke quite differently if she had lived in the PT era. Let's also consider that they were Sith, which is a completely different story.

It is for these reasons I believe the Jedi Order of the PT era is more powerful than that of the OR era, the sheer number of exceptionally skilled duelists in that era is enough to prove that.
Couldn't have said it better myself. So I won't.

I will say, in addition to this, that Yoda was preparing the Jedi Order for another Sith War. So they were preparing to fight the Sith, learning from the past battles and adapting new tactics.
Added Chapter 44 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Ventessel's Avatar


Ventessel
02.22.2013 , 03:09 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
He very likely defeats them, perhaps even with relative ease. Lets remember this is the Jedi that defeated the most powerful Sith Lord ever to come into existence, in pure lightsaber combat - that in itself speaks volumes for how far the Jedi Order has come.
The duel between Sidious and Windu is not a very good measurement of combat skill. It says all over the place that a large part of Sidious' style was to draw the enemy in and let them think they had the upper hand. He had nothing to gain by killing Windu before Skywalker arrived on the scene.

All evidence points to Sidious drawing out their duel before allowing himself to be disarmed, knowing that he could still kill Windu with lightning if he had to, but would rather allow Skywalker to arrive and manipulate him into completing his fall to the Dark Side. So we don't know if Windu was actually skilled enough to defeat Sidious.


Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
War is simply not good for a Jedi Order. For one, such an act of aggression draws them closer to the dark side, as beings of the light this does not strengthen them, but unbalances them and makes them weaker. Yes in the Force, but the Force is a key component of skill with the lightsaber. In times of peace Jedi can draw themselves closer to the Force through meditation, making them stronger in every respect. War also has a negative effect on teachings, do you think in a 30 year period of war there is going to be an abundance of time to train new Jedi? No, the teachings will be rushed, unfocused, with few Masters available to teach them. Lets not also forget the catastrophic effect the First Jedi Purge of the Dark Wars must have had on the Jedi and their teachings, not to mention of destruction of the Jedi Temple in the Sacking of Coruscant.
This all makes sense. The Jedi suffer from war, and they are not really inclined to be warriors at heart. But this does not address their combat skills, only the effects that war has on the strength of the Order as a whole.

While their training in the Jedi philosophy and the finer tenets of the Force would surely suffer from prolonged conflict, their combat skills would be constantly refined. With the prospect of every Jedi potentially being involved in lightsaber combat, and with experienced duelists on hand to pass on practical battlefield experience, the average Jedi in the Old Republic Era would have received excellent instruction... and more importantly, tested that instruction in actual combat.

Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
But why not see for yourself: PT Jedi Order possessed a great many number of powerful lightsaber duelists. For example lets compare the Jedi Council of the Old Republic with the Jedi Council of the PT era.

Old Republic: Atris, Vrook Lamar, Kavar, Lonna Vash, Zez-Kai Ell - remember those guys? I expect vaguely as they were never displayed to be particularly powerful or to have achieved much, that is because they were not. Only Kavar and Vrook where known to have mastered multiple forms, none mastered all of them.
The Jedi Masters you list here were the last ragged survivors of a devastated order. With the exception of Kavar, none were warriors. They avoided the Mandalorian Wars and are not noted to have played an active role in the Jedi Civil War. You are correct in noting that they are a sad collection of Jedi, particularly Vrook Lamar.

I am not referring to the Jedi at the time of the First Jedi Purge. That was a low point for both the Jedi and the Sith. The duelists I would refer to are more along the lines of:
Kavar himself, a combatant in the MW and the JCW, he survived all the way into the First Jedi Purge. He was known to have been one of Revan's instructors, and saw countless duels during the wars.
Alek/ Darth Malak - Acknowledged as one of the greatest duelists of his day during the MW/JCW. Known to have killed numerous Mandalorians and Jedi in close combat.
Revan - Cut off Malak's jaw without being harmed. Fought Jedi, Sith, and Mandalorians extensively.
Jedi Exile - Similar pedigree, but also battled many sith assassins during the First Jedi Purge.
Bastila Shan - A noted combatant in the order during the JCW, selected to lead the strike team to capture Revan... this implies that the other Jedi thought she was pretty good in close combat.
Ulic Qel-Droma - One of the deadliest duelists in his time, fought during the Krath conflicts.
Cay Qel-Droma - A close match for his brother, Ulic, no slouch in the saber combat department.
Exar Kun - Fought and killed numerous Jedi, including the current battlemaster, Siosk-Baas. His name was feared throughout the galaxy for both his martial prowess and the damage he did to the Jedi Order.

Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
And then we have the Jedi Council of the Great Galatic War, whose Grand Master was easily defeated by Braden, a bounty hunter, with a single shot. The other members we know little about, but the only one who seems worthy of mention was Satele Shan.
I seem to recall someone else being killed with a single shot to the back... I believe his name was Emperor Palpatine?

There are many Jedi during the Great Galactic War who were noted duelists. A short list should include:
Jaric Kaedan - A practitioner of Juyo, who developed his own personal style which became known as Juyo-Kos. Described as a living weapon, an embodiment of the Force, when he fought (which was often, the GGW lasted 28 years or so). He was skilled enough to capture (not kill, but to capture) the Dread Masters, as well as engaging in possibly thousands of individual combats.

Orgus Din - Very weak in the Force, Din worked exceptionally hard on his saber skills to compensate (also demonstrating that strength in the Force and skill in combat are mostly unrelated). Din was respected as a dangerous foe, and also participated in numerous battles, including surviving the Sacking of Coruscant.

Kiwiiks - Another exceptional combatant, she was known to have repeated fought against hopeless odds and emerged victorious. Although critically wounded in the battle of Tatooine, she was still one of the best warriors in the Jedi Order.

Setele Shan - Obviously a tremendously talented duelist, she fought Darth Malgus at least once and was quite skilled with her double bladed lightsaber (a skill considered lost by the time of the PT Jedi). There's also the 28 year war she helped wage against an army of Sith.


Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
Prequel Trilogy: Both Mace Windu and Yoda were mastered all seven forms of lightsaber combat and Mace Windu created his own. Kenobi was one of the most esteemed swordsmen in Jedi history, mastering Soresu, Shii-Cho and Niman among others. Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, Plo Koon and Saesee Tinn where all renowned for being master lightsaber duelists as were almost every member of the Council.
I see little to no evidence suggesting that many of these Jedi were particularly experienced with or skilled in lightsaber combat. Kenobi, Windu, and Yoda are all clear candidates for being skilled warriors, the others are not.

Mastery of Shii-Cho? That speaks to an academic study of combat, not a practical one. Shii-Cho was rapidly eclipsed by Makashi as a dueling technique, and really only provided some of the footwork for later forms. That Kit Fisto spent his time mastering this form suggests that he did not face a truly potent threat to his life very often.

Furthermore, the fact that Mace Windu was one of the first Jedi in almost a thousand years to begin seriously studying and improving upon Juyo (a form which was still being worked on before Ruusan) also indicates the lack of a need for deadly saber skills amongst the Jedi Order.

The fact that three of the few survivors of the Jedi Purge were known practitioners of Juyo, alongside many Jedi in the Great Galactic War, seems to be one of the clearest signs that those were indeed dangerous times that demanded exceptional dueling skills to survive. If the Jedi could afford to let a form often called "The Killing Form" languish for a thousand years, they were clearly not being pressed to the limits of their capabilities as fighters. Not that that was a bad thing, it sure looked like they could have used a break after all that exhausting conflict.

Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
We can also compare Battlemasters, Cin Drallig mastered every form save Juyo/Vaapad and held his own against Darth Vader. On the other hand Jun Seros was defeated by the Grand Champion of the Great Hunt - a bounty hunter. May I take this moment to point out that Jango Fett, renowned as the best bounty hunter of his day, failed to defeat Obi-Wan Kenobi and was easily dispatched by Mace Windu.
Cin Drallig does not seem to have a great deal of practical combat experience. The fact that Vader killed him despite his supposed mastery of lightsaber combat speaks volumes to the value of Vader's battlefield experience during the Clone Wars. Vader knew how to kill, and he fought to win. Master Drallig was an academic instructor, and while certainly knowledgeable ABOUT dueling, he was not necessarily a good duelist himself.

As for the Grand Champion killing Seros, that is one individual combat. From that we can infer that cunning, well-armed bounty hunters can still kill Jedi, even experienced ones. But we knew that, didn't we?

Jango Fett got trapped in melee combat with Windu because his jetpack malfunctioned. Strange... his son also died that way. Sometimes you roll the dice and lose badly. The fight between him and Kenobi was less of a lethal duel and more, Kenobi wanted to capture Fett, Fett played a lot of tricks and fought well. Again, there is a world of difference in fighting to kill and trying to apprehend.

We see this when Windu simply charges down Fett and decapitates him, versus when he confronts Sidious and demands that the Sith Lord surrender for trial.
The Heir to ChaosAdded Chapter Sixteen-- 17 APR 2013
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ~ George Orwell

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Beniboybling
02.22.2013 , 04:58 PM | #10
You make good points, but you do not fully take into account the damaging effects that war has on a Jedi Order and there abilities in combat. And it does effect there combat skills, like I said war encourages powerful emotions such as anger and hate, and it also clouds vision and makes it difficult for a Jedi to focus himself. For a light sided Jedi this harms he connection to the Force, unbalances him, and so negatively effects his ability to wield a lightsaber.

What's more, the Jedi would not have received 'excellent instruction'. Yes there are plenty of experienced, battle hardened lightsaber masters out there, but that's just it - their out there, on the frontlines fighting the Sith, where they're prowess in battle and skills with the lightsaber are needed. They don't have the time to train padawans and pass down their skills, because their too busy fighting a war, or worse, their dead.

Think how many Jedi must have been killed during the Great Galactic War, the Great Sith War, the Mandalorian Wars, the Jedi Civil War, and the First Jedi Purge. Most of them would have been Knights, not Consulars. Thousands of teachers lost, and their teachings with them. But surely they can simply learn from the great holocrons? No, at least not in the period of the Old Republic when the Jedi Temple was destroyed and I expect many holocrons with it. We should especially consider the effects of the First Jedi Purge, and entire order was exterminated - Meetra had to start from scratch and that must have had a negative effect on quality of teaching.

We also have to consider that many lightsabers forms had either not been invented until the later Old Republic period or had been invented around the time of the Mandalorian Wars and not yet been refined and honed. What's more a practitioner of Vaapaad would have utterly confused a Jedi of the Old Republic who would have been entirely unfamiliar with it. And concerning what Kreia said, that the Sith Masters of old would were far superior in terms of lightsaber combat than the OR is very demeaning, as few forms had been invented in that period.

Also:

  • Its actually G-Canon that Windu defeated Sidious in that battle, purely in lightsaber combat however - I'm sure Sidious would have won by applying force lightning, but that's irrelevant as we are looking at lightsaber combat.

  • The Jedi Masters I listed were on the Jedi High Council before and during the Mandalorian Wars and the Dark Wars. No they were not warriors, but shouldn't they have been? If were only considering those dedicated warriors of the Jedi Order then your argument falls apart because its clear from this that the number of powerful warriors in the Jedi Order were few if the Jedi High Council lack any distinctive prowess. And Vrook mastered more forms than any of them, so if he's weak then, well...

  • The Jedi you refer to are a smattering of exceptional few from a centuries long period that is the Old Republic, I can match that number and triple it just by naming the exceptionally skilled Jedi of the PT era over 3 years. I mean lets just consider for a moment that the PT Order produced some of the most exceptional lightsaber duelists in galactic history - Dooku, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda, Windu, Qui-Gon. Also you base their abilities on their experience in war, but in order to accept that as a point in their favour I would have to accept your original premise, which I do not. What's more the likes of Malak, Revan and Kun only came into their own once they had fallen to the dark side. And Meetra only under the tutelage of Kreia - a Sith Lord. It seems they owe much of their prowess to the dark side.

  • While Shii-Cho does have significant draw backs, Kit Fisto nonetheless managed to overcome these and prove formidable in combat. He survived the entirety of the Clone Wars and battled deadly adversaries such as General Grievous whom he would arguably have been able to defeat if Grievous hadn't summoned his magnaguard lackeys, and survived the longest (excluding Windu) against Sidious.

  • The Grand Master I spoke of was not 'shot in the back' - he actually moved to arrest Braden (he may have even drawn his lightsaber) and Braden simply buried a rocket in his face - the Grand Master of the Jedi Order, dead in one shot.

  • Jaric Kaedan seems to have mastered only one form, which already puts him below most members of the PT Jedi High Council along with several other masters.

  • Those Jedi masters on the Jedi Council all mastered several forms and where considered battlemasters of the Jedi Order and many some of the best in Jedi history - look them up on Wookieepedia and you'll see.

  • You make good points about Juyo, but lets remember that many Jedi steered clear of it not because they were languishing in peace, but because it drew too close to the dark side. The fact that any Jedi improved and developed it, no matter after how long, is a testament in itself.

  • What you said about Cin Drallig is based on speculation. There are other possible reasons for his defeat, the fact that Anakin was the Chosen One and immensely skilled with the lightsaber, and that he had embraced the dark side making him stronger, he likely caught Drallig by suprise and finally - plot armour.

  • And concerning Jun Seros, we are talking about the Battlemaster of the Jedi Order whom by your argument, would have become exceptionally more skilled do to experience in war - and yet he was killed by a Bounty Hunter with no hidden strings attached. Perhaps it was Seros' arrogance blinding him that led to his defeat, but that was likely a product of war.

  • And I'll admit, there are a lot of other factors concerning Jango Fett.