Department of Combat Tactics
Advanced Lightsaber Studies
I – Introduction
Well met, Brethren.
In this course, you will build upon your knowledge of the lightsaber, its forms of combat, and develop a stronger understanding for the finer and more advanced concepts of lightsaber combat. You will come to understand more about the way a lightsaber is created and how it works, and also learn how to effectively use this information to your advantage in battle.
Note: To fully comprehend the lessons of this course, you will need to have read and understood the Lightsaber Combat Guide. This comprehensive manual has in-depth information relating to the Arts discussed within, information that will have to be digested and understood in order to complete this course. This will not be a simple answer hunt, nor a condensed re-teaching of the guide itself, but rather a supplement.
The Lightsaber Combat Guide can be found here.
A quick study guide and flow chart can be found here.
It is also suggested those taking this course take the Lightsaber Basics course, which covers the basics of lightsaber mechanics and the different combat forms available. Course notes for Lightsaber Basics can be found here.
II – The Lightsaber
Many understand the very basics of what makes a lightsaber work. This elementary understanding services most students well enough, allowing them to build a satisfactory weapon without detonating the power cell. However, much more goes into a saber than merely picking a pretty color crystal, tuning it, and aligning it properly in a saber hilt. While the crystal of a lightsaber is considered by most to be the ‘heart’ of the saber, it is hardly the only important piece.
Many experienced masters have discovered that minor tweaks or even complete rebuilds of sections of their sabers give them just enough of an edge over their opponents in combat. Some even go so far as to obsess over the minute details of what others would see as mundane details in their craft. However, there are many parts that can be improved in a lightsaber that will maximize its efficiency as a weapon.
A – Powering Your Weapon
Starting from the workbench up, a person wishing to build a saber will need a sufficient power cell. Most students choose Diatium for ease of acquisition, but others will venture out and search out more rare cells, and some have even been known to construct their own power cells. Trinium and Cinnabar can be combined in such a fashion to create a power cell that holds roughly twice the charge of a Diatium Cell. Other forms of power cells are known to exist, but great care must be taken when assembling these, as faults in the casing can cause serious damage when given a charge.
As important as the power cell is the power field conductor. The power field conductor serves two purposes. The first is to amplify the energy pulled from the power cell to power the weapon. The second is to recharge the power cell with energy returning from the closed loop of the lightsaber blade. The energy comes from the power cell, gets amplified by the field conductor, which creates the blade, a beam of raw energy. If that raw energy is not interrupted or used, the energy flows back into the power field conductor, which is used to recharge the power cell.
As such, a well constructed field conductor can make the difference between getting a thousand hours and ten thousand hours of life out of your power cell before needing a recharge. Most field conductors are made from copper, and do the job sufficiently well. More determined individuals would make them out of cubirian or meleenium, using these rare material’s inherently superior conductive qualities to their advantage. It is known that several Jedi blademasters would spend years working on their field conductors, in the hopes of creating a saber that never needed recharging. Sadly, success has yet to be found in this regard.
B – The Crystals
From the power field generator, the energy courses through a specialized crystal mount. This is a throne upon which your lightsaber crystal sits, with customized prongs that deliver the energy to the face of the crystal itself. Some prefer to use different, more conductive metals, and even prefer a bezel set rather than the traditional Jedi prong set. The bezel provides more of a surface area connection, and is sometimes set up to rigidly hold the crystal in the energizing mount, rather than use a secondary stabilization mount, like is often used with pressure plate switches (the famed ‘killswitch’ of Jedi sabers). Pronged mounts are also susceptible to a common attack by other force sensitives, who can use precise telekinesis to shift the prongs and knock the crystal off of the mount, causing a feedback loop that often detonates the saber’s power cell. The bezel set has it’s own issues, however, in that the precision of the mount and difficulty in adjusting the mount after the fact makes for a much more difficult installation.
A fledgling Dark Jedi will often start their career with a saber that harnesses a synthetic Adegan or, in rare cases, a mined Adegan crystal as a generator crystal. While still useful and effective as weapons, other crystals may be sought as the dark sider progresses on his path. Sometimes seeking out rarer crystals for the belief that they generate a stronger blade, or produce a color more in liking with the user, they will strike out to find the most exotic crystal possible, as a testament to their own prowess, a trophy of those who bear the ‘best’ crystal.
While many crystals exist in the galaxy, only a few dozen types resonate in such a way that makes it possible for use in a lightsaber as a generator crystal. And while many do indeed offer some intrinsic change to the blade or handling of the weapon, most do not, and typically serve only to embolden the vanity of the user. However, there are ways to modify the qualities of a lightsaber blade without seeking the elusive Qixoni or Kaiburr crystals.
The focusing crystal array is used to focus the radiant energy that flows from the energized generator crystal and direct it into a beam usable as a weapon. The crystals used in the focusing array must be impervious to light and heat, for there will be those in abundance within the crystal chamber of a lightsaber. They must also be somewhat translucent, to allow for the energy to actually escape through the blade channel.
By choosing wisely among the focusing crystals, one can impart specific characteristics to their blade. A thinner blade for dueling may be achieved, or even a blade that oscillates to help throw off opponents in saber locks. There are scores of focusing crystals available throughout the galaxy, some more highly prized than others. Again, the rarity of these crystals can consume a force sensitive person’s time, as they seek out the very best crystals in quest of the perfect saber. With practice and greater mastery of the force, more focusing crystals may be used in the weapon, allowing for more and more customization of the weapon.
C – Control
Once the energy is harnessed by perfectly cut and angled focusing crystals, the power coalesces into a vibrant near-plasma that is driven through a tube, called the blade energy channel, which imparts some final characteristics to make the blade of a lightsaber. Specific charges are given to the blade energ