THE DARTH VADER LIGHTSABER IS MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOU THINK
The fabled lightsabers of the Jedi Order are some of the most recognizable weapons in the entire Star Wars universe. Their iconic red, blue, and green colors, coupled with the tell-tale sound of a battle clash, signify that an opponent wielding a lightsaber is a powerful one indeed.
Owning a lightsaber was a high honor that many respected, usually connoting significant status, wealth, or mastery of technique. However, some lightsaber wielders, including the infamous Darth Vader, took their love for the weapon to the next level. Not only did Vader spend years modifying his personal lightsaber, but he dedicated a significant amount of time to inventing what would be his perfect offensive technique.
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN
Lightsabers are composed of three critical parts: the blade, the hilt, and a custom kyber crystal. These crystals are commonly found on the snow planet of Illum, although not every lightsaber uses kyber crystals for activation. History has recorded objects like bones, glass pieces, and nanotechnology as substitutes for Grey Jedi. When a saber is activated, a pure plasma blade of varying color appears up through the hilt and suspended in a containment sphere which maintains the shape of the saber.
Lightsabers are created after Jedi younglings reach an age range of 8 – 13 and attend The Gathering. Each youngling will find their own kyber crystal and construct their first-ever lightsaber. Once the piece is created, the youngling will be chosen by a Jedi Master to serve as a padawan.
The construction of each saber relies heavily on the personality, fighting style, and worldview of the wielder. As you might imagine, Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber functioned quite differently than Darth Vader’s prized possession.
BUILDING THE DARTH VADER LIGHTSABER
Darth Vader was never one to wax poetic. Constructing his first blade as Sith soon after his fated conversion, Vader used Darth Sidious’ impeccable blade as a blueprint. Vader was a practitioner of Form V lightsaber combat, meaning that he focused on defensive stances and strong counter attacks. With this in mind, Vader chose a crimson synth crystal for added offensive power, coupled with a heavily ridged handgrip for supporting his mechanical arm. A powerful diatium power cell, dual phase crystal, and ‘popped’ emitter shroud are several of the other lightsaber modifications added over the course of Vader’s life.
Although he would meet his demise only a few decades later, the Darth Vader lightsaber tells a fascinating history of his complicated, messy, and ultimately redeemed life as the Chosen One.