To some people, the lightsaber is a force of good wielded by those sworn to protect the galaxy from the empire. To others, it's a volatile weapon used by the worst of the worst and symbolises corruption and repression. And to some, the weapon is nothing more than an ancient and outdated relic.
But there is one thing everyone can agree on - lightsabers are awesome. People who aren't even fans of Star Wars can't deny how cool a lightsaber is. If you have never held up a stick and pretended to wield it like you're Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader while making 'vhhhh" sounds, you haven't lived.
Lightsabers are such a massive part of George Lucas' franchise, we often forget that we don't know the first thing about them. None of the films ever explain how these weapons even work nor do they say who invented them. How much do they cost? How many different types are there?
Amazingly, there is an answer for each of these questions. Read on to learn the secrets behind the most famous fictional weapon in movie history.
10. How Do Lightsabers Work?
Star Wars started as a movie franchise but quickly branched out into tv shows, comics, novels, video games, and animated series. But if your knowledge of the series stems purely from the films, you probably don't know the first thing about lightsabers. Although it is explained how they are constructed in other mediums, such details are entirely absent from the trilogies and spin-offs.
The light that emanates from the hilt is powered by a kyber crystal, which is a Force-attuned gem found across the cosmos. Jedi in training were sent to the ice planet of Ilum to mine kyber and use it forge their own weapons. A cracked crystal will work in a lightsaber but runs the risk of malfunctioning or exploding. Kylo Ren's weapon uses a cracked kyber but is still able to function since the hilt diverts excess energy from the sides, creating a light-based cross guard.
One would presume the hilt must be metallic to withstand the searing heat of the blade but this isn't always the case. Some hilts are fashioned out of jewels, tree bark, ore, bone, and even whale hide.