Sith lightsabers contain several common features and traits that set them apart from their Jedi lightsaber counterparts. No two Sith lightsabers are alike and not all of the features are present with every single Sith lightsaber, nevertheless several Sith lightsaber traits do commonly recur.
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1. Red lightsaber blade
Probably the most obvious Sith lightsaber feature is a red blade. If a Star Wars character wields a red bladed lightsaber, that character has likely turned to the dark side. In Star Wars legends, a handful of Jedi wielded red lightsabers, but almost universally in both Legends and Canon material, a red blade serves as a signature feature of a Sith lightsaber.
2. Lots of black on the hilt
Many Sith lightsabers feature lots of black or dark colors on the hilt, reinforcing the dark side tendencies of the lightsaber owner. The Kylo Ren lightsaber, for example, is almost all dark except for the signature red wire that runs along the side. Darth Vader’s lightsaber also contains more black than the character’s previous Jedi lightsaber, when he still used the name Anakin Skywalker, before he turned to the dark side. The Count Dooku lightsaber uses a large patch of black in the grip area as well.
Some Sith lightsabers are more dominated by black than others. Also, some Jedi lightsabers may use large swathes of black, nevertheless, a black hilt remains a common feature of Sith lightsabers.
3. Unconventional lightsaber design
Many Sith lightsabers, especially those portrayed in the Star Wars movies, diverge in design from a standard, single bladed lightsaber with a straight hilt. Some of the most memorable non-standard lightsabers belong to dark side users, including: Darth Maul’s double bladed lightsaber, Count Dooku’s curved lightsaber hilt and Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber with unstable blade.
Unconventional lightsabers are not exclusive to Sith Lords, but radical lightsaber designs are more commonly associated with dark side users than light side users. Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger’s lightsaber pistol serves as a notable example of a light side user’s unconventional lightsaber, however.
4. Claws and jagged edges
Many Sith lightsabers use claws and jagged edges. The Kylo Ren lightsaber uses a jagged, unstable blade, for example. The Count Dooku lightsaber features a claw in the emitter area of the hilt. Sharp elements like a claw are almost exclusively used by Sith Lord lightsabers. Edges and claws serve as visual cues, embodying the ruthless and barbaric tendencies of dark side users.
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What are some of your favorite Sith lightsaber features?
Lightsabers and accessories featured in photo (left to right):
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