Lightsaber

Category:
weapon (melee)
Description:

This was the formal weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. More skill than simple sight was required for its use. An elegant weapon. It was a symbol as well. Anyone can use a blaster or a fusioncutter—but to use a lightsaber well was a mark of someone a cut above the ordinary.”

Designed as much for elegance in combat as for ceremony, the lightsaber, also referred to as the “laser sword” by those who were unfamiliar with it, was a distinctive weapon, the very image of which was inextricably bound with the mythos of the Jedi Order and their polar opposites, the Sith. The lightsaber also became synonymous with the Jedi Order’s values to uphold peace and justice throughout the galaxy. This perception endured, despite the many conflicts with lightsaber-wielding Sith and Dark Jedi.

The weapon consisted of a blade of pure plasma emitted from the hilt and suspended in a force containment field. The field contained the immense heat of the plasma, protecting the wielder, and allowed the blade to keep its shape. The hilt was almost always self-fabricated by the wielder to match his or her specific needs, preferences and style. The hilt was also built similarly to his or her master’s lightsaber as a mark of respect. Due to the weightlessness of plasma and the strong gyroscopic effect generated by it, lightsabers required a great deal of strength and dexterity to wield, and it was extremely difficult—and dangerous—for the untrained to attempt using. However, in the hands of an expert of the Force, the lightsaber was a weapon to be greatly respected and feared. To wield a lightsaber was to demonstrate incredible skill and confidence, as well as masterful dexterity and attunement to the Force.

History

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Mechanics & Specifications

Mechanics

The components are fairly simple. Every lightsaber has a standard power source, the same type used in small blasters, even in glowpanels. They last a long time, though, because Jedi should rarely use their lightsabers. […] One of the other crucial pieces is a focusing crystal. The most powerful and sought-after gems are rare Kaiburr crystals. However, though lightsabers are powerful weapons, their design is so flexible that practically any kind of crystal can be used.

The typical lightsaber hilt consisted of a metal cylinder between twenty-four and thirty centimeters in length. However, the size of individuals hilts varied drastically, as the weapon was tailored to the creator’s specific needs and preferences. The hilt had a pommel cap at the bottom which sometimes held a backup power cell. The lightsaber mechanisms were contained within the hilt. High levels of energy generated by a high-output Diatium power cell was unleashed through a series of focusing lenses and energizers that converted the energy into plasma. The plasma was projected through a set of lightsaber crystals that lent the blade its properties and allowed for the adjustment of blade length and power output. The ideal number of crystals was three, though only one was required. A power insulator was installed on the hilt to protect the wielder from any energy discharges. Activating the lightsaber usually required a button of some sort. A blade power adjustment knob was sometimes installed to allow the wielder to vary the power of the blade. A discharge energy cell could also be installed to increase a lightsaber’s power output.

Once focused by the crystals, the plasma was sent through a series of field energizers and modulation circuitry within the emitter matrix that further focused it, making it into a coherent beam of energy that was projected from the blade emitter. The blade typically extended about a meter before being arced by the blade containment field back to a negatively charged fissure ringing the emitter, where it was channeled back to the power cell by a superconductor, completing the circuit. This containment field also caused the blades to make contact with other lightsabers blades without passing through like other forms of energy. This trait is seen when lightsaber wielders can block and parry other lightsaber blades.

Cutting Power

A lightsaber blade was a mass-less form that neither radiated heat nor expended energy, other than that emitted as visible light, until it came into contact with something solid. The power of the energy blade was so great that it could cut through almost anything, although the speed through which it cut depended on the density of the subject. One important note about lightsaber wounds is that they rarely bled profusely, even when a limb had been severed. This is because the energy blade cauterized the wound as it passed, and thus even a severe wound did not tend to bleed heavily.

When cutting through dense material, the immense electromagnetic field generated by the arc caused resistance rather than letting solid matter enter and interrupt the arc. This gave the blade a feeling of being solid when immersed in dense material. Rarely, some solid materials could actually pass through the electromagnetic field and short out the arc. Other electromagnetic energy fields and coherent energy were also repelled by lightsabers’ arcs. These include most force fields, blaster bolts, and other lightsaber blades.

Lightsaber-Resistant Materials

Aside from the blade of another lightsaber, there were rare materials that could withstand a lightsaber blade, but with varying degrees of success:

  • *Armorweave was a cloth said to give some resistance to lightsabers, although the protection the reinforced material afforded was limited.
  • *

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Variations & Specializations

Blade Variations

Darksaber

This ancient lightsaber had a unique black blade that was flattened and came to a point like a traditional sword, rather than the rounded beam of more standard lightsabers.

Dual-Phase Lightsaber

While most lightsabers featured a built-in length adjust, dual-phase lightsabers allowed for rapid transitions between two sets of preset lengths. The dual-phase lightsaber was originally conceived early in history, being used for the purpose of lightsaber dueling. The most common usage at the time would be to switch between a standard length and one of increased length as a surprise tactic during lightsaber duels. In more contemporary times, however, it is more common to have the secondary length be shorter for precision cutting.

Lightclub

Essentially the opposite of the shoto, lightclubs were massively oversized lightsabers that projected overlong blades. They were almost universally wielded by individuals of overlarge stature to accommodate their size.

Lightfoil

Lightfoils were small and elegant energy swords based upon lightsabers. They were popular among certain nobles of the Tapani sector, especially those that called themselves “saber rakes.” Lightfoils were weaker than authentic lightsabers due to the poor quality focusing crystals used in their manufacture and the relatively low level of craftsmanship compared to Jedi artisans. They did not require any connection to the Force to create, and were fully usable by non-Force sensitives.

Lightwhip

Lightwhips were exotic variations on the typical lightsaber that saw only rare usage. Like a lightsaber, it emitted a coherent beam of energy, but instead of a straight meter-long blade, it was several meters in length and flexible. Most lightwhips were produced by emitters extended from the hilt. The energy field was then created around the solid emitters. Wielded in a whip-like manner, they were used to attack opponents at a range and provide an element of unpredictability in combat. However, they were significantly weaker than standard lightsabers, and their blades were ineffective defensively.

Shoto

Essentially, a shoto was a short lightsaber. Featuring a shortened blade length and diminutive handle, it was basically a miniaturized lightsaber. Shotos were usually used as the secondary weapon in dual-blade combat, as their smaller blade length resulted in a less intensive gyroscopic effect, making the weapon easier to handle. Shotos were also used a primary weapons by some duelists, most who did so being of diminutive size, making a full sized lightsaber impractical, though this is not always the case.

Training

Training lightsabers were essentially regular lightsaber, only engineered with a permanent low-power setting, rather than the adjustable setting featured on standard weapons. As their name indicates, training lightsabers were used for instructional purposes, teaching initiates how to wield a lightsaber. Due to their permanent low-power setting, training lightsabers were extremely limited in the type of damage they could cause, the most severe injuries being burns and serious bruises. In fact, the weapon was so weak that an individual could physically grab the blade and suffer no injury besides the burns and bruises.

Underwater

While most lightsabers shorted out when the blade touches water, this blade was made to operate underwater due to two crystals employed in a bifurcating cyclical-ignition pulse. Generally only Jedi from aquatic races would go to the trouble of constructing a waterproof saber, as only they had the mobility to use it effectively underwater. Nautolan Jedi Master Kit Fisto used such a modification in his lightsaber. However, there were several other non-aquatic lightsaber wielders who modified their weapons so they were functional underwater.

Hilt Variations

Crossguard Lightsaber

An extremely rare variant only seen in the hands of skilled duelists, crossguard lightsabers, also known as forked lightsabers, featured a specialized hilt which emitted two blades. One blade was the standard lightsaber blade, but the second was a significantly shorter and thinner blade projected by a secondary emitter next to the main at an angle. The secondary blade was used as a guard to protect the hand, and on occasion to catch attacks between it and the main blade.

Curved-Hilt Lightsaber

Curved-hilt lightsabers were of a design which featured a hilt with a built in curve. This was usually done to allow the hilt to fit better into the palm, facilitating the use of one-handed fighting styles such as Makashi, or to provide variable blade angle to confuse opponents.

Double-Bladed Lightsaber

Also referred to as saberstaffs and Sith lightsabers, double-bladed lightsabers consisted of a single hilt that projected a blade from both ends, resulting in a deadly staff-like weapon. Most saberstaff hilts were of increased length, as they usually consisted of two separate lightsabers connected at the pommels.

According to the Tedryn Holocron, saberstaffs were first invented by the Sith Lords of the old Sith Empire. The first recorded usage of the weapon was by a Sith Lord, who obtained the schematics for the weapon from a Sith holocron, using them to modify his existing Jedi lightsaber.

The usage of double-bladed lightsabers eventually gave rise to the use of paired lightsabers. As many double-bladed lightsabers were simply two separate lightsabers joined at the pommel, this was taken advantage of and the weapons were connected with a locking mechanism rather than a solid weld, allowing the two weapons to be separated for Jar’Kai dual-blade combat. Many duelists used the paired function to surprise enemies in combat, wielding it as a saberstaff before separating the weapons. Other versions of the paired lightsaber had the weapons joined by a fiber cord instead of a locking mechanism. Those linked by the fiber cords were held by the cord and flailed about, exchanging control for unpredictability.

Guard Shoto

A variation on the standard short shoto lightsabers, guard shotos featured an elongated hilt with a secondary handle built angling 90 degrees out from the main hilt. They were built to be carried by the second handle, with the blade parallel to the forearm, allowing the weapon to be easily used for blocks. Due to the defensive nature of the weapon, it was recommended that the casing be machined out of lightsaber-resistant phrik alloy.

Lightsaber Pike

Resembling pole-arms in many respects, lightsaber pikes featured extremely long handles, up to two meters long, with a somewhat shorter and thicker lightsaber blade. The handle was machined from phrik alloy to prevent it from being cut in two, as the purpose of the weapon was to provide increased range in close combat.

Long-Handle Lightsaber

Built to cater to specific fighting styles, long-handle lightsabers featured a lengthened handle that provided the duelist with more surface area to place his hands, and providing more leverage for attacks. The length of long-handled lightsabers varied considerably.

Protosaber

Before the advancement in lightsaber technology after the Hundred-Year Darkness, lightsabers had significantly higher power requirements, necessitating belt-mounted power packs; these packs were connected to the hilt by a cord. While a massive advancement over the highly unstable original lightsabers, protosabers were eventually rendered obsolete by miniaturized power cells and the inclusion of the superconductor technology that allowed the energy of the blade to return to the hilt, creating an energy loop that only lost power when interrupted, such as when a lightsaber cut.

Retrosaber

Greatly resembling the original protosabers, retrosabers far exceeded their abilities. They were just as potent as modern lightsabers, but offered a few advantages along with the disadvantage of the external power pack. The primary advantage was that modern belt-mounted power packs allowed for a brief “power surge”, creating a more powerful blade for a short time and therefore a temporary advantage in combat.

Sabercane

The sabercane was a simple variation on the standard; a lightsaber concealed as the head of a cane. In combat, the handle would be detached from the body of the cane and wielded normally.

Standard

The standard lightsaber consisted of a straight hilt approximately 20 to 30 centimeters long. As it is the standard make, it has no defining features other than details on individual hilts, as each weapon is often self-fabricated by the wielder and customized to suit their specifications.

Bio:

Lightsaber

The Force Unchained USMCxSTC