Lightsaber Weathering: How Different Companies Make Their Hilts ‘Battle Worn’
Lightsaber weathering is a broad term describing a lightsaber with an aged and battle worn appearance. A weathered lightsaber embodies the “lived-in universe” of the Star Wars Original Trilogy where many objects and vehicles seem used and sometimes even worn down.
Let’s take a look a several different types of weathered lightsaber styles and examples from different custom saber companies.
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1. Tarnished Weathering (Light, Medium, Heavy)
A tarnishing or blackening of a lightsaber hilt is one of the most common types of weathering. Some custom saber companies like Vader’s Vault, Electrum Sabercrafts, or Genesis Custom Sabers offer multiple levels of tarnishing severity. Saberforge only offers one level of tarnished weathering.
Vader’s Vault ‘Tarnished’ Weathering Examples
Vader’s Vault offers multiple levels of tarnishing severity. The company refers to their tarnished weathering simply as Light Weathering, Medium Weathering, or Heavy Weathering.
Saberforge Tarnished Weathering Examples
Saberforge takes a slightly different approach to tarnished weathering. The company offers one type of weathering among its standard finish options. The Saberforge tarnished weathering uses a dark hilt as a base color with wear around cracks, crevices and grooves on the hilt. The worn parts of the dark hilt are silver in color. Some weathered Saberforge hilts feature thin rings around the hilt.
2. Shattered Weathering
A lightsaber featuring shattered weathering has the appearance that the lightsaber has cracked or deeply scratched in a few places after presumably being dropped and damaged in battle. Note that the Saberforge hilt below features both a shattered and tarnished appearance. A customizer may create the shattered appearance using a dremel.
3. Savage Weathering
If a simple hilt tarnishing isn’t strong enough for your tastes, kick up your weathering one more notch with savage weathering! A hilt with savage weathering is both tarnished and also a bit scratched and worn out in appearance. Vader’s Vault offers Savage Weathering as one of their weathering options.
4. Relic Weathering
Vader’s Vault offers Relic Weathering as an extreme form of weathering. A lightsaber with Relic Weathering features a heavily rusted, corroded appearance. The extreme weathering makes the hilt look aged–like an antique lightsaber perhaps recovered from an archaeological dig (or from the bottom of a Dagobah Swamp).
5. Scorched Weathering
Scorched weathering, which may be considered a form of extra heavy weathering, makes a lightsaber hilt look extremely smokey or blackened from battle. A ‘scorched’ lightsaber looks like the hilt survived a Death Star explosion or a contentious duel on the lava planet Mustafar. The pictured MPP lightsaber features ‘scorched’ weathering by Shameem.
6. Bloodsoaked Weathering
Dark Force Custom Sabers offers an option called bloodsoaked weathering. A hilt with bloodsoaked weathering looks like the weapon has endured bloody warfare on a battlefield. Dark Force Custom Sabers creates the bloodsoaked effect by powder coating the hilt with layers of black and red. The company ultimately weathers the hilt by hand with an abrasive material in order to complete the look.
7. Broken Lightsabers
Broken lightsabers have increasingly captured the imagination of Star Wars fans in recent years likely due to several high profile broken lightsaber depictions in multiple Star Wars storylines. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) depicts Rey and Kylo Ren inadvertently ripping apart the Skywalker lightsaber into two jagged pieces. Additionally, Cal Kestis, a Clone Wars era Jedi Padawan and fugitive from the Empire, wields the broken lightsaber of his fallen master in the video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Real life broken lightsabers mostly serve as display pieces and detailed works of art. The broken lightsaber may include a variety of weathering (i.e. tarnishing, scorching, etc). Shameem produced a few small runs of the BrokeFlex lightsaber, inspired by the broken Graflex.
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