Form IV: Ataru is the fourth of seven lightsaber combat forms. When applied in-game, the form of Ataru relies heavily on acrobatic feats such as strafe-jumping as well as different types of advanced cartwheels, which are each employed in their very own situation. Ataru is said to be a defensive approach on dueling despite its heavy use of acrobatic maneuvers, but is yet also considered to be an offensive approach depending on the situation. The fourth form teaches the practitioner how to implement strafe-jumping, cartwheels and different aerial attacks in duels, as well as how to use the environment to your advantage. Ataru specialises in the use of the yellow dueling stance and is often used against opponents using either the red or the yellow stance.


The master practitioners of Form IV make extensive use of acrobatic maneuvers often thought physically impossible without the aid of the Force. It is much like the more obscure form known as Sokan, with which Ataru has cross-fertilized. The given name is spelled "Ataru" in the Knights of the Old Republic II video game, but is spelled "Ataro" in the Revenge of the Sith novelization, Labyrinth of Evil, and Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader; "ataru" is its canon spelling. The name may have been derived from the Japanese verb ataru, which means "to hit", "to strike."

This was one of the more recent lightsaber combat forms developed, developed by the Jedi Knights during the earlier centuries of the Old Republic, around the time of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. It emphasized acrobatic strength and power in wielding the blade, attributes which were frowned upon by many traditional Jedi Knights and Masters. It found a niche among the eager padawan learners of the time, who believed that the Jedi needed to become more involved in rooting out crime and evil and eradicating it. Ataru relies on wide slashes, acrobatic proficiency and an open space for the Jedi to fight. One basis for the acrobatic nature of Ataru is that lightsabers can damage with brushing, light strokes, rather than hard chopping motions. Ataru practitioners are at a great disadvantage if fighting in a small area. This weakness was demonstrated in The Phantom Menace, when Qui-Gon Jinn was killed by Darth Maul in a confined space. Yoda, however, practiced Form IV with such speed that, when coupled with his small size, left every point on an opponent's body open to attack while more than adequately defending himself. Agen Kolar may have also been an Ataru practitioner, because, in Episode III, Kolar goes into the same defensive position while facing Sidious that Qui-Gon and Yoda had used previously.

Yoda was acknowledged as the greatest master of Ataru. He used it in almost all of his battles, and the style made him a virtually unstoppable whirlwind of destruction despite his small size and advanced age.[14] Qui-Gon Jinn was also a master of this form. Kenobi was also very advanced in Ataru, but abandoned it in favor of Soresu because he felt that his master's death demonstrated a fatal flaw in Ataru's defensive capabilities.[14] Nevertheless, Obi-Wan applied Ataru acrobatics to face Count Dooku and Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.

Aayla Secura is also a master of this form, according to Jan Duursema, who co-created the Twi'lek Jedi; Quinlan Vos had taught Aayla Form IV. Darth Sidious used a Sith variant of this form, which included stabs and wide swings. Darth Maul's fighting style was largely Form VII, but also used acrobatics associated with Ataru to make himself an even more devastating warrior.

Techniques and Concepts

In dire situations, Form IV practitioners use the Force to aid in their acrobatics. Spinning, jumping and running very high and very fast, masters of Form IV are sometimes only seen as a blur. In order to achieve the acrobatic prowess, amazing reflexes and physical punch of this form, a Jedi Master would focus on the Force, letting it flow deeply throughout his entire physical being, even allowing him to overcome the limitations of old age, or poor conditioning.


Due to its aggressive nature, it is an effective form to use against single enemies; however, it leaves the user open to attacks from multiple opponents; therefore, it is wise to use Ataru in a duel, but not in open warfare. Emotional control is key, as is letting one's emotions fly free. This is not a contradiction, as displayed by Yoda's firm control despite his screams and grunts.

In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Jedi Master Tsui Choi was another Jedi as small in size as Yoda, but demonstrated similar Force acrobatics in lightsaber fighting, making him a possible practitioner of Ataru. Master Choi was one of the Jedi who survived the initial stage of the Jedi Purge along with Bultar Swan.

Beings similar in height to Yoda, Yaddle and Even Piell may have been Ataru practitioners as well. The greatest flaw of Ataru is also its greatest strength. The acrobatics will make the practitioner vulnerable to having their legs being chopped off (Count Dooku attempted to do this in the Episode III novelization when he thought Anakin and Obi-Wan were Shii-Cho/Ataru practitioners)

Asajj Ventress may have been an Ataru practitioner based on her acrobatic performance in the arena on Rattatak in the first season of the Clone Wars cartoon series.

In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the Jedi Exile can learn Ataru from Master Vrook.


Known practitioners in {JoF}:

Known practitioners in the universe: Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn, Darth Sidious, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Darth Revan, Quinlan Vos, Aayla Secura.

Shree Koon using Ataru against Ghajnm:

  • Video*

See Also