- "I created Vaapad to answer my weakness: it channels my own darkness into a weapon of the light."
- — Mace Windu to Obi-Wan Kenobi
Form VII: Juyo / Vaapad, the Way of the Vornskr, or the Ferocity Form, is the last of the seven classic forms of lightsaber combat. The most challenging and demanding of all the classic forms, Form VII requires intense focus, a high degree of skill, and a mastery of other forms.
Form VII, when fully mastered (Juyo and Vaapad), results in extraordinary power.
Around the time of the Jedi Civil War, Juyo was already the lightsaber form relied upon by the greatest of the Jedi. Contrary to belief, Juyo was indeed a complete and effective form for millennia before Jedi Master Mace Windu created his version of Form VII, Vaapad. However, as Juyo masters and their skills became the casualties of war, the form fell into heavy disuse.
Juyo Form VII does not appear as fancy as Form IV, as there are not moves like twirling and flipping, but the technical requirements are much higher. Form VII also demands the emotional and physical intensity of Form V, but it much more effectively controls it.
Juyo uses seemingly free-wheeling and open movements, but with utter control on the part of the wielder. Intrepid, somewhat direct movements are used in combination with advanced techniques involving Force-powered jumps and motions. The end result, if practiced correctly, is a very unpredictable lightsaber style. The staccato swings and flow of the form can make it seem as if the attacks are not linked - but in reality, it is merely to confuse the opponent.
Darth Maul, who mastered Juyo, was so immersed in the Dark Side, yet so much in control of his anger that he could employ his own deadly variant of Juyo without fear. However, Darth Maul only devoted to the form's physical focus, thus he remained silent during the duels on Tatooine and Naboo. Maul desired pure physical victory, rather than the "higher" Sith tradition of Dun Möch.
When Mace Windu developed Vaapad, he used the basic tenets of Juyo and then expanded upon them. His style is named after the vaapad, an aquatic predator from Sarapin. It was said to be impossible to tell how many tentacles a vaapad has until it’s dead, which is a good description of the style.
Vaapad is not just a fighting style. It is a state of mind and a power. The state of mind requires that users of Vaapad allow themselves to enjoy the fight. They have to give themselves over to the thrill of battle, the rush of winning. Vaapad is a path that leads through the penumbra of the Dark Side. The power of Vaapad is simple: it is a channel for one's inner darkness; and it is a reflecting device. With strict control, a Jedi's own emotions and inner darkness can be changed into a weapon of the light.
Vaapad borders on the edge of falling to the Dark Side, as it channels one's enjoyment of fighting into the attack. Only Windu's mastery and concentration on the light side prevented him from succumbing to his own anger, which is why Vaapad was rarely practiced and very dangerous.
Vaapad has also been described as "a superconducting loop," with the user on one end and the opponent on the other. It is able to take the powers of the opponent and reflect it back at them.
The power of Vaapad is quite incredible: it is at once a form of lightsaber combat, a state of mind, and an actual tangible power. To use it requires great mastery, discipline and, above all else, purity of heart and spirit. Vaapad users are intense, focused, and introverted. There are even signs of pent-up hostility in them.
When Mace Windu was killed at the start of the Great Jedi Purge, it was thought his highly dangerous style was lost forever to history…
Revival of VaapadEdit
The powerful Lightsaber Master, Tulsar Leidias, while never having been formally taught Vaapad, eventually managed to revive Vaapad after Windu’s death. Roughly twenty at the time of the Purge, Tulsar was already heavily invested in learning the lightsaber forms and was greatly interested in Windu’s powerful style, gathering what information he could on it. At the time it was only for his own casual interest as Tulsar didn’t have an inner darkness to channel and thus knew he could never successfully use Vaapad without it. Instead he settled for Juyo, which employed many of the same moves as Vaapad, but didn’t grant the same kind of power.
Tulsar managed to survive the Purge through various factors and retained the knowledge he had collected beforehand. It wouldn’t be until his family was murdered by the Darksider known as Sivter that Tulsar would discover a need to bring Vaapad back. The loss of his wife and son was so crushing that Tulsar found it difficult to cope and not fall to the Dark Side. The survival of his daughter, Kalja, helped but Tulsar soon discovered that he only felt truly at peace within himself while practicing with his lightsaber.
This convinced him that it would be possible, indeed necessary, for him to recreate Vaapad. Over the course of several years Tulsar dedicated all the time he could to this goal. He gathered as much information as he could find during the course of his travels and then used his own understanding of lightsaber combat and its connection to a Jedi to fill in the gaps. After much trial and error, Tulsar was eventually able to duplicate Vaapad’s feats.
While it likely will never be the exact form as initially created by Mace Windu, Tulsar’s version of it covers all the tenets and abilities seen in Vaapad up until Windu’s death. Slight variations between Tulsar and Windu’s versions are bound to be present, but without in-depth details of the original to compare it to, such questions are largely academic. Tulsar’s recreated form is essentially Vaapad incarnate.
Known Exodus Masters of Form VIIEdit
- "Form VII, also called Juyo, is the most difficult and demanding of all the forms. Only high-level masters of multiple forms can achieve and control this discipline, which can lead to fantastic power and skill."
- — Cin Drallig