“Your father’s lightsaber. It’s a Jedi knight’s weapon. Not as clumsy or haphazard as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”
Any “Star Wars” fan would know what movie this quote is from and, more importantly, who said it. But all in all, this quote is THE single one that introduced movers in the late 70s and future generations to the lightsaber.
A brief history of the lightsaber
An original Star Wars: A New Hope movie lightsaber used by Luke Skywalker and worth between $150,000 and $200,000 will go up for auction Dec. 13 at The Paley Center for Media, per the auction house “Profiles in History” in Calabasas, California on December 6, 2018. (Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
As far as lore goes, a lightsaber (also called a lightsaber by this wide-eyed boy from Tatooine) is a distinctive sword used by the Jedi and their nemesis, the Sith. It is a complex instrument consisting of a pommel, a handle, a control module, a main handle, a focusing lens and a blade emitter with a core of energy powered by a kyber crystal. When ignited, it emits a blade of pure plasma about three feet long and is suspended in a force containment field, protecting the wearer and allowing the plasma to hold its shape, according to the aptly named Star Wiki. Wars, Wookiepediaand the official Star Wars website.
The blade of plasma emitted by the lightsaber is weightless and has a gyroscopic effect. As such, the global weapon requires its wielder to be strong and skilled enough to use it effectively. Mastering the use of the lightsaber means the wielder has incredible skill, confidence, dexterity, and attunement to the Force, a metaphysical, spiritual, binding, and pervasive power in the Star Wars universe.
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Each lightsaber is unique as it was built by its wielder to meet their specific needs and fighting style. According to a separate Wookiepedia page, there are seven forms of lightsaber combat, and each practitioner of one of these forms shapes their lightsaber hilt to the form they use the most. For example, a “perseverance” form practitioner would make their hilt more suitable for aggressive attacks, while a “resilience” form practitioner would make their hilt more suitable for blocking both lightsabers and blaster fire.
However, a padawan apprentice or learner may construct their lightsaber the same as their master’s or mentor’s lightsaber as a sign of respect.
In real life, the first lightsaber shown in “A New Hope”, Anakin’s second canonical lightsaber, was made from a side-mount Graflex flash with rubber wipers for its hilts. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber, the second lightsaber to appear on film, was made from parts of an Armitage Shanks Starlite Model flywheel, a Browning ANM2 machine gun booster, a grenade British WW1 rifle No. 3 Mk.1 and a Rolls-Royce Derwent Mk. 8/Mk.9 jet engine balance pipe.
What is your favorite color?
The color of a lightsaber blade depends on the weapon’s kyber crystal, which is found by a Jedi apprentice during a ritual known as ‘the gathering’, according to another star wars page. During this ritual, an apprentice must overcome obstacles to find the kyber crystal that is most suitable for him.
A photo of Anakin Skywalker with the lava of Mustafar in the background. (Photo: Webster2703/Pixabay)
The Apprentice’s kyber crystal color also has a meaning of its own. According to Screen Rant, a blue crystal—the most common lightsaber crystal—represents the apprentice’s righteousness, bravery, and strong “spiritual alignment” with the crystal. Anakin’s lightsaber, later Luke’s, and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsabers are examples of blue-bladed lightsabers.
A green crystal signifies harmony, helpfulness, cooperation, spirituality, and demonstrable goodwill. Jedi Grand Master Yoda and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Luke Skywalker had green-bladed lightsabers.
A violet crystal signifies moral ambiguity, uncertainty, and reconstruction, a sign that the wearer has both the dark side and the light side of the Force within. Only Jedi Master Mace Windu possesses this unique lightsaber blade color due to his mastery of Vaapad.
Vaapad is a variant of Juyo’s seventh lightsaber form, the favored form of the Sith. Only master Windu has mastered this variation of Juyo.
In real life, Master Windu actor Samuel L. Jackson asked George Lucas to make his lightsaber purple because it was Jackson’s favorite color.
However, the Sith Lords and their apprentices must synthesize the kyber crystal using special dark side furnaces. This need was due to Ilum being closely guarded by the Jedi Order. The resulting kyber crystal is usually red, sometimes with silver. This red color signifies their unity and unwavering dedication to the dark side of the Force, for Ultrasaber’ item. Sith Lords like Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Darth Tyranus, also known as Count Dooku, have red-bladed lightsabers.
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