Lightsabers are one of the most iconic fictional weapons in popular culture. Even people who have never seen Star Wars are familiar with the glowing blades. While anyone can pick up a lightsaber and turn it on, it takes a particular balance with the force to use one with skill and precision. Both the Jedi and the Sith use the elegant weapons and regardless of which side someone is on, it’s clear that anyone who wields a lightsaber is important.
While lightsabers are certainly cool, the genre is called science fiction for a reason. There are a lot of unique things lightsabers are capable, but of course, not all of them are rational, even within the confines of the sci-fi genre. Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know Lightsabers Can Do (And 5 That Make No Sense).
20 Didn’t Know: Can Turn People To The Dark Side
Everyone is familiar with red lightsabers belonging to the dark side, but some lightsabers can actually turn people to the dark side.
The Soulsaber is a weapon, similar to a lightsaber, that acts as a manifestation of the dark side. Anyone who touches the blade is immediately hit with a wave of dark side energy. It can corrupt Force-sensitive people and force them to act on their anger and aggression.
19 Makes No Sense: Clash With Other Sabers
Some of the most epic scenes in Star Wars are the lightsaber duels. While it’s cool to see them clash and hear the sounds they make, it’s actually unrealistic.
The blades are composed of light, so scientifically the two lightsabers should pass through each other. That makes for boring action sequences, of course, so the movies rely on the fiction aspect of science fiction for that.
18 Didn’t Know: Can Be Any Color
There are lightsabers representing every color of the rainbow, and many fans have wondered why that is. While it’s never been explained in canon, some believe it depends on which Kyber Crystal powers the weapon.
Some people, on the other hand, believe that the color of the lightsaber depends on the Force of the Jedi or Sith using it. Either way, it’s clear they can be any color.
17 Didn’t Know: Cut Through (Almost ) Anything
A lightsaber is a powerful weapon. Its laser blade is capable of cutting through nearly anything.
There are only a handful of materials impervious to its heat. Cortosis, Beskar, Phrik, and of course, other lightsabers. While it’s a short list, it’s important information for anyone facing a Jedi in combat to have.
16 Didn’t Know: Be Made Into Rifles
Lightsabers aren’t merely laser swords. The weapons can also be fastened into rifles. One of these rifles was used by Jocasta Nu against Darth Vader during the first year of the Galactic Empire.
The lightsaber is loaded into a slot, and when fired produces a powerful beam of energy. After only five shots, the rifle can no longer be fired and the lightsaber is melted beyond usage.
15 Didn’t Know: They Can Bleed
While lightsabers are weapons, not living creatures, they can actually bleed, though it’s not the same concept as a person being wounded.
Bleeding is a process that the dark side uses to bend Kyber Crystals to their will. The individual must pour all of their hate and anger into the crystal with the Force, causing it to turn red, just like the lightsaber Darth Vader famously uses.
14 Makes No Sense: Weigh So Little
Most weapons as technologically advanced and powerful as a lightsaber should be somewhat heavy to use. Despite that, people are often seen throwing them through the air and spinning them with ease.
George Lucas wanted the actors to treat them like a broadsword, while the prequels had actors flinging lightsabers all over the place. Fans have been confused by their weight for years.
13 Didn’t Know: Can Be Wielded Different Ways
While it seems like Jedi’s can wield lightsabers with ease, there are actually multiple intricate styles of lightsaber combat. It isn’t as simple as slicing the blade through the air.
There are seven different traditional combat styles. Shii-Cho, Makashi, Soresu, Ataru, Shien & Djem So, Niman, and Juyo. While each is unique in style, they are often overlapped when used in a duel or fight.
12 Didn’t Know: Be Powered By Battery Packs
Lightsabers have come a long way since they first appeared. The first lightsabers, or protosabers, were powered by battery packs.
Obviously this made the weapon far more limited. The mobility in combat was restricted by the cable running from the lightsaber to the battery. Thankfully for the Jedi, the technology improved to where they eventually didn’t need the pack.
11 Makes No Sense: Used By Kids (which is way too dangerous)
It makes sense that there are Jedis in training. Kids strong with The Force need to be taught how to utilize it. What doesn’t make sense, however, is giving small children high powered, lethal weapons.
No kid should use a lightsaber. It would make far more sense for them to train with sticks or staffs before having them handle such a dangerous blade.
10 Didn’t Know: Survive Being Wet
It may seem strange for a hot laser to be able to survive getting wet, but it’s true. Some lightsabers are waterproof.
While ordinary ones will cease to work once submerged, they can be altered to work underwater. During the Clone Wars, most Jedi modified them so they would function even when wet.
9 Didn’t Know: Land Someone In Jail
Most Star Wars fans are aware that the Jedi were once illegal, and this also extends to their weapons. Emperor Palpatine made having a lightsaber a criminal offense.
During this time, many of them were destroyed. Some did find their way to collectors, and it’s unclear what the punishment was for possessing one, but it was most likely imprisonment or even losing your life.
8 Didn’t Know: Cauterize Any Wound
One of the most iconic scenes in Star Wars was when Luke lost his limb. His wound was burnt badly but he didn’t bleed.
While there is a scene in A New Hope where someone bleeds after suffering a lightsaber wound, in most cases, there is no blood when losing an appendage from the energy blade. It seems like lightsabers can cauterize wounds.
7 Makes No Sense: Blades Are Limited
While the concept of a blade made from a laser is pretty cool, it doesn’t make much sense. They’re ultimately streams of light, so what keeps them from shining up into the sky?
Something causes the lightsaber beam to stop at a certain length, which defies the laws of science. Some people have tried to explain it, but it just doesn’t seem very reasonable.
6 Didn’t Know: Turn Off When Dropped
A lot of people don’t realize it consciously as they’re watching the films, but lightsabers turn off when they are dropped.
Supposedly, lightsabers have a built-in switch that becomes deactivated when the operator is no longer holding it. It’s a simple answer to a question not many have thought to ask.
5 Didn’t Know: Can Be Powered By Pure Dark Side Energy
Everyone is familiar with red lightsabers like Kylo Ren’s, but not everyone is aware that some lightsabers are powered by pure dark side energy, like Forcesabers.
Forcesabers channel dark side energy through their blade and it puts even those on the light side at risk of being corrupted. Most people on the light side were too afraid to use them.
4 Didn’t Know: Be Black
Audiences have seen lightsabers that are green, blue, purple, and more, but not everyone is aware there is a black lightsaber known as the Darksaber.
The only lightsaber of its kind, the Darksaber was an ancient weapon that was owned by the early version of the Jedi Order. It was shaped like a traditional sword and was eventually used as a symbol of leadership for those who possessed it.
3 Didn’t Know: Explode
While it isn’t very common, lightsabers have been known to explode here and there. It makes sense, considering how much power is stored within them. Anything that compact and full of energy is bound to be explosive.
On the Clone Wars television show, someone wrongly constructs his lightsaber, causing it to explode when turned on. No one perished, but it was still extremely dangerous.
2 Makes No Sense: Cut Off Limbs
Characters in Star Wars are known to be at risk for losing limbs. Luke famously lost his hand while other people have literally been sliced in half.
While it’s an impressive thing to happen on screen, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. In a realistic lightsaber duel, a person touched by the blade would likely explode. Thankfully, Star Wars doesn’t rely on realistic science.
1 Didn’t Know: Have The Ability To Be Semi-Sentient
While Lightsabers themselves aren’t exactly sentient, it seems like Kyber Crystals are. The crystals at the heart of a saber have “personalities” that work with the Force capabilities of the user.
They call out to those sensitive to the Force they connect with most, meaning they sort of choose their own user. While it’s not necessarily confirmed, it seems that they are sort-of sentient because they can transmit living energy.