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What makes a lightsaber so awesome?

I have now seen Star Wars three times and I still can’t get enough!  Well done JJ, well done!

There was so much to just love about this movie: a strong female lead, dozens of nods to the original trilogy, and of course…lightsabers!

I don’t want to assume everyone has seen it yet, so I better give a warning of the spoilers ahead, folks. And seriously, stop reading posts about Star Wars and go see it already.

[divider] What makes a lightsaber so awesome? [/divider]

Now, back to lightsabers. Lightsabers are a major part of what makes Star Wars a unique hero’s journey. From the moment Luke is handed his father’s lightsaber in A New Hope, to the moment Rey calls the same lightsaber to her hand to take down Kylo Ren in a duel, the lightsaber is a focal point of the story we are following.

As Obi Wan Kenobi says to Anakin, “This weapon is your life.”

So why are lightsabers awesome?

Well, “Lightsabers consist of a plasma blade, powered by a kyber crystal and emitted from a metallic hilt.  It is a weapon that required skill and training, and is greatly enhanced when used in conjunction with the Force.” (thanks Wookieepedia).

Click to ignite (er, embiggen).
Click to ignite (er, embiggen).

More simply put, lightsabers are LASER SWORDS!

What is not to like about a sword with a laser blade? Am I right?

Over the years and through all the different stories and characters, we have seen a movement towards the unique lightsaber to each individual who wields one. Starting, of course, with color.

Those of you who have only ever watched the movies might think, well, there is blue and green for the good guys, and red for the bad guys. Oh, and that one guy had purple!

There are many different kyber crystals you can put in your lightsaber. In the EU (Expanded Universe), we see Jedi use blue, green, purple, yellow, and white; and those on the dark side of the force are limited to red and black. (I wonder if Snoke will have a black lightsaber…?)

So while, yes, the colors are still somewhat limited due to the chosen crystal, there is nearly no limitation to the hilt one chooses to construct. The hilt is where every person’s true uniqueness comes into to play.

Take Kylo Ren for example. That is a pretty stinking unique hilt. Did you know that the fuzzy blade is the result of poor craftsmanship on the part of Ren and the rough nature of the blade was symbolic of his emotional nature? Did you also know that the two side blades are vents necessary due to the unstable nature of the crystal Ren uses? Looks like Snoke is correct in wanting Kylo Ren to complete his training.

Some might debate ultimately if the extra lasers serve any real purpose or are just cosmetic. I say, “WHO CARES?!” They are awesome either way! And while it is also cool that we have 3 generations of Skywalkers using the same lightsaber (wink, wink), it is also very cool to see the personalities of each Jedi come out in their hilts.

Click to ignite (er, embiggen).
Click to ignite (er, embiggen).

This isn’t a foreign concept by any means. Typically, individual characters will have their own unique weapon. The TMNTs all have unique weapons, Daryl has his crossbow, Michonne her Katana, and all of the wizards in the wizarding world have a very unique wand.

Ultimately, I think we gravitate towards stories that can tell the group dynamic while never losing site of the individuals. I certainly do. That is what most excited me about the lightsaber. It isn’t just a Jedi issued weapon. The individual creates their own unique lightsaber upon becoming a Jedi.

A lightsaber is a right of passage.

In fact, I think that my favorite part of any Star Wars movie is when Luke lights up his brand new green lightsaber for the first time. To that point, 9 year old me thought, “Good guys blue, bad guys red.” Then back on his home planet Luke shows us a whole new world of lightsaber…the green one.

And from that moment on I have been asking myself, what would my lightsaber look like?

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Read more about lightsabers:

The 7 Forms of Lightsaber Combat
How to Properly Use a Lightsaber in Combat
How to Use a Lightsaber Like Mace Windu