In the Star Wars universe, Mace Windu demonstrated a lightsaber style that could indicate that he was closer to the Dark Side than he would like to admit.
The star Wars The prequels feature some of the most unique and powerful Jedi in all of canon. Each member carried with them a particular skill or mindset that set them apart from the rest. One of the most iconic and beloved of the order was Jedi Master Mace Windu. His adoration is so strong, in fact, that many believe that he is still roaming the galaxy after his apparent disappearance in Revenge of the Sith.
Mace carries with him great power and skill, exemplified in his use of the lightsaber. However, his particular shape puts him in a dangerous position. What very few Jedi knew was that Mace’s skills with the saber forced him to venture dangerously close to the Dark Side. In fact, he is the only known master of a completely original saber style known as Vapaad.
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But to understand Vapaad, it is important to know the form that gave birth to it, Form VII, also known as Juyo or “The Form of Ferocity”. This style mainly focuses on erratic saber movements, speed and rage. Darth Sidious has even described the form as “The Sith way.” Its highly volatile nature requires masters to learn other saber shapes before even attempting it. Most Dark Side users adopted this style as it is, by nature, intended to disrupt the flow of saber techniques used by other Jedi.
Juyo practitioners fight as if they have been building pressure for days. Every move is explosive and fueled by rage. Darth Sidious and Darth Maul were masters of style. Maul’s double-bladed saber proved to be a great tool for disrupting the flow of the Jedi. With the style restricted by the Jedi, Mace was tasked with finding a way to use the technique forever and focus his own darkness in light.
As Mace perfected this new form, he began to understand the pent-up feelings that led weak-minded Jedi to the Dark Side. Vapaad was his creation and he discovered that it was the most complete version of Form VII. He was able to moderate his aggression in his style, yielding to the excitement of battle without allowing those feelings to taint him. His Vapaad style also solved Juyo’s two main weaknesses.
In the original style, the dark side users were forced to sacrifice any defense while succumbing to rage. Therefore, they were left open to counterattacks. Vapaad managed to eliminate these weaknesses and even gave the user the ability to take on multiple enemies both defensively and offensively. Mace trained his body and mind to combat the rigors of the style and came out as one of the most accomplished swordsmen in the galaxy.
Giving in to emotion during a battle granted Mace great power. With Vapaad, his speed and ferocity with the saber are unmatched and can be seen in various appearances in cartoons and movies. While he is not the only Jedi to be tempted by the Dark Side, he is one of the few to take the power it offers and use it forever. Vapaad not only recognizes the power of the dark side, but also recognizes the determination of its creator.
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