To celebrate the release of Star Wars in 3D I’d thought I’d go into a little known history of the Sith and Jedi’s weapons.
A Jedi’s weapon, “Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon.” The weapon consists of a blade of pure plasma emitting from the hilt and suspended in a force containment field. The field contains the immense heat of the plasma, protecting the wielder, and allowing the blade to keep its shape.
Before lightsabers, the Jedi and Sith used metal swords, which through the Force would increase. The first lightsabers didn’t come into existence until after the Force Wars. Then the Jedi combined advanced offworld technology with a forging ritual, learning how to “freeze” a laser beam. Their studies were a success and developed a method to generate a focused beam of energy that arced making a circle back to the source, to create a controlled energy circuit and leading to the first portable high-energy blades. But these energy blades needed a power source that was carried on the built of their user. The weapon was attached with a power-cable, causing the wielders to be restricted and making the packs to be useable for a brief time before they overheated.
It seems the first true lightsaber was the First Blade, built by an unknown Weapon Master, before the Cold War. The hilt of the First Blade was found by the Scorekeeper’s Herald at the time of the Cold War. The Jedi mounted the hilt into a lightsaber of his own, using a crystal.
Over the years the lightsabers went Lightsabers through many changes but the Dark Lords of the Sith were ultimately responsible for the final style and advancement, replacing the power packs with a power cell within the hilt. Modified, the power cell would only expend power when the energy loop was broken, such as when the lightsaber cut something, solving the power supply problem. The Sith also created the first Double-bladed lightsabers.
With Naga Sadow’s invasion of the Republic in 5,000 BBY and the start of the Great Hyperspace War, the technological innovations pioneered by the Sith were brought to the Republic and the Jedi. The majority of the Sith now used Sith Swords, while the Jedi continued to use the protosabers, as they hadn’t time to adapt and use these new designs. But with the Sith defeat at the end of the great war, the Jedi adopted the modern lightsaber.
Two Jedis that were turned to the dark side, Revan and Malak, headed their own Sith Empire and invaded the Republic, causing a war that last several years. Revan picked up the tradition of using red blades laid out by the original Sith. Thus the red lightsabers became recognized as the mark of a darksider.