All 17 Lightsaber Types in Star Wars Canon Explained

In the Star Wars universe, lightsabers are highly prized weapons. When Luke Skywalker first held Anakin’s lightsaber, Obi-Wan Kenobi described it as “an elegant weapon for a more civilized time.”

Since then, the lightsaber has become a symbol of Star Wars. The brilliant blues and greens represent hope, while the Sith’s blood-red lightsabers inspire fear across the galaxy. Though elegant, the lightsaber is a complex and sophisticated weapon.

The mechanical construction of a lightsaber is relatively straightforward, but its power comes from the rare kyber crystal contained within it. According to various Star Wars canon projects, wielding a lightsaber is less like holding a sword than directing a power current.

This bond between Jedi and lightsaber explains why specific blades have become venerated. Many lightsabers are customized to serve their wielders’ strengths (and limitations) and are best used with particular lightsaber combat forms. Here is every Canon lightsaber model in Star Wars.

All 17 Lightsabers in the Star Wars Canon

The Standard “Battle Saber” Lightsaber

Seen in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, etc.

The standard lightsaber blade is the most well-known type. Famous Jedi like Luke, Anakin, and Rey Skywalker use this style.

George Lucas gave Jedi lightsabers because he knew swords have long been seen as sacred objects, filled with mystical meaning, or used to demonstrate one’s heritage. The lack of customization for these iconic weapons seems rather peculiar.

The Star Wars novel “The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight #1,” written by Charles Soule, Ibraim Roberson, and Phil Noto, reveals information about Huyang, a droid created 25,000 years ago to assist Jedi in building their lightsabers.

Huyang guided the construction of quick and efficient “Battle Sabers” for use in times of crisis. These Battle Sabers were built quickly in the field, requiring minimal effort, so their loss in battle would be more manageable. While Obi-Wan insisted that Anakin’s lightsaber was his life, Anakin may not have felt the same intense emotional attachment to his weapon.

Dual-Phase Lightsaber

Darth Vader’s modified lightsaber made him even more dangerous.

Darth Vader was highly skilled with all lightsabers but preferred the unusual and versatile dual-phase model. This lightsaber is considered a relic from an older and more violent era and has two kyber crystals.

By flicking a switch, Vader could rotate the crystals into a new alignment, changing the blade’s length. This could catch opponents off guard, as the different blade lengths required distinct combat techniques. However, only a true combat master should attempt to use a dual-phase lightsaber, as it is challenging to wield.

Darth Vader uses this with care. It’s unwise to change the alignment in the middle of a battle because the kyber crystals will rotate for a moment, and the lightsaber will be deactivated.

What are the different types of lightsabers in Star Wars?
Adam Driver in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) | Source: IMDb

Training Lightsaber

Seen in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

The Star Wars prequel trilogy included a scene where young Jedi students were shown practicing with training lightsabers.

These specialized blades were shorter and had lower power settings than regular lightsabers, designed to fit young hands and prevent injuries.

According to the book Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection, even a solid hit from these training sabers can still deliver a shock that temporarily numbs the muscles. Using the simplified and shorter lightsabers during the Younglings’ training sessions was essential in showcasing their early Jedi education.

Training lightsabers have existed for centuries. Young Jedi Adventures even revealed that Master Yoda kept his first training lightsaber, presumably meaning they were common within just 200 years of the Republic’s reformation after the fall of the Sith.

There are hints that Luke Skywalker learned how to construct them for his Jedi Temple on Ossus.

The Protosaber

This may be the first lightsaber ever made.

The Vader Immortal VR game introduced an intere­sting weapon called the protosaber. It had a more intricate design than most lightsabers, with corkscrew prongs twisting around the base of its blue energy blade and a fan-like structure connecting the crossguard to the hilt.

The kyber crystal was openly displayed and mounted on an ignition ring, which likely indicates the great age of this Force relic.

The name “protosaber” implies this was one of the first lightsabers ever constructed. Some evidence suggests that lightsabers predate the Jedi Order; the Star Wars: Force & Destiny sourcebook Knights of Fate hints at this with a comment about the first Jedi lightsaber form.

“The early Jedi, and perhaps even their precursors, adapted the fighting style that would become Shii-Cho from existing swordplay,” it reads. James Mangold’s upcoming Jedi origin movie may well reveal more.

Shoto Blades

Seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka

Ahsoka Tano, a skilled Jedi, wielded two lightsabers, one of which was a shorter shoto blade. More aggressive Jedi fighters often favor this compact lightsaber. The show’s creator, Dave Filoni, designed the shoto to reflect Anakin’s influence on Ahsoka’s fighting style.

Ahsoka typically held the shoto in her non-dominant hand, making her a formidable combatant. Sourcebooks have mentioned a specialized version of the shoto, called a “Guard Shoto,” which features an additional handle set at a 90-degree angle. This allows Jedi to transition between attack and defense smoothly.

Double-bladed lightsabers

Seen in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels

When Darth Maul debuted in the first Star Wars prequel, he used an unusual weapon that amazed fans. This double-bladed lightsaber had an unusually long handle and seemed to use multiple kyber crystals.

According to the book Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection, Maul learned how to create this by studying ancient Sith documents.

The greatest weakness of the double-bladed lightsaber was revealed in Star Wars Rebels season 3, episode 20, when Darth Maul went up against Obi-Wan Kenobi for the last time.

Rather than employing traditional techniques, Obi-Wan simply sliced his blade down the middle, cutting the hilt apart and striking a deathblow against Maul. This weakness may explain why the Sith stopped using this in ancient times.


Seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

One unusual double-bladed lightsaber is known as a switchblade. In this design, the two blades can be folded to sit side-by-side or switched down into the traditional double-bladed configuration.

This type of lightsaber was first introduced in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, where the treacherous Jedi Master Pong Krell used it.

A live-action version of the switchblade was later seen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, wielded by a dark vision of the character Rey. The brief scene showcased how the switchblade could be used effectively in a duel, as the dark Rey used it to trap her opponent’s weapon between the two blades, which could have easily disarmed her.

What are the different types of lightsabers in Star Wars?
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) | Source: IMDb

Lightsaber Pikes

Seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels

Not to be confused with double-bladed lightsabers, the lightsaber pike is seen in Star Wars animations such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

The temple guards at Coruscant used it, and the yellow lightsaber blades symbolize the eternal flame of the Jedi Order and the vigilance of its protectors. There were single-bladed variants of the lightsaber pike, and Luke Skywalker discovered one in the comics.

Crossguard Lightsabers

Kylo Ren’s famous lightsaber

The crossguard lightsaber is an exciting tool with three­ blade emitters. Kylo Ren used an unstable crossguard lightsaber and seemed to enjoy its intense crackling sound. Another version of the crossguard lightsaber has been seen in the High Republic Era, carried by Stellan Gios.

This appears to be an improved de­sign compared to Kylo Ren’s. It has physical quillons to control and direct the energy streams at the sides. These quillons point forward when the saber is not in use, and the weapon fits into a specially-made holster.

As seen in the High Republic Era, the crossguard lightsaber was very popular when the Jedi were at the peak of their power. Many High Republic Jedi have been revealed as crossguard wielders.

Similarly, the recent video game Star Wars Jedi: Survivor introduced the crossguard variation as a stance Cal Kestis can use during combat. The stance was utilized in-game as a more power-based, with heavy, crushing blows used to break opponents’ defenses.

The Inquisitors’ Lightsabers

The unique blades used by the Imperial Inquisitors

The Imperial Inquisitors were once Jedi who served the Empire by tracking down people with Force abilities. They used unique and distinctive lightsabers that they could spin like a helicopter.

This spinning technique gave them an advantage in lightsaber duels, and the sight of their whirling blades was very intimidating, which helped them perform their various Inquisitor duties. The Eighth Brother’s lightsaber had additional buzzsaw teeth that gave him an extra edge in combat and for instilling fear.

The Great Lightsaber

She was possibly seen in Ahsoka.

The Great Lightsaber is an uncommon type of lightsaber mentioned in the Star Wars: Force & Destiny sourcebook Knights of Fate. It is extra-large and designed for beings with big, strong builds.

They have heavier handles and more powerful blades, making their strikes much more forceful than typical lightsabers. Baylan Skoll, in the show Ahsoka, appears to wield a Great Lightsaber, which the lightsaber-builder droid Huyang claims is the only one he’s seen in 500 years.

The Lightfoil

She was possibly seen in Ahsoka.

The lightfoil is another unusual lightsaber type, and Shin may use this weapon in Ahsoka.

Lightfoils are minor, slimmer blades designed for dueling. It’s believed the first lightfoils were created by the Sith roughly 5,000 years ago. They’re rapier-like, perfect for swift duels.

Lightsaber Whip

A unique lightsaber from the Expanded Universe that’s now part of the canon.

In the Star Wars: The High Republic series, the lightsaber whip from the old Expanded Universe has returned. This unusual weapon is strongly associated with the Nightsisters of Dathomir, and the Jedi are not entirely comfortable with it.

However, Jedi Knight Vernestra “Vern” Rwoh has constructed one, guided by the Force. This allows her to transform her lightsaber into a whip quickly. In the hands of a skilled user, the lightsaber whip could be the most versatile of the various lightsaber blade types.

The Darksaber

Seen in Star Wars Rebels, The Mandalorian.

The Darksaber in The Mandalorian is a unique lightsaber created long ago by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to become a Jedi Knight. Unlike a regular lightsaber, it has a flat, shimmering black blade instead of a cylindrical one.

Whoever holds the Darksaber is believed to have the right to rule over the Mandalorians. Interestingly, the Darksaber’s effectiveness in combat depends on the user’s mindset and willpower, not just their control of the Force.

This is how Moff Gideon was able to wield it so skillfully. By the end of The Mandalorian season 3, the Darksaber was destroyed, leaving fans wondering if it will be reforged in future Star Wars stories.

Ezra’s Unique Lightsaber

A custom-built lightsaber unlike any other.

In Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger constructed one of the most remarkable lightsaber designs ever. Jedi have always built lightsabers using whatever they have in hand, and in Ezra’s case, he fashioned his lightsaber using his blaster.

Powered by a blue kyber crystal, this allowed Ezra to alternate between blaster shots and the traditional melee weapon that is a lightsaber.

In truth, it was more a testimony to Ezra’s doubt in his skills. After Darth Vader destroyed it, he replaced it with a standard, single-bladed lightsaber.

Kanan Jarrus’ lightsaber

A surprisingly collapsible lightsaber.

Ezra followed in his mentor’s footsteps, also using a unique lightsaber. Kanan’s lightsaber could be disassembled and split into two parts.

According to the Star Wars Rebels: Season 2 Sourcebook, Kanan wore the main body and grip on his lower back and the blade emitter on his left side. He just needed to snap the parts together and twist to use the lightsaber. This design was perfect for the Dark Times under the Empire’s rule.

The Lightspear

Referenced in Star Wars: The High Republic.

The ancient Sith used another type of lightsaber, known as a light spear. This was never seen in the Expanded Universe and has only once been mentioned in canon – in Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi.

The Sith light spear has never been described in detail, so nothing is known about this design. Hopefully, it won’t be long before the light spear reappears alongside a more profound explanation about its specifics.

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About Star Wars

Star Wars is a space opera franchise created by George Lucas. It all started off in 1977 with its very first film. The series has branched out into several media including tv series, video games, comics, and novels to name a few.

The film is focused on an era where humans co-existed with other species as well as robots. The original film covers the story of Luke Skywalker who is caught in the conflict between the Empire and Rebellion.

In 2021, the franchise released the Star Wars: Visions project which has an anthology of animated shorts from different Japanese anime studios.

Epic Dope Staff

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