Lightsaber Variations

The standard lightsaber has a hilt about eight to 12 inches long and projects a blade about three feet long. Each standard lightsaber is unique, forged by its wielder, but the differences in hilt design and blade color are merely cosmetic.

Many different variations on the lightsaber design, however, are explored in-depth in the Expanded Universe. (Some even appear in the Prequel Trilogy.) These weapons are uncommon compared to the standard lightsaber and often serve their wielders' unique fighting styles.

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Archaic Lightsaber

Early lightsaber designs were limited by the need for a power supply too large to fit in the weapon's handle. Archaic lightsabers solved this problem with a belt-mounted power back, connected to the lightsaber's handle by a power cord.

See also: Retrosaber

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Crossguard Lightsaber

The crossguard lightsaber is a rare dueling lightsaber. It looks like a standard lightsaber with a second, shorter blade projecting at a 45-degree angle from the hilt, which protects the wielder's hand from lightsaber attacks during duels.

Notable wielder: Roblio Darté (Republic)

A curved-hilt lightsaber has a curve at the top of the hilt, causing the blade to project at a slight angle compared to a standard lightsaber. This gives its wielder an advantage during lightsaber duels. The design was more common when the Sith were the Jedi's primary enemy.

Notable wielder: Count Dooku (Episode II: Attack of the Clones)

Read more: Curved-hilt lightsaber (Star Wars Glossary) More »

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Darksaber

The darksaber was based on an ancient lightsaber design stolen by the Mandalorians. Its appearance is more like a sword than a traditional lightsaber, with a flat, black blade that comes to a point.

Notable wielders: Pre Vizla, leader of Death Watch (The Clone Wars).

Read more in an interview with The Clone Wars creator Dave Filoni.

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Double-bladed Lightsaber

The double-bladed lightsaber has an extra-long handle and a blade on both ends. It is based on an ancient Sith design and usually wielded by Sith, although a few Jedi have used the weapon. Although the double-bladed lightsaber is dangerous and unwieldy to fight with, it's great for intimidating one's opponents.

Notable wielder: Darth Maul (Episode I: The Phantom Menace)

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Dual-phase Lightsaber

A dual-phase lightsaber looks like a standard lightsaber, but has an adjustable blade that can extend up to nine feet long. This gives the wielder the element of surprise and can help keep enemies at a distance.

Notable wielder: Corran Horn (X-Wing, I, Jedi)

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Guard Shoto

The guard shoto is a variation on the shoto (short-bladed) lightsaber. It has a second handle, perpendicular to the hilt. This allows the wielder to hold the lightsaber perpendicular to her forearm, which makes for easier blocking.

See also: Shoto

Notable wielder: Maris Brood (The Force Unleashed)

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Lightclub

The lightclub, also called a great lightsaber, is an extra-large lightsaber used by very large Jedi. It has a handle nearly as long as that of a double-bladed lightsaber and a blade over nine feet long.

Notable wielder: Gorc (Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II)

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Lightfoil

The lightfoil is a light, one-handed sword based on Sith design. The design is similar to a foil in fencing. Although lightfoils are weaker than lightsabers, they can be made and used by non-Force-sensitives.

 

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Lightsaber Pike

The lightsaber pike is a long-handled weapon with a short lightsaber blade at the end, much like a lance or poleaxe. The weapon's length helps keep opponents at a distance.

Notable wielder: Kazdan Paratus (The Force Unleashed)

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Lightwhip

The lightwhip has a long, flexible energy beam instead of a rigid blade. Its length provides an advantage against standard lightsabers since it can be used at a distance; however, it is weaker and more difficult to wield.

Notable wielder: Lumiya (Marvel Star Wars, Legacy of the Force)​

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Long-handle Lightsaber

The long-handle lightsaber has an extra-long hilt, more like that of a staff or a double-bladed lightsaber. The handle changes the balance of the lightsaber, making it easier for the wielder to swing the weapon around his body.

Notable wielder: Darth Nihl (Star Wars: Legacy)

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Retrosaber

The retrosaber incorporated the external power pack of archaic lightsaber design with the power of a modern lightsaber. The power pack could give the weapon an extra boost of power for a short time.

See also: Archaic Lightsaber

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Sabercane

A sabercane is a lightsaber concealed inside a cane. The design provided a way for Jedi to hide their lightsabers in a seemingly harmless device.

Notable wielder: Tera Sinube (The Clone Wars)

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Shoto

The shoto is a short-bladed lightsaber, named for the short sword used by Japanese samurai. It can be used as a second weapon to help block lightsaber attacks in a duel, or as a primary weapon for Jedi of small stature.

See also: Guard Shoto

Notable wielder: Yoda (Episode III: Revenge of the Sith)

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Training Lightsaber

Lightsabers are dangerous weapons, so children training in the Force practice with underpowered training sabers. A direct hit from such a blade might cause a bruise or burn, but won't chop off a limb.

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Waterproof Lightsaber

Lightsabers could remain functional in heavy rain or underwater with the aid of a bifurcating cyclical-ignition pulse. Waterproof lightsabers were especially important for Jedi from amphibious races and during the Clone Wars, when Jedi fought on watery planets such as Kamino.

Notable wielder: Kit Fisto (Clone Wars, The Clone Wars)