In the world of Star Wars, the lightsaber is one of the most important symbols in the galaxy. A weapon of unrivalled grace and unmatched potential, they are capable of slicing through virtually anything.
Like any good fictional story, the lightsaber has ‘rules’ written into it to not become too powerful. Unfortunately, the limitations of what a lightsaber can do and how they work mean Jedi have to wield them in specific ways and that non-force users find them extremely difficult to work with.
But the most critical ‘limit’ is the actual crafting of the lightsaber. What lightsabers of made of influence how they will perform and give us clues about their wielders. Let’s take a look at what both in-lore lightsabers and real-life lightsabers are made of.
In the lore: how was the lightsaber made?
In the current canon of Star Wars, lightsabers are usually either inherited or made by their owners as part of their progression as a Jedi (or Sith). On screen, the only hint we ever see of this process is in Return of the Jedi’s extra scenes - where Luke Skywalker puts the finishing touches on his saber.
A lightsaber is made from virtually any metal material - with lots of Jedi using scrap and other materials that befit Star Wars’ more rustic aesthetic compared to other ‘clean’ sci-fi. However, this metal must be crafted in a certain way and contain a VITAL element (we’ll discuss that shortly.)
A lightsaber is made up of the following components:
In the game Jedi: Fallen Order, you get to customise your choices as you rejig your saber to suit your style. If you’d like to follow this process yourself, why not try our Saber Builder?
The most important part of the process is the crystal - which Jedi must source themselves either through guidance (such as when Yoda and Ahsoka take young Jedi to find their crystals in The Clone Wars animated series), or alone (such as Luke Skywalker’s mysterious green crystal that he acquires following the loss of his father’s blade.)
This crystal is a kyber crystal and is a force-sensitive object that chooses its owner. A Jedi bonds with their crystal to use it. When placed in the saber, the crystal focuses and directs the energy of the hilt to emit the plasma blade.
When a kyber crystal is chosen by a Jedi, its colour changes to match their personality and nature. If a Sith chooses one, they must first ‘break’ the crystal by subjecting it to their Force powers until it ‘bleeds’ - which is what makes the lightsaber red.
What are lightsabers made of?
As we’ve covered in the process above, lightsabers could be made of a grand variety of materials as long as their crystal was chosen correctly. In the golden age of the Jedi, many designs were standardised into Duty and Resolve, Peace and Justice, Elemental Nature and Valour and Wisdom - all of which used specific materials relevant to their names and approaches.
Most lightsabers were made with standard alloys - though some were crafted with decorative materials such as bone or the super-expensive Haysian Smelt that Cal Kestiss used in Jedi: Fallen Order.
What were lightsaber props made from
In the Star Wars film franchise, lightsaber props varied depending on the scene in question. Where two actors needed to duel, the team would use props with mock blades attached so that they could more accurately mimic blade-on-blade combat.
The original lightsaber props were heavy - George Lucas wanted the actors to ‘feel’ the weight of the blade and use it to show they weren’t experienced duellists. Lucas wanted these early duels to be two-handed, showing how hard it was to control all of the energy in the blade.
The prop itself used the flash attachment from a film camera and a rotating pole as the blade. The pole was covered in movie screen material so it could reflect light and make editing the blade into post-production more efficient. However, the reflectivity was damaged by clashes and this led to the team ditching reflective materials entirely. Instead, they used more traditional mock swords for the duelling scenes so that the actors could perform more realistic combat.
As editing techniques improved and rotoscoping was introduced, saber effects could be edited in without the need for a real blade.
Even as post-production editing became more advanced in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the actors were still given both blade-less hilts and short-bladed ones to help make editing easier.
If you want to learn more about what lightsaber props were made of, this official documentary is a great watch.
What are Saberzone Lightsabers made of?
If you’re looking for a lightsaber prop of your own, our duelling sabers offer the finest material design in the market.
Our lightsabers offer unrivalled quality thanks to aircraft-grade aluminium hilts which give each saber a sense of weight and purpose - made all the more robust with our polycarbonate blades that cannot be broken by human force. With USB charging included in each saber, you’ll never run out of batteries and can enjoy fully-fledged VFX and SFX including flash-on-clash detection and easy colour changes at the touch of a button.
Buy a duelling saber today and see what we’re made of - or build your own with Saber Builder to handpick every material.