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 Vader's Apprentices, and Their Unorthodox Styles

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That1smartdude

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PostSubject: Vader's Apprentices, and Their Unorthodox Styles   19/09/14, 02:57 pm

By now, I'm sure many of you are familiar with Vader's most well-known apprentices, Galen Marek, Starkiller, and Lumiya. However, what some of you may not be aware of is that there were two more rather notable apprentices, Kharys and Flint. Lately I've read through all of the original Marvel Star Wars comic, which introduced Kharys, Flint, and Lumiya, and I noticed a rather interesting trend. Every one of Darth Vader's apprentices incorporated something unorthodox into their fighting.
To begin with, Flint is by far the least notable. Not because he's lacking in skill or power, but simply because the only thing that sets him apart from a traditionally trained Jedi or Sith is the fact that he prefers wearing a rather heavy battle armor, much like Vader's own. While it's never stated what kinds of benefits the armor provides, I can imagine that it would be quite similar to Vader's, providing him a limited resistance to blasters, lightsabers, and Force lightning, as well as giving him a far greater resistance to physical strikes. It's also worth noting that Flint is not reliant on this armor, unlike Vader, and that Flint's armor does not seem to impede his combative skills in any visible way. To the contrary, he proved himself to be an equal match to Luke Skywalker (Shortly after RotJ) in both strength and speed.
Next would be the slightly more notable Galen Marek and Starkiller. Much like Flint, they favor a style that is uncommon, but not unheard of. Galen Marek uses a Shien-style reverse grip, while his clone uses this reverse grip in conjuncture with Jar'Kai dual-blade fencing. They also rely far more heavily on their Force powers in combat than most other Force users. All these elements together make for a rather unorthodox, but not exactly unique style.
While Flint, Galen Marek, and Starkiller all have uncommon elements in their combative preferences, Kharys and Lumiya are the truly unique ones. To start with, Kharys, much like Mace Windu, created her own lightsaber style based off of Form VII. Trispzest, a form that relies on her ability to fly, is meant to use all the advantages provided by flight against grounded enemy combatants. She also incorporated attacks with her wings and talons into her lightsaber combat, as well as the occasional Force attack, making her a truly fatal enemy.
And at long last, we come to Vader's greatest success, Lumiya. While she may have shared the same limitations as Vader, courtesy of her cybernetics, she still proved to be one of Luke's most lethal enemies. This is thanks in part to her utterly unique weapon, a lightwhip that uses both energy and solid matter in a deadly combination that overwhelmed Luke Skywalker during their first encounter. Her lightwhip combined tendrils of energy as well as extensions of Mandalorian Iron-studded leather and flexible metal. Such a weapon gave her a massive advantage against opponents, and it took Luke creating a second lightsaber in order to defeat her the first time.
So, clearly, all of Vader's most notable apprentices gravitated toward the unorthodox. The question is, why? Well, to me, the answer is obvious. Vader intended to overthrow Darth Sidious. If he couldn't get Luke's help in doing so, he would be hard pressed to find an apprentice with the raw power it would take to do it. So instead, it makes sense to train his apprentices in the unorthodox in an attempt to gain any edge available in combat against such a lethal foe. Flint's armor could potentially make up for Vader's weakness to Sidious' lightning, as much like Vader's armor, I'm sure Flint's would prove resistant to electricity, and unlike Vader's, Flint's wouldn't short out and result in death from a few bursts. Galen Marek and Starkillers' reverse grip and dual-wielding might provide a slight edge against Sidious in combat (Though I find that unlikely, especially since Vader never even intended to use Galen Marek against Sidious). Kharys' Trispzest was intended to take advantage of every single edge provided to a flying combatant against a grounded one, and would potentially give her a slight edge against Sidious, or at the very least, force him to divide his attention to both the sky and the ground if he were combatting Vader and Kharys at once. And Lumiya's lightwhip provided her a major advantage against all of her opponents, due to its unique nature. It would almost certainly catch Sidious off-guard, and he would be hard-pressed to defend against both her lightwhip and Darth Vader's assaults at once. With all of his apprentices trained in the unorthodox, no matter who he used against Sidious, he would have a bit of an edge thanks to some unique trait they would bring to the table.
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