In Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 episode 5 “Gone with a Trace,” former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano (voiced by Ashley Eckstein) no longer possesses her lightsaber and has to rely on her martial arts skills to save a resident of Coruscant’s underworld level 1313. This is a sterling example that Jedi are trained fighters who do not need to solely rely on their lightsabers
“Gone with a Trace” follows Ahsoka after she leaves the Jedi Order. Driving away on her speeder, Ahsoka’s bike malfunctions, forcing her to crash land on mechanic’s shop and work on repairs. There she meets Trace Martez (voiced by Brigitte Kali Canales) who allows Ahsoka to use the shop’s tools, and the two spark a tense friendship, as Trace criticizes the Jedi’s roles in the Clone Wars and Ahsoka defends the Jedi but stops short of revealing that she used to be one.
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Angry creditors visit Trace, and as the exchange escalates to violence, Ahsoka intervenes, dispatching the creditor’s two bodyguards with roundhouse kicks and punches. The fight ends without Ahsoka even using her Force powers, showing that though a Jedi’s lightsaber may be “an elegant weapon for a civilized age,” as Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) puts it, the Jedi’s most iconic weapon isn’t their only means of defense. Ahsoka’s martial arts display in The Clone Wars isn’t the only time lightsaber-less combat was featured in the Star Wars universe.
In The Clone Wars Season 1, Episode 11, “Dooku Captured,” Count Dooku relieves Anakin of his lightsaber by using the Force to bring down a cave’s ceiling on top of him. Trapped inside, Anakin has to battle a gundark on his own, while Obi-Wan is busy trying to fix his shorted-out blade. Eventually, both Jedi use the Force to fling boulders at the beast, killing it.
One other example comes from an often overlooked chapter in the Star Wars saga. Set between Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Genndy Tartakovsky‘s short 2D animated series, Star Wars: Clone Wars, which is no longer considered canon, features an astounding fight without a lightsaber. In the season 2 episode “Chapter 12,” Mace Windu battled an entire battalion of Separatist battle droids by literally beating them with his fists and crushing them with the Force. Although he eventually found his lightsaber to finish the job, Windu certainly didn’t need it.
As Star Wars: The Clone Wars approaches its series finale, the show continues to expand what fans know about the Jedi and their fighting abilities. Though Ahsoka’s fight with Trace’s creditors isn’t the first time a Jedi character has fought without a lightsaber, the scene shows that the Jedi’s extensive training makes them skilled warriors even without the Force and their lightsabers.
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