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An in-depth look at combat: Obi-Wan Kenobi

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An in-depth look at combat: Obi-Wan Kenobi

Beniboybling's Avatar

12.16.2013 , 03:43 PM | #1
"Not a master. The master." ~ Mace Windu

Age: 38*

Height: 1.82 meters

Weight: 77 kilograms

Physicality: In his prime Obi-Wan Kenobi possessed considerable physical strength and agility yet nothing particularly extraordinary for a Jedi nor in possession of any distinct weaknesses.

*Note that these ages refer to them at the height of their ability.


Melee Abilities

Obi-Wan Kenobi was a legendary Jedi Guardian who attained the rank of master, and therefore naturally was an exceptionally skilled lightsaber duelist who in particular achieved absolute mastery over the Soresu style and was perhaps the greatest master of the style in current galactic history – or at least of his era according to Mace Windu. Kenobi’s mastery over lightsaber combat also extended to mastery over Ataru, Shien, Shii-Cho and Niman, the latter of which may have proved a gateway to his master over Jar’Kai – altogether making him a well-rounded and effective warrior who proved himself against many deadly adversaries such as Darth Maul, General Grievous and Darth Vader.

Soresu: as a purely defensive form Kenobi’s mastery over this particular style provides him with a nigh impenetrable defence. Simply be redirecting the force of an attack he can weather out even the most powerful of onslaughts, putting him in good stead against power duellists. It also provides him with the advantage of moving meditation, which can prove useful in application of any one form to help him remain steadfast to his enemies attacks and able to intercept and deflect them at the opportune moment.

Ataru: an excellent accompaniment to the Soresu style Ataru balances out Kenobi’s repertoire by providing his with a powerful attacking style. This works in near perfect tandem with Soresu as not only would moving meditation assist in his recognition of the ‘flow’ of battle to help him evade and predict their enemies attacks, maintaining his own offense uninterrupted, but its energy efficient focus means he can conserve energy for such bouts.

Shien: this style adds to his mastery over Soresu, giving him a more offensive form of defence in the sense that he is capable of redirecting blaster fire at his opponents. It also serves as an effective bridge between the Soresu and Ataru styles, as it was designed to allow the user to fall back on the defensive without comprising their ability to attack.

Niman/Jar’Kai: while lacking in significant bearing on Kenobi’s style, it is nonetheless worthy of mention, Kenobi’s mastery over this style made him effective at chaining force based attacks into his lightsaber sequence, though he did not use this prolifically. And his mastery over Jar’Kai bolstered his effectiveness against multiple opponents and his Ataru offense – though again this was used on rare occasion.

Shii-Cho: not much can be said concerning Kenobi’s mastery over this form, accept that it makes him altogether a better-rounded and more accomplished duelist – as well as making him more varied and unpredictable in his assaults.

Kenobi was also a skilled unarmed combatant, taking on trained Mandalorian warriors such as Pre Vizsla and Jango Fett, providing a defense when without a lightsaber. He also incorporated elements of the martial art Tae-Jitsu into his lightsaber forms, making him capable of using physical kicks to off balance and weaken his opponents.


Force Abilities

Kenobi was primarily focused on lightsaber skills as opposed to Force abilities, yet despite that he remained a considerably powerful Force user – if in a rudimentary way.

Telekinesis: Kenobi possessed a refined mastery over telekinesis, yet while on the battlefield he often used such powers, in lightsaber combat it was a rare occurrence, only falling back on it when disengaged as opposed in-situ.

Tutaminis: Kenobi possessed competent ability in this field, using it to deflect and absorb projectiles including blaster bolts, flamethrowers and solid matter – making him considerably effective at least against ranged opponents.

Force Sense: much like his ability in telekinesis and specifically the Force push, Kenobi’s ability in this field was considerable – making him totally aware of all his surroundings both Force based and not – and therefore more able to manipulate the battlefield to his advantage, and avoid being ambushed or lured into a trap.

Electronic Manipulation: though rarely used, Kenobi was capable of fine manipulation of electronic equipment, which would make him highly effective against droid and cyborg opponents whom he could debilitate and damage.

Other Abilities

Kenobi possessed a tactical mind, claiming that “A fight is never a goal in itself. Sometimes it is simply a distraction from the true goal, and best countered with a larger distraction." And he would often apply such distractions in battle, or else luring enemies in a trap or location where he had an advantage.



Kenobi’s greatest strength is his lack of weaknesses, specifically in terms of his lightsaber style, as Windu once remarked: "I created Vaapad to answer my weakness: it channels my own darkness into a weapon of the light. Master Yoda's Ataru is also an answer to weakness: the limitations of reach and mobility imposed by his stature and his age. But for you? What weakness does Soresu answer?"

This gives him a considerable advantage against almost any opponent, because there are no weaknesses, at least in terms of lightsaber combat, that his enemies can exploit. They have to rely purely on their own skill to totally overwhelm Kenobi, yet his defence style is geared towards preventing that from happening. As such he becomes extremely difficult to defeat in a conventional confrontation. Few of which Kenobi has ever been known to lose. And yes, this does mean to say that Kenobi has overcome the deficiencies of the Soresu and Ataru styles. The former is no longer restricted by its lack of offensive capabilities, thanks to its pairing with Ataru, indeed Kenobi was even capable of using it to disrupt the flow of Grievous’ blade work and dismembering him. Likewise Soresu makes up for Ataru’s lack of defence, and allows Kenobi to conserve energy for its taxing offense.

But most impressively Kenobi seems to have overcome its limitations against multiple opponents, and confined spaces. One can only theorise why but it is likely down to a combination of moving meditation and Kenobi’s heightened awareness, which would have given him acute awareness of his surroundings and opponents – proving better manoeuvrability. Altogether, Kenobi’s preferable tactic would be to wait out his opponents and allow them to tire – luring them into a field of his choosing or simply overwhelming them with his conserved energy. He is also very flexible, able to adapt to any situation and any opponent.


Though his form is impeccable, outside of the scope of lightsaber combat weaknesses do begin to trickle in. Most notably his somewhat damning vulnerability to Force based attacks such as pushes and grips, with opponents such as Count Dooku and Darth Maul using this to either incapacitate him or render him vulnerable. This is particularly dangerous given that he favours a wait-them-out tactic, giving his enemies adequate opportunity to attack.


This is something that Kenobi has little answer for, though he has on occasion managed to predict his enemies’ attacks and respond – either with a replicate attack of his own or if lightning blocking it with his lightsaber. And if he remains aware it’s plausible to assume he could evade these attacks simply by dodging, or keeping his enemy on the back foot.

Quotes, Clips and Scans:

Kenobi demonstrating the effectiveness of his form even in the most difficult situations:

A demonstration of pure Soresu:

Kenobi deflecting projectiles using tutaminis:

Thoughts: It’s surprising how unique Kenobi is, with few other Jedi choosing the ultimate Soresu, Ataru combination. One would think more would opt for it given its effectiveness.

If you’ve got any suggestions for future in-depths or any quotes, clips or scans to add feel free to post below.

And as always thoughts and opinions are welcome!

Selenial's Avatar

12.16.2013 , 03:51 PM | #2
*watches Aurbere copy and paste into his Kaggath for free points*

Good read!
We all live or die as Krayt wills, Stryfe. At his word, I would cut out my own heart. Or yours.

Aurbere's Avatar

12.16.2013 , 03:52 PM | #3
Kenobi's mastery of lightsaber combat is something truly amazing. Clearly he is a great swordmaster. Though he is vulnerable to Force-based attacks, he is more than capable of retaliating in kind, provided he isn't subdued by the attack.

Edit: Something to note, even Dooku found the task of breaking Kenobi's defense to be daunting.
Added Chapter 66 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

Aurbere's Avatar

12.16.2013 , 03:57 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Selenial View Post
*watches Aurbere copy and paste into his Kaggath for free points*

Good read!
I would never do that!

Prepares to copy/paste

What? Who said that? Certainly not me! Away, peons!
Added Chapter 66 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