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Star Wars' Lightsabers Originally Had a Genius Dark Side Cost

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 1/28/2023 Spencer Connolly
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The lightsaber is the preferred weapon of the Jedi, not just because they are spiritually connected to their lightsabers, but that the use of, say, blasters or primitive blades/blunt weaponry is considered uncivilized–though while the more modern Jedi use lightsabers to keep peace in the Star Wars galaxy, the plasma-blades originally had a Dark Side cost, and it was absolutely brilliant.

Lightsabers are powered by Kyber Crystals, and while anyone can technically wield one (as shown in Star Wars: Episode V when Han used Luke’s on Hoth) it takes a Force-sensitive to make one. Someone who is in tune with the Force can go to where Kyber Crystals are kept, pick the one that ‘calls’ to them, and use it to build their very own lightsaber–all while only using the Force during the assembly process. For a Sith, this process is similar, but infinitely darker. When it comes to lightsaber colors, there are no naturally red Kyber Crystals, which means the Sith achieve that universal color of their order by bleeding a Kyber Crystal with pure Dark Side energy–effectively turning any color the lightsaber original was into a menacing red. As insidious as that sounds, the original lightsabers required something much darker of its user–something that even the Jedi had to abide by.

Related: Star Wars Sets the Stage to Make a Major Villain Immune to Lightsabers

In Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi - Force Storm by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, readers are given the full origin story of the Jedi order, including one of the first known lightsabers that was originally dubbed the Forcesaber. In the early days of the Jedi Order (back when they were known as the Je’Daii) those who were considered Force Sensitive were brought to a world known as Tython where they learned how to balance the ways of both the Light and Dark Side of the Force. Meanwhile, in other areas of the galaxy, there existed a dark empire–known as the Infinite Empire, run by the Ratakan–who abducted Force-sensitives and kept them as their Force Hounds who would only be used to commit cosmic atrocities in the name of the Empire. While the Je’Daii didn’t rely on weapons outside fairly normal swords, the Infinite Empire required their Hounds to wield Forcesabers–a weapon that could only be used while channeling the Dark Side of the Force.

Even Jedi Needed to Channel the Dark Side to Use the Original Lightsaber

Forcesabers are a Ratakan invention that can only be built and used if Dark Side energy is channeled through the synthetic crystals within the hilt, meaning even those who only recognized the Light Side of the Force originally had to tap into Dark Side energy to use a Forcesaber. In the third issue of this series, a Force Hound tracks the Je’Daii to Tython in an attempt to conquer the world for the Infinite Empire–sparking an epic battle that ends with the Je’Daii being exposed to the very first ‘lightsaber’. While they don’t know how to operate it at first, one Je’Daii becomes overwhelmed with feelings of anger and hate while holding the hilt–then suddenly, the plasma-blade sparks, and she can freely use the weapon in combat. While on the surface this seems like a hindrance to the Jedi, if not an unfair advantage to the Sith, it is actually a genius parameter to set for such a dangerous weapon.

With this original proto-lightsaber, there was a real cost/benefit idea to igniting one as every single use had the potential to corrupt the wielder. This meant that every time the original Jedi used a lightsaber, it was absolutely necessary as they would have to be willing to put their humanity on the line for the sake of their lives or the lives of those they were trying to protect–adding a weight worthy of this insanely deadly Star Wars weapon while keeping it out of the hands of those who weren’t strong enough with the Force, making the Dark Side cost of using one weirdly genius.

More: Yoda's Latest Failure Exposes the Dark History of His Lightsaber


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