In George Lucas’ Star Wars mythos, the lightsabers are one of the most recognizable elements of the whole narrative. These weapons are exceptionally powerful and, as Obi-Wan Kenobi once described them, “not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” The lightsaber is usually associated with the Jedi and the Sith, a group of Force-sensitive inhabitants of the Galaxy, but does this mean that they are exclusive to Force users? Keep reading to find out!
No, you do not need to be Force user to wield and use a lightsaber, but since the lightsaber is a weapon that is difficult to master and is quite rare, it is generally associated with the Force-using Jedi and Sith.
When George Lucas launched the franchise in 1977, with the movie Star Wars (later titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope for continuity reasons), no one expected that it would become one of the biggest stories of the modern area. Star Wars wasn’t initially that successful, but as the years passed, the franchise became a cult classic, attracting generations of fans and now encompassing nine main continuity movies, video games, several TV shows, comic books and a variety of merchandise that made George Lucas famous. The franchise is today owned by Disney, but wherever it might go after the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars will undoubtedly remain one of the pivotal parts of modern culture.
Now, let us see the answer to the main question.
Are lightsabers powered by the Force?
Before we get to answering the main question of the day, we are going to tell you a little bit about how a lightsaber works. The lightsaber is a blade-like weapon used primarily by the Jedi, the Sith, and other Force-sensitive beings in the Star Wars franchise. A lightsaber consists of a plasma blade, which is powered by a kyber crystal, that was emitted from a usually metal hilt and could be turned on and off at will. It was a weapon that required skill and much training, and was greatly enhanced when used in conjunction with the Force.
A lightsaber draw power from its power cell, with the basic parts being modulation circuits, an energy gate, a blade emitter shroud, the emitter matrix and some type of activator to turn the weapon on and off. Additional, mostly cosmetic parts include handgrip ridges and a blade length adjuster. Some lightsabers also featured a non-lethal low-power setting used for training. Single-bladed lightsabers usually had a belt ring so they could be hung from a belt hook, or a wheel-shaped attachment that slotted into a matching belt clip on the owner’s belt when not in use.
Specially designed lightsabers could even use unstable crystals as their power source, but that is quite rare.
Thus, we can conclude that lightsabers aren’t powered by the Force. Force usage makes it easier for the wielder to use a lightsaber, but it’s still just a regular mechanism that can be used by anyone, Force user or not.
Do You Need the Force to Use a Lightsaber?
A lightsaber is, as we have established, a weapon primarily associated with the Jedi and the Sith, both of who are powerful Force users. This fact often leads people to think – mistakenly, though – that a lightsaber is useless without being able to use the Force. Is that true, though?
Well, it is not. We have established in the preceding section that the lightsaber is in no way powered by the Force. It’s a regular weapon with an on/off switch and it’s completely unrelated to the Force. Using the Force does augment the lightsaber’s powers and it makes it easier for the wielder to use it, but it doesn’t really go further than that.
What does this mean for our article? Well, this fact implies that everyone can use a lightsaber and there have been instances where non-Force users used a lightsaber, although rarely in battle; as a weapon, it is almost exclusive to the Jedi and the Sith. So, if it is really like that, why don’t people use lightsabers more often? There are two possible explanations.
First of all, a lightsaber is described as a very sophisticated and complex weapon. It requires a lot of training to master and there have been specialised courses at the Jedi Academy where Padawans were taught how to use a lightsaber, mainly because it is so difficult to do it. “Civilians” don’t go through that kind of training and although they could use it, it wouldn’t be nearly as effective.
The other reason is that lightsabers are, actually, quite rare. Namely, neither the Jedi, nor the Sith are a majority in the Galaxy; in fact, their numbers are comparatively completely insignificant when you consider how big the galaxy actually is. Seeing how they are the most common lightsaber users, it is reasonable to conclude that lightsabers aren’t really available on the market, simply because civilians wouldn’t have any need for them.
Do Non-Jedi (and Non-Sith) Use Lightsabers?
We have established that the Jedi and the Sith are the most common lightsaber users, but there have been instances where non-Jedi and non-Sith have used it in different occasions. We are going to tell you who they are.
The best-known example is certainly General Grievous, a cybord that worked closely with Count Dooku and the Sith. General Grievous was not a Force user and wasn’t even a Sith, but he trained with Count Dooku and the latter taught him how to use a lightsaber in battle. Grievous was a very apt pupil and he quickly mastered the weapon, even being able to fight with four lightsabers at once, thanks to his robotic body. In fact, General Grievous was so good that he was considered to be one of the best duelists in the Galaxy during his life. Here is an example of his skills:
Despite being the most famous, General Grievous was not the only non-Jedi/non-Sith to use a lightsaber. Han Solo, for example, used it in Episode V to cut open the TaunTaun to save Luke. In a non-canon story, the bounty hunter Boba Fett also did it. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 2, Pre Viszla does it as well as one of the thieves who stole Ahsoka Tano’s lightsaber. In season 3 of the same show, we know Cad Bane also used a lightsaber briefly. Finally, we have Anja Gallandro, who appeared in Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights series novel Return to Ord Mantell. These are all examples of people who have used the lightsaber for different reasons and with them, we conclude our story.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!