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Lightsaber Types and Blade Variants

Hilt variations


"Lightsaber technology left the power pack behind long ago."

―Jaden Korr

Archaic lightsabers—commonly referred to as protosabers—were the first known design of lightsaber. Like later lightsabers, their focusing crystal was set inside a hilt from which a blade of energy was emitted. The main difference between protosabers and later lightsabers was that the hilt was connected via cable to an external power pack due to limitations in power pack technology.

These lightsabers had limited power life and the mobility of the user was restricted by the cord linking the hilt of the weapon to the power supply.

As technology improved, the protosaber design was abandoned in favor of the modern lightsaber design, with some archaic lightsabers modified to remove the necessity of an external power supply. Some later attempts were made to reintroduce the external power supply using modern technology, trading less mobility for a stronger power source.

Standard lightsaber

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.

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 the Sith Lord Exar Kun, 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 (also referred to as "lightsaber tonfa")

Guard shoto was a rare perpendicular-gripped type of short lightsaber with a second handle extending from the main hilt at 90 degrees. Though it could be gripped by either hilt, when wielded by the perpendicular handle, it was especially useful at blocking other lightsabers.

crossguard lightsaber

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.

Curved-hilt lightsaber

The curved-hilt lightsaber, also called a dueling lightsaber, was a standard lightsaber design that was often seen during the prime of Form II lightsaber combat, both among the Jedi and Sith Orders.

The degree of the curve at the top of the hilt in relation to the hand holds was the important factor. The curve at the bottom of the hilt (if present) only affected electronics and power core placement. The bottom curvature on many lightsabers was mostly ornamental.

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, with some examples, such as the weapon of Warb Null simply being double the length of standard hilts, and others, such as Darth Nihl's weapon, being staffs with a lightsaber blade on the end.

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.


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. Tera Sinube wielded such a weapon, as did the Sith acolyte Haazen.

War Dragon rider's saber

At some point between the start of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Galactic Empire, a warrior mounted on an Ubese Thorn-Back War Dragon wielded a modified lightsaber with two hilts and three separate blades, one on each end and one connecting the weapon's two handles together.

blade variations

Training lightsaber

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.

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.

Known wielders of dual-phase lightsabers include Darth Vader, Dooku, Corran Horn and Exar kun.


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 diminuative size, making a full sized lightsaber impractical, though this is not always the case. Examples of this would be duelists such as Vandar Tokare, Picaroon C. Boodle or Yoda. other duelists known to have wielded shotos in combat include Kavar, Sora Bulq, Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, and many others.


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. An example of such a being is the mutated Gamorrean Dark Jedi, Gorc.


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. Lightwhip wielders include Githany, Lumiya, Silri.


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.


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.


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.

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