|Form III: Soresu|
That is so like you, Master Kenobi. I am called a great swordsman because I invented a lethal style; but who is greater, the creator of a killing form—or the master of the classic form?—Mace Windu to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (novel)
Form III: Soresu, also known as the Way of the Mynock, or The Resilience Form, was the third of the seven forms of lightsaber combat that was recognized by the Jedi Council prior to and during the Clone Wars.
Defense will not slay my enemy."
"You lack the physical strength required for the powerful attacking strikes of Djem So or the other aggressive forms. You must rely on quickness, cunning and, most of all, patience to best your enemies.—Darth Zannah learns from Darth Bane the effectiveness of Soresu, Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Originally, Form III was developed as a counter to blaster weapons used by multiple opponents. Due to the rise in distribution of blaster weapons, more and more Jedi were forced to adopt a fighting style which allowed them to combat enemies firing from several directions, mostly basing their "attack" on redirected blaster fire. Previous styles had allowed wide, sweeping strokes which left the Jedi open to blaster fire. Form III, however, required maintaining a constant shield of deflective strokes by making short, quick sweeps, close to the body, leaving the Jedi less exposed to ranged fire. Form III was the most defensive of the seven forms.
Form three allows you to parry incoming attacks with minimal effort. Your opponent must expend precious energy with each blow, slowly tiring while you remain fresh and strong.—Darth Bane to Darth Zannah, Darth Bane: Rule of Two
The philosophy of Soresu was described as "being within the eye of the storm." The practitioner maintained a centered frame of concentration, undisrupted by the conflict around them. They did this to maintain the calm center where the outer storm of combat could not harm them. Thus, Soresu commanded powerful defensive techniques that seemed to adapt to almost any circumstance, at the cost of never reaching past the figurative eye of the storm. The Soresu technique used little to none of the attack power needed by those who concentrate on the storm itself. Those who studied this style used the primarily defensive technique to wear down aggressive opponents by defending long onslaughts with minimal counter-attacking. They waited until their adversary spent most of their energy, then employed an alternate, more aggressive attack. They waited for eventual lapses in their opponent's own defense.
The key to truly mastering Soresu may have come from a mastery of the concept and philosophy of Soresu. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, despite his preference for Soresu, applied Shii-Cho elements and Ataru acrobatics into his swordplay, as evidenced by his recollection of his intense duel with the Sith Lord Count Dooku onboard the Invisible Hand. This, however, he did to confuse Dooku, as he later switched back to his true form, Soresu. In his duel against General Grievous, Kenobi used pure Form III swordplay.
Good. Do not block. Redirect. Wait for opponents to become weary or frustrated. Let them make a mistake, then seize the opening and make them pay.—Darth Bane to Darth Zannah during her lightsaber training, Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Soresu utilized motions that occurred very close to the body, in an attempt to achieve near-total protection and expend as little energy as possible while executing moves. Form III stressed quick reflexes and fast positional transition, in order to overcome the rapidity with which a blaster could be fired. This technique minimized the body's exposure, making a well-trained practitioner nearly invincible. Followers of Soresu preferred to remain on the defensive until their opponent left an opening that a Soresu practitioner could exploit.
Observers generally described Soresu as a passive form of combat. Jedi with extreme patience and reserved personality often employed the form - in fact, during the Clone Wars, Soresu was the most commonly used lightsaber form in the Jedi Order. Its popularity was not always as such; it was not until the death of Qui-Gon Jinn on Naboo that many Jedi switched from Form IV to Soresu.
Form III involved preparation for prolonged battles where the user observed and learned as much as possible about their opponent's or opponents' technique while engaged in combat. Also, by being more capable in lengthy battles, a Soresu user had the ability to gain control of a combat situation, creating multiple options for the Jedi employing the form. A Form III user could choose to kill, disarm, or even reason with their opponent.
Many Soresu practitioners survived the lengthy Battle of Geonosis, owing to the endurance gained from the form and its specialization in fending off and deflecting blaster fire. Soresu's greatest power lay in the endurance and control a practitioner eventually developed.
Jedi Master Mace Windu noted that, unlike any of the other combat styles, Soresu was not an answer to a particular type of weakness. Vaapad was an answer to Windu's inner darkness; Ataru was Yoda's answer to his limited reach and advanced age; and Djem So helped Anakin release his own powerful emotions. Toward the end of the Clone Wars, Master Windu acknowledged Obi-Wan Kenobi as "The master of Soresu." It was because of this fact that Kenobi was chosen by the Jedi High Council as the Jedi best suited to defeat General Grievous. During their duel, the Jedi Master was capable of parrying all four of Grievous's lightsabers, gradually disarming the cyborg general. Earlier, during his duel with Count Dooku aboard the Invisible Hand, Kenobi's expertise in Soresu allowed him to parry the Count's elegant Makashi strikes.
Soresu was considered the consummate Jedi combat form in that it embraced a passive way of life and a literal expression of the Jedi tenet to defend rather than attack. Obi-Wan himself considered Soresu very simple, so restrained and defense-oriented that Form III was nearly passive. As a master, Obi-Wan could defend himself against any attack less than twenty strikes per second. Darth Vader used elements of Form III in his variant of Form V.
The smaller blades give you greater speed and maneuverability. Grip the handle lightly in your fingers. Control the weapon with your wrist and hand rather than the muscles of your arm. You will sacrifice reach and leverage, but you will be able to create a shield of impenetrable defense.—Darth Bane, Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Soresu was a very favorable form of combat for Jedi up until the Great Jedi Purge. The defense and control it allowed a practitioner made for suitable outcomes in favor of the user when faced with hurried opponents who left themselves vulnerable to counterattack. However, its defense required a very large amount of focus from the wielder and even a momentary fault in concentration could spell defeat. Jedi with less focused minds would usually abandon this style of combat to capitalize on the benefits of other styles that required less dedication to prolonged fighting. Form III utilized strikes and blocks with the lightsaber at very fast speeds with the blade extremely close to the wielder's body. This form also utilized some acrobatics such as those seen in Form IV to make the wielder even harder to catch.
Form lll was effective against single powerful enemies, as well as large battles with multiple enemies. Form lll was also the most effective form for deflecting blaster bolts, since it was originally designed to combat blaster-wielding opponents, and since the movements are very swift and close to the body, there would basically be no open space between attacks that could leave the wielder open to blaster fire. Jedi who mastered Soresu were known to have an unbreakable defense, and the most successful when dealing in situations when a quick victory was not as favorable as total understanding and calculated action. Soresu users will only attack the enemy to deliver the disarming strike (unless fighting against battle droids), and will keep defending until they see an opening in the enemy. Soresu masters had an unbreakable defense, as mentioned above, and could trap opponents in their own attacks, as demonstrated by Obi-Wan Kenobi during his duel with General Grievous on Utapau, as well against Darth Vader on Mustafar.
A… defensive technique. But effective. Use it if you do not wish to be hit, or if you are facing many opponents with blasters. With a lightsaber blade and enough skill in deflection, it is an excellent offense against blasters, but in other situations, it merely delays the inevitable.—Kreia, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Truly focused masters of Soresu were very formidable due to their strong defense technique. Soresu, however, facilitated survival more than victory. Form III initiates were more than capable of defending themselves from attack, but they needed a large amount of experience to learn how to trap an opponent in their own offense. Masters had to maintain an incredibly strong focus on the center of the combat circle, since the defensive tactics of the form included guards and parries engaged very close to the body. Jedi who left small lapses in their otherwise strong defense left little room to avoid injury.
Form III did not favor Jedi Generals in a lengthy fight with troops left alone on the battlefield. Jedi found this situation usually inevitable during the Clone Wars. General Obi-Wan Kenobi provided a good example of this situation when he needed to leave his regiment of troops to conduct his reconnaissance search for General Grievous.
The road is long, but it is worth the journey, for a true master of Form Three is invincible.—Luminara Unduli on Form Three, MedStar II: Jedi Healer
Developed to combat blasters, Form III was in existence for thousands of years. The Jedi Exile was able to use this style. During the New Sith Wars, the Sith Blademaster Kas'im had mastered Form III as well as the six other forms. Kas'im trained several apprentices in the style, including Fohargh, who used it against Bane's Form V. Darth Bane himself possessed some level of skill in the form, using it to deflect blaster bolts and having trained his apprentice, Darth Zannah, in its use.
During the Clone Wars, Jedi Battlemaster Cin Drallig mastered it, and like Kas'im, trained many in its use. Luminara Unduli and her apprentice Barriss Offee studied the style. Count Dooku also had enough knowledge in the style that he was able to train Grievous and his IG-100 MagnaGuards in the form.
Obi-Wan Kenobi originally practiced Ataru, but when the style's lack of defensive capability cost the life of his Master, he abandoned the style and began practicing Soresu. Eventually, his mastery grew to the point where he was able to defeat such seasoned swordsmen as Grievous, and Darth Vader during the duel on Mustafar.
After his defeat and mutilation in that duel, Darth Vader included Form III elements in his personal variant of Form V. Galen Marek was also familiar with Soresu and used it on numerous occasions.
Behind the scenesEdit
Another likely practitioner of Soresu is Sora Bulq, based on statements in the official Databank.
Rahm Kota may have also been a Soresu practicioner as it was stated that he took a defensive stance while in combat.
While Darth Sidious is sometimes believed to be a Form IV user, no source has confirmed his lightsaber form. Due to comments from Nick Gillard that Sidious has been shown to use several different forms proficiently, it is possible that he has mastered most of them.
Soresu, along with the other lightsaber forms, appears in Star Wars Galaxies as part of moves and techniques employable by Jedi characters. This has not definitively been clarified to be canonical. 
In the Star Wars Miniature game a player with a Soresu Style Mastery can roll to block all attacks to hit the character, but a character with the Makashi Style Mastery can avoid having their attacks blocked by that Ability.
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- Outbound Flight (novel) (Possible appearance)
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (First appearance)
- The Cestus Deception
- The Hive
- MedStar Duology
- Labyrinth of Evil
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novelization
- The Force Unleashed novel
- Attack of the Clones: The Visual Dictionary
- Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary
- Order 66: Destroy All Jedi
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game: Champions of the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fightsaber: Jedi Lightsaber Combat
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Force Unleashed
- ↑ 4.0 4.1
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
- ↑ Fury
- ↑ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (novel)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (novel)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- ↑ Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
- ↑ Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- ↑ Labyrinth of Evil
- ↑ Fightsaber: Jedi Lightsaber Combat
- ↑ http://www.theforce.net/episode3/jtf/palpatine.asp
- ↑ http://starwarsgalaxies.station.sony.com/players/content.vm?id=64186&resource=publish;
- ↑ http://starwarsgalaxies.station.sony.com/en_US/players/content.vm?id=66843&resource=features;
- ↑ http://starwarsgalaxies.station.sony.com/players/guides.vm?id=70002