Carter and Daniel present:
All About LIGHTSABERS!
Carter is very interested in lightsabers or, as he calls them, "lightsavers." So here is a little page dedicated to lightsabers. Most of the information we present here comes from wikipedia.org and google images. Carter helped me to choose the various colors and formatting we used on the page.
*NOTE: Carter has never seen a Star Wars film.
The lightsaber is a fictional weapon that plays a key role in the movies, games and novels that constitute the Star Wars universe. Lightsabers are science fiction versions of their namesake, the saber, which instead of a metal blade holds an energy blade with a length of about one meter long. Lightsabers differ in color based upon the specific crystal used in construction. Though they often behave like regular swords, they have been depicted as able to penetrate and cut through most matter with little or no resistance (due to their energy-based nature), and to deflect energy, such as shots from blasters (the ranged weapons used in the Star Wars franchise), Force Lightning thrown by Sith Lords, and other lightsabers.
The lightsaber first appeared in the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977). At first, the effect was created by a handle with a motorized spinning reflector and pointing high-intensity light in their direction. The outcome was not satisfying, so in post-production the effect was augmented through rotoscoping. For Episodes V and VI the use of reflective tape was abandoned and the effect was achieved by rotoscoping rods made of aluminum and later carbon fiber rods. For the prequel trilogy, the effect was created using computer animation.
Within the fiction of Star Wars, the lightsaber "blade" is made by a very tight loop of highly focused energy, possibly a loop of plasma contained in a strong magnetic or other field which compresses the circular loop so much that it looks like a cylindrical bar. When deactivated, a lightsaber appears as a polished metallic handle, about 30 centimeters long, with or without an ignition button. They are carried at the waist in this fashion by belt clip, and can be drawn by hand or by the Force (as was done by master Yoda in Episode II: Attack of the Clones). Lightsabers emit a distinctive hum when active, which rises in pitch and volume as the blade is moved rapidly through the air. A loud crackling noise is heard when two lightsaber blades come into contact. Some carry a "dead-man trigger" that deactivates the saber automatically if dropped.
To carry a lightsaber is a reflection of confidence, dexterity, and attunement to the Force. Although use of the lightsaber is not strictly reserved to Jedi (see General Grievous), the only others widely known of being capable of handling the difficult weapon are the Sith: Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku), Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) and Darth Sidious (Palpatine), as well as other Sith characters in the Expanded Universe. According to a 2008 survey of approximately two thousand film fans, conducted by 20th Century Fox, the lightsaber is the most popular film weapon.
In the original film trilogy lightsaber blades were blue, green, or red. The various Expanded Universe (EU) sources, action figures and the prequel films introduced two new colors, violet and yellow, which are now canon to the series.
Red is usually associated with the Sith whereas blue and green colors are usually associated with the Jedi. Violet, silver, orange, cyan, white, gold, yellow (apart from in the game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic), and viridian typically do not represent either side, and have been seen used by both. However, the Expanded Universe establishes no direct relationship between a lightsaber's blade's color and its user's affiliation. For example, in the computer game Jedi Knight the Dark Jedi Sariss used a blue lightsaber while her erstwhile ally Yun used a yellow blade. Also, in the "Corellian Trilogy" Luke Skywalker creates a lightsaber for Leia that is red, although in the "Heir to the Empire" trilogy by Timothy Zahn, Luke builds a lightsaber with a green blade for her, and Mace Windu, a Jedi master from the films has a violet blade.
The color of a lightsaber blade depends on the crystals used to focus it and its filter. According to Knights of the Old Republic games, blue-bladed lightsabers are most often associated with Jedi Guardians (Jedi who focus more on swordplay and prefer action to words); green-bladed lightsabers are generally associated with Jedi Consulars (Jedi who focus more on the Force and its abilities); yellow-bladed lightsabers are usually associated with Jedi Sentinels (a balance between the two); and red-bladed lightsabers are almost always associated with the Sith and Dark Jedi. The reason for this is said to be that the Sith cannot get the same crystals as the Jedi and must use synthesized ones that come out red. However in the first Knights of the Old Republic video game, red crystals grow naturally in the Crystal Cave on Dantooine.
As well as there being a variety of lightsaber blade colors, there are also many different styles for the hilt. Jedi must fashion their own sabers so there is no uniform look to the hilt. Jedi students building lightsabers are usually told that their lightsaber should reflect them or what is important to them. Many apprentices will model their lightsabers in a style similar to their master's as a sign of respect. Training sabers are usually of one or two different hilt styles, as evidenced in Attack of the Clones. Some Jedi, when replacing their old lightsaber hilt due to loss, damage, or destruction (i.e. Obi-Wan lost his first lightsaber in his duel with Darth Maul; one of Anakin's lightsabers was chopped in half while he was attempting to free himself from the assembly line in the Droid Foundry on Geonosis), will create an identical one (like Obi-Wan's second saber in Ep. II.). Others have many additional unique and interesting styles of lightsaber, such as Count Dooku's curved "pistol grip" lightsaber hilt. Many Jedi will make their own hilt out of various machined or found parts, such as the case of Corran Horn building a lightsaber out of a wrecked speeder bike throttle assembly in I, Jedi. In Young Jedi Knights, Tenel Ka, builds hers out of a Rancor tooth (which, incidentally, proved unstable as the lightsaber blew apart at the hilt and resulted in the loss of her hand). At the time of the Old Republic Era, a Wookiee Jedi named Tyvokka was known to carry a uniquely crafted lightsaber with a wooden outer casing.
Lightsabers are the principal weapons of the Jedi, but are also used by the Sith. Their use is usually restricted to the Jedi, for several reasons: for non-Jedi, blasters are more effective; it is rare when lightsabers are constructed by someone who is not Force-sensitive. However, lightsabers remain prized by some collectors, and some black market sales do occur.
The Jedi who fought in the First Great Schism of 24,500 BBY wielded non-vibrating swords that pre-dated vibroweapons and the resultant dark Jedi who were exiled from the known galaxy had only these weapons when they found their way to Korriban. In the time around 5000 BBY at the conclusion of Marka Ragnos' reign, with the coming of the Great Hyperspace War, the Sith became exposed to lightsaber technology and adopted it for their own use. Concurrent with the Jedi creating the lightsaber was the Sith creating the Sith sword, which proved effective against lightsabers because of the way its alchemically altered metal refracts a lightsaber’s energy. In the subsequent time leading to and from Exar Kun's Sith War, the dark Jedi who proclaimed themselves Sith, followers of the dark side, came to prefer the lightsaber as their mainstay weapon over the archaic Sith sword.
Lightsaber technology was developed over thousands of years. The first lightsaber models, used thousands of years BBY, had to be connected to an external power source since a power source small enough to fit in a saber's hilt had not yet been discovered. Power sources often consisted of a power pack worn on the back and connected to the lightsaber's hilt by a power cord. Some of these sabers also had flat blades, resembling a broadsword, but these would presumably be useless against blasters. The technology was vastly improved as smaller, lighter power sources were discovered and implemented.
Typically, Jedi are given (training) lightsabers on the first day of training. Jedi Masters emphasize that the lightsaber is a measure of progress for an apprentice because lightsaber techniques take great skill and concentration. To construct his own lightsaber is considered the final test for a Jedi padawan before his Jedi Trials. The construction traditionally takes place in a cave on Ilum, though other circumstances may prevent this, and lightsabers can be crafted anywhere as long as the proper tools and components are present. Some Jedi claim to fall into a meditative trance, where their vision helps determine what the results of their construction are. Others simply follow a more ceremonial approach that fully emphasizes the individual's completeness. Corran Horn described several changes within himself as he crafted his lightsaber, coming to terms with his past, his present, and his future.
- Luminara Unduli
- The crystal is the heart of the blade.
- The heart is the crystal of the Jedi.
- The Jedi is the crystal of the Force.
- The Force is the blade of the heart.
- All are intertwined:
- The crystal, The blade, The Jedi.
- You are one.
When younglings begin their training at the Jedi Temple, they are issued lightsabers set on a low power setting so as to prevent unnecessary injury or fatality due to awkwardness when first learning how to wield the dangerous weapon. These weapons are not capable of cutting through matter, but will deliver a burn or "stun" sensation nasty enough to make for an effective deterrent. After an initiate has been accepted to train under a master, he or she must construct his or her first lightsaber. Padawans usually base their lightsaber designs on their masters' lightsabers; Obi-Wan Kenobi constructed his lightsaber from The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones with similarities to that of Qui-Gon Jinn and his friend Quinlan Vos. Luke Skywalker's lightsaber from A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back is the lightsaber his father used in Revenge of the Sith. It was taken away from Anakin Skywalker, after his near fatal battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and given to Luke, while Luke's lightsaber from Return of the Jedi closely resembles that of Obi-Wan Kenobi's final lightsaber.
In the Expanded Universe, the cutting area of a lightsaber is portrayed as being only a few micrometres wide, with all of the rest being coronal discharge, as is illustrated in "Dark Force Rising".
LIGHTSABER IMAGE GALLERY: