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Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Great Swordsmaster, or not?


Wedge Suron
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Before you go spouting off about Kenobi being a badass in ROTS. I think it doesn't make much sense in the context of life. He's skilled, certainly, but no high level Lightsaber duellist. So he's a great Soresu Master with a speciality in Ataru, so what? That means he's good at defending and blocking Blaster Bolts. He can also jump around a lot, but as we can see with most Ataru Duellists, Ataru is not supposed to be a specialization. Until some idiot *cough*Yoda*cough* -I'll come back to that another time, or you can just watch Jensaarai's video- came along, Ataru wasn't meant to be a stand alone form and only to be used in short bursts, now it's the go-to form for attacking. He went and defeated multiple Lightsaber duellists in the Clone Wars and was good against Dooku at the end of the war, well, in most of those duels he either had assistance or his opponents were inconsistently strong/weak. Also, he lost the duel with Dooku at the end of the war.

 

You're probably going to say, that Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated Darth Maul as a Padawan. Two problems with that idea.

 

One: It was Maul's Arrogance as well as a surprise cutting strike that defeated Maul. Not an actual duel that finished it, even if you say: There was a duel before that, there was a lull in combat. So we can't consider it part of the same section of the duel.

 

Two: I highly doubt that if Obi-Wan had been fighting Darth Maul alone and in a fresh state, I doubt his Ataru mastery could've defeated Maul's Juyo Style.

 

Most people think that Maul got better in the Clone Wars, because he could defeat Obi-Wan. WRONG! That is my proof, that if Obi-Wan had duelled him in Episode 1 on his own, he would've lost.

 

In my younger misinformed days, I did read a fanfic that had Qui-Gon split off near the start of the duel, which had Obi-Wan win the duel alone. But looking at it now and reading a lot more about how things work, I am entirely confident, that Obi-Wan Kenobi only won that duel out of sheer luck. If Maul had been focusing on Obi-Wan alone, Maul would've won.

 

Hell, Anakin Skywalker's Djem-So could fight Maul far better than Obi-Wan probably could at any point in his life. Now that would be one duel that I would liked to have seen.

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keep in mind that Obi Wan didn't master Ataru until later in life. RofS Obi Wan is a master of Soresu and Ataru.

 

 

the main difference with Padawan Obi Wan and Sith Apprentice Darth Maul, Darth Maul is more of a max/min Sith Warrior/Dark Jedi Guardian with Dark Rage, Niman/Juyo/Teras Kersai hybrid style. And Obi Wan is more of budding Generalist and roleplaying. Also Darth Maul's training was designed to kill Jedi of all levels but Obi Wan's training was against Non Lightsaber duelist like Criminals and other nasties in the galaxy.

 

 

Darth Maul has the skill to defeat Obi Wan and lacks the Focus at the End. Duels are finished if One person is dead, surrenders or escapes. One of the Reasons Darth Maul had the edge during the duel is due to that Obi Wan was being stupid with his anger. Maul understood his anger and used it as a weapon, Obi Wan didn't know how to do that. Unfocus anger is a weakness, conversely Focused Anger is an asset.

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Before you go spouting off about Kenobi being a badass in ROTS. I think it doesn't make much sense in the context of life. He's skilled, certainly, but no high level Lightsaber duellist. So he's a great Soresu Master with a speciality in Ataru, so what? That means he's good at defending and blocking Blaster Bolts. He can also jump around a lot, but as we can see with most Ataru Duellists, Ataru is not supposed to be a specialization. Until some idiot *cough*Yoda*cough* -I'll come back to that another time, or you can just watch Jensaarai's video- came along, Ataru wasn't meant to be a stand alone form and only to be used in short bursts, now it's the go-to form for attacking. He went and defeated multiple Lightsaber duellists in the Clone Wars and was good against Dooku at the end of the war, well, in most of those duels he either had assistance or his opponents were inconsistently strong/weak. Also, he lost the duel with Dooku at the end of the war.

 

You're probably going to say, that Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated Darth Maul as a Padawan. Two problems with that idea.

 

One: It was Maul's Arrogance as well as a surprise cutting strike that defeated Maul. Not an actual duel that finished it, even if you say: There was a duel before that, there was a lull in combat. So we can't consider it part of the same section of the duel.

 

Two: I highly doubt that if Obi-Wan had been fighting Darth Maul alone and in a fresh state, I doubt his Ataru mastery could've defeated Maul's Juyo Style.

 

Most people think that Maul got better in the Clone Wars, because he could defeat Obi-Wan. WRONG! That is my proof, that if Obi-Wan had duelled him in Episode 1 on his own, he would've lost.

 

In my younger misinformed days, I did read a fanfic that had Qui-Gon split off near the start of the duel, which had Obi-Wan win the duel alone. But looking at it now and reading a lot more about how things work, I am entirely confident, that Obi-Wan Kenobi only won that duel out of sheer luck. If Maul had been focusing on Obi-Wan alone, Maul would've won.

 

Hell, Anakin Skywalker's Djem-So could fight Maul far better than Obi-Wan probably could at any point in his life. Now that would be one duel that I would liked to have seen.

 

 

IMO, to answer the title question: I don't think he was a master swordsman in his early days. I *do* think he was a master swordsman by RotS.

 

You're essentially commenting on the validity of Soresu as a style. But I think that's irrelevant, Regardless of Soresu's effectiveness, Obi-Wan's skill and knowledge of it is what's important.

 

I consider the issue this way:

Soresu is a style of swordplay.

Obi-Wan was a master of it.

Obi-Wan a master of a form of swordplay; in essence, a master swordsman.

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While he did become a master of his chosen style, I do not believe him to be 'the great swordmaster'. He may perhaps have been a living embodiment of the Soresu philosophy, but the whole thing about him is that he was not a perfect guy, essentially an art work in progress.

 

So far as it concerns forms and styles, these are meaningless without real application. What matters is to how greatly you can use what you have to effect. He was very effective with most everything he had. No, I do not believe him to have been the greatest swordsman of his time, nor ever. I'm pretty sure if he went to fight Darth Sidious instead, Sidious would have toyed with him a bit before completely chewing him up and spitting him out with utter contempt and mockery. Even Dooku would have crushed him handily.

 

I do not like how he is pseudo-deified in the PT, mostly on ROTS. Gah! Don't tell the obiwan fanboys THAT! Blasphemy!!!!!~1! I do not find him particularly charming either, I only see that he's true to himself. That he did what he had to do, sometimes simply only because he had to do it.

 

In the end, though, he did not concern himself with being the best at anything. Finally he understood Qui-Gon Jinn's rebellious belief in "the will of the living force" which Jinn followed instead of the jedi code. Kenobi understood that, like Dooku before him, Qui-gon was unconcerned with status and prestige of his duty such as being on the council. Rather Jinn preferred to be in the field and not detached from reality like someone living in an ivory tower--this isn't to say the council necessarily were but I think you get the point of the analog: he'd rather be out and about amongst the living.

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