The Lightsaber Practice of Obi Wan Kenobi
LUKE. Having long and greatly desired (my deare friend Obi Wan) to learne this noble science, and especially of you, who did put the first Lightsaber into my hands: wherefore (seeing so good opportunitie is so fitly presented, being ensnared on this Millenium Falcon with little else for diversion) I could wishe that we might spend this time at some discourse concerning the Arte of the Lightsabre, to the end that I might thereby, both the better retain that which I have already learned, and also add some new lesson thereunto.
BEN. Certes (my loving friend Luke) as well for that I have found you to be a man of a noble spirite, as in regard of the great love which I bear unto you, as also to the end that hereafter when time shall serve, you may be better known as a Jedi, I am content to yield unto your request, and therefore demand boldy any thing wherein you desire to be resolved.
LUKE. Sir, the love which you beare me I know to be exceeding great, and therefore I shall desire you therefore, according to your
judgement and skill, to resolve and instruct me in this science
BEN. Sir, I desire nothing more than to please and satisfie you, and therefore you may expounde questions at your pleasure.
LUKE. From my first taking up the the lightsaber I have liked this noble Art, having seen such diversitie of this exercise, together with the danger thereunto belonging, and (since I came to be your padawan) plainly perceived how that a Jedi in one moment may be slaine. And therefore I give The Force thankes that in some measure it hath given me the knowledge of this science, and I hope through your good help to be more fully informed therein. Wherefore I desire you to tell me, if there be given any certain instruction and firm rule whereby to direct a man to the true knowledge of The Force.
BEN. Since my childhoode I have seen very many Jedi masters the which have taken great pains in teaching, and I have marked their diverse manners of play: wherefore I have changed five or six sundry maner of plays, taught to me by diverse Jedi masters, and reduced them unto one by no little labour and pain, and in this will I resolve you, and give you therein so direct a rule and instruction, as that thereby (being my padawan) you may attain unto the perfect knowledge of The Force.
LUKE. But tell me sir of courtesy, he who was once your padawan, is he therefore debarred from the understanding of your new rule?
BEN. In truth sir, well he may conceive much, but of those secrets which I will reveale unto you, he is not capable of Jedi mastering, as you whom I will teach.
LUKE. Show me (I pray you) what may be the cause, why this arte (being so necessary and noble) is of so many so little esteemed.
BEN. You have moved a question whereof I am grieved to speak, when I consider with my selfe the slight account wherein this so worthy weapon is held, I deeme the cause hereof to be because many (not knowing this art to be the beginning and foundation of Jedi) do therefore neglect and condemn it, because they esteme the Jedi to be altogether overcome by Clones with blasters, notwithstanding their Jedi mastery of the Lightsaber.
LUKE. By what reason can you show the Lightsaber to be the ground and foundation of the Jedi?
BEN. You shall hear. Generally, for every kind of fight, particularly for single combat, it is requisite that a Jedi know how he may best overcome his enemy. We do many times see that a great Hutt or a Sith doth wrong an inferior person, who do seldome by law recover right. The Jedi ought to require and command him either to make satisfaction unto the party wronged, or else to fight with him. Then, if he try the combat, he can never acquit himself without danger if he have not first learned the Lightsaber.
Moreover, if a man follow the wars and have no knowledge of this arte, what shift shall he make? Or how shall he behave himself being challenged the combat by the Sith, which hath often happened, not only in the time of the Republic, but in our days?
But take care not to be overcome by power, for although he have been renowmed for infinite victories, the Jedi striveth not for glory, honour, the pleasure of adventure, or the triumph of the victory; this is dishonourable, for those victories are made with the help of The Force, and to holdeth oneself in Pride doth lead to the Dark Side.
LUKE. This which you say seemeth to stand with greate reason, yet never the less we see by experience, that the Sith of the Dark Side have vanquished and overthrown the Jedi, whereas (if your assertion were true) the Jedi should evermore conquer the Sith.
BEN. Sir, you are to understand, that many are called Jedi, and yet be overcome by the Dark Side, and did go into space to fight a combat with the loyal Jedi: wherefore it may be that those which were overcome were deceived by those they thought were true Jedi. Others were brought low by Bounty Hunters or Imperial Star Destroyers. But to have recourse unto the first and highest cause, these actions are evermore directed by the secret will of The Force, and are the executions of its hidden judgements.
LUKE. You have with so many reasons and proofs showed the necessitie of this worthy art, that in truth I greatly esteeme and honor it, and I would gladly know wherein consisteth the order and manner to understand it. Therefore, I require you to tell me where a good Jedi master minding to make a good padawan ought to begin.
BEN. It is fitting for a padawan to begin with the Lightsaber, and in my discourse of this fight of the single Lightsaber I will speake only of one guard.
LUKE. Tell me I pray you first how it is best to hold a Jedi’s Lightsaber in his hand, and how to stand upon his guard.
BEN. When the Jedi master will enter his padawan, he shall deliver the Lightsaber into his hand, and shall cause him to stand with his right foot formost, but that his body rest more upon the left leg, not stedfast and firm as some stand, but with a readiness and nimbleness, as though he were to perform some feate of activity, and in this sorte let them stand both to strike and to defend themselves.
Now when the Jedi master hath placed his padawan in this sorte, and that the padawan hath received his Lightsaber into his hand, let him turn on his Lightsaber, and hold it in front of his belly with both hands, and that the point of his lightsaber is directlye against his Jedi master’s left eye, and let the Jedi master also put himselfe in the same ward, and hold his Lightsaber against his padawans Lightsaber crossing on the right side, so that the point be directly against the face of his padawan, and likewise his padawans against his, and let their feete be right one against another. This is the Middle guard.
Then shall the Jedi master begin to teach him, moving his right foot somewhat forward to reach the padawan, putting down the point of his Lightsaber and lifting his hands, and so giving his padawan a stroke at his thigh.
LUKE. And what then must the padawan do?
BEN. At the selfesame time the padawan must remove with like measure or counter-time with his feete slip a little back, turning downe the point of his Lightsaber at the Lightsaber of his Jedi master, and lifting up his hands a little. In this sorte the said padawan shall learne not be stricken. Then to make the padawan more ready, the padawan shall turn up his Lightsaber and strike at the left side of his Jedi master’s face.
LUKE. What then must the Jedi master do?
BEN. At the same time that the padawan strike, the Jedi master shall remove his right foote a little behind, and turning up the point of his Lightsaber and thus receive the Lightsaber of his padawan.
LUKE. For this matter I am fully satisfied, wherefore I pray you proceed to teach me that which remaineth to be taught for this guard.
BEN. When the Jedi master will make his padawan ready, then shall the Jedi master once again step with his right foot somewhat forward, putting down the point of his Lightsaber, and so giving his stroke at his padawans arms underneath his Lightsaber.
LUKE. And what then must the padawan do?
BEN. When I move with my foote and lifte up my hands, let the padawan pass back with his right foot, and withall let him lift his hands above his head, with his High guard that he lie quite open, let him not beat aside the blow with his Lightsaber: But having avoided the blow, he will go forward and not loose the opportunity of this blow at the Jedi masters head.
LUKE. What then must the Jedi master do?
BEN. At the selfesame time that the padawan goes back, the Jedi master shall stay a little, and shifting his body shall lift his Lightsaber and breake the padawans blow, to the end that he be
not stricken on the head.
LUKE. But I pray you go forward to tell me that which is behind concerning this ward.
BEN. When the Jedi master will make his padawan ready in the Middle guard, then shall the Jedi master lift the point of his Lighsaber and once again step with his right foote, and shall strike at the right side of his padawans head: and further, to the end his padawan may have judgement to know what fight means, with measure and time, he shall teach him to cut off his hands, and to know when the time serveth for it, so as to disable his adversary.
LUKE. Why I pray you, cannot the Jedi cut off his enemys head after he has cut off his hands?
BEN. Yes, every man can kill, but the Jedi hath the skill not to kill, especially with anger: and hereupon you shall see many which oftentimes the Jedi will strike and hit with their Lightsaber, only for hurting our wounding the adversary, and so cause their enemy not to be slaine.
LUKE. But I praye you of friendship tell me, if a Jedi were to go into space with some friend of his whom he would be loth to kill, should not these strokes at the hands and legs be good to wound him, and not put him in danger of his life, I praye you therefore tell me your opinion, and how a Jedi may in respect of The Force defend himselfe, but would not kill his friend, but would willingly save and keepe him from harme?
BEN. I will speake mine opinion of these things, when you see the ignited Lightsaber, consider that it means your friend hath turned to the Dark Side, you maye tell him that you are ready with reason to satisfie him and bring him back to the Light Side. But if you be compelled to accept the combat, do the best you can when you have your weapon in your hand, and consider that fights are dangerous, and you know not the minde and purpose of your enemy, whome if you should chance to spare, afterwards peradventure he may hunt down and destroy all the remaining Jedi and drive the entire galaxy to utter ruin: for if he be skilfull at his weapon, or fierce or furious, do your best to kill him, because it seemeth childish to say, I will go and fight, but I will spare and favour him.
Therefore whensoever you see any man ignite a Lightsaber upon you, stay not until he do his pleasure, and trust him not, for he hath not turned on his Lightsaber to no purpose. For if you were the valiauntest man in the galaxy, and had no minde to do him any harme, yet when you see the furie and malice of the Dark Side, you shall be forced, as it were, to do that you thought not to do, and cut off all his arms and legs and throw his remains into a river of lava to be burnt to ashes.
And amongst others I will tell you of an accident which hath happened on Coruscant, where I my selfe was, of a padawan called Darth Vader, who I for many years brought up, maintained, and taught of the Force in such sort, that he became a very sufficient and skilfull Jedi with the Lightsaber. Which this padawan whereas by reason should have been loving and faithfull to me, as to his own father, having received from me so many good turnes, especially having been brought up by me from his childhood and infancie, he did the quite contrarie, and did betray the Jedi unto the Dark Side and slaughter all the padawans belonging unto the Jedi temple. A part truly very vile, and of an unkinde unthankfull Sith.
Whereupon I complained of this injury and wrong offered by Darth Vader, and promised to seek redresse, although he was a friend. And so, finding the said Sith on Mustafar, tolde him that for the wrong offered to the Jedi, I would fight with him, and therewithal he put hand to his weapon: while at first I refused to harm him, thinking still to return him to the Light Side because he was my padawan: but the Sith tolde me that he would runne me through: for whilest I stoode upon the high ground, and he could not do his best to defend himselfe, he leapt quite thorough the air, and was brought to utter ruin by a stroke of my Lightsaber. Still, I did not kill him sufficently, and now he doth rule the Empire.
Thereupon when a Jedi sees any one with an ignited Lightsaber, let him take care to defend himselfe, because it is not a matter of friendshippe. But I think verily of this man, that the justice of The Force will not leave him unpunished. And if all unthankfull and treacherous men were so served after the same sorte, I thinke there would not be found so many in the galaxy.
LUKE. Verily this example which you have here brought in, is very good and necessarie, as well to instruct and teach a man not to trust his enemy when he seeth him comming with his Lightsaber in his hand, as also to warn these unthankfull men to be more true and faithful. But I pray you instruct me somewhat farther, as if at this present I were to undertake a combat with some Sith in defence of my my life.
BEN. In truth the secrets which are in like fights are such, that unlesse one have a knowledge of The Force, he shall never come to the right understanding of them. There are those who are framed of nature as it were, both in respect of abilities of bodie and mind- tricks, fit to learne this arte, if they use the help of the Force, come to great perfection. And these abilities are the gifts of The Force, which is the chiefest matter of all. For all the skill of this art in effect, is nothing but The Force. There are many other secrets of The Force which cannot be made plaine or sufficiently expressed to be understoode. Therefore I thinke I have spoken enough concerning the Lightsaber: and if you can performe all that I have told you, it will suffice, & this our discourse may pleasure many, which take delight to understand and learne these things: but if they will repaire to the Jedi temple, they shall better and more fully understand and conceive of all, because both knowledge and practise is required.
LUKE. I would thinke my selfe happie, Jedi master Kenobi, if I could remember and performe all which you so courteouslie have imparted unto me of the Lightsaber fight, and as far as I may, I will do my diligence to practise that which y ou have taught.
The End of the Booke.