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Guide to Lightsabers: History, Types, Characters and Iconic Duels | Star Wars Universe

Guide to Lightsabers: History, Types, Characters and Iconic Duels | Star Wars Universe

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,  Luke Skywalker ignited the very first lightsaber in "A New Hope" (1977). Thus began the ever-evolving legacy of Star Wars, where each new tale brings forth new lightsabers and adventures.

When the first lightsaber of Star Wars ignited in Luke’s hand, Obi-Wan Kenobi said, “This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight; Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” This is when we started learning about the Force and its connection to these legendary weapons. 

Today, with more than 17 sabers, the Star Wars universe has become tangled in franchise control, various sequels, and spinoffs, making it a little arduous to remember the beginning of lightsaber hum. 

What’s the origin of these meticulously crafted blades, and how has their technology evolved over time?

Let’s learn the story of our beloved saga’s legacy – from the secret history of Star Wars lightsabers to the types and characters who wielded them.

Lightsaber History, Construction & Meaning

Star Wars' core appeal lies in its fascinating alien life, from the elaborate costume masks to the diverse species. Fantastic weapons like blaster rifles and the planet-annihilating Death Star add to the thrilling spectacle.

However, nothing is truly captivating like the legendary sabers. These glowing plasma blades attached to elegantly crafted metal hilts have reshaped our perception for a reason. 

The lightsaber you see now is a far cry from its original design. It has evolved alongside the unfolding tales of Star Wars. But in the rich tapestry of Star Wars, where does the story of these glowing blades begin?

History:

It is said that the earliest precursor to the lightsaber was “proto-sabers.” These were crude and unwieldy weapons due to their primitive version. Additionally, they heavily relied on a power pack connected through a cable, which restricted the user’s mobility. 

As the saga unfolds, we witness the Jedi Order crafting a more sophisticated iteration of these sabers, enhanced by the inclusion of kyber crystals. 

Over the decade, Jedi and Sith customized their weapons according to their needs, which led to the development of different types of lightsabers in designs and colours. However, the main design and the slim fit of the blade have remained the same.

Construction & Working:

One of the rare and key components used in the construction of these plasma blades is kyber crystal, a rare gem attuned with the Force. Placed within the saber hilt, these crystals act as a significant element for powering the weapon. 

The hilts are crafted from metal and include the power cell, a focusing ring, various controls, and an emitter matrix crucial for moulding and projecting the plasma blade with precision. 

Constructing one's own saber is considered a significant milestone for any Jedi. In the Clone Wars, a droid named Huyang played a major role in teaching the younglings how to construct the sabers. Moreover, the lightsaber architect had a memory bank that kept a record of every saber existing and the Jedi who made it. 

To construct a lightsaber, Jedi needed to go on a rite of passage-type journey, which is referred to as the Gathering. The first step begins with Younglings travelling to a sacred planet, Ilum, to find their kyber crystals in the ice caves. 

Each youngling had to overcome the cave test to find their crystals attuned to them. Once the gem is found, the warrior can begin with other steps that make up the saber. 

Every Jedi had to embark on a quest to find their own crystal to craft a weapon unique in every aspect. What truly sets their sabers apart is the emotion resonating with the crystal, giving rise to a list of colours with associated meanings, such as green, blue, purple, white, and yellow.

Colour & Meaning:

Each hue of the lightsaber is associated with a certain meaning, which mirrors the Jedi’s personality, beliefs, and fighting techniques. Since the beginning, Jedi have appeared in cooler shades and moved with better colours. On the other hand, Sith remained restricted to a red hue.

  • Blue: It is typically associated with Jedi Guardians, indicating a focus on physical combat and a strong connection to the Force. Notable wielders of blue blade are Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. 
  • Green: The green sabers are used by Jedi Consulars, which symbolize a balanced approach, prioritizing wisdom, diplomacy, and deep mastery of the Force. Luke Skywalker is a prominent Jedi who uses a blue saber. 
  • Yellow: Linked to Jedi Sentinels, yellow-coloured blades are used by someone specializing in unravelling the secrets of the Force, representing a deep understanding and knowledge. Jedi temple Guards use yellow sabers. 
  • Purple: Those with exceptional skill and advanced Force abilities operate the rare and striking purple sabers. They are regarded as formidable warriors with heightened proficiency that sets them apart, such as Jedi Master Mace Windu.  
  • Red: Generally associated with Sith lords, a red lightsaber symbolizes their unity and unwavering dedication to the Dark side of the Force. They are forged by corrupting the kyber crystal until it ‘bleeds,’ resulting in a powerful and aggressive weapon. 
  • White: This unique and unusual lightsaber symbolizes purity and is often held by those who leave the Jedi or the Sith, determining their own path. One of the famous wielders is Ahsoka Tano.

The kyber crystals cannot produce a red hue, and the Sith did not have to undergo a process similar to those of the Jedi to construct their weapon. 

Instead, they stole the sabers from the Jedi and partook in a process named “bleeding.” Sith infused the crystal with intense negative emotions, such as rage, hate, fear, and pain, which is the main reason behind the blade, resulting in a red hue.  

How Many Types of Lightsabers Are There?

Both the canon and non-canon include various types of sabers, each different in design and functionality. However, with all the different types of lightsabers in the galaxy, the following blades hold a special place in the Star Wars lore.

1. The Standard Lightsabers:

 

It is one of the most simple lightsabers with a single plasma blade used by various Jedi, including Skywalkers, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, etc. Blue and green are some commonly used single-bladed standard sabers.

2. Double-Bladed Lightsaber:

Darth Maul presented the double-blade lightsaber on live-screen in The Phantom Menace, and it immediately became fans-favorites. It projected a blade from each hilt’s end, giving a strategic advantage to the wielder. It appeared like a deadly staff-like weapon.

3. Dual-Phase Lightsaber:

Again, a rare lightsaber consisted of more than two kyber crystals, which allowed the blade’s lengths to be adjusted in the middle of combat. Darth Vader used a dual-phase blade, which was considered antiquated by the time of the Clone Wars.

4. Crossguard Lightsaber:

This blade is far from what one could have imagined. Forged in the fires of an ancient conflict, the crossguard lightsaber emerged from the Great Scourge of Malachor. This design features a primary standard blade and two vents at the hilt's end. 

Kylo Ren appeared in Star Wars: Episode VII, The Force Awakens, with a crossguard saber. The design, resulting from a dangerously flawed kyber crystal, is made this way to prevent the lightsaber from overloading, and plasma vents were added to create the quillons. 

5. Curved-Hilt Lightsaber:

It is a type of melee weapon with an elegantly curved hilt design. This unique configuration, which fits better into the palm, allows the wielder to facilitate the use of one-handed fighting styles. Like Count Dooku, the lightsaber duelist took advantage of the curved blade to slash and lunge at the foe with greater precision.

6. Training Lightsaber:

Young Jedi typically used these types of lightsabers for practice purposes. They are usually less powerful and thus limited in danger. Younglings used these sabers before undergoing the Gathering process and constructed their own specific ones.

7. Shoto Lightsaber:

If you’re familiar with Ahsoka and her saber, you know what we’ll discuss here. Her white blades, which featured one standard and a Shoto blade, have a slightly curved design with a rectangular profile. The Shoto blade is typically shorter, like Ahsoka’s, which she used as a secondary weapon in dual-blade combat.

8. The Lightsaber-Blaster Hybrid:

Ezra Bridger's lightsaber-blaster hybrid ranks higher among many sabers to admire and talk about. It’s an adjustable blade complemented by a stunning blaster function, and it combines versatility with a striking design.

9. Double Blade Spinning lightsaber:

The double-blade spinning lightsaber is the most eccentric, consisting of a ringed emitter and a detachable hilt. It is a variant considered the most deadly due to its spinning mode, which made it a fast-killing tool. These types of sabers from Star Wars are mainly associated with Inquisitors.

10. Darksaber:

The Darksaber is undoubtedly the quintessential lightsaber, steeped in profound significance. This ancient and unique blade embodies the essence of Mandalorian heritage. Its striking black blade is adorned by a crackling white edge. Wielded by seven warriors, including Tarre Vizsla, Pre Vizsla, Darth Maul, Sabine Wren, Bo-Katan Kryze, Moff Gideon, and Din Djarin, its legacy truly exemplifies its exceptional status in the galaxy far, far away.  

Apart from all types of lightsabers and their formidable wielders, what else is there beyond these outstandingly crafted historical blades, engineered with extraordinary craftsmanship that highlights their distinctive nature and undeniable beauty? 

It’s the flash and fury of iconic duels that ignites a yearning within us to wield a saber with such confidence and skills.

Iconic Duels in The Star Wars Lore

Star Wars has goose-bumping iconic duelling scenes that take you on your seat's edge. Here are the top five fighting scenes from the lore worth rewatching.

1. Qui-Gon Jinn & Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs. Darth Maul

The first iconic duel with adrenaline-pumping choreography and fast-paced action ever recorded is between three highly expert duelists, Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul, held on Tatooine.

This battle marked the tragic end of Qui-Gon Jinn, but eventually, Obi-Wan Kenobi triumphed over the Sith in an intense 15-minute two-on-one fight in the Naboo Palace control room.

2. Master Yoda Vs. Count Dooku

When Master Yoda finally wields his lightsaber for the first time in the Attack of the Clones, it's an unforgettable moment for Star Wars fans. We witness an intense duel between Master Yoda and Count Dooku after Kenobi and Anakin easily get down on their knees against the new Sith lord.

3. Mace Windu Vs. Darth Sidious

Bringing the central antagonist of the saga into the fray, the next pivotal battle unfolded between the Jedi master, Mace Windu, and the lord of the Sith lords, Darth Sidious. This takes place in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith when the Jedi master enters Sidiou’s office to arrest him along with his mates.

4. Anakin Skywalker Vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi

Who knew that Anakin would ever go against his beloved best friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi? 

Anakin's inner turmoil fuels a duel with a jaw-dropping twist that ranks among the greatest battles in the universe's history. It leaves fans in great surprise when Anakin joins the Dark Side and clashes against Kenobi on the volcanic planet Mustafar.

5. Luke Skywalker Vs. Darth Vader

The final and long-awaited showdown arrives when Luke confronts his father in a shadowy cave. The great and unforgettable clash between the father and the son is witnessed in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980). 

The seamless integration of these elements is key to the enduring success of the Star Wars saga. From iconic duels to historic lightsaber and fight styles, which include seven forms such as Shii-Cho, Makashi, Soresu, Ataru, Shien/Djem So,  Niman, and Juyo/Vaapad, all of these contribute to its timeless appeal and an enduring legacy.

If you're captivated by Star Wars lore, now is your chance to summon the Force and wield one of these historic weapons that resonate deeply. Discover the latest ARTSABERS collection and find a blade perfect for you. Each lightsaber is meticulously crafted to mirror the intricate details of the originals!

May the Force be with you!

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