RotJ Luke vs. Exar Kun (sabers only)

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Stigma
Instead of facing Vader, Luke fights Exar onboard Death Star II.

Sabers only battle.

Starting distance: 30 feet



Who wins?

Stigma
So who wins this fight?

Underachiever59
Luke vs. Exar Kun is honestly kind of tricky. Exar Kun has plenty of great accolades, but few feats to his name to support them. Luke, on the other hand, has plenty of feats, even in Legends, but they're kind of hard to judge.

Let's look at the feats for Exar Kun to begin with:

We've seen him involved in only a handful of lightsaber duels that I recall. Pre-prime Kun beats a Pre-prime Sylvar during a training session, however he only wins after she lands the first hit (slicing him across the face with her claws), and he gets enraged, using his anger to drive him. While Sylvar has a handful of impressive feats to her name, most of those come far after this duel, if I remember correctly. Shortly after, the same pre-prime Kun dueled against Vodo-Siosk Baas. Baas initially disarmed Kun fairly easily, and only lost to Exar Kun when Kun used the Force to pull a second weapon to himself and started hammering away at Vodo Bass' force-enhanced wooden quarterstaff with both lightsabers until it broke. This isn't exactly a feat of superior swordsmanship over Vodo-Siosk Baas, as he didn't win through skill, but rather through sheer strength enough to break Vodo-Siosk Baas' weapon. If Vodo Baas used a lightsaber instead, we have no way of knowing how that fight may have gone. After this, the next dueling feat we have for Exar Kun is when he fought as an equal to Ulic Qel-Droma, who has a fair number of feats to his name, such as defeating Warb Null. Later on, after Exar Kun has given himself over to the Dark Side and began tutelage under Freedon Nadd's spirit, Exar Kun built a saberstaff and faced off against Vodo-Siosk Baas once more. However, much like in the last encounter, Exar Kun doesn't beat Vodo-Siosk Baas in pure swordsmanship. Kun uses an unconventional fighting style, this time with his saberstaff (the first of its kind, apparently), and again, wins by smashing through Baas' staff with brute strength.

There are tons of accolades in various sources citing Exar Kun as being a legendary swordsman and one of the best of his era, and on and on. However, by feats alone, he's rather lacking. A duel where he was injured by Sylvar before winning, a duel where he was disarmed by Vodo-Siosk Baas before winning by breaking through a piece of Force-augmented wood with brute strength, another duel where he won by brute strength, and stalemating a pre-prime Ulic Qel-Droma. That's pretty much it for dueling feats for Kun. If this Versus weren't sabers only, and included the full array of Kun's Force abilities, he'd fare far better here. As is, he has three rather unimpressive feats and one decent feat against a pre-prime Qel-Droma.

Now let's look at Luke's feats in Legends (as I assume we're using Legends Luke, not Canon Luke). The first lightsaber duel Luke took part in was against Kharys, a Dark Jedi trained by Darth Vader after the events of Revenge of the Sith. She created her own lightsaber style, involving aerial combat. This style was based off of Form VII, and integrated attacks from her talons and wings as well. This duel was roughly a year after A New Hope, during which time Luke had been practicing with his lightsaber constantly (as we see in several sources, including the old Marvel comics and a couple books, if I recall). Luke held his own against Kharys well enough that she ended up resorting to trying to paralyze him with the Force. Luke feigned being immobilized, then parried and struck her down the instant before she could have killed him. Next, we have two duels between Baron Orman Tagge and Luke. Orman Tagge has spent over a decade mastering the lightsaber as best as a non-Force-sensitive possibly could, training daily for hours on end with the sole intent of using this skill to get revenge on Darth Vader for having blinded him. Initially Luke's lack of experience almost cost him the duel, but Luke allowed the Force to guide him and easily bested Orman Tagge in their first encounter. In the second, Luke was solidly Orman Tagge's superior, and was forced to kill Tagge when the baron refused to relent. Luke also briefly held his own against Celeste Morne, managing to defend against her lightsaber assault, but failing to avoid a well-placed kick. Morne has been shown contending with the likes of Darth Vader and Darth Krayt. Later, during the events of Empire Strikes Back, the comic Luke Skywalker and the Treasure of the Dragonsnake gave us a training session between Luke and Yoda. While Luke was initially bested pretty quickly, he was able to adapt to Yoda's style and find a weakness in Yoda's tactics, actually managing to defeat Yoda, by the Jedi Master's own admission.

Of course, Luke's two most impressive feats are his duels against Darth Vader in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In Empire, Luke is initially overwhelmed by Vader, but throughout the duel, he is able to adapt. After Force-pulling his lightsaber back to his hand, Luke is able to drive Vader back enough to knock Vader from the carbon freezing platform. In the next room, Luke is able to match Vader in lightsaber combat until Vader starts attacking Luke with the Force. And when Vader cuts loose toward the end, Luke is still able to actually land a strike on Vader's shoulder. A couple inches higher, and Luke would have struck down Vader there and then. The novel Shadows of the Empire confirms that Vader had actually been trying to best Luke, as recruiting him wouldn't be worth the effort if Luke were weak. So, a Vader who was actually trying still got tagged by Luke in Empire Strikes Back. Then we get to Return of the Jedi, and Luke has grown enough to be called Vader's equal in lightsaber combat by several sources over the years. Some sources even tell us that Luke may actually be the better of the two. Both the comic and the novelization of Return of the Jedi tell us that Vader was bringing his full force to bear against Luke, with Vader "exhibiting more deadly invincibility than ever!" and bringing "his full strength and power to bear against the younger man."

From all of this, I'd say Luke has more feats to his name, with plenty of accolades in various sources as well. But at the same time, Exar Kun has a landslide of accolades to his name too. The real question here seems to be which is more impressive, being an even match to Ulic Qel-Droma, or being an even match to Darth Vader? Personally, I went into this expecting to favor Exar Kun. But looking through various Kun respect threads and Ulic Qel-Droma respect threads, I'm just not seeing the feats or accolades putting either of them above Vader. I'm aware the Kun vs. Vader match up has been done several times in the past, but there always seems ot be a lot of contention over it.

So, to sum up, I think Luke has more impressive feats to his name, and would be able to put up an excellent fight against Exar Kun. Being able to beat Yoda in a sparring session, and being an equal to Darth Vader at least put him in the same league as Exar Kun, if not above him. It really boils down to whether or not Luke could contend with Kun's saberstaff. However, given Luke's adaptability, I don't see the double-bladed lightsaber being much of a threat to Luke. Given most of Kun's most notable victories stemmed from his raw strength, not his agility (the two wins against Vodo-Siosk Baas), I'd say Luke would fare just as well against Kun's fighting style as he did against Vader's. So, surprisingly enough, I actually favor Luke as the victor here. Huh.

The Ellimist
^ well it's difficult because their respective feats are pretty self-contained (e.g. Kun beating people from his own era and Luke beating people from his). I would take Luke because of his scaling from Vader who then has a few ways to scale above Kun's era (e.g. Mace > Revan scaling).

Underachiever59
Originally posted by The Ellimist
^ well it's difficult because their respective feats are pretty self-contained (e.g. Kun beating people from his own era and Luke beating people from his). I would take Luke because of his scaling from Vader who then has a few ways to scale above Kun's era (e.g. Mace > Revan scaling).

Man, you just boiled down the point I was trying to get to in several paragraphs in just a couple sentences. Kudos. That is the big problem with these cross-era match ups. It's really hard to appropriately scale them. It's why I brought up the Celeste Morne point, since she has existed in so many different eras.

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