One of the things that we know is that the lightsaber is arguably the most iconic weapon in the history of sci-fi because of how this laser sword was able to make the Star Wars storyline so much cooler. Of course, the lightsaber is a handheld weapon that can emit a blade made out of laser and is able to cut through almost anything in the galaxy (except through other lightsabers and Beskar Steel). That means that the blade of a lightsaber burns at extremely hot temperatures. So, how hot is a lightsaber?
Star Wars never canonically described how hot a lightsaber is, but it has been estimated that lightsabers should be able to produce somewhere around 36,500 degrees Fahrenheit of heat. That’s because a lightsaber can cut through steel, rocks, and even blast doors almost instantly.
It is important to note that Star Wars is sci-fi, meaning that the science in this lore is pseudoscience. That means whatever scientific explanation is used in Star Wars is almost impossible to achieve in real life. Nevertheless, let’s talk about how hot a lightsaber is and whether or not it is possible to create a real-life lightsaber with our current technology.
How Hot Is a Lightsaber?
If there’s something that we know about Star Wars, it’s that the most iconic weapon is, without a doubt, the lightsaber. The different Jedi and Sith in the Star Wars world use lightsabers as their trademark weapons and use them with so much precision. Of course, lightsabers, as their names suggest, are handheld weapons that can emit blades made of energy.
Lightsabers emit energy blades so hot they can cut through steel like a hot knife on butter. We’ve also seen lightsabers cutting through limbs and cauterizing wounds instantly. That means that these weapons are extremely hot. And what makes them much more complex is that the energy blades produced by lightsabers can clash with other sabers and deflect blaster bolts of pure energy.
According to the official description, “lightsabers consisted of a plasma blade, powered by a Kyber crystal, that was emitted from a usually metal hilt that could be shut off at will.” This means that their blades are made out of plasma and that there is only one energy source, the Kyber crystal. But just how hot is a lightsaber?
Star Wars never gave any official number about how hot a lightsaber is. But what needs to be considered when determining how hot lightsabers are is that these weapons can cut through steel like a box cutter on paper. On top of that, we saw during the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace that lightsabers can also cut through blast doors, which are known for being able to withstand the strongest blasters in the world of Star Wars.
Steel has a melting point of 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, something as strong as a blast door may have a melting point similar to titanium, which has a melting point of 3,034 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, let’s not forget that lightsabers can cut through steel in an instant. A plasma blade that can burn more than 3,000 degrees F would take a lot of time to cut through steel, as that is something we’ve seen from welding tools that take a while before it can cut through metal.
That means that a lightsaber can produce enough heat to burn a lot hotter than the melting point of steel or titanium because it should be able to instantly cut through metals and rocks without even taking a second. We’ve seen this repeatedly when Jedi effortlessly cut through different solid materials with their lightsabers.
Astrophysics and engineering enthusiast Brandon Weigel estimated how hot a lightsaber is based on how Rey cut through solid rock-like paper during the events of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. According to his estimations, for a lightsaber to cut through rock instantly, it should be able to burn at around 20,566 Kelvin, or 36,559.13 degrees Fahrenheit.
In that regard, lightsabers are extremely hot if you look at the theoretical side of things. It is even surprising that the Jedi and Sith that wield these blades don’t even feel the heat coming from the blades. To put it into perspective, lava produces around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and can produce so much heat that people can feel it meters away from the lava. That means that the pseudoscience it took to create a lightsaber in the Star Wars world is incredibly impressive.
Is It Possible to Build a Lightsaber?
As mentioned, lightsabers in Star Wars were created using pseudoscience or science that doesn’t exist in our current world. After all, Star Wars is science-fiction. But is it even possible to build a lightsaber in real life?
Theoretically, lightsabers can be built in real life because physicists have already theorized the science behind these weapons. Celebrity physicist Michio Kaku estimated that it is possible to build one using plasma.
Meanwhile, these guys at Hacksmith Industries built a prototype lightsaber that can burn at around 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The one they built could easily slice through a thin sheet of metal. However, it is important to note that cutting through blast doors would take a much hotter lightsaber. On top of that, the saber they built needed to be connected to propane gas for it to have enough power for the blade.
So, while it might be possible to create a real-life lightsaber in theory, we don’t have the technology to build one that can burn more than 36,500 degrees Fahrenheit because no handheld power source can produce that much power.
However, according to Brandon Weigel, no one can be able to hold a real-life lightsaber producing 36,500 degrees Fahrenheit because “the autoignition temperature of biological material would be in the range of combustion even out to a distance of more than a football field away just from the radiative heat of the lightsaber’s blade.” In simple terms, the heat produced by something that can produce that much power should burn anything within the range of a football field the moment it gets ignited.
That means that there has to be something containing the heat within the blade, so it doesn’t extend too far away from the blade itself. This is where it becomes almost impossible for our modern-day physicists and engineers to produce a real-life lightsaber. But who knows? Maybe someone shortly could find a way to negate these effects and build a real-life lightsaber that should make any Jedi Master (or Sith Lord) proud.