My favorite superhero is Batman. He fights using martial arts and his utility belt, which I love to read about when I was a child. Galen Marek (“Starkiller” in the Star Wars universe) has a nice backstory of how he became a Sith, but I always wondered how he fought with a lightsaber because that is what the franchise is known for!
If you are a Star Wars fan, you would have seen the fighting style of Galen Marek as Starkiller and his killer move as Force Fury.
You can easily relate to that style of fighting with the power of your mind(mind control) over your lightsaber, which manifests itself in a rage-like force that enables you to strike twice in a single move.
The end result is bigger than the sum of the parts, so it may be hard to identify individual elements of his style. (Don’t get me started on Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Form III style
Because things get confusing when all kinds and amounts are thrown around without any sort of context whatsoever, often art directors will stick writers in those parts where they want specific names for certain techniques—Shien being one such example.
Even more egregious, some producers throw along “shien-less” versions of movesets just so people could refer to them instead by name; other studios pick up these lists based solely upon word usage only. As far as who came first? That doesn’t matter here because we don’t even know their identity anyway–they probably wanted us not knowing how each individual piece was built from scratch.
The movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi introduces multiple lightsaber forms, including Soresu, Djem So, and Shien. But the latter one differs from the other two in that it is an ancient form of saber combat dating back to approximately 3000 BBY with no identified creator. In some cases, you can see elements of Form V (or Viman) within Marek’s moves.
The Force Unleashed video games one year later would then portray a second generation of Shien where the user used the more advanced lightsaber forms to enhance their power. This makes perfect sense when you consider how the original ‘masters’ were learned about and passed along in pre-Republic times.
To translate that into a video game, the canon does not exist directly like Ahsoka’s lightsaber form or even her fighting style. Yet, we do have at least one minor clue: The reverse grip blade technique mentioned above as it is found in mostly every work since Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999).
For example, we see Darth Maul use this grip in episodes 1 and 2 of The Clone Wars which debuted in fall 2008, only a little over 6 months after TFU. We also see it in Mace Windu’s fight against Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith (2005).
The reason it is given as a SITH variant is probably because most Sith use this grip instead of the traditional way as done by Jedi adepts like Obi Wan Kenobi for example. Though there are some exceptions to this rule; for example, Dooku from episode 3 uses his lightsaber in the usual way but is considered a Sith nonetheless.
When Kylo Ren uses the lightsaber variant of shien, it’s clear that shien is the only thing the move has in common with the more traditional forms. In fact, there’s nothing in the movie set to suggest shien at all. I am speaking from experience here. I have never used a lightsaber, but I have played with toy lightsabers as a kid and must say that Kylo’s version is not very different from Shay’s, who was also trained by Darth Vader.
The only difference between Kylo’s version and Shay’s is that the force awakens version does seem more aggressive and less precise, probably due to the force awakens style of fighting.
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