The Acolyte: What Makes Qimir's Fighting Style So Unique

Qimir fights Jecki in The Acolyte
Credit: Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney; Fair use for news and promotional purposes

Qimir fights Jecki in The Acolyte
Credit: Credit: Lucasfilm | Disney; Fair use for news and promotional purposes

The Acolyte finally revealed the identity of Darth Teeth and Qimir (Manny Jacinto) has proven that he’s a capable enough fighter—so capable, in fact, that he was able to take out an entire squad of Jedi. But what makes his style so unique?

With The Acolyte taking place during the High Republic, where lightsaber skills are honed to perfection, some fans have been able to point out exactly what lightsaber form Qimir uses and how it gave him the upper hand against Sol and his team.

What are the Lightsaber Forms in Star Wars?

When it comes to Star Wars lore, there are a total of seven lightsaber forms, most of which are used by the Jedi, but the Sith are also known to incorporate some of these techniques into their fighting style.

Though it is common practice for Jedi to specialize in one form of lightsaber combat, there is a tendency for them to adopt moves from a different form depending on the kind of situation they find themselves in.

Osha and Qimir in The Acolyte
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Credit: Lucasfilm; Fair use for news and promotional purposes

The known lightsaber forms are:

Form I: Shii-Cho – The oldest form of lightsaber combat, taught to all the youngling Jedi as a basic form.

Form II: Makashi – An ‘efficient and elegant’ form of lightsaber combat that focuses on saber-to-saber battle. This is the form specialized by Count Dooku.

Form III: Soresu – A defensive form which was developed to counter against blasters. It is said to have limited defensive capabilities.

Form IV: Ataru – A physical fighting style that focuses on offense. It’s said that practicioners had to use the Force to guide their movements which would make this very demanding on the fighter. Only masters like Yoda are able to use this form.

Form V: Shien/Djem Sho – Another physically demanding style that is said to be a good balance between attack and defense. This was the style used by Anakin Skywalker and his padawan Ahsoka Tano. It was also said to be the form that makes use of the reverse grip of the lightsaber.

Form VI: Niman – A form that’s said to be the most popular among the Jedi because of its practicality. It’s said to draw on techniques from all the forms that came before it, but with none of their strengths; often the user is said to balance the form out with the use of Force powers during combat.

Form VII: Juyo/Vaapad – Considered a controversial form for the Jedi since it’s fuelled by tapping into their emotions. This form is said to be unpredictable and aggressive, and only few Jedi have been able to use it without succumbing to the Dark Side (e.g. Mace Windu).

Jar’Kai – A method that’s said to specialize on dual-wielding lightsabers regardless of the number of blades on either device.

There are also noted Forbidden Forms of lightsaber combat, in which the Sith allegedly specialize. Against these, the ‘lightwhip’—wielded by Vernestra Rwoh—was said to be the most effective defense.

Analyzing Qimir's Fight Style and Form

Though he's had to mask his identity, Qimir has proven himself to be a very skilled duelist and some fans have been able to point out the specific forms that he uses in his fight with Sol’s team.

As expected of a Dark Side user, Qimir’s primary form is Form VII/Juyo which uses his emotions and ferocity. What also helps with his unpredictability in battle is that he appears to wear cortosis armor that allows him to short out the weapons of the Jedi he comes in contact with.

At some points in the battle, Qimir can even be seen headbutting a lightsaber to deactivate the blade. Pretty badass.

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Seeing that Qimir’s lightsaber sometimes splits into two, some have pointed out that his style also makes use of Form V (just like Ahsoka), and the use of the Force to double-impale some Jedi and cut off their heads could be a use of Form VI which incorporates Force powers during combat.

Onscreen Lightsaber Combat Evolution

The forms of lightsaber combat in the Star Wars universe were defined by the Prequel Trilogy, and it was in these films that a more refined way of fighting with lightsabers was first introduced.

This makes sense, since the stories are set during a time when the Jedi were still in power and they had a whole order that trained people in combat.

When it came to the Original Trilogy, the lightsaber combat scenes were pretty rough around the edges, but no less spectacular to watch. The Sequel Trilogy also adheres to this rougher fighting style (since there were no established Jedi orders at the time it's set), though fans have pointed out that Kylo Ren has a but more style to his fighting, such as alternating his saber grip during battles.

Lightwhip Versus Lightsaber

Going back to Qimir and The Acolyte though. Earlier we mentioned the forbidden lightsaber forms, for which one of the best counters is the lightwhip. As Vernestra Rwoh uses a lightwhip herself, it’s possible that she could eventually find herself clashing with Qimir in second half of the season. After all, there’s no way that she could have an entire squad of Jedi taken out and brush it under the rug like she’s done so far.

Besides the truth about what really happened on Brendok, fans are also looking forward to the rematch between the Jedi and what could be a new form of the Sith. Qimir was able to easily take out Sol’s team, but Vernestra Rwoh is a battle-hardened Jedi (see the High Republic expanded material), and she may very well be above his skill level.

Then again, the Jedi have no idea that the Sith exist by the time of The Phantom Menace a hundred years later, so it’s very possible that anyone who ever runs into Qimir won’t live to tell the tale. Either they die, or they’ll be compelled to keep his existence a secret. So there’s probably something else about him that the show still hasn’t revealed.

Catch new episodes of The Acolyte Wednesdays on Disney+.

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