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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

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
02.23.2013 , 04:48 PM | #31
Beni, one thing I would like to add to your post (which is absolutely marvelous btw). You didn't mention Yoda. Obviously Yoda needs no introduction, but for the sake of rounding out your list...

Quote:
In addition to his Force powers, Yoda was a master of lightsaber combat, being one of the greatest duelists of all time. It was said that only Mace Windu, Count Dooku, and Palpatine were able to fight with him on equal terms. Although a master of all forms, his preferred style was Form IV: Ataru, a form which he mastered to its highest degree, as it enabled him to overcome the limitations of his height and reach.
-Wookieepedia

So there you go.
Added Chapter 56 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

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
02.23.2013 , 05:20 PM | #32
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post
Beni, one thing I would like to add to your post (which is absolutely marvelous btw). You didn't mention Yoda. Obviously Yoda needs no introduction, but for the sake of rounding out your list...
I figured the likes of Windu and Yoda needed no mention.

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
02.23.2013 , 05:33 PM | #33
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
I figured the likes of Windu and Yoda needed no mention.
Of course, but he's Yoda. Also, I didn't notice that you skipped over Mace Windu as well.

Quote:
Mace Windu was a formidable warrior and generally considered one of the greatest swordsmen ever produced by the Jedi Order. He was a master of all seven forms of lightsaber combat. He began his development of the deadly form of combat known as Vaapad, the seventh form of combat which completed (to the Jedi) the Juyo form...

Even without his unique fighting style, it is said that only his one-time friend, Dooku, Qui-Gon Jinn and the venerable Grand Master Yoda could outspar him...

Windu was one of the greatest swordsmen of his time. He defeated Sora Bulq during their duel on Ruul and overwhelmed Asajj Ventress shortly afterwards. Windu also overwhelmed Count Dooku during the Battle of Boz Pity and even managed to defeat Darth Sidious himself in a duel- a feat that no other Force adept, including Grand Master Yoda, was ever able to accomplish unaided.
- Wookieepedia

You didn't ask, but I wanted to.

Edit: I was going over Plo Koon's duel with Ventress and he was easily holding his own despite his broken left arm. He had even managed to knock one of her lightsabers away.
Added Chapter 56 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

Beniboybling's Avatar


Beniboybling
02.23.2013 , 06:39 PM | #34
Quote: Originally Posted by Aurbere View Post

Edit: I was going over Plo Koon's duel with Ventress and he was easily holding his own despite his broken left arm. He had even managed to knock one of her lightsabers away.
And Yoda defeated her without even drawing a lightsaber. This being Ventress who likely surpasses the majority of Sith Lords in the Sith Empire's of Revan and the Great Galactic Civil War. The Jedi Council would likely make short work of them.

Aurbere's Avatar


Aurbere
02.23.2013 , 07:00 PM | #35
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
And Yoda defeated her without even drawing a lightsaber. This being Ventress who likely surpasses the majority of Sith Lords in the Sith Empire's of Revan and the Great Galactic Civil War. The Jedi Council would likely make short work of them.
I believe Yoda also chuckled at her. Poor Ventress lol.

Anyway, the PT Order would handily best Revan's Sith and the Sith of the Great Galactic War.
Added Chapter 56 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

StarSquirrel's Avatar


StarSquirrel
02.24.2013 , 01:42 AM | #36
Thanks for pointing out the flaws in my narrative, helps make the next one better!

I would address 3 points though, the bleeding gouge to the abdomen wasn't well thought out practically, I was thinking of it more to provide a wound that would put on display both the advantages of multi-form discipline and show stamina. I could have had Brown throw a rock and get the same effect later, but I tried to do too much with one event.

Also, note that the OR Jedi switched to Ataru after disengaging (before the PT changed to Djem So, the change and attack was a result of the OR jedi's change of form). Ataru as a form may not have been the best choice, but notice it's his lesser used form as when he is beaten back and wounded he switches to Juyo immediately.

A third point is that it is G-cannon that the PT jedi are more powerful in the force than OR jedi. Bottom line and I haven't seen you dispute that. Only it's relevance to a saber duel, and stamina is its most obvious benefit so it should be included in this limited capacity.

Otherwise good points, and I somewhat agree. The truth imo lies (like with mandos) somewhere in the middle. In all likelihood, a prepared OR knight could beat his PT counterpart and vice-versa. In a perfectly even match though, PT wins just about every time.

You have made very convincing arguments, before I read this thread I was very "PT dominates OR" now, you have me questioning that a bit. (but just a bit )
Zey: "Kal, you know that the Sith are bad news. They're evil. They've always been the cause of endless war and carnage across the galaxy."
Skirata: "Oh, that's a good one. 'My decapitations are more morally valid than your decapitations.' Only difference I can see is that they plan to end up with trillions dead, and you do-gooders manage it by accident."

Ventessel's Avatar


Ventessel
02.24.2013 , 05:13 AM | #37
Quote: Originally Posted by StarSquirrel View Post
Thanks for pointing out the flaws in my narrative, helps make the next one better!
No problem, I do a lot of editing for different people, so it's sort of second nature sometimes. If you want good examples of excellently written swordplay, check out the Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan (the author) was an infantry officer in Vietnam and he writes excellent battles and duels.

Quote: Originally Posted by StarSquirrel View Post
I would address 3 points though, the bleeding gouge to the abdomen wasn't well thought out practically, I was thinking of it more to provide a wound that would put on display both the advantages of multi-form discipline and show stamina. I could have had Brown throw a rock and get the same effect later, but I tried to do too much with one event.

Also, note that the OR Jedi switched to Ataru after disengaging (before the PT changed to Djem So, the change and attack was a result of the OR jedi's change of form). Ataru as a form may not have been the best choice, but notice it's his lesser used form as when he is beaten back and wounded he switches to Juyo immediately.
Makes better sense with your explananation, although I do have a strong personal dislike of Ataru as a form.
Perhaps I should try harder to view all this through the lens of the Jedi Code, but if I were instructing Jedi padawans in combat techniques it would go something like this:
Shii-Cho: Teaches you the basic footwork for later forms. Never use this ever.
Makashi: Flashy and showy, but effective for conserving energy if your opponent doesn't use Juyo or Djem So.
Soresu: Only employ this if you're facing blasters, or trying to escape a superior foe.
Ataru: Don't use this. It's sloppy and it tires you out too quickly.
Shien/Djem So: Balanced and good for any combat situation, especially against lightsabers.
Niman: No one even knows what this form is, let's be honest. It relates to Jar'kai... somehow.
Juyo: This is your standby for winning fights. Only use another form if you're being attacked via the Force, otherwise push the offensive and carve 'em up.

But then again, the combat instruction I provide in real life is "Kick out their knee and stomp on their head. If they try to grab you, crush their windpipe and snap their neck." So, first off, I'd probably be instantly expelled from the Jedi Order. Secondly, I'd have to sit through sensitivity training with Yoda about how I can't have padawans engaging in live fire exercises and beating each other with sticks... but that might look pretty good when I applied for the position of Korriban Academy Dueling Team Coach...
Quote: Originally Posted by StarSquirrel View Post
A third point is that it is G-cannon that the PT jedi are more powerful in the force than OR jedi. Bottom line and I haven't seen you dispute that. Only it's relevance to a saber duel, and stamina is its most obvious benefit so it should be included in this limited capacity.
Let's leave Lucas and his petty squabbling with the EU out of this. I'm holding out the hope that Episode VII will put G-Canon in its grave, and we can pretend that The Phantom Menace was just a bad dream...
But you're right about the stamina playing a role, it just doesn't matter how long you can fight if your adversary ends that duel three seconds in (the majority of hand to hand engagements that begin with lethal intent last less than six).
Quote: Originally Posted by StarSquirrel View Post
Otherwise good points, and I somewhat agree. The truth imo lies (like with mandos) somewhere in the middle. In all likelihood, a prepared OR knight could beat his PT counterpart and vice-versa. In a perfectly even match though, PT wins just about every time.

You have made very convincing arguments, before I read this thread I was very "PT dominates OR" now, you have me questioning that a bit. (but just a bit )
This is pretty much what I'm trying to do. I'm not saying that the PT Jedi are pathetic and weak (or rather, that they're any more pathetic and weak than the Jedi who came before them) but rather that they are inexperienced with fighting. I'm not saying EVERY Jedi in the OR Era was a master duelist, I'm just saying that there were a lot of prolonged conflicts that produced exceptionally experienced warriors.

Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
Also just because a Jedi has taken part in battle does not make them "by default, more experienced and skilled in lightsaber combat since they are constantly fighting against lightsaber wielding opponents" - to accept that we would have to accept your entire premise and this argument wouldn't be taken place now would it? And those Jedi were not as highly skilled as you claimed as Malgus defeated and destroyed them.
To answer you directly, Malgus didn't singlehandedly kill every Jedi at the temple. He brought a large contingent of Sith with him, who were likely selected from the ranks of the Sith Empire for this assault because of their combat prowess. The Jedi at the temple were probably still completing their training, with the exception of their instructors who were likely veteran Jedi returned from the battlefields. However, there would not be many of them at the temple, only enough to train the new padawans, meaning that the Sith force would have the edge in experienced warriors, as well as the element of surprise and a coordinated assault on the temple.

The PT Era Jedi began the Clone Wars without much experience at all. Mace Windu even says to the Chancellor "We are keepers of the peace, not soldiers" at the outset of the Clone Wars. These Jedi are not accustomed to warfare or the realities of combat. It seems that over the course of the Clone Wars, they gain experience with many aspects of warfare, but lightsaber dueling doesn't really seem to be one of them. There's no practical need for them to be good at it, just as in the modern day world soldiers still learn how to march and drill, but it is by no means an essential skill on the battlefield. In the Napoleonic Era, the ability of a regiment to hold formation and execute bayonet drills in the face of an enemy charge was critical to their surivival. Modern infantry are trained in all the same aspects of marching and drill, but they have much less need to hone their skills to perfection than their predecessors did.

To extend my analogy, PT Era Jedi would likely be experts at Soresu and the deflection aspects of Shien because these are skills the will need to survive. And while they will have a working knowledge of the other forms, they are not forced to apply them in a fight against another saber wielder.
EDIT: In response to the claim the "a master of Soresu is invincible", I provide a quote from this page:
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_VII:_Juyo_/_Vaapad
Quote:
"Juyo was said to be able to destroy even the defenses of a Soresu master"
Please, no one is invincible. That word should be stricken from these forums. Moving on...

The Jedi who fought in the days of the Great Galactic War, and the Mandalorian Wars, Jedi Civil War, Great Hyperspace War, etc. etc. would have known they would encounter enemy duelists, and while blaster deflection would matter, it was of equal importance to be able to win lightsaber duels. In the time of the PT Era Jedi, lightsaber dueling was practically an obsolete art. How many Jedi ever even saw a Sith? It had been a thousand years since the Jedi fought enemies with lightsabers. No matter how meticulously they practiced the forms recorded in holocrons, almost none of the Jedi had any experience with dueling. There are thousands of subtle nuances that cannot be taught or learned from a textbook (er... holocron). For Jedi, who rely partially on precognition and hair-trigger reactions during their duels, learning to interpret their instincts during a duel would probably be even more important than it is for regular soldiers. Without the actual experience of the real thing, a fight to the death, there is simply an element missing from that duelist's instincts. The learning curve is rather steep, and the price heavy, but you cannot underestimate the value of real experience in your organization.

Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
my point more is that war unbalances a Jedi's connection to the Force, and so their concentration, and their ability to draw upon all of the above, are hampered - they become weaker. A point you have yet to address... A Jedi living in peace time is at peace inside, and therefore can better wield a lightsaber.
Well, I suppose I was trying to avoid having to address this point. What you are saying is that Jedi are disrupted by conflict, that it interferes with their ability to wield the Force, and that it weakens them. In theory, you can find canonical arguments to support all of these statements, but what concerns me here are the implications that this has for the Jedi Order.

Lightsabers and Jedi are introduced to us by Obi-Wan Kenobi, saying "This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic." (If you didn't hear that in Alec Guinness' voice in your head, I don't know what I'll do...)

One of the primary duties of the Jedi is to protect the Old Republic, apparently from the Sith. Since the Sith are generally fairly aggressive, and historically have favored the tactic of "invade the Republic with massive fleets and armies" it would make sense for the Jedi to prepare themselves for war in order to combat the threat posed by the Sith.

Unfortunately, it seems that the very thing they exist to do (fight the Sith when they invade) also weakens them fatally and disrupts all of their abilities. That would make the Jedi a very dysfunctional order indeed.

Every time the Sith start a war, it becomes a losing proposition for the Jedi. Their entire philosophy forgoes preemptive strikes or aggressive campaigns in warfare, and so it usually ends up that the Sith pick the time and nature of their engagements with the Jedi. The longer the war stretches, the weaker and less powerful the Jedi become, thus making it harder for them to continue defending the Republic.

Basically, according to this line of thinking, the Jedi suck at their job. Not just now and then, but fundamentally and irrevocably. The Jedi Order is practically doomed to fail at its mission, because the very act of carrying out their duties also seems to be their ultimate weakness.

Aside from this glaring inconsistency in the purpose and philosophies of the Jedi Order, the point that I am trying to address here is this: actual combat experience produces the best duelists.

I am not saying that years of warfare strengthen the Jedi Order as a whole. I am not saying that the casualties sustained by the Jedi during a war do not affect them negatively. What I am saying is that during times of war, specifically when Jedi fight against large numbers of Sith, you will find the most experienced and deadliest lightsaber duelists.

Naturally, extended conflicts sap the strength of both sides. This is the nature of war, it is destructive and costly. I never said that it wasn't. However, wars do produce experienced warriors.

The years immediately preceding the First Jedi Purge saw the Jedi Order pushed to the edge of annihilation. This was obviously terrible for the Jedi Order, and it would take them a long time to rebuild themselves. By the time of the Great Galactic War, we actually have a situation rather similar to the PT Jedi Order. Centuries of peace have allowed the Jedi to replenish their numbers and they are well established. Then we have Malgus' seething:
"For 300 years we prepared, we grew stronger. While you rested in your cradle of power, believing your people were safe and protected...but you were deceived."
The Sith invade, striking first and striking hard. They push the Jedi back, they take countless worlds. The war drags on, and the Jedi are barely able to defend the Republic. Finally, a stalemate is reached after twenty-eight years of warfare.

"While you rested in your cradle of power" ...
Resting is the act of recovering. You rest to restore yourself after being exhausted, but resting does not increase your strength at all. It seems that peace did not make the Jedi stronger, it only allowed them to amass larger numbers of padawans in the absence of battlefield casualties. Did the Great Galactic War make the Jedi stronger? Not necessarily, but it would certainly have made the Jedi better duelists. The constant need to learn and refine dueling techniques, always grasping for that edge against the invading Sith armies, would have pushed the Jedi to the limits of their abilities. You either mastered lightsaber combat, or you died facing the red glow of a Sith's lightsaber.

After the Ruusan Reforms, the Jedi essentially abandoned warfare. The Army of Light disbanded, and the Sith were presumed extinct. In many ways, this was a golden era for the Jedi. Finally, they could pursue the study of the Force and its mysteries without the constant need to prepare for war against the legions of the Sith and their followers.

But over the course of this millenium, the arts of war receded into the background. There was no need for Jedi generals, or for duelists to fight back the Sith. Lightsaber combat was studied from holocrons, and Jedi sparred against each other, but for generations no one actually had to apply these skills on the battlefield. By the time of the Battle of Theed, when Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi face Darth Maul, the Jedi are barely even able to identify a Sith.

The Jedi council expresses disbelief that the guy WEARING BLACK ROBES AND SWINGING A RED LIGHTSABER was actually a Sith warrior. Mace and Yoda think that the Sith are extinct, and find it hard to believe that they've returned. Only after Qui-Gon is dead do they finally realize that they're dealing with the real thing. Even then, it takes the better part of the Clone Wars for anyone to begin to suspect Palpatine of anything sketchy despite the fact that Mace Windu clearly states "the dark side of the Force surrounds the chancellor" ... apparently that still leaves some doubt as to his nature?

It seems quite clear that these Jedi have absolutely no experience dealing with Sith. When the Clone Wars break out, Windu again says "we're keepers of the peace, not soldiers". These Jedi have spent a thousand years mediating debates, resolving disputes, and meditating. In the first two minutes of the war almost 150 Jedi Knights and masters are cut down by mere battle droids in the Geonosis Arena, whereas as the war progresses we later see various Jedi perform much better against these droids. Their abilities in combat clearly improve over the course of the war. Anakin and Obi-Wan become dramatically more proficient between their first fight with Dooku and their second.

Should this even be possible, according to Beni and Aurbere's line of reasoning? If anything, three years of non-stop warfare should have degraded the abilities of the Jedi, but instead we see most, if not all, of the Jedi who survive numerous battles becoming better combatants.

So, to wrap up a post that may have rambled slightly (and I apologize for that, I didn't get around to starting this until rather late but wanted to get my thoughts down) I have this to say for war vs. peace:

Times of war will hone the individual combat skills of Jedi, when evaluated on an individual basis. They have access to veteran teachers, and will gain first hand combat experience to not only reinforce their training, but allow them to develop vital instincts for battle. The flipside of course is that prolonged warfare will eventually diminish the Jedi's numbers to the point where it becomes difficult to train new Jedi.

Times of peace will allow the Jedi Order to increase numerically, but none of these Jedi will gain real combat experience. Thus, entire generations may pass through the order without the need to ever put their lightsaber training to the test. This is especially true for lightsaber on lightsaber techniques. While the threat from occasional blaster fire is fairly constant, dueling experience becomes quite rare.

Lastly, to address the absurd plethora of individual Jedi that have been listed as skilled duelists. They are all stated to be "one of the best in his/her day" or "among the most skilled of their era" and so on and so forth. Comparisons like this are only possible with those Jedi's peers, or with the Jedi who trained directly under them/lived in their lifetime. If none of the Jedi in a particular era have seen combat with lightsabers, how exactly are they going to be expert judges of a certain duelist's proficiency? It is only after these skills have been laid to the ultimate test that they will know for certain.
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

Ventessel's Avatar


Ventessel
02.24.2013 , 05:30 AM | #38
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
And Yoda defeated her without even drawing a lightsaber. This being Ventress who likely surpasses the majority of Sith Lords in the Sith Empire's of Revan and the Great Galactic Civil War. The Jedi Council would likely make short work of them.
Again, you're drawing some very strange conclusions here. How can Ventress possibly compare with "the majority of Sith Lords" ? That's a very broad generalization, with no grounding.

Ventress was skilled in her day, but that is only by comparison with the Jedi who lived in that era. Jedi whom I assert had minimal experience with lightsaber dueling in combat.
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

Ventessel's Avatar


Ventessel
02.24.2013 , 05:36 AM | #39
Quote:
Windu was one of the greatest swordsmen of his time. He defeated Sora Bulq during their duel on Ruul and overwhelmed Asajj Ventress shortly afterwards. Windu also overwhelmed Count Dooku during the Battle of Boz Pity and even managed to defeat Darth Sidious himself in a duel- a feat that no other Force adept, including Grand Master Yoda, was ever able to accomplish unaided.
Overwhelmed Ventress. Overwhelmed Dooku. What does that mean? He didn't kill either of them, or incapacitate them. He didn't slice off a hand or take them prisoner. So I find them inconclusive.

Defeated Sidious? Of course he did, Sidious had nothing to gain by winning. His entire goofy plot to overthrow the Republic apparently hinged on getting Anakin to walk in on him about to get skewered by Mace. If anything, Sidious controlled that entire fight, and allowed it to unfold precisely how he wanted.
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
02.24.2013 , 09:30 AM | #40
Concerning lightsaber forms, Soresu and Shien, despite being tailored to reflecting blaster fire, are in fact effective against lightsaber wielding opponents. Soresu in particular is very effective against multiple opponents and specializes in wearing ones opponent down, waiting for them to make a mistake, and then striking out. It was highly effective.

And while Shien is specifically for combating blaster wielding opponents, many Jedi also learned and mastered Djem So such as Khaat Qiyn, Aayla Secura, Zelice Sturm, Sora Bulq, Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Masters Plo Koon, Even Piell, Luminara Unduli, and Cin Drallig, and the Padawans Ahsoka Tano and Jax Pavan. Unduli being a good example, she mastered Soresu and supplemented that with Form V. In fact the only form I'd say that went out of use was Makashi, simply because is focused purely on lightsaber combat which in that period were rare. But nonetheless the forms of Form III and Form V are still formidable in the right hands.

And concerning Juyo, it is true that their were likely a greater number of practitioners of Juyo in the time of the OR than the time of the the PT Jedi Order. However Juyo, from the moment of its creation, was regarded as unfavourable in the Jedi Order because it encouraged aggression etc. and was in fact more favored by the Sith. A Juyo practitioner would have the edge against a Soresu master, but only if they themselves were highly skilled, and given the almost 'taboo' nature of Juyo I doubt their were many in either eras. On the other hand their were many Soresu masters and skilled practitioners in the PT era.

In this sense I would agree that OR Jedi would have more practitioners of the lightsaber dueling forms, but the forms of Soresu and Shien/Djem So can easily be adapted. And forms such as Ataru, Shii-Cho and Niman/Jar'Kai were equally effective. And given the highly level of blaster wielding opponents in that time, and may I stress the great deal of peace time in which the Jedi would have the time to practice and perfect.

And finally, just for the record, Jedi don't learn how to use lightsabers 'from a textbook' - holocrons can often provide a means of training but they also learn first hand from their masters. And through wielding a lightsaber themselves and sparring with their master, they can learn the 'subtle nuances' - however I do agree their are significant benefits to having combat experience.

However the fact is, and this is the crux of my argument, that those benefits are offset by the negatives of war and constant conflict. You argue that conflict unbalancing Jedi doesn't make sense, because it would make the Order defunct. But the fact is, they are. Jedi are keepers of peace, not soldiers - just like Windu says. And that applies to all Jedi of all eras. When Jedi become warriors and warmongers like they do in the OR period, many become unbalanced and lose affinity with the Force and so either embrace the darkside or become weakened. For example Nahdar Vebb who said:

"But in this war, strength prevails. The rules have changed."

Only later to be cut down by Grievous do to his own arrogance and aggresion, which not only made him foolhardy but dulled his senses - hence the success of a cheap trick on Grievous' part. And as Yoda later lamented:

"In this war, a danger there is of losing who we are."

And you may recall what Satele Shan said to the soon-to-be Hero of Tython after the latter took a life:

"Taking a life affects the Living Force, and the one who does the killing."

Imagine that but on a massive scale, also remember that this would have been an even greater problem in a war against biological and often angry/emotional enemies. The Jedi were obviously cautious and fearful of war because of the host of problems it brings and the affect it has on ones affinity with the light. The fact of the matter is, the Jedi Code and everything the Jedi stand for is fundamentally opposed to the concept of war, war and Jedi do not mix well and almost always lead to negative consequences. Its a fatal flaw of the Jedi and one I recognize, but that's just how it is.

But of course the Jedi have recognize this flaw and there are ways to counter it, Jedi insist on entering battle with a clear head and maintaining inner serenity etc. But not all Jedi are immune and can achieve such focus, many will become unbalanced. Arguably the likes of Jun Seros succumbed to this, much like Nahdar becoming arrogant and emotional, which led to their demise. War simply doesn't work for Jedi, and that does make them rather defunct. Take the Mandalorian Wars, all who participated fell to the darkside. Do you really think that all the Revanchists simply embraced the darkside because their master did so? No, it was because the war and worn them down and weakened them, they lost touch with the light. Again like Kreia said;

"The Mandalorian Wars were a series of massacres that masked another war, a war of conversion. Culminating in a final atrocity that no Jedi could walk away from..."

The Great Galactic War also shows examples of this, despite their abilities in precognition and foresight, they failed to see their betrayal at the hands of the Sith. Like Malgus said:

"As our powers of the dark side have blinded you."

The prolonged conflict unbalanced the Jedi from the light and they became blinded by darkness and were therefore easily betrayed by the Sith. Did you not think it strange that no Jedi had a vision or any form of foresight predicting the destruction of the Jedi Temple? The same applies for Order 66, a combination of prolonged war and Sidious' dark side presence clouded the Jedi. But this is at a macro level, however I believe it applies at a micro level as well - the ability of a Jedi to wield a lightsaber is dependent on awareness, precognition and sense. I'd even go as far to say that was the reason so many Jedi where so easily cut down by the clones, the didn't sense anything, they didn't foresee the attack, and so were more easily cut down - even when they turned to face their enemies. Only the most powerful masters did, who had managed to keep focused in war e.g. Master Yoda.

Concerning the Clone Wars, we have to remember that it was unlike any other war. It was a war not against Mandalorians, or soldiers, or Sith, but against droids. Droids not exhume emotions, they don't spur anger and rage and grief in a Jedi as a biological combatant would do. Its difficult to hate a droid for example. Wars before that were the equivalent to a maelstrom of emotions, emotions Jedi had to block out and often failed to do. So of course the Jedi grew stronger during this war, because it was like a massive training exercise with the droids being like advanced versions of training remotes. A perfect war if you will, in terms of honing skill with the lightsaber. The OR Jedi did not have this advantage. Lets also remember that were not comparing Jedi who have been in war, and Jedi who have not. But the PT Jedi Order and the OR Jedi Order, the the PT Jedi Order have experience combat, even better, combat against droids, which removes all the negatives of combat with a biological. This would have been especially beneficial for Soresu practioners, who would have had constant training. Making the skills of Soresu practitioners in the PT era formidable, formidable enough to defeat a Jedi with experience fighting Sith.

And as a side note, Obi-Wan Kenobi did not rapidly improve during the course of the Clone Wars as you claim, few Jedi Masters did - Obi Wan become a Soresu master over the 10 year period of peace between the Naboo conflict and the Clone Wars. Hence why Dooku defeated Obi-Wan in both engagements. Padawans however, such as Anakin and Ashoka, did however - because they were still undergoing training at the hands of their masters (training they would have received in peace time too), and fighting droids augmented that training and did not detract from it, because it was not the same as fighting biologicals.

And to address some of your final points:

As I said, times of war will not give Padawans access to veteran duelists, because those duelists are out of the front lines or dead. War, as I have already said, depletes the number of skilled duelists in any given Jedi Order, leaving less to train future generations who become comparatively weak. Case in point: Mical.

Concerning the long list of skilled duelists that I gave. What is more important to note is that they all mastered a form if not several. Many Jedi in the PT Order mastered a form. Which naturally makes them superior to an OR Jedi who has mastered few, if any, regardless of combat experience - note that I am not implying that this is the case, all though it would be for some in any given Order. Through forms we can compare Jedi across eras, because forms are a standard that remain the same, unless they are improved upon. However between these periods this did not happen (excluding Vaapad but that is a point in the PT Orders favour) A master of Soresu is a master of Soresu, regardless of period. And in that period there were many masters - that is my point. What's more many of them were praised as being "considered one of the greatest duelists in the Order's history", "most esteemed swordsmen in Jedi history" and "greatest swordsmen ever produced by the Jedi Order". So if the PT Order had some of the greatest duelists in Jedi history, then those other Jedi that Order regards as exceptional, must have been exception across all eras.

Finally, another 'measuring stick' by which we can test ability is the Sith i.e. Darth Sidious, Count Dooku & Asajj Ventress. I'd also take the time to prove that Ventress is arguably stronger than the majority of 'foot soldier' Sith in the Sith empires of the OR era. Firstly, Darth Sidious is canonically the most powerful Sith Lord in galactic history, and I think his accomplishments prove that that is the case. He took Dooku on as an apprentice, which must mean he held his abilities in very high esteem, I think he says as much in the 'Darth Plagueis' novel, or it is at least insinuated. So any Jedi that can go toe-to-toe or defeat Dooku must be an exceptional duelist, across all eras e.g. Obi-Wan & Anakin among others. The same applies for Ventress - as we have now established that Dooku is an exceptional duelist not just in comparison with Jedi of his time, but Jedi across all times - Ventress was considered very powerful in the eyes of Dooku, else he would not have taken her on as his apprentice - he also says so himself. Sidious also regarded her as very powerful too:

There is a disturbance in the Force—your assassin. She has become very powerful...Eliminate her.

That's coming from the most powerful Sith Lord to ever exist, he saw her as a threat. So it is on this grounding that I make such claims about Ventress, and I believe it makes the feats of Plo Koon among others all the more impressive and testament to their abilities with the lightsaber. Plo Koon in particular, who was regarded as very powerful in the eyes of Darth Maul whom is very powerful himself due to the above argument as the fact he was honed as a weapon. The fact that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan went toe-to-toe with him is quite the achievement.

I definitely see the advantages of gaining combat experience. But I simply believe that the negatives out weigh the positives and that peace time is where Jedi truly flourish in every respect.

EDIT: An addendum to my argument about war unbalancing Jedi. It seems clear at least from the Great Galactic War that the Jedi managed to maintain a balance and keep focus, given their successes against the Republic. However the damaging effects of war are if anything often a glass ceiling, a Jedi can only gain so much affinity with the Light Side of the Force in a time of war were they are battling with emotions, the emotions of others and constant death that threatens to overwhelm them. Only in peace can a Jedi fulfill his true potential.

And here is the scene in the Sith Warrior story where you meet Master Wylett, which I feel supports the above point.