Star Wars has made the Jedi’s Force-based martial arts style part of the official series canon. That would be the fighting style known as “Shon-Ju,” and it has deep roots in the Star Wars Legends side of the franchise.
Who Is Star Wars’ Shon-Ju?
The Shon-Ju fighting style is named after the infamous Jedi padawan from Star Wars Legends who fell out of the order and started his own cult during the Clone Wars.
Shon-Ju was able to channel the Force into his hands and wield it aggressively, preferring that method of combat to traditional lightsaber techniques. He taught his followers to also use Force-hands combat, making them a formidable threat to the Jedi. This was all detailed in the 2010s Star Wars: The Clone Wars comic series story “The Deadly Hands of Shon-Ju,” which has since been shifted over to the non-canon “Legends” section of the franchise.
Shon-Ju Is Now Star Wars Canon
The current Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight comic miniseries is filling in gaps of the year between Phase I and Phase III of The High Republic saga. Shadows of Starlight #3 centers on Jedi Padawan Bell Zettifar, and his unrelenting quest to punish the Nihil responsible for destroying the Republic’s Starlight Beacon, as well as save his friend and fellow Padawan, the Wookie Burryaga.
Bell accomplishes the latter part, and is re-united with with his Wookie buddy; however, when the pair get promoted to Jedi Knights, they take on a mission with Jedi Grandmaster Veter to provide aid to a settlement on the planet Asternin that was attacked by the Nihil. That mission turns out to be an ambush; The Nihil used the attack to bait the Jedi out of the closed ranks of their temple, and strike at prime targets – like a Grandmaster.
When the Bell, Burryaga, and Veter find themselves facing a Nihil squadron, the Jedi Grandmaster orders the two Knights to evacuate the citizens, and prepares to make a stand against the enemy on his own. The Nihil think they have the upper hand when they activate a Lightsaber Nullifier that keeps the Jedi from using their fabled swords – but Grandmaster Veter doesn’t need a sword when he reveals that he’s “trained, you see, in an ancient art of unarmed Force combat… Shon-Ju!”
Sure enough, this canonized version of Shon-Ju is a method of Force-based martial arts that allows Veter to dispatch the entire ground force of Nihil raiders without having to lay a single hand on any of them. Veter ultimately loses the battle when the Nihil use their ship’s weaponry to incapacitate him – but the display still proves that Shon-Ju is a powerful alternative to the kind of lightsaber and/or Force battle techniques we’ve seen before.
Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight is now on sale from Marvel Comics.