Lightsabers are an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. But how do they work? Lets take a look at the most iconic weapon in Star Wars.
The lightsaber is the iconic weapon of the Jedi and the Sith; synonymous with Force users and a more mythic era of the galaxy, these swords have carved a niche into the history of Republics and Empires alike. But where do these elegant weapons come from? How do they work? And what makes their distinctive hum? Let’s take a look.
The first ligtsabers were created thousands of years ago, long before the age of the Republic, and depending on whose stories you believe perhaps even before the Jedi. Though stories of “Force Wars” between different traditions that predate Jedi and Sith and the mysterious “First Blade” which inspired all Lightsabers are now known to be just legends, and unconfirmed rumors.
Suffice it to say they were known to be in widespread use as far back as the Great Scourge of Malachor. The first known lightsaber, the proto-saber, is said to have emitted twin beams of light along two prongs.
Modern lightsabers, though, are a much more versatile weapon, consisting of a plasma blade powered by a kyber crystal emitted from a hilt designed for hand-to-hand combat. The careful alignment of the kyber crystal in a lightsabers emitter matrix required a Force-sensitive user to make the adjustments, otherwise unfortunate results could come about from a misaligned “blade.”
And when you consider that the lightsaber is powerful enough to cut through even blast doors and the hardened armor of a starship, one might want to avoid any kind of misfortune.
Kyber crystals, sometimes known as “living crystals” are Force-attuned crystals that could be found on planets scattered throughout the galaxy in places where the Force concentrates. These crystals resonate with the will of the force, leaving some to claim they have a collective consciousness, and could even communicate from one crystal to another–or to other living beings. These living crystals comprise both organic and inorganic matter, and exist in a unique configuration that can withstand the temperatures and pressures found in the cores of large stars, making them the perfect vessel to focus a lightsaber’s plasma beam.
Every kyber crystal had its own resonance–when a prospective Jedi came to construct their lightsaber, it is said that the Force itself would guide them to a crystal that suited their personality. Some crystals might emit music or display some kind of harmony when their chosen Jedi was near, but for those whom the crystal was not intended, these living crystals would be cold to the touch.
The bond between Jedi and kyber crystal also denotes the color of a lightsaber–as they bond with a Jedi, the crystal would take on a different hue, typically blue or green but any color might result from the bond. It should be noted that these crystals are inherently attuned to the light side of the Force, and the red color of a dark-side Force-user’s lightsaber comes from using the Force to bend the crystal to the Force-user’s will, corrupting it and causing it to bleed, taking on the distinctive red color most commonly associated with the Sith.
Powered by living crystals, capable of deflecting blaster bolts or even absorbing certain energies, lightsabers have shaped the course of destiny in the galaxy.
May the Force be with you