Five Rings
Around a Gas Giant
A Book Of

By Yoda

Introduction

I have been many years training in the Way of the Jedi, and now I think I will explain it in writing for the first time. I have returned to Dagobah to study the Force. I am a Jedi Master, age nine hundred years.

From youth my heart has been inclined toward the Way of the Jedi. My first duel was when I was thirteen, I struck down a Sith, one Darth Khee. When I was sixteen I struck down an able Sith, Darth Tada Yama. When I was twenty-one I went up to the Coruscant and met all manner of Jedi, never once failing to win in many contests.

After that I went from planet to planet duelling with the Sith, and not once failed to win even though I had as many as six hundred encounters. This was between the ages of thirteen and two hundred and twenty-eight or twenty-nine.

When I reached three hundred I looked back on my past. The previous victories were not due to my having mastered the lightsaber. Perhaps it was natural ability, or the power of the Force, or that I was so short the Sith did not see me. After that I studied morning and evening searching for the principle, and came to realise the Way when I was five hundred and one.

Since then I have lived without following any particular Way. To write this book I did not use the law of Kun or the teachings of Odan-Urr, neither old war records nor books on martial tactics. I record this to explain the true spirit of the Jedi as it is mirrored in the Way of the Force. The time is the night of the tenth day of the tenth month, at the hour of the Wookie.

The Planet Book

The lightsaber is the craft of the Jedi. The Council must teach the craft, and Jedi should know this Way. There is no Jedi in the galaxy today who really understands the Way of the lightsaber.

Generally speaking, the Way of the Jedi is resolute acceptance of death. Although not only Jedi but lowlier folk have been known to die readily in the cause of duty or out of shame, this is a different thing. The Jedi is different in that studying the Way of the lightsaber is based on overcoming the Dark Side. By victory gained in crossing sabers with the Sith, or enjoining battle with large numbers, we can attain peace and balance in the Force. This is the virtue of the lightsaber.

Jedi should train from the start with the lightsaber in their hand. This is the truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.

To master the virtue of the lightsaber is to master the galaxy and oneself, thus the lightsaber is the basis of the Jedi Way. The principle is “negotiation by means of the lightsaber.” If he attains the virtue of the lightsaber, one Jedi can beat ten enemies. Just as one Jedi can beat ten, so a hundred Jedi can beat a thousand, and a thousand Jedi can beat ten thousand. In my strategy, one is the same as ten thousand, so this is the complete warrior’s craft.

In both the Jedi and the Sith practitioners of the Way have been known as “masters.” Recently there have been people getting on in the galaxy as Jedi, but they are usually just impatient children with lightsabers. In the time of the Republic being a Jedi was not limited to lightsaber-fencing. The true value of lightsaber-fencing cannot be seen within the confines of fencing alone.

The Way is shown in five books concerning different aspects. These are Planet, Swamp, Star, Hyperspace, and the Force. It is difficult to realise the true Way just through lightsaber-fencing. Know the smallest things and the biggest things, the shallowest things and the deepest things. As if it were a map of all the planets in the galaxy, the first book is called the Planet book.

Second is the Swamp book. With water as the basis, the Force becomes like water. Water adopts the shape of its receptacle, it is sometimes a trickle and sometimes a stagnant swamp. Water has a dull brown colour.

If you master the principles of lightsaber-fencing, when you freely beat one enemy, you beat any enemy in the galaxy. The spirit of defeating a man is the same for ten million men. The Force makes small things into big things, like lifting a great X-wing from a stagnant swamp. I cannot write in detail how this is done. The principle of the Force is having one thing, to know ten thousand things. These things are written in this the Swamp book.

Third is the Star book. This book is about fighting. The spirit of stars is fierce, whether the star be small or big; and so it is with battles. The Way of battles is the same for one on one fights and for ten thousand a side battles. You must appreciate that Force can become big or small. What is big is easy to perceive: what is small is difficult to perceive. In short, it is difficult for large numbers of men to change position, so their movements can be easily predicted. An individual can easily change his mind, so his movements are difficult to predict. Thus combat in battle is described in the Star book.

Fourthly the Hyperspace book. In this book I clearly explain the strategies of the galaxy. This is tradition. It is difficult to know yourself if you do not know others. To all Ways there are side-tracks. If you are following the Light Side and diverge a little, this will later lead to the Dark Side. You must realise this. The benefit of my Way, although it includes lightsaber-fencing, lies in a separate principle.

Fifthly, the book of the Force. By the Force I mean that which has no beginning and no end. Attaining this principle means not attaining the principle. The Way of the Force is the Way of nature. When you appreciate the power of the Force, knowing the future of any situation, you will be able to hit the enemy naturally and strike naturally. All this is the Way of the Force. I intend to show how to follow the true Way according to nature in the book of the Force.

If you practise day and night in your understanding of the Force will naturally broaden. This is recorded for the first time in the five books of Planet, Swamp, Star, Hyperspace, and Force. This is the Way of the Jedi.

Do not think dishonestly.
The Jedi Way is in training.
Become aquainted with every species.
Feel the Force.
Distinguish between the Light Side and the Dark Side.
Develop intuitive judgement.
Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
Pay attention even to trifles.
Do nothing which is of no use.

It is important to start by setting these broad principles in your heart, and train in the Way of the Jedi. If you learn to use the Force you will never lose even to twenty or thirty enemies. More than anything to start with you must set your heart on the Light Side and earnestly stick to the Way or the Jedi. You will come to be able to actually beat Sith in fights. Also by training you will be able to freely control your own body, conquer enemies with your body, and with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten enemies with your mind-tricks. When you have reached this point, will it not mean that you are invincible?

Moreover, in large scale battle the Jedi man will manage many subordinates dextrously, bear himself correctly, govern the galaxy and foster the people, thus preserving the ruler’s discipline. But if there is a Way involving the spirit of selfishness, to help oneself and gain honour, it is the Way of the Dark Side.

The Swamp Book

Dagobah is covered in swamp, and this Swamp Book explains methods of victory with the lightsaber. Language does not extend to explaining the Way in detail, but it can be grasped with the help of the Force. Study this book; read a word then ponder on it. If you interpret the meaning wrongly you will turn to the Dark Side.

These principles are written down here in terms of single combat, but you must think broadly so that you attain an understanding for ten-thousand-a-side battles. The Force is different from other things in that if you mistake the Way even a little you will become bewildered and fall to the Dark Side.

The Force in Combat

In combat your awareness of the Force must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm. Do not let your mind be influenced by your body, or your body influenced by your mind. Do not let the enemy sense your use of the Force.

Small Jedi must be completely familiar with the mind of large beings. Whatever your size, do not be misled by the reactions of your own body. With your mind open and unconstricted, look at things from a high point of view. You must cultivate your wisdom, and learn to distinguish between the Light and Dark Sides. When you cannot be deceived you will have realised the wisdom of the Force.

The Gaze in Combat

The gaze should be large and broad, and focused on the living Force. This is the twofold gaze “Perception and Sight.” Perception is strong and sight weak. In combat it is important to see things before they happen. It is important to know what the enemy’s lightsaber will do and not to be distracted by insignificant movements of his lightsaber. Do not look at his lightsaber or you will be blinded.

Footwork

Stand firmly with your heels lifted, your weight on the tips of your toes. Whether you move fast or slow, with large or small steps, your feet must always move as in normal walking. You may also use the Force to jump, bounce and float.

The Guard of No Guard

“Guard of No Guard” means that there is no need for what are known as lightsaber guards. Defence may be made against every attack.

The primary thing when you take a lightsaber in your hands is your intention to strike the enemy, whatever the means. Whenever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the enemy’s lightsaber, you must cut the enemy in the same movement. It is essential to attain this. More than anything, you must be thinking of carrying your movement through to cutting him. You must thoroughly research this.

The Swamp Cut

The Swamp Cut is used when you are struggling blade to blade with the enemy. When he pushes against your lightsaber, flow into a hanging guard like stagnant water and cut him from below. You can cut with certainty if you learn this.

The Hutt’s Arms

The Hutt’s Arms means not stretching out your arms. The idea is to defend without in the least extending your arms, before the enemy cuts them off. You must research this well.

To Strive for Height

By “to strive for height” is meant, when you are shorter than your enemy, to leap about and strive with him for superior height by using the Force. When you have the high ground, attack strongly. You must learn this if you are very short.

The Force Push

The Force Push means to push the enemy with the Force. Turn your face a little aside with your left hand thrust out. Use the Force to push the enemy away, striking as strongly as possible in time with your breathing. If you achieve this method, you will be able to knock him ten or twenty feet away. It is also possible to push heavy objects at the enemy until he is dead. Train well.

To Cut Off the Legs

To Cut off the legs means, when fighting and there are obstructions above or to the sides, you must cut at the enemy’s legs. This principle is often useful when you are very short. If you are tall you must become short; if you lean down, your enemy can step back and strike you on the head. You must understand the application of this method.

There are Many Enemies

“There are many enemies” applies when you are fighting one against many. Hold your lightsaber in one hand and use the Force to push them around. The idea is to chase and push the enemies around from side to side, even though they come from all four directions. Observe their attacking order, and go to meet first those who attack first. Sweep your eyes around broadly, carefully examining the attacking order, and cut left and right alternately with your lightsaber. Waiting is bad. Always quickly resume your guard, cut the enemies down as they advance, or throw things at them with the Force as they attack. Whatever you do, you must drive the enemy together, so they are in single file like Sandpeople, and when they are seen to be lined up, cut them down strongly without giving them room to move.

Conclusion

To learn how to win with the lightsaber in combat, absorb the Way of the lightsaber naturally in your body. You must understand distance and timing, handle the lightsaber naturally, and move body and legs in harmony with your mind.

Study the contents of this book, taking one item at a time, and through fighting with enemies you will gradually come to know the principle of the lightsaber.

Planet by planet cross the ten thousand planet Republic.

Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over the unskilled. Next, in order to beat more skilful enemies, train according to this book, not allowing your heart to be swayed to the Dark Side, even if you kill an enemy.

The Star Book

My training is by way of many contests, fighting for survival, discovering the meaning of life and death, learning the Way of the Force, judging the strength of attacks and understanding the Way of the lightsaber. My Way is the sure method to win when fighting for your life one man against five or ten. There is nothing wrong with the principle “one can beat ten, so a thousand men can beat ten thousand.” You must research this. Of course you cannot assemble a thousand or ten thousand men for everyday training. But you can become a master by training alone with a lightsaber, so that you can understand the enemy’ strategies, his strength and resources, and come to appreciate how to apply strategy to beat ten thousand enemies.

Any Jedi who wants to master the Force must research diligently, training morning and evening. Thus can he polish his skill, become free from self, and realise extraordinary ability. He will come to possess miraculous power.

This is the practical result of the Force.

Examine your environment. Stand in the sun; that is, take up an attitude with the sun behind you. In buildings, you must stand with the entrance behind you or to your right. Make sure that your rear is unobstructed. At night, if the enemy can be seen by the light of your saber, keep the entrance behind you. You must look down on the enemy, and take up your guard on higher ground. For example, Obi Wan Kenobi defeated Anakin Skywalker from the high ground.

When the fight comes, always endeavour to use the Force to push the enemy towards awkward places, and try to keep him with his back to awkward places. When the enemy gets into an inconvenient position, do not let him look around, but conscientiously push him around and pin him down. In houses, push the enemy into the doors, pillars, and so on, again not letting him see his situation. Always push the enemy into bad footholds, obstacles at the side, and so on, using the virtues of the place to establish predominant positions from which to fight. You must research and train diligently in this.

In combat it is bad to be pushed about by the enemy. You must always be able to push the enemy about. Obviously the enemy will also be thinking of doing this, but he cannot forestall you if you do not allow him. In combat, you must stop the enemy as he attempts to strike. Whatever the enemy tries to bring about in the fight you must see in advance and suppress it.

What is recorded is what has been constantly on my mind about lightsaber fencing, written down as it came to me. This is the first time I have written about my technique, and a bit confused is the order of things. It is difficult to express it clearly when nine hundred years old you are.

The Hyperspace Book

In combat you must know the Ways of other weapons, so I have written about various other forms of combat in this the Hyperspace Book.

Without knowledge of other weapons, it is difficult to understand the essence of the lightsaber. Looking at other weapons we find some that specialise in shooting beams of energy. Some use heavy metal weapons to strike their enemies. Some program destroyer droids to shoot their enemies. None of these are the true Way I show clearly in this book.

Some of the galaxy’s warriors are concerned only with blaster combat, and limit their training to marksmanship. But is marksmanship alone sufficient to win? This is not the essence of the Way of the Jedi.

I have recorded the unsatisfactory points of other weapons one by one in this book. You must study these matters deeply to appreciate the benefit of the lightsaber.

The Blaster

Some races have a liking for blasters. From my point of view these are weak weapons. Their preference is for the blaster, whereby they think to defeat the enemy from a distance. This is because they do not appreciate the principle of perceiving the attack before it happens.

In this galaxy it is said, “Ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster,” but these are the idle words of one who does not know the Force. It shows the inferior thinking of a weak spirit that men should be dependant on fighting from a distance without the benefit of the Force.

I expect there is a case for the liking of blasters, if we compare this with real life. But surely we need not necessarily be defeated if we are using a lightsaber? It is difficult for these people to hit a Jedi when at close quarters because of the Force. The Jedi can see their shots before they fire and reflect them back at the firer, and they are at a disadvantage compared to the Jedi armed with a lightsaber.

From olden times it has been said “beware the Mandoralean” so I do not unconditionally dismiss the blaster. What I dislike is the inclination away from the lightsaber. If we consider large-scale strategy, we can think of large forces in terms of blasters, and small forces as lightsabers. Cannot a few give battle against many? There are many instances of a few Jedi overcoming many.

Other Weapons

Using a weapon that is not a lightsaber is not the Way of the Jedi. In ancient times, weapons such as the Energy Lance, Power Lance, Force Pike, Electrostaff and Vibroblade were used throughout the galaxy for close quarters combat. However, they are heavy and a lightsaber is light. A lightsaber can cut most of these weapons in half. Even if they are made from a lightsaber-resistant phrik alloy, the Jedi can use the method of using the Force to throw his lightsaber as his enemy.

The Sith use of the Lightsaber

I think it is held by the Sith that there are many methods of using special lightsabers in order to gain the admiration of their masters, such as double-ended lightsabers and kink-handled lightsabres. These are ridiculous weapons for combat. The reason for this is that to rely on special weapons for cutting down an enemy is an error. To start with, killing is not the Way to the Light Side. Killing is the same for people who know about fighting and for those who do not.

Fixing the Eyes

Some maintain that the eyes should be fixed on the enemy’s weapon. If you fix the eyes on the lightsaber you will be blinded by the light.

I will explain this in detail. Pod racers do not fix their eyes on the other racers, but on the racetrack ahead of them. When you become accustomed to something, you are not limited to the use of your eyes. Jedi may flourish the lightsaber in several ways when they have mastered the Way, but this does not mean that they fix their eyes on it, or that they make pointless movements of the lightsaber. It means that they can see with the Force.

In the Way of the Jedi, when you have fought many times you will easily be able to appraise the speed and position of the enemy’s lightsaber, and having mastery of the Way you will see his moves before he makes them. In combat, using the Force means trusting your feelings. “Perception” and “sight” are the two methods of seeing. Perception consists of using the Force, observing the fight before it happens. This is the sure way to win.

In single combat you must not fix on details, rely on your eyes or targeting computers. As I said before, if you fix your eyes on details and neglect important things, you will become bewildered, and victory will escape you. Research this principle well and train diligently.

The Book of the Force

The Jedi Way of combat is recorded in this the Book of the Force.

What is called the Force is the balance of all there is, which when in balance becomes nothing. Of course the Force is nothingness! By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist. That is the Force.

People in this galaxy look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be the Force. This is not the true Force. It is bewilderment.

Those who study as Jedi think that whatever they cannot understand in their craft is the Force. This is not the true Force.

To become One with the Force as a Jedi you must not deviate even a little from the Way of the Light Side. With your mind clear and settled, practice day by day, and hour by hour. Polish the twofold spirit of heart and mind, and sharpen the twofold gaze of perception and sight. When your mind is not in the least clouded, when the clouds of bewilderment clear away, there is the true Force.

Until you become One with the true Force, you may think that things are in balance. However, if we look at things objectively, from the viewpoint of the history of the galaxy, we see various Jedi departing from the Light Side and becoming Sith. In the Force is both virtue and evil, light and dark. To know the Force is to become One with nothingness, and to embrace death.

This is the Way of the Jedi.