All 18 Lightsaber Types In Star Wars Canon Explained


  • There are various types of lightsabers in the Star Wars universe, each with unique features and designs. Some of the most notable lightsaber types include:
  • Double-Bladed Lightsabers: These lightsabers have two blades, one on either side of the hilt. They were popular among the Sith and were used by characters like Darth Maul and Pong Krell.
  • Switchblade Lightsabers: This type of lightsaber has two blades that can be folded up or switched down into a double-bladed configuration. It was introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and was used by Jedi Master Pong Krell and a dark vision of Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

In the Star Wars universe, all lightsabers are highly coveted weapons for several reasons. When Luke Skywalker first held Anakin’s lightsaber, Obi-Wan Kenobi told him it was “an elegant weapon for a more civilized time.” Ever since then, the lightsaber has been a symbol of Star Wars – the brilliant blues and greens have been an expression of hope, while the blood–red hues of the Sith lightsabers have sparked terror across the galaxy. Elegant they may be, but the lightsaber is far from simple.

The mechanical construction of a lightsaber is relatively straightforward, but its power comes from the rare kyber crystal contained within. According to various projects from Star Wars canon, wielding a lightsaber is less like holding a sword than it is directing a current of power. This bond between Jedi and lightsaber explains why specific blades have become venerated. Many lightsabers are customized to serve the strengths (and limitations) of their wielders, and are best used with specific lightsaber combat forms. Here is every canon lightsaber model in Star Wars.

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18 The Standard “Battle Saber” Lightsaber

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


Best-known examples

The Skywalker lightsaber (used by Anakin, Luke, and Rey); Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber

The most famous lightsaber type is the standard blade. This is the stance used by the likes of Luke, Anakin, and Rey Skywalker to name but a few. George Lucas chose to give Jedi lightsabers in part because he knew swords have historically been seen as ritualistic objects, imbued with mystical significance, or used as proof of birthright. That makes this lack of customization seem rather odd.

This is explained in Star Wars The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight #1, by Charles Soule, Ibraim Roberson, and Phil Noto. This reveals Huyang, a droid created 25,000 years ago to help Jedi construct their lightsabers, established guidance on constructing quick, efficient “Battle Sabers” in times of crisis. These Battle Sabers were built in the field, and they required minimal effort, meaning their loss in battle wouldn’t be so distressing. Obi-Wan may have insisted Anakin’s Battle Saber was his life, but Anakin can be forgiven for not having that kind of emotional attachment to his lightsaber.

Some lightsabers have bent hilts, helping to improve the design for dueling; some have different nozzles to give the blade a slightly different shape; and, of course, lightsabers come in all sorts of different sizes. No doubt these customizations were added with time, as a Jedi bonded to the kyber within their blade and began to adapt it to their own purpose. All lightsabers are in some way or another reflections of their respective users, down to Star Wars’ many lightsaber colors.

17 Dual-Phase Lightsaber

Darth Vader’s modified lightsaber made him even more dangerous


Best-known example

Darth Vader’s lightsaber

Darth Vader was proficient with all lightsabers, but he personally wielded the unusual and highly versatile dual-phase model. Considered a relic of an older, more violent time, the dual-phase lightsaber possesses two kyber crystals. At the flick of a switch, Vader can rotate the kyber crystals into a new alignment to change the length of his blade. This can be useful in taking an opponent by surprise, although the lengths require different combat techniques – meaning only a true master of combat should attempt to use a dual-phase lightsaber.

It’s unwise to change the alignment in the middle of a battle, because there will be a moment when the kyber crystals rotate and the lightsaber is therefore deactivated

Darth Vader uses this with care. It’s unwise to change the alignment in the middle of a battle, because there will be a moment while the kyber crystals rotate and the lightsaber is therefore deactivated. In theory, Vader could have incorporated this brief deactivation into his combat style, throwing an opponent off-balance; this is a classic technique called Tràkata, which tended to be mixed with the lightsaber form Jar’Kai. But Vader chose instead to switch lengths before a battle, or during an interval, presumably disliking the moment of vulnerability.

16 Training Lightsaber

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

Yoda trains a group of Younglings in Star Wars Attack of the Clones

Best-known examples

Wielded by Jedi Younglings in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Young Jedi Adventures

The Star Wars prequel trilogy included a scene in which a group of Younglings were shown training with lightsabers. It’s important to understand these were not ordinary lightsabers, but rather ones designed for training. These blades are shorter than a typical lightsaber, designed to fit in young hands, and their energy is set to low intensity to prevent injury. According to Lucasfilm’s book Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection, a solid hit will still deliver a shock that temporarily numbs muscles.

Training lightsabers have been around for centuries. Young Jedi Adventures even revealed 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 have been hints Luke Skywalker learned how to construct them for his Jedi Temple on Ossus, too.

Curiously, The Acolyte has confirmed that training lightsabers are not always used by Jedi Padawans when they are practicing complex sequences. Even the trailers for The Acolyte have shown Padawans training with metal rods instead. These are presumably useful for learning sequences where an error would give them a shock that disrupted training.

15 The Protosaber

This may be the first lightsaber ever made

Star Wars Vader Immortal

Only known example

The protosaber in Vader: Immortal

The Vader Immortal VR game featured an intriguing weapon called the protosaber. It was far more ornate than most lightsabers, featuring 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 actually exposed, mounted on an ignition ring of some kind that presumably testifies to the extreme age of this Force relic.

The name “protosaber” implies that this was one of the first lightsabers ever constructed. There’s actually some evidence lightsabers predate the Jedi Order; the Star Wars: Force & Destiny sourcebook Knights of Fate hints 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.

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14 Shoto Blades

Seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka


Best-known example

Ahsoka Tano’s second lightsaber blade

The Jedi Ahsoka Tano’s two lightsabers include what is known as a shoto blade. This kind of shorter lightsaber is typically used by a more aggressive Jedi warrior, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni intended this to indicate Anakin’s influence upon Ahsoka. She traditionally held the Shoto blade in her off-hand, and it made her a fierce combatant. Sourcebooks have mentioned a further sub-type of the Shoto called a “Guard Shoto.” This features an additional hilt set at a 90-degree angle, helping the Jedi transition smoothly from attack to defense.

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In Star Wars Legends, the shoto blade was originally developed to help in battle against the lightwhip. Given this weapon is now canon, it’s possible the same is true in canon as well. Hopefully it won’t be long before Star Wars gives further information on the history of the shoto blade.

13 Double-Bladed Lightsabers

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


Best-known example

Darth Maul’s dual lightsaber

When Darth Maul made his first appearance in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, he used a weapon like nothing fans had ever seen before. This double-bladed lightsaber has an extra long hilt and apparently incorporates multiple kyber crystals. According to Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection, Maul discovered how to make this by poring over ancient Sith records.

Obi-Wan simply sliced his blade down the middle, cutting the hilt apart

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 deploy traditional techniques, Obi-Wan simply sliced his blade down the middle, cutting the hilt apart – and also striking a deathblow against Maul. This weakness perhaps explains why the Sith stopped using this in ancient times.

12 Switchblade

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

Dark Rey in Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

Best-known examples

Pong Krell, Dark Rey

One unusual double-bladed lightsaber is known as a switchblade. Here, the two blades can be folded up so they are side-by-side, or switched down into the traditional double-bladed configuration. This was introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with a switchblade used by treacherous Jedi Master Pong Krell. A live-action version was seen in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, wielded by a dark vision of Rey. Interestingly, the brief scene showed how a switchblade could be used quite effectively in a duel, as Dark Rey used it to trap Rey’s weapon between hers, which could have easily disarmed her.

11 Lightsaber Pikes

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

temple guards Cropped

Best-known examples

Jedi Temple guards

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. It was used by the temple guards at Coruscant, and the yellow lightsaber blades are symbolic of the eternal flame of the Jedi Order, and the vigilance of its protectors. There were single-bladed variants of the lightsaber pike, with Luke Skywalker discovering one in the comics.

10 Crossguard Lightsabers

Kylo Ren’s famous lightsaber


Best-known examples

Stellan Gios, Kylo Ren

The crossguard lightsaber is an interesting design incorporating three blade emitters. Kylo Ren used an unstable crossguard lightsaber, and he quite enjoyed the sinister crackling emitted by the blade. Another variant of the crossguard lightsaber has been seen in the High Republic Era, wielded by Stellan Gios. This appears to be a refinement of the older crossguard design Kylo Ren developed, with physical quillons to control and direct the energy streams at the sides. These quillons point forward toward the emitter when the saber is not in use, and the weapon rests in a specially designed 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 stance, with heavy, crushing blows being used to break opponents’ defenses.

9 The Inquisitors’ Lightsabers

The unique blades used by the Imperial Inquisitors


Best-known examples

All Inquisitors

The Imperial Inquisitors are former Jedi who served the Empire by hunting down Force-sensitives. They wielded unusual and distinctive lightsabers, which they could actually spin as a sort of helicopter. The spinning can grant a tactical advantage in any lightsaber duel, and the sight of spinning lightsaber blades can be highly intimidating – useful for a variety of Inquisitor work. The Eighth Brother’s saber incorporated additional buzz-saw teeth that give him a further edge in both combat and intimidation.

8 The Great Lightsaber

Possibly seen in Ahsoka


Possible example

Baylan Skoll’s in Ahsoka

The Great Lightsaber is an unusual lightsaber type mentioned in the Star Wars: Force & Destiny sourcebook Knights of Fate. These are oversized lightsabers built for use by beings who have large, powerful frames; they have heavier hilts and more powerful blades, meaning strikes carry much more kinetic force than is usually the case. Baylan Skoll in Ahsoka appears to use a Great Lightsaber, with the lightsaber droid Huyang claiming this is the only one he’s seen in 500 years.

7 The Lightfoil

Possibly seen in Ahsoka

Shin Hati wields her lightsaber in Ahsoka episode 8.

Possible example

Shin Hati’s in Ahsoka

The lightfoil is another unusual lightsaber type, and it’s possible this weapon is used by Shin in Ahsoka. Lightfoils are smaller, slimmer blades designed for dueling, and it’s believed the first lightfoils were created by the Sith roughly 5,000 years ago. They’re rapier-like, perfect for swift duels.

6 Lightsaber Whip

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

Best known example

Vernestra Rwoh’s lightsaber

The lightsaber whip is one of the most unusual lightsaber types in Star Wars history. All lightsabers generate a magnetic field to control the stream of energy channeled by the kyber crystal; this is what gives the lightsaber its distinctive blade shape. A lightwhip, however, features a weaker and more malleable magnetic field that can be used like a whip. The same amount of energy is diffused along a larger area, meaning the “strand” of the whip is less dangerous, but they are damaging enough to be pretty lethal.

Justina Ireland’s “A Test of Courage” introduced the lightsaber whip, a version of the lightsaber that can actually be transformed into a lightwhip with a twist and switch. The Force guided young Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh into making the adjustments, although she briefly concealed them from the Jedi Council, wary that they would not approve – lightwhips are typiically associated with the dark side of the Force. Vernestra Rwoh will be played by Rebecca Henderson in The Acolyte, when the lightsaber whip will make its live-action debut.

Star Wars the High Republic Vernestra Rwoh Wielding a Blue Lightsaber Vernestra Rwoh

A prodigy among the Jedi of the High Republic, Vernestra “Vern” Rwoh was one of the youngest Jedi ever to achieve the rank of Knight. She served at a time of crisis for the Republic, battling on the front lines against the Nihil, the Nameless, and the Drengir, and proving herself wise beyond her years. Vern will appear in live-action in The Acolyte, set over a hundred years after she became a Master, at the tail end of the High Republic Era.

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5 The Darksaber

Seen in Star Wars Rebels, The Mandalorian


Only example

The Darksaber

The rare Darksaber in The Mandalorian is a unique lightsaber, created a thousand years ago by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Knights. Although the weapon is clearly related to the typical lightsaber, its energy blade is a strange, shimmering black – one that is flat rather than cylindrical, giving the Darksaber a distinctive appearance. Whoever holds the Darksaber is believed to have the right to declare themselves ruler of the Mandalorians.

Curiously, the Darksaber’s weight and efficiency in combat largely depend on the mental and emotional state of the user. Apart from just Force mastery, the Darksaber can be properly wielded through sheer willpower, which is how Moff Gideon was able to swing it freely. As of the ending of The Mandalorian season 3, the Darksaber was destroyed, begging the question of whether it will be reforged in the future of Star Wars.

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4 The Stranger’s Trick Lightsaber

Introduced in The Acolyte


Only known example

The Stranger’s lightsaber

The Acolyte introduced a new Sith lightsaber that perfectly suits their reputation for deception. This lightsaber’s extended hilt contains a secret; a detachable second hilt, unlocked with a twist. The second hilt contains a smaller battery, meaning it essentially forms something of a light-dagger rather than a traditional lightsaber. This is easily one of the most cunning tricks in Star Wars, because the Stranger uses it to take opponents by surprise.

3 Ezra’s Unique Lightsaber

A custom-built lightsaber unlike any other

Ezra shows off his new lightsaber in Star Wars Rebels

Only known example

Ezra Bridger’s lightsaber

In Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger constructed one of the most remarkable lightsaber designs seen to date. Jedi had always built lightsabers using whatever they had 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 own skills, and after it was destroyed by Darth Vader, he replaced it with a standard, single-bladed lightsaber.

2 Kanan Jarrus’ lightsaber

A surprising collapsible lightsaber

Kanan Jarrus from Star Wars Rebels holding his lightsaber.

Only known example

Kanan Jarrus’ lightsaber

Ezra was taking after his master, who also used a unique lightsaber. Kanan’s lightsaber was essentially collapsible, in that he could split it into two parts. According to the Star Wars Rebels: Season 2 Sourcebook, Kanan wore “the main body and grip of the hilt on the small of his back, and the top portion that produced the blade on his left side.” All he needed to do to assemble his lightsaber was snap the parts together and twist. This was the perfect lightsaber to use during the Dark Times of the Empire’s reign.

1 The Lightspear

Referenced in Star Wars: The High Republic

Star Wars Light of the Jedi Cover

Only known example

Referenced in Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi

Apparently, the ancient Sith used another type of lightsaber, known as a lightspear. 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 lightspear has never been described in any detail, so nothing is yet known about this design. Hopefully, it won’t be long before the lightspear reappears alongside a deeper explanation about its specific differences as a lightsaber variation in the Star Wars galaxy.

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