Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber

Lightsaber Origins: 5 Simple Ways George Lucas Describes Lightsabers

A lightsaber, the signature weapon of the Jedi and Sith, is one of the most identifiable, recognizable, and just plain awesome symbols of the Star Wars franchise as a whole. The humming, glowing energy sword continues to thrill, inspire, and mystify Star Wars fans of all ages. Here are 5 simple ways Star Wars creator George Lucas has described the origins and the inspiration behind the lightsaber.

EXPLORE SABER SELLERS affiliate links
This article contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase an item through some links, then SaberSourcing receives some money at no cost to you. Affiliate referrals are a major funding source for SaberSourcing content. Thanks for supporting SaberSourcing!
Etsy custom sabers, stands, accessories
Amazon Hasbro Ahsoka Tano Force FX Elite Lightsaber
eBay Lightsabers

1. A Weapon for Honorable Peacekeepers

Arthurian legend, pirate films of the 1940s and “Errol Flynn kinds of movies” heavily influenced the creation of Star Wars.
George Lucas: In developing a group of peacekeepers who were above everything and honorable and could make decisions and bring peace to the galaxy, I needed a weapon that was appropriate for those kinds of Jedi.

2. A Symbol of a Simpler Time

Humans feel powerfully nostalgic about the past and the supposedly simpler time of the ‘good old days’. The Star Wars movies appeal to our collective nostalgia.
George Lucas:
It was more a symbol of a simpler time, of a time before the Empire had taken over. A time when honor ruled. So [the lightsaber] was more a symbol than it was an actual weapon in the movie [Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope].

3. A Futuristic Sword

Merging the ‘ancient’ concept of a sword with the ‘futuristic’ concept of a glowing plasma blade makes the lightsaber feel paradoxically old and nostalgic AND new and advanced to the audience at the same time.
George Lucas: The original concept was that Jedi would fight with swords and then I wanted to make it a futuristic kind of sword so I made it a lightsaber which is a sort of laser sword to give it that technology edge to it.

4. A Defensive Weapon

Jedi are supposed to be keepers of a the peace. Deflecting an attack from blaster bolts illustrates and reinforces the defensive philosophy of the Jedi.
George Lucas:
A laser sword in a world of ray guns would be the perfect defensive weapon.

5. A Two-Handed Weapon

Requiring the wielder to use two hands makes the lightsaber move likes it’s a heavy and unwieldy sword, like a greatsword.
George Lucas: Originally it was that you needed two hand to hold onto this lightsaber because the amount of energy that is being swung around.
(Note: In films following Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Lucas portrayed lightsabers as one-handed weapons or two-handed weapons.)

SOURCE: Star Wars Featurette: The Birth of the Lightsaber

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIefj6dOhnM
COVER IMAGE CREDIT: Lucasfilm/Disney
Image depicts Luke seeing his father’s lightsaber for the first time in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Leave a Reply