DOTF FORCE GUIDE OUTLINE - By Dave.
What is the Force?
"The Force is what gives the Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things."
Obi Wan Kenobi - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
"Life creates it, makes it grow,"
Master Yoda - Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
All things that live are a part of the Force. All things that live generate the Force. All things that live make the Force grow ever stronger, and ever more rich and bountiful. Its energies are nigh inexhaustible; as long as life exists, so too will the Force. Any thing that lives, that has life, be it plant, animal, sentient, or even some forms of living minerals, generates energy that contributes to the Force. No one knows the precise nature of this energy, and nothing can calculate its full potential. There are no instruments which can read or tap the energies of the Force, only living cells rich in midi-chlorians posess that ability. The Force's full potential has never been explored, let alone utilized by one being, but we know the Force has the ability to create and destroy life, to lengthen or shorten life, and to do these things on a galactic scale. As Darth Vader truly said "The Ability to Destroy a Planet is INSIGNIFICANT, next to the power of the Force." (Darth Vader, Episode IV: A New Hope.)
"It surrounds us, and pentetrates us, it binds the galaxy together."
Obi Wan Kenobi - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
"Its energy surrounds us, and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter! You must feel the Force, around you - between you and me, the tree, the rock. Yes, even between the land, and the ship."
Master Yoda - Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Just as the Force is generated by all living things, it is also IN all things. The Force is omni-present - that is - present everywhere. The Force is omni-directional - it is in all directions. There is no where in the galaxy where there is no Force. Even in Ysalamari bubbles, the Force exists, it is rather that the Ysalamari make it inpossible for those Sensative to the Force to be able to touch the Force. The Vong are present within the Force, but cannot be sensed through or directly affected by it, for unknown reasons. It's not an exact science, but to the best and fullest knowledge of the Jedi and other Force Users of note, the Force IS everywhere, IS IN everything, and IS A PART OF everything.
And if it follows that the Force is everywhere, and in everything, and everyone, then perhaps there are those who know the Force but do not call it by its right name? Ben Kenobi mentioned these types of people to Luke - the pre-Jedi Force Users. (LOOK UP ANH NOTE) ... they were seen as magicicans or wizards in their day, and those dark enough and fell enough were worshipped as terrible Dark Lords, monstrous Emperors, or even set themselves up to be like gods. It was not until shortly under thirty thousand years ago that the Jedi uncovered the existance of the Force as an omnipotent and onmipresent resevior of energy and named it duly - as THE FORCE.
All mystic energy within the galaxy finds its ultimate wellspring in the Force. Whether you worship an idolized 'god' or serve a magic energy by a differant name, all mystic energies come from the Force. All Force Users use the same Force. White Current, Shamans, Sith, Krath, Aing-Tii, Priestesses of the Goddess - the names may change, the beliefs may differ, and the use of the Force be somewhat differant from that of the Jedi's traditional way, but it is the same Force in all of them. Its is a common wellspring of energy tapped by all mystics and 'wizards.'
Nor are the souls of sentients any differant. The souls of sentient beings are a part of the Force, a living, personalized embodiement of Force energy, part of the whole. Upon death, the vast majority of sentient souls are drained away into the oneness of the Force, to a state of non-awareness and union with all living things. But some spirits, particularly those of beings strong enough in mind and will, or trained in the use of powers designed for just such a purpose, retain their personalities and individuality upon death, and communicate with one another through the eternal oneness of the Force, on a sort of ‘spiritual plane.’ These beings can also manifest on the physical plain as 'ghosts' and spirits. It is not believed that any plants or non-sentients exist with this capability, but it has also not be extensively researched.
"Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force FLOWING Through him!"
Obi Wan Kenobi - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
"Remember, a Jedi's strength FLOWS from the Force!"
Master Yoda - Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
"Be mindful of the Living Force, young Padawan."
Qui Gon Jinn - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
The Force is not by any means a static, unchanging, inactive body of energy that merely waits to be tapped. It also bears a LIVING, viable essence of life, with a basic, primal will of its own. In its active state - also known as the Living Force - it has a conciouss will and a plan for the greater good of the galaxy. It promotes life and peace and harmony in the galaxy through effecting immediate good – saving a life, defending an innocent – merely because these are good things to do, sometimes regardless of what future consequences there may be for this action. The Force, in this manner, is often experiened like one would sense a stream of water washing over you. You immediately detect the currents of water that are hitting you, rushing over you, and you focus on them, as oppossed to paying wider heed to what may be fouling the water upstream somewhere before it reaches you, or how you might be fouling the water for someone further downstream FROM you. Though this view may serve the immediate future better, when this sense of the ‘here and now’ is focused upon to the ignorance of the greater whole, it is a heady, impulsive stance that can lead towards dark tempations, or have serious and grave consequences in the future.
Consider both Master Qui-Gon Jinn and the Jedi Padawans Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Master Jinn, in the cases of Jar Jar Binks and Anakin Skywalker, intervened on the behalf of the two innocents for his own, immediate reasons. He served the Living Force with compassion and nobility, helping those who could not help themselves. He rationaled his decisions by declaring ‘this Gungan may be of help,’ and by stating ‘It’s the boy responsible for getting us these parts.’ Qui-Gon saw only the immediate future, and the immediate surroundings. This made him an incredibly precognitive and accomplished duelist, and a noble ‘hero,’ righting the wrongs of the galaxy whereever and whenever he encountered them. But sometimes this benevolency did not pan out as he had hoped – true, Jar Jar did repay Qui-Gon’s act of kindness by recruiting the army that assisted in saving Naboo, but Anakin Skywalker – though in the end, he DID Balance the Force – became the hideous, monstrous Sith Lord known as Darth Vader, a cruel intergalactic warlord, one the galaxy would be better off for never having known.
Similarly, the Jedi Padawans Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi also focus on the Living Force somewhat too blindly to see the greater good, on occasion. Luke fled Dagobah to confront his enemy and rescue his friends from Darth Vader – a good and noble goal, to be sure, but one which he would have cause to regret later – in the end, his friends saved HIM, and not only did he not Save them, he lost his hand, his first lightsaber, and discovered the shocking truth about his parentage before he was truly ready for it – and he was nearly lost to the Dark Side.
Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, heedlessly devoted to the legacy of his fallen Master, made the mistake of throwing away his own reservations about the young ‘Chosen One,’ and the reservations of the Jedi Council, to train the Young Anakin Skywalker, as a promise to his dead Master. He did not heed his warning spirit – or the warnings of Master Yoda - and as he himself later said: his pride had terribly consequences for the galaxy.
“The Chosen One The Boy May Be. Nevertheless, Grave Danger I fear in his Training!”
Master Yoda – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
“With the Force, Things you will see – other places – the Future, the Past, Old Friends Long Gone.”
Master Yoda – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
“Mmmm…Clouded this Boy’s Future is.”
Master Yoda – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
“Be Patient, Luke!” …”And sacrifce Han and Leia?!” … “If you honor what they fight for – yes.”
Ben Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and Master Yoda – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
But there is more to the Force than its Living Aspect. There is also a Unifying Aspect – less blindly focused on the immediate here and now, and more universally focused on future and past occurences that affect decisions and choices made in the here and now. In the Movies of the Star Wars Saga, Master Yoda is, among the Jedi, the greatest and most skilled devotee of the Unifying Force, though the entire Jedi Council ascribes to its use.
Referring back to the analogy used above to explain the Living Force, experiencing the Unifying Force is again like unto the waters of a river flowing over you. However, in this case, you pay less attention to the immediacy of the waters and currents flowing over you, and more attention to the greater whole – are you fouling the water for someone who would need to bathe later? Has someone fouled the water for you – and so, practitioners of the Unifying Force often spend more time searching the Future for visions and guidance in their meditations (What will happen in the future as a result of these actions?), and sometimes ignoring the immediate reprecussions of their choices; as oppossed to the meditations of devotees ascribing to the Living Force, who seek the immediate guidance (What will happen in the here and now?) of the Force in all their actions, sometimes heedless of later consequences..
Yoda, who routinely spares more thought for the Future and for the Unifying Force than any of his fellow Council Members, is the most attune out of all the Jedi to the shadowy, phantomed danger hidden in the innocent boy Skywalker and his future. Qui-Gon Jinn sees only the immediate good the boy can do, and that he IS indeed the Chosen One. Upon those two criterium, he decides that Anni will be a great assest to the Jedi Order, and brings him to Coruscant for training. But despite the boy’s great powers, Yoda sees further than the other Council Members and feels a hidden danger in this boy’s future. It is too clouded for even Yoda to see for certain, but It is a certain enough feeling to cause the Jedi Master to decline to train young Anakin, or to even allow for his training by others.
Another key point of note when looking at the Unifying Force is the fitfth movie, “The Empire Strikes Back,” Here, as the Living Force and his Moral Compass of right and wrong seem to propel Luke out to face Vader and (attempt) to save his friends, he is rebuked by Yoda and Ben, both having insights from the Unifying Force, who attempt to dissuade Luke from going. And though all turned out alright in the end, Luke had a very close call. It is most interesting to note that, as far as the Expanded Universe Goes, Luke remains a firmly dedicated proponent of the Living Force (with all the blindness that entails) well throughout the books, until the Hand of Thrawn Duology. After this point he begins to see a more rounded view of the galaxy, and becomes more of a practitioner of the Unifying Force.
But the Unifying Force has disadvantages of its own. When seperated from a healthy respect for the Living Force, pure dedication to the Unifying Force can make a Jedi cold, heartless, and content to allow for the suffering of others in order to maintain the greater good. Thus, Ben and Yoda come across very harsh and cold when they try to force Luke to stay on Dagobah. Their utter lack of compassion makes it impossible for them to view the suffering of three lives as anything important in the grand scheme.
“Everything which has transpired has done so according to MY Design!”
Emperor Palpatine – Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
One other key aspect of the Unifying Force, however, is that through extensive foresight, it is possible to affect future events, and alter them to your will. Emperor Palpatine uses this skill EXTENSIVELY. Like Yoda, his command over Foretelling Future events is INCREDIBLE. It is possible that his range of broad scope surpasses even that of Yoda, for neither Yoda nor Ben foretell the disastrous outcome of the Rebel Assault on the Death Star, but it is clearly shown that not only had the Emperor forewarning of the assault, as far back as the beginning of “Shadows of the Empire,”but that he was orchestrating the entirty of those events to bring about HIS will. He had carefully prepared the whole, devilish affair in hopes of seducing the last Jedi – young Skywalker – to the Dark Side.
But this skill is not without fault, occassionaly … for as we see …
“I have forseen it. His compassion for you will be his undoing. He will come to you, and then you will bring him before me. He has grown strong. Only together can we turn him to the Dark Side of the Force.”
Emperor Palpatine – Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
“Everything is proceeding as I have Forseen.”
Emperor Palpatine – Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
Despite the Emperor’s awesome command over the Unifying Aspect of the Force – despite all his foreknowledge, his planning, his designs – he failed to grasp the entire scope of the future. He foresaw neither that the young Skywalker would resist turning to the Dark Side – the young imp of a Jedi had more power than he! – nor that his trusted, docile servant would just as surprisingly turn BACK to the Light Side. These short-sights, few and small in scope as they may seem, brought about the Emperor’s great fall, and the end of his reign. Their meaning is all too clear – trust not overmuch on your perceptions of the Future for “Always in motion Is the Future.”
Although many great and memorable quotes in the vast wealth of Star Wars refer to the Dark Side of the Force, not near as many pay attention to the Light Side. This is because, in the view of the Jedi, and indeed, in the proven view of the Force itself, the 'Light Side' of the Force is not so much a distinct SIDE of the Force, as is widely believed, as it is simply the native, un-perverted true nature of the Force - the Force in its untainted form.
The Force, and its Light Side, as was seen above, is made from the energies of all life. Indeed, the Light Side of the Force encourages the natural order of life - and it can be truly argued that Death is merely a perversion of life - and it enhances the living of all things that do live.
Those who serve the Light Side, the Native nature of the Force, find themselves commonly empowered by the Life Force of the galaxy - strength just naturally FLOWS into them. Their bodies are refreshed, and often the life span of a Jedi is extended to far greater that of non-Jedi of his species. Touching the Light Side of the Force is often a pleasant, peaceful sensation much like that of bathing in a crystal clear spring, or walking through green fields while the cool breeze brushes over your face. It is the most perfect way of experiencing the unadulteraded peace and calm of the Force that exists today.
Those non-Jedi Force Users who practice the Force and are not claimed by the Dark Side, whether they be servants of the Goddess, Witches of Dathomir, or even the Aing-Tii Monks, find themselves almost exclusively serving the Light Side of the Force, for as long as they serve the betterment of others, and not the good of their own selves, they remain pure - though long affiliation with Dark Side power or with great power of any degree is likely to consume even the best-meaning of users - and in the Light.
Although the Light Side existed before - long before - the advent of the Earliest Jedi, no other Order of Force Users in the galaxy has ever so completely defined the Light Side and worked to stay well within the Light. They are the most experienced of Force Users in the ways of Light and Dark, and know well the boundaries between them. Therefore it is moot that in explaining the Light Side of the Force, we should also give some explanation of the Jedi Order, and its teachings, for truly - if you wish to understand the Light Side of the Force - you must understand the Jedi Order.
The Jedi Order - An Introduction
Some 25,000 years or more before the onset of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the Jedi came together as an intergalactic council of philosophers and teachers and academacians, who debated openly the mystic energy field known as the Force - debated its uses, its purpose, and its nature. Not long after this group was founded, some of its members began to learn how to manipulate the Force, how to wield it, and to harnass its power. These beings became known as the Jedi Knights, an intergalactic order of peacekeepers which would last for more than a thousand generations of the Old Republic. Legend states that the earliest of the Jedi learned the moral rights and wrongs of their power from the ancient and peaceful race of the Camaasi, though this has never been substantiated.
Not long after the Jedi Knights emerged, the first Jedi Council convened, and a Code of conduct for all the Jedi was formed, a Code which governed the actions and processees of the Order, and dictated how it would function. This Code has largely now passed away, but its key precepts, along with an ancient Mantra of Jedi Lore, have survived to guide the new Jedi Order in their misson to the galaxy.
As I said earlier, it is almost nessecary, in this day and age, if one seeks to understand the nature of the "Light Side of the Force," for that one to first understand the nature of the Jedi Order. To this end, I have compiled many key lines and quotes which refer to the nature of the Jedi and their relation to the Light Side of the Force. I hope these may be of assistance.
The Nature of the Light Side of the Force
Before we begin, it is nessecary to realise that whatever the Light Side may be, it is the direct, polar opposite of the Dark Side. White against Black. There is no Grey, and there is no blurring of the lines between Light and Dark.
It is also good to realise that, just as the essential Nature of the DARK SIDE, as we will discuss later, is greed, the essential Nature of the Light Side is self-sacrifce. Where as a Dark Sider invariably uses his power to further HIS desires and wishes over that of the galaxy's, the Jedi humble themselves to the greater good of the galaxy, serving the Light Side of the Force, Serving Life itself, and protecting the galaxy's many peoples and worlds from evil. Thus, if one seeks to determine whether they are acting in the interests of the Light Side or of the Dark Side, they should ask themselves the following question "Is it my glory or the glory of another small number of beings that I seek to enlarge, or do I seek to enhance the glory of the greater good through my sacrifice?"
"A Jedi Uses the Force for Knowledge and Defense, Never For Attack."
Master Yoda - Star Wars Episode V: The Return of the Jedi
"Article II: Jedi Use Their Powers to Defend and Protect, Never to Attack Others."
The Jedi Code
The Light Side seeks to understand the nature of things. It seeks to root out the causes of evil and malignancy, for knowledge is power to combat evil. Thus, the Jedi are often seen as scholarly, studious beings with deep and investigative minds. The Jedi are slow to action, because they seek first to understand the nature of the problem at hand, lest rash actions cause undue problems in the future. Furthermore, the Jedi are instructed to regularly engage in meditation - to meditate deeply upon their actions and to determine whether they were both just and in the interests of the Light Side of the Force.
Coupled with the desire for knowledge and understanding is a hesitancy in the Light Side to attack. The Light Side promotes the life and well-being of all creatures, good or evil, and the Jedi are instructed - aye, the Jedi feel an overwhelming compulsion from the Force itself - not to kill or to take a life unless absolutely nessecary. This places the Jedi in the position of being defensive from the get-go, slow to action, slow to combat of any kind, but even beyond THIS stipulation, there is yet another. A Jedi who uses the Force to attack others, and not merely to defend when forced to, indirectly seeks to extert HIS will upon the galaxy, and this agression can lead to the DARK SIDE of the Force.
THE JEDI MANTRA
There is no emotion, there
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no death, there is the Force
THE JEDI CODE
The Articles of the Jedi Code and Supplimentary Text Provided by Mace Windu (Mark).
I. JEDI ARE THE GUARDIANS OF PEACE IN THE GALAXY.
Jedi live their entire lives as the guardians of peace in the galaxy. They take no specific orders from any one body except for the Jedi council. However, the Jedi should follow the demands of the senate unless the council agrees that the senate is wrong.
A Jedi cannot force people to be just and decent. They must allow such qualities to arise from within. If a Jedi forces these qualities on an adversary they will not be learned permanently. However, with patience the Jedi can use his power and knowledge to guide an adversary's actions and thoughts leading him to what is right and good.
II. JEDI USE THEIR POWERS TO DEFEND AND PROTECT, NEVER TO ATTACK OTHERS.
A Jedi must never use the Force with the intention of attacking and defeating his opponent. The Force is only to be used in defense and protection of the user or of another who is unable to defend him/herself. Also, the phrase "The ends justify the means" does not hold as an excuse for a Jedi to do whatever he wants to succeed. A Jedi should not rationalize a wrong action as good just to be able to do it.
A Jedi must keep constant watch on his actions and thoughts for the dark side of the Force is quick, easy, and seductive. Anger, Fear, and Aggression define the dark side of the Force. A Jedi must never use these emotions unless he is calm and at peace and has the utmost control of the emotion. If a Jedi becomes reckless in his actions he endangers himself and others around him. Complete concentration and patience are essential to a Jedi. A Jedi should not try to sway the Force to his own purposes, but rather allow the Force to guide himself.
A Jedi's one and only physical weapon should be a lightsaber. As a part of training a Master will show his apprentice how to construct a saber. A student should not construct one on his own without a Master's prior guidance. It is ok for a student to possess an already constructed saber as long as his master has consented and advised him on proper use.
A Jedi should not make the use of his saber his first option in a conflict. He should exhaust all other options with the opponent before making use of his lightsaber. This should be a weapon of defense and protection. But when forced to use it, a Jedi should act quickly and decisively .
III. JEDI RESPECT ALL LIFE, IN ANY FORM.
All life throughout the galaxy is unique in its own way and each being deserves the same amount of respect as any other. Each being of life serves a purpose to the common good of the galaxy. The Force binds all life together. The Force creates life and thus a Jedi should seek to preserve life at any cost. A Jedi should show unconditional love to any lifeform.
Jedi also respect the uniqueness of life. The cloning of life is not approved by the Jedi. A Jedi must never clone himself just to create another being like himself. It takes away frmo the precious uniqueness of life and is not ethical.
IV. JEDI SERVE OTHERS RATHER THAN RULING OVER THEM, FOR THE GOOD OF THE GALAXY.
The Jedi live their lives with a code of honor. Material wealth holds no meaning to a Jedi and though it is ok for a Jedi to possess money, it holds no personal value to him/her. A Jedi only leads people; a Jedi does not rule over people or command them to do anything against their will. A Jedi does not do anything for the glory of it. Winning a battle should not be followed with arrogance by a Jedi. A Jedi cannot take part in any profit-making enterprise. One cannot profit from their protection.
V. JEDI SEEK TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES THROUGH KNOWLEDGE AND TRAINING.
The levels in rank for the Jedi are the following: The first step to becoming a Jedi is becoming a Jedi trainee. Children less than a year of age should be tested of their midi-chlorian level first and if over 10,000 they may be trained. Also, a Jedi Master may choose to allow a child to be trained even if the midi-chlorian level is not high enough if the Jedi council approves it.
Once a Jedi trainee, the child will be trained for up to the next twelve years. At any point during those twelve years, an approved Jedi Master may take the trainee as his Padawan learner, which is the second level to becoming a Jedi. A trainee must be chosen to be a Padawan by age 13 or he will not be allowed to be a Jedi knight.
The Padawan will follow his Master and learn the rest of his training in the Force from him. A Master may only have one Padawan at a time. The Master will teach the Jedi code to his apprentice and teach him all there is to know about the light side and dark side of the Force. The Padawan phase of becoming a Jedi will only end when two conditions are met. First, the Master must announce that his Padawan is ready to take the trials held by the Jedi council, and second, the Jedi council must approve the Padawan and announce him as a Jedi Knight.
Being a Jedi Knight is the fourth phase in the cycle of the Jedi. For many, this will be the final phase. The step up to the final phase, a Jedi Master, is a tough one, but not a mandatory one. Only the greatest and smartest of the Jedi become Masters. The Jedi council will decide and approve any Knight who wishes to become a Master.
The key to a Jedi's never-ending cycle is patience. Without patience a Jedi only opens himself up to the dark side more readily. A Jedi is at his strongest when he is calm, at peace, passive, and patient. A Jedi's ability to do something is not all there is. One must know the thing. One must master every facet of every skill. One must understand how it fits in to everything else in the galaxy.
During the life of a Jedi, he/she will find that some talents in the Force come easier than others. Each Jedi has his/her own unique strengths and weaknesses in the Force and the greatest Jedi are ones who can balance the use of their strengths with the control of their weaknesses.
Jedi skills in the Force are rooted in three areas. Control is internal. It is the Jedi's ability to recognize the Force in himself and to use it to his benefit. Sense involves the next step, in which the Jedi recognizes the Force in the universe outside herself. Here she feels the Force and is able to draw upon it for information about the world around her. Through it she is connected to the rest of the universe. Alter is the third and most difficult to master, for it involves the student's ability to modify the force and redistribute its energies. Through these skills, the Jedi can influence the universe, making changes as needed to accomplish its goals.
Lightsabers and the Jedi Fighting Arts (Kei'No)
What is a Lightsaber?
"Your Father's Lightsaber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. It was an elegant weapon, for a more … civilized age."
Obi Wan "Ben" Kenobi - Star Wars Episode: IV A New Hope
"This was the formal weapon of a Jedi knight,' explained Kenobi. 'Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. More skill than simple sight was required for its use. An elegant weapon. It was a symbol as well. Anyone can use a blaster or fusioncutter - but to use a lightsabre well was a mark of someone a cut above the ordinary.' "
Text from "Star Wars Episode: IV - A New Hope" Novelization by George Lucas
A lightsaber, weapon of the Jedi Knights and symbol of their Order, (though used widely throughout some sectors of the galaxy) is an elegant weapon for civilized warfar. It is approximately 30 centimeters in length, or roughly the same length as one English "foot" of 12 inches. It includes a power supply (power pack), which has no documented need to be recharged or re-energized even over long periods of time. It also contains one or more jewels which serve to focus or tune the blade's shape, and even affect its color. The blade produced from this device is a mass-less, or nearly so, blade of incredible cutting ability - just over a meter in length. This energy blade can cut through anything, though some material is more resistant than others. It should be noted that Lightsabers will not function underwater, though they will function within a vacuum.
More on the blade itself - the blade of a lightsaber seems to be capable of being ignited within roughly a fourth of a second - faster than they eye can see. It is also a heatless blade, neither burning the hand of its weilder or melting its casing. The cauterized burn marks left on organic material by the passage of a Lightsaber are likely to be the cause of radiation-stimulated burns, as oppossed to any heat from the weapon itself. It is likely that the actual cutting 'edge' of the blade may itself be far smaller and more fine-edged than the glowing shillouete of the blade, as the cuts left behind by its passage are uncommonly fine or small, not readily noticable in all cases, as is seen below:
[...] the rodent-thing had been cleft cleanly in half down the middle, its two halves falling in opposite directions. The giant multiocular creature still stood staring, dazed, at the old human who was poised motionless before it, the shining lightsabre held over his head in a peculiar fashion. The creatures chrome pistol fired once, blowing a hole in the door. Then the torso peeled away as neatly as had the body of the rodent, its two cauterized sections falling in opposite directions ..."
Text from "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" Novelization by George Lucas
Although personal construction of a lightsaber is considered the final step of a Jedi's formal training, there is no magic to the process, nor is a lightsaber inherently a device which requires the Force's presence during its construction or usage, though there are some models which DO incorporate such a technique of saber construction.
Of all the crystal types most appropriate to the lightsaber design, it is known throughout the text of the Jedi Order that Adegan crystals are the most preferred choice for lightsaber construction, though in lack of Adegan crystals, others will suffice. Indeed, in lack of ANY crystals, a jewel may be cooked and then chiseled for the same purpose. Extra care is given to the alignment of the crystals, for fear that misalignment may result in injury or death - due to radiation leakage or explosion.
These are the steps of Lightsaber Creation:
activation switch into place on the hilt, connect the connecters to the chosen
2. Place shielding tape along the switch and the location of the superconductor.
3. Slip the gem stone(s) into place to focus the beam that will become the blade.
4. Adjust, and place the continuous energy lens at the center, just above the gem stone(s).
5. On the end of the hilt, where the beam will form, screw on the high energy flux aperture.
6. Clip in energy cell, discharged, and connect the recharging socket.
7. Plug the Lightsaber into the recharging station that will be used to charge the cell for the first time.
It should be noted that Lightsaber construction, when preformed in its ritual state with all due ceremony, can take up to, or over, a month's time, though in a hurry, a Jedi Master is capable of creating a new weapon from scratch within a few days.
Jedi Fighting Arts of Kei'No
What is "Kei'No"
Developed Millennia upon Millennia past by a great and respected Jedi Master serving on the Council named Jorcsh Car'dalla, a human resident of the since-lost world of Alath, Kei'No was intended to serve the Jedi as a uniform fighting style which was based in a defensive, reactionary style, as opposed to the more aggressive styles preferred by the many Dark Jedi then plaguing the galaxy. Its defensive edge was in fact SO polished that in the twenty thousand years following the death of Master Car'dalla, no style was found to surpass his work. The name Kei'No, a combination of two Alathian words, was not adopted until years after Master Car'dalla's death, but at the time of its adoption, the Jedi Council felt the Alathian words "Kei" and "Noe," meaning "Jedi" and "Way," to well define the technique behind Car'dalla's work.
Even as it passed down through the thousands of years following the death of its creator, Kei'No changed little. Though additional stances were added for the addition of a double-bladed lightstaff to Jedi Weaponry, or to accomadate those Jedi who saught to weild two blades in combat, Kei'No's inherent role as a defensive art of martial combat remained unchanged, and only continued to increase in its fluidity and gracefulness. In time, Masters of the Art were seen almost as artisans, so beautiful and graceful could their fighting be.
As with all arts, Kei'No's rich heritage only increased with age. Long-lived Masters like the great Mace Windu, the skilled Qui-Gon Jinn, or the even more venerable Yoda were acknowledged as accomplished in the arts, and could at some of their own philosophy and teachings to the Jedi Way, but even for all that cultural age and history, Kei'No's galactic fame and recognition all but ceased to exist in the years following the Jedi Purge. It was survived only in the fighting of the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, and passed on in training to his students. Among the many teaching aids Master Skywalker employed to instruct his students in the Jedi Way, as taught to him by his masters Obi-Wan "Ben" Kenobi and Yoda, was an ancient manual recovered from the ruins of Yoda's Hut on Dagobah. An ancient text, inscribed by a Jedi Master born thousands of years before Yoda, which revealed the true name and lineage of Kei'No to the Last Jedi and his students, and enabled the Order to continue in the Way of its predecessors.
Gripping the Lightsaber
In Kei'No, the Lightsaber (when weilded as a two-handed weapon, as is most common) is gripped most commonly in the following manner: The left hand is at the bottom of the hilt, and the right hand is at the top. In this gripping manner, the left hand serves to preform the work of moving the weapon up, and down, whilst the right hand controls direction, angle, and thrust. The grip used is much like the grip of any other two-handed handle, with the thumb and first finger of the right hand at the top of the hilt. But in the Jedi Way, the force of the blow is most strong applied by the ring and index fingers.
Although this style CAN be reversed, and although it is possible to weild the lightsaber in a single hand, it has been found that the strongest and most balance grip IS that of the traditional Jedi Way, right hand over left, strength in the index and ring fingers. Even the left-handed duelists are advised to prefer the original grip, as it lends uncommon strength to your upward or downward movements that may catch an unwary opponent off guard.
Fighting Stances in Kei'No
Traditionally, The Jedi Way of Kei'No utilizes a fighting stance where both feet are parallel, with the right foot being both forward and a few inches to the side of the left. In this stance, the balls of the feet take on the weight of the stance, and although it seems to run contrary to common sense, forward movement is propelled off of the rear foot, and NOT by leaping forward or sliding forward with the front foot. If you require a pivot, use the frontal foot (weight centered on the ball of the foot) to pivot upon, launching forward from the rear foot. In Kei'No, the frontal foot is referred to as "Fro" and the rear as "Frae."
Some saber users, however, who attempt to weild their weapon with more strength than Is actually required (in hope, perhaps of an added edge of speed, though with the massless blade of a lightsaber this policy is not recommended) favor a wider stance, called the "Ken'Ju" stance. But in either case, if the duelist is upright, balanced, aware, and holds the center with his or her weapon (as will be explained in detail further on), then the stance will be adequate for the defensive nature of Kei'No.
Once the duelist IS so balanced, aware, and etc., the typical need of a swordsman to dodge in-coming attacks though weaving, swaying, or bobbing, no longer exists, as all attacks can be well-countered from the Kei'No stances without requiring any ducking, flinching, twisting, or gyrating. In fact, to preform these actions would only slow you, and leave you more open to attack from a more controlled master of the weapon.
Footwork in Kei'No
There are primarily two forms of footwork employed in the Kei'No, one for the common duelist, and one for the advanced, skilled master veteran of many battles. The first is referred to as "Koe'noi" (for Gliding Walk) and the second as simply "Koe" (Glide).
Koe'noi, which is quick and well-suited to covering greater distances between foes, involves a sort of 'walking' footwork from which it recieves its name. The feet are kept close to the ground, like a sort of glide, to prevent interruption from causing loss of balance. This style is easy to learn and to employ, and is more widely adopted than Koe.
Koe, unlike Koe'noi, is a more masterful footwork used by true masters of dueling. It involves starting from a position like unto that of the Kei'No Fighting Stance (Above Section), with one foot (often the right) ahead of the other. THIS POSITION IS RETAINED throughout the duel, barring a drastic change in location. Typically, the foot which is forward would seem to glide off the ground a little ways, to be followed by the foot behind. This footwork is adopted when fighting becomes that of close-quarters, but again, is most commonly used by MASTER duelists.
Remember - excessive movement is to be kept to a minimum. Your body should always be facing straight, or nearly so, toward your opponent - wild, meaningless flips may look both artistic and colorful, but are likely to drain you, leaving you tired, slow, and vulnerable. Keep excessive movement to a minimum.
If you are wondering which foot to lead with, refer back to the grip with which you hold your saber. If you hold it as is customary, right hand over left, lead with the right foot. If you employ the reverse, lead with the left.
Kanae (En-Guarde) Postions in Kei'No.
Just as with all sword arts, Kei'No has its own forms of En-Guarrde positioning - what it refers to as its Kanae. However, unlike with common sword-fighting stances, Kanae are NOT merely physical positions of readiness. They are mental, spiritual, emotional, and Force focii - nessecary for the unseen mental dueling of the Jedi and their Force-using opponents, a mental combat that can be even more deadly than the physical one.
There are both the 'classic' static, or stationary, Kanae in Kei'No and the 'transitional' fluid Kanae as well. For instance, although some times a duelist may launch an attack straight from a classic, stationary Kanae stance, sometimes a duelist may go through one, two, or even three or more extra Kanae before finding an opening in the defenses of their opponent in which to strike. They cannot simply drop their guard and reposition, so they must move transitionally, fluidly, from one Kanae to the next. The Kanae are: Chulan, Gelan, Jolan, Hasho, and Wake'. They are classically referred to as Chulan-No-Kanae, Gelan-No-Kanae, and so on.
The basic stance of the Kei'No, Chulan is referred to as the 'second position,' by some duelists, though its ranking is not essentially vital. It is the middle-guard of the Kei'No. The saber will be held with the tip of the blade aimed toward your opponent's throat. The hilt is held around your waist, in front of your stomache, and centered in front of your body, and the blade point angles up 30 to 45 degrees. All of the Kei'No cutting attacks may be made from this position, and every possible frontal assault can be blocked from this stance as well, thus making this the most powerful of Kanae. Whomever you are in combat with cannot attack you unless they get past your blade first - or they will impale themselves on the weapon.
I referred earlier to the 'center' position. This Chulan stance is that position, and it is the goal of true Masters, when met in saber fights, to somehow lure away or trick their opponent into surrenduring this all-important area. Just as Lord Vader and Jedi Kenobi dueled for much of their fight on the first Death Star, the two opponents will find themselves 'playing for the center.'
The classic response to the Chulan is to assume to Chulan yourself, to defend your center. This is considered the 'classic second response.'
This is the lower guard position of the Jedi Way, the classic 'third position' for those curious to know. Though your hands hold the blade's hilt at the same position in this stance as they do in the Chulan - in front of your stomache - the blade is now aimed down at your opponent's knee caps. This is a tempting, taunting stance meant to signify a weaker position than the Chulan, and bring your opponent to you. With a metal blade, an attack from this position might be to rotate your grip and diagonally strike for your opponent's wrists or hands, but as a Lightsaber HAS no set blade and can cut in any direction, you are just as well off swinging straight up with the weapon as anything else. Just watch to ensure that you can adequately defend your center! The only disadvantage of launching an upwards cut from this Kanae is that the cut will not be as strong as would one descending from Chulan.
The classic response to Gelan is to assume either Chulan, Jolan, or Hasho, though Jolan should be considered last as a response, as Gelan is nearly as threatening to your center as a Kanae as Chulan is. These are then considered 'classic third responses.'
The 'first position' of Kei'No, Jolan is the upper-guard. Here, the blade is held over your own head at about 45 degrees. The very base of your handle should be aimed at the foe's eyes in this Kanae. Jolan is by far the most aggressive of the Kei'No stances, and the most aptly suited to a duelist who intends to strike out at and destroy their opponent, as it has little of the defensive positioning of the other stances, and much more power can be put behind the blade as it strikes. It's largest disadvantage is that it is slow to the defense in this stance, and the center is cleanly un-guarded. Jolan is best used by the lightsaber duelist in transition.
The classic response to Jolan is either Chulan, Gelan or Wake', since the upper guard allows more leeway in choosing a defense, and your center would not be as threatened by the Jolan as it would by the Chulan, Gelan, or Hasho. These then are known as 'classic first responses.'
Classic 'fourth position,' Hasho is a somewhat more calm and defensive version of Jolan. Here, the blade is held as a shoulder stance. It is held up over your shoulder, next to your face, usually on the right side, but some times on the left as well. The hands are positioned by the jaw, and the elbows point down. Nearly as aggressive as Jolan, this stance trades a little of Jolan's offensive power for defensive options, by bringing the blade closer toward the center. Qui-Gon Jinn, a Master of the Jedi Way, often used this Kanae.
The classic response to Hasho is either Chulan or Gelan. These then are 'classic fourth responses.'
Wake' is the Classic 'fifth position' and is known as the hidden guard. It is held very low, on the right side. If you assumed the Classic Gelan position and then turned your body to the left all the way around 180 degrees, you would then be in the classic Wake' position. This stance is the least used, least preformed of all the Jedi Kanae, because it is far too dangerous to employ against any opponent who is not horribly enraged and has lost the sense of reasoning to discover that your chest and center are now WIDE open. From Wake' it is possible to launch a devasting across-the-chest strike, but again, the risk to yourself cannot be ignored.
The classic responses to Wake' consist of all the Kanae, as Wake' is by far the weakest, most open and defenseless of all the Kanae. These are then known as the 'classic fifth responses.'
Kathol (Basic Strikes) of the Kei'No
In the Kei'No, all complex and seemingly difficult sequences of moves can be broken down into their most basic strikes and transitions. True skill lies not in the difficulty of the moves preformed, nor in the grace with which they are preformed, but in the exact precision and timing required to preform them exactly as demanded.
The simplest of all Kathol is the Mein, the large, vertical, overhead strike. It faces your opponent head on, as if to cleave them down their middle, and leave two smoking sections of dead corpse lying side by side on the floor. This strike aims for the immediate kill, and it is important that you not let the right hand over-dominate this grip, because, as was said above in "Gripping The Lightsaber," the left hand controls vertical movement, and should descened on a straight line down the center of your body, and the right hand steers the blow. If you would rather strike at either side of the opponent's face, then the right hand can be brought in to so steer the weapon, but otherwise, a simple downward vertical strike should be empowered by the left hand.
The second of the Kathol is the Shoulder-strike. Launched best from the Hasho Kanae, the Hasho-Mein descends from above the shoulder as a diagonal cut. These blows are VERY powerful and are use to disect an opponent from shoulder to hip. The left hand should still control the power of this blow, and as it descends, bring the blade down to the center line we discussed in the above Kathol, Mein, ending just in front of your stomach or navel.
Hasho-Mein Kieraki-ashe' is a form of this Kathol in which the duelist side-steps an oncoming foe before delivering the blow. It involves launching, as was said before, forward with the rear foot of your stance, or backward with the forward foot of your stance. In either case, whichever foot is launched shoulder pivot back and away a half-pivot (90 degrees) to avoid the on-coming assault, and plant itself behind the foot which was pivoted behind. This stance can be changed later after the Kathol is launched, but don't waste time finding perfect footing to deliver this Side-stepping blow. (Kieraki-ashe' is a Kei'No term for side-step.)
The third of the Kathol strikes is a belly cut, launched from either Hasho or Chulan or Gelan best, though Wake' and Jolan can also utilize this blow, the Kho cut arcs itself across the opponent's waist and midsection. Vader, taller than Kenobi, killed Kenobi with this strike across Ben's shoulders and neck.
The fourth Kathol is a more Jedi-like strike than any other, as its purpose is to disarm and disable, rather than to kill. Kobe' aims at the opponent's wrist, and whether launched upward from Chulan, diagonal from Chulan, snapped upward from Gelan, or brought down from Hasho or Jolan, it's aim is not to intercept the opponent's weapon or to strike at their body, but to cut wrist from arm and thus both disarm and disable your opponent, leaving them helpless and defeated.
The fifth Kathol often preceeds the wrist-attack Kobe', because it is a 'center-sweep.' The aim of this attack, launched best from Chulan or Hasho or Gelan, is to knock your opponent's saber aside with a sweeping blow. A well timed Master might then follow up this move with a Kobe' wrist blow, or a …
The thrusting strike is not often seen used in Kei'No, but when it is, it most commonly follows a Kein sweep. Of course, the problem is that your opponent, unless he is very inexperienced or extremely off-balance, is likely to back away and sweep your saber aside with a Kein of his own, and not be spitted by your attack. However, it is a risk sometimes worth taking.
This powerful, upward swing cuts diagonally across the opponent's chest, and is BEST launched when coming from Gelan, Wake', or Chulan, in that order. This is another rare strike, though when timed correctly can cut through an opponent's chest even as they bring a blow down toward you from a loose Hasho or a clumsy Jolan, or even a Wake' of their own. Such diagonal cuts are often typical of those who wield a lightstaff.
Another sweep well suited to batting aside a thrust, and the Kathol best-suited to vying for the center, is the Klea'. The Klea' has the aim of rotating your blade around your opponent's entangling their blade, and knocking it aside while you retain the center.
Important tips to remember when engaged in Kei'No saber dueling include avoiding large, wide strikes that are not easily retractable and leave you open to a fast opponent's better timing. While small, wrist-snapping movements are not always flashy and do not look as skillful as large, sweeping cuts and strikes do, they are far more controlled, and thus, far more deadly. A quick snap of a wrist can bring my blade arcing across your belly while you whip your sabre up to Hasho to come down in a shoulder-strike.
Another thing to remember is that in Kei'No, unless you face an opponent who's intent is more of a nature to intimidate, bully, frighten, or turn you, you are not likely to employ many BLOCKING moves. In fact, Kei'No relies heavily on moves that sweep your weapon aside (a parry of sorts) while also serving as a transition to an attacking move. Small wiping moves, sliding your blade off an opponents, or turning a parry into a transition for attacking are how Kei'No duelists become Kei'No Masters, and survive. Remember - these fights show flow like water. They should not be choppy, inordinately thought-out, or massively detailed in hopes of preventing any mistakes. They should be adequately-detailed, smooth, and should flow from attack to defense to attack and defense again.