Master Kenobi, you disappoint me. Yoda holds you in such high esteem...surely you can do better!
Dun Möch was a form of combat that used distraction and doubt, usually through taunting, in conjunction with lightsaber battle.
The Sith aimed to completely dominate an opponent's spirit through whatever means possible by employing their own lightsaber combat doctrine. Dun Möch commonly involved spoken taunts, jeers, and jests that exposed the opponent's hidden, inner weaknesses and/or doubts, which had the end result of eroding the opponent's will. Such a thing could be quite deadly, especially against Jedi, since concentration was of vital importance when using the Force.
Make him doubt himself, his beliefs, or his intentions. Such things disrupt connections to the Force—and death soon follows.
Darth Vader was seen to use Dun Möch against Obi-Wan Kenobi on the Death Star, but, as shown by Kenobi's calm retorts, he experienced little success. He used it again facing Luke Skywalker in their duel on Bespin's Cloud City to great effect. Vader applied the technique again during their duel on the second Death Star, however this usage proved counter-productive, as Skywalker was spurred into a rage.
Darth Tyranus used it on Geonosis, taunting Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Yoda respectively. Tyranus would later focus this skill on Anakin during their rematch onboard the Invisible Hand, but before that used this skill to taunt Anakin of his fear of pain and loss. Darth Sidious also used this form against Yoda in his duel against the Grand Master.
A common misconception is that Dun Möch is only used by Sith. However, like Force Lightning, Dun Möch can also be employed by Jedi in certain circumstances, as seen in the confrontation between Darth Sion and the Jedi Exile on Malachor V. Sion was not killable by conventional methods, as he was capable of healing his wounds in an instant. The Exile instead used taunts and arguments to erode Sion's will, which in the end caused Sion to sacrifice his own life to the Force. However, most applications of the technique by Jedi had the more benign goal of motivating opponents to surrender, as shown by Obi-Wan Kenobi's taunts of Asajj Ventress during their duel on Teth.
Correctly executing Dun Möch required great patience, a rare trait of the Sith during the time of the Brotherhood of Darkness. This need for patience was exhibited by Darth Bane during his duel with the Zabrak Sirak during a combat training session at the Sith Academy on Korriban. He exhibited patience by drawing out the battle and demoralized his opponent by withholding striking a final blow and capitalizing on his mistakes. Sirak's inexperience with long duels was being used against him by Bane and thus was slowly fatigued. Instead he allowed the tantalizing closeness of Sirak's defeat build his vengeance before unleashing it with a strong enough blow to disarm him and end the duel. Light saber combat instructor and Blademaster Kas'im commended Bane's use of Dun Möch and declared it a valuable lesson to all of the other students at the conclusion of the fight.
Kyle Katarn was repeatedly exposed to Dun Möch during the Valley of the Jedi crisis against the Seven Dark Jedi. During Katarn's duel with Boc Aseca, the Twi'lek never ceased laughing and taunting with gibes such as "You're an angry one, aren't you?" and "Feisty!", combining them with his evasive jumping technique to frustrate Katarn into making a mistake. After their respective defeats, both Maw and Jerec attempted to goad Katarn into turning to the dark side by striking them down. Maw, in a sense, succeeded. By the time Katarn faced Jerec, however, his emerging maturity in the light side caused him to react uniquely to the Dun Möch: Katarn neither struck Jerec down nor spared him; instead, he rearmed the murderous Dark Jedi so as to kill him in honorable combat.
Desann's Reborn warriors utilized Dun Möch to frustrate the members of the New Jedi Order that they encountered in combat. Kyle Katarn once again exposed to Dun Möch, managed to ignore their taunts and emerge victorious in every duel he had with the Reborn. The New Reborn of Tavion Axmis's Sith cult carried on this tradition and were often heard taunting Jedi with expressions like "Do you fear me?" and "I thought Jedi were powerful."
Desann himself took Dun Möch to the level of plotting: by faking the death of Jan Ors and taunting Katarn about his powerlessness, Desann successfully tricked the enraged Katarn to reveal the location of the Valley of the Jedi.
Jacen Solo applied Dun Möch when he used the Force to hurl dislodged bricks at Mara Jade Skywalker during their brawl on Kavan. When that proved useless in stopping Mara's advance, Jacen used a clever variation of Dun Möch by disguising his own face as his cousin's with the Force to manipulate Mara Jade Skywalker's love for her son against her. The result was Mara hesitating during the fight and Jacen mercilessly striking Mara down.
Jacen's own sister Jaina employed Dun Möch against her brother in his new guise of Darth Caedus, Dark Lord of the Sith. While dueling Caedus in the bowels of his personal Star Destroyer, the Anakin Solo, Jaina used the Force to hurl bodies, gurneys, and other items at Caedus, in an attempt to halt his advance. Luke Skywalker used Dun Möch in the same battle by disguising Jaina as himself.
Closer, but still so awkward. Your master would be ashamed.
If not carefully applied, Dun Möch could backfire upon the user, spurring the intended target to anger instead of overwhelming him/her with fear. Krath leader Satal Keto heavily taunted the Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma during their duel, so much so that Ulic succumbed to his anger and struck Keto down in a fit of rage.
Darth Tyranus was victimized by this twice, both times when he was engaging Anakin Skywalker. The first instance took place during their duel on Tatooine, which Tyranus had spent taunting Skywalker, culminating in him displaying a hologram of Skywalker's then-Padawan Ahsoka Tano being ambushed by three of Dooku's IG-100 MagnaGuards. The second instance took place during their duel on the Invisible Hand, when Dooku taunted Anakin about his fear and his refusal to use his hate and anger. Both instances prompted Anakin to viciously attack Dooku, ultimately defeating him, however Dooku was spared in the first incident.
Luminara Unduli also became a victim of this when she taunted Asajj Ventress. Calling her lightsaber style "sloppy" and "unrefined". This angered Ventress to nearly kill her. Only the intervention of Ahsoka Tano saved her.
Anakin was later the victim of this effect when, as Darth Vader, he attempted to taunt Luke Skywalker on the second Death Star, only to send Luke into a fit of anger. The same happened to Maw who, injured, taunted Kyle Katarn with details of his father's death. This resulted in Kyle giving in to anger and striking down the unarmed Dark Jedi.
In some cases, spurring an otherwise passive target to anger was the desired effect, as opposed to failed usage. Palpatine often employed this against potential apprentices such as Darth Maul, Anakin Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker, in order to make them give into their inner darkness and therefore make them easier to convert to the Dark Side of the Force.
Inverse Dun MöchEdit
Your thoughts betray you, father.—Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
In addition, Luke Skywalker used the very opposite of Dun Möch onboard the second Death Star. The young Jedi attempted to turn Darth Vader to the light by infusing love through spoken words. Luke was successful and Anakin Skywalker ultimately redeemed himself. Around 4,000 years earlier, this method may have been used by Revan on the Star Forge to redeem Bastila Shan, and later Revan attempted to redeem his former apprentice much in the same way. Even earlier still, Jedi Knight Cay Qel-Droma may have used this method in an attempt to sunder his brother Ulic from the throes of the Krath. By using his brotherly love, Cay sought to penetrate the darkness surrounding Ulic and bring him back into the light. His attempts were in vain however, for Ulic only gave in to his anger and murdered Cay in cold blood. Only in death were Cay's urges successful; upon seeing his brother's murdered corpse, Ulic renounced the dark side and started down the path to redemption.
- Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War 5: Brother Against Brother
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- Star Wars: The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader
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- Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
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