Star Wars isn’t Star Wars without the Force and lightsabers. Ever since 1977’s A New Hope, the exploration of the Force and the battling of lightsabers have been crucial elements to this franchise. Much of 2015’s The Force Awakens was about finding Luke and returning his original lightsaber to him. As Rey finds (and possibly trains with) him during 2017’s The Last Jedi, one can safely assume that the legacy of lightsaber battles will go on in the saga.
The lightsaber as we know it was created as a group effort. George Lucas had the vision of what he wanted it to look like, but it was special effects expert John Stears who was able to build the actual lightsaber props that were used in the original 1977 film. Then, sound designer Ben Burtt combined different hums to achieve the sonic movement of those lightsabers. And finally, Korean animator Nelson Shin was credited for adding the “shakiness” of the lightsaber’s beam of light.
Though the Jedi will come and go, and the Sith will rise and fall, the Star Wars saga has established one consistently true component: history is made through the battles fought with lightsabers.
This is Star Wars: Every Type Of Lightsaber, Ranked Weakest To Strongest.
16 TRAINING LIGHTSABER
The weakest and most harmless type of lightsaber is the one that has been “baby-proofed”: the training lightsabers.
As the name implies, this type of lightsaber is only utilized in the context of training very young Jedi to one day become Jedi Masters. Since they are wielded by children, there are many rules to the use of these lightsabers, including the fact that there is always a Jedi Master present in the room to monitor the children.
Training lightsabers only come in two colors: blue and green. Because they are used by children, they are much smaller, lighter, and weaker than any other conventional lightsaber. Though the Jedi don’t usually intend to hurt anyone without good reason, it is particularly imperative that no one should get hurt while using a training lightsaber.
15 LIGHTSABER PIKE
The Lightsaber Pike is the first type of lightsaber to have a yellow blade. These weapons have a much longer handle than usual, and the handle is made of a material called phrik alloy, which is very resistant to other lightsabers. The blades in these lightsabers are also much shorter and slightly thicker in comparison to standard ones.
The most common wielders of the Lightsaber Pike are the faceless Jedi Temple guards, who are sworn to protect Jedi sanctuaries from any harm. With that in mind, it is important to note that the Lightsaber Pikes are usually meant to defend, not attack, and therefore do not pose much harm to those who aren’t trying to steal or destroy something inside a Jedi Temple. This a weapon to keep the peace.
Created by the Jedi Master Qidak Aaia, the Qichani is a curious type of lightsaber that is attached to a very long staff wrapped in a material called cortosis fiber. This material serves as a protection for the staff from being cut down easily by other lightsabers.
In plain terms, the Qichani resembles a real-life wading staff, which is used for fishing. This lightsaber is most often associated with the martial arts technique of Echani, and also goes by the name of Way of the Kell Dragon. This is considered a long-range, polearm weapon that consists of two parts: the staff and the lightsaber, which can easily be detached from one another.
The Qichani is essentially deemed as a lightsaber associated with the Light Side of the Force, but it has never appeared in any of the Star Wars movies.
13 LIGHTSABER CANE / SABERCANE
The Sabercane is very, very similar to a Qichani, but instead of it being a staff, it is a cane – a lightsaber cane.
The cane-shaped hilt of a Sabercane allows this lightsaber to be one of the most inconspicuous weapons in the Star Wars universe. At first glance, it simply looks like a cane, and nothing else. Tera Sinube, a recurring character in the Clone Wars animated series, is a very notable wielder of this type of lightsaber. Besides him, Knights of the Old Republic’s Haazen has also been seen with a Sabercane.
As shown by Tera Sinube, the Sabercane’s actual cane can be easily detached from the lightsaber portion of the weapon in the case of a battle, giving its wielder a much firmer grip on a short hilt.
12 SHORT LIGHTSABER / SHOTO
Shoto is the nickname for a type of short lightsabers, which are standard single-bladed weapons who just so happen to be shorter (and smaller) than the average ones, in an attempt to provide comfort and agility to those who wield it.
Unlike the training lightsaber, which is also a smaller version of a single-bladed lightsaber, the Shoto is a fully-functioning weapon made for people or creatures of a smaller stature. The easiest example of a Shoto wielder is, of course, Yoda. (A Shoto, he fights with.)
Shotos have also historically been used by not-so-small people and creatures in situations where a dual-wield weapon combination was appropriate. Most notably, Ahsoka Tano used a pair of short lightsabers to fight certain battles in the Clone Wars animated TV series.
11 GREAT LIGHTSABER
The Great Lightsaber is the complete opposite of a Shoto: it is a standard single-bladed lightsaber with a much longer blade and enlarged hilt.
Made for people and creatures of a larger-than-average size, the Great Lightsaber’s blade could measure up to 3 meters (nearly 10 feet) in length. An example of creatures who need to wield such a weapon is the Gorcs, who were first introduced in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces, and are basically the Star Wars versions of the fantasy beasts known as Orcs.
It would be awkward for Gorcs of such stature to wield an average-sized lightsaber made for people who are at least three times smaller than them, so the Great Lightsaber was created to accommodate beings of greater size.
Made popular during the Jedi Academy trilogy of novels, the dual-phase lightsaber is an uncommon type of single-bladed lightsabers that uses a particular combination of focusing crystals to allow the blade to extend two times longer than its original length. The surprising additional length of the blade often serves as a threatening tool to opponents, but it also allows wielders to attack from a farther range.
The hilt in the dual-phase lightsaber is shaped the same way (but could be widened) as a standard single-blade type, and only one activation is required from wielders. This lightsaber achieves its length by bypassing the manual adjuster that reduces blade emissions to the size they are normally seen.
Corran Horn, who was often seen in the Star Wars: X-Wing and The New Jedi Order comic books, is perhaps the most famous wielder of a dual-phase lightsaber.
The single-bladed lightsaber is the standard type of lightsabers. It is the kind of weapon we’ve seen in the hands of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, and so many others.
Aside from being the very first example of lightsaber that Star Wars fans were exposed to in A New Hope, the single-bladed lightsaber was used by some of the most powerful Jedi and Sith in the entire universe, which must mean that wielding the standard type of this weapon has its value.
Considering that the training lightsaber – with which Jedi younglings train – is a less harmful version of a single-bladed lightsaber, it is only natural that most will choose this type of weapon when they become fully fledged Jedi. They’ve been training their entire lives for this!
8 UNDERWATER LIGHTSABER
An underwater lightsaber is a single-bladed lightsaber that was modified to work underwater. Most lightsabers – single-bladed or otherwise – short out once the blade touches water, but an underwater lightsaber is powered by two crystals that yield a bifurcating cyclical-ignition pulse, meaning that the blade will keep working even when it is submerged.
The biggest example of someone who wields an underwater lightsaber is Kit Fisto, who was seen in the Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith movies, and later was granted an even larger role in the Clone Wars animated series. As a matter of fact, it was precisely in the animated TV show that Kit Fisto’s underwater lightsaber was seen in action, as the Jedi found himself in the middle of an impending civil war on the planet of Mon Cala.
Another slight variation to the standard single-bladed lightsaber is the curved-hilt type wielded by the likes of Count Dooku (in the Attack of the Clones film and Clone Wars animated series), Darth Bane, and Tott Doneeta.
Though the curved hilt design poses a more challenging construction of the lightsaber during the process of aligning its crystals into place, a curved-hilt lightsaber gives its wielders a better grip and, therefore, allows them to have more precise movements during a lightsaber-to-lightsaber battle. This type of hilt is also more malleable within one’s grasp, meaning that attacks can be struck from many different angles that a standard single-bladed lightsaber could probably not bend to.
At the end of the day, however, Count Dooku was defeated by Anakin, who wielded a standard single-bladed lightsaber. It’s all about your skill and the Force!
If this were a contest of coolest-looking lightsabers, the Darksaber would’ve taken the #1 spot. This is a lightsaber with an obsidian-black blade that is surrounded by a ghastly white aura. It has an angular, one-of-a-kind hilt and sounds completely different from other lightsabers.
The Darksaber was created by the first man from the Mandalorian group to ever become a Jedi. As it was passed down from generation to generation, it eventually reached Pre Vizsla, who appears in the Clone Wars animated series.
Though the Darksaber is an awesome and special lightsaber, it didn’t protect Pre Vizsla from being killed by Darth Maul, who stole the weapon for himself. It wouldn’t be until Star Wars Rebels that we saw Sabine Wren become the new wielder of the Darksaber.
5 FORKED / CROSSGUARD LIGHTSABER
The crossguard lightsaber was an ancient design of lightsabers that date back to the Great Scourge of Malachor. It is essentially a standard, twin-bladed lightsaber with a forked hilt – meaning that the weapon has a second emitter at a 45-degree angle to the axis of the hilt where a short, “sideways” beam of light is discharged.
Though it is not commonly seen in the hands of many Jedi and Sith, the crossguard lightsaber was featured in the Star Wars Rebels animated TV series as Ezra Bridger stumbled upon one that had a green blade. This type of weapon would only enter the mainstream as it was introduced as Kylo Ren’s lightsaber of choice in The Force Awakens. Of course, his comes with a fiery red blade.
4 INTERLOCKING / PAIRED LIGHTSABERS
Interlocking lightsabers are a pair of curved-hilt lightsabers that are used in unison, a weapon combination seen countless of times in the hands of Asajj Ventress, who is part of the Nightsisters clan.
This pair of lightsabers can be linked through a fiber cord (becoming a sort of double-bladed lightsaber) or used separately, depending on the need of the battle. The biggest advantage in this combination of weapons is that its wielders can strike from surprising angles, as well as having the ability to defend themselves while attacking.
Asajj Ventress inherited her interlocking lightsabers from Komari Vosa, who trained under Count Dooku and, because of him, developed an appreciation for curved-hilt lightsabers. Another wielder of interlocking lightsabers is Sa Cuis, the Emperor’s Hand.
Though this is a very rare type of lightsaber that has never been seen in the movies, the Lightwhip has got to be among the strongest and most menacing types of weapons in the Star Wars universe.
For the Jedi, it requires a special training to wield a Lightwhip. Unlike the standard lightsaber’s stiffly erect beam of energy (which resembles a blade), the Lightwhip emits a continuous beam of energy that is much longer and entirely malleable (like a whip).
This technology is achieved due to the unique construction of the Lightwhip. Instead of a single crystal sitting at the base of a standard lightsaber to produce its beam of energy, the Lightwhip is made of several smaller crystals that travel throughout the flexible cords that hang from the weapon’s hilt.
2 DOUBLE-BLADED LIGHTSABER / SABERSTAFF
The double-bladed lightsaber, also known as Saberstaff, essentially makes the case that, when it comes to weapons, “two is better than one” and “the bigger, the better.”
The Saberstaff was most notably seen in the hands of Darth Maul during the events of The Phantom Menace. It was Maul’s Saberstaff that killed Qui-Gon Jinn and nearly defeated Obi-Wan Kenobi. Besides Darth Maul, there have been other Force users who had wielded such a weapon, such as Exar Kun, Darth Zannah, and Pong Krell (whose four arms allowed him to use two Saberstaffs at the same time).
While nothing beats battling skills and a strong Force sensitivity, having a double-bladed lightsaber is certainly one of the best possible options for any Jedi or Sith, allowing them to have a wider defense, a longer range of attack, and double the chances of hurting an enemy.
1 INQUISITORIOUS LIGHTSABER
If you thought Darth Maul’s Saberstaff was the best, watch this: there is such a thing as a double-bladed spinning (you read that right: spinning) lightsaber that was designed and built specially for the Inquisitorious, which is a group of Force-sensitive agents that worked on behalf of the Galactic Empire during the aftermath of the Clone Wars.
It really doesn’t really get any cooler or more menacing than a double-bladed lightsaber that also happens to spin. The way it works is simple: the hilt is attached to a disk that holds the light beam emitters. While the wielder is simply holding on to the hilt, it is the disk around it that allows the blades to spin in a circular motion, making it nearly impossible for an opponent to strike the person or creature who wields it.
Which Star Wars lightsaber would you rather wield? Let us know in the comments!