Lightsaber Studies

1—Introduction

Greetings, brethren.

In this course, you will find the means to plumb the depths of knowledge about the Jedi’s most ancient and most elegant weapon since time immemorial. You will be instructed in the lore, hardware, creation, and the use of this incredible weapon. The questions will test your knowledge of the resources made available to you by the Codex of the Brotherhood. The lightsaber is one of the primary weapons in our arsenal, it is a symbol of our collective power, and the creation of a lightsaber is one of the steps required to become a Knight in many of the old traditions. Usage and rightful ownership of the blade is a great honor. Knowing one's weapon, its inner workings, and usage can save one's life - or end the existence of your enemies.

2—Resources

To complete the course, you will need to use and understand the ‘Lightsabers’ resource available within the Brotherhood Codex on the Wiki. You will need to familiarize yourself with it fully. Almost all the answers you seek will be found within. As well, answers may not be found in consecutive order within the material so just opening the guide and plodding along will not work.

You will find the primary Codex entry on lightsabers here..

3—Lightsaber Combat

Each of the lightsaber forms has unique benefits and drawbacks. As a student of lightsaber combat, you should pick the style or styles that suit your persona best. Think carefully, and expand your knowledge. Make your persona come to life, and integrate the Way of the Lightsaber into your philosophy just as you integrate yourself into your lightsaber. This will permit you to express yourself into your style of combat, adapting it to yourself over time and improving your skills with the blade.

A Jar'Kai practitioner

Many adherents of lightsaber combat choose to study not just one, but two lightsaber forms throughout their career, or even abandon one study in favor of a new style later in their career. Do not feel limited to a single form or that you must forever practice the same one. The lesson learned here is not to succumb to stagnation, but rather overcome it. Dynamic change is an asset. While the greater details of the lightsaber forms are covered elsewhere, there are eleven forms available to the Brethren once they reach the rank of Knight: Shii-Cho, Makashi, Soresu, Ataru, Djem So, Shien, Niman, Juyo, Vaapad, Jar'Kai and Sokan. For the Brethren below the rank of Knight, including non-Force-users, Form Zero is available, also known as Banlanth.

Lightsabers possess some very interesting characteristics, owed to their unique nature. A lightsaber is capable of parrying other lightsabers, as well as deflecting (and depending on the wielder, even reflecting back at the firer) blaster bolts. A lightsaber will also cauterize a wound that it makes, though this process takes a moment or so after passing through the target. A properly-grounded wielder can also absorb incoming Force Lightning, when the focus and concentration to do so is present.

4—Lightsaber Physical Components

When constructing a blade, there are several important bits of necessary hardware. These include the crystals, hilt casing, emitter, and power cell. Creators of these weapons will often go to great lengths to acquire special components. Lightsabers must be constructed by hand, as there is no exact formula for the crucial alignment of the irregular crystals. Improper construction of a blade can have devastating results, including detonation of the power cell and plasma explosions.

4.A—Kyber Crystals

The kyber crystal is the heart of the lightsaber and is the most critical part of constructing the ancient weapon. These crystals have been known by dozens of different names over the millennia, even to the Brotherhood, but they are all now simply lumped under the category of 'kyber crystal'.

Kyber crystals can be found in many places across the galaxy - historically notable locations include the ice planet of Ilum and the inner crust of the planet Lothal. They are typically precisely hewn and cut well, though even a cracked crystal can be used in a lightsaber's hilt, with some drawbacks. These crystals are highly sensitive to the Force but also able to channel and focus great amounts of energy in doing so. Naturally, the kyber crystal is colorless, but when a Force-sensitive person harvests the crystal and channels the Force into it, the crystal takes on a hue. The most common blade colors are red, green and blue as a result of this process, but other colors are easily possible as well, with no true limit to the possibility of colors. The Force attunement to a kyber crystal is the primary reason non-Force-users cannot effectively wield a lightsaber; without that bond to the weapon, their ability to wield it drops dramatically. A Force-user is also able to sense the location of the weightless blade and employ it better as a result.

Hilt components

The energy-storing property of the kyber crystal is extremely noteworthy for a number of reasons - primary of which is that they have been used in a number of military applications, including ancient Sith superweapons, the Death Star's superlaser and even mounted in the turbolasers of starships in order to increase their power output. Conversely, while a kyber crystal is incredibly hardy, destroying one causes a shockwave of energy proportional to its size - the larger the crystal, the greater the destruction caused.

4.C—Hilt Types

A wide variety of lightsaber variants are available to the Brethren throughout their careers in the Brotherhood. These can be designed and tailored to best suit the needs of the wielder.

Hilts

The straight hilt is the basic type of lightsaber wielded by many proponents of lightsaber combat. They can be wielded in either one or two hands, as well as gripped backwards for a reverse style of saber combat. These are also available in the shoto (short, one handed) design typically used as an off-hand weapon and the long handle or cane (longer, two-handed) designs.

To further expand upon the straight hilt lightsaber, the Brotherhood offers two other variants on the straight hilt that are available to the Brethren from the day they are first inducted. The training lightsaber is a lightsaber that is permanently set to a low-power 'stun' setting; this blade is not capable of causing damage beyond mild burning to the skin and a stinging sensation and is thus perfect for learning the ways of the lightsaber without harming the practitioner. An armory lightsaber is the other side of this coin: it is a mass-produced lightsaber that, while exceptionally plain in appearance, can be selected in red, green or blue blades and is completely functional as a lightsaber at full power.

The curved hilt is traditionally a single-handed lightsaber used by proponents of the Makashi form and those seeking a more elegant style of lightsaber dueling. It is seen as more precise and ergonomic, making it more ideal for traditional 'dueling'.

The double-bladed lightsaber, also referred to as the saber-staff, is a two-handed weapon that has a blade at each end of the hilt. Difficult to master for its length and higher risk of self-injury, the Brotherhood has made these available to those of Equite 2 and above in basic designs. Not every lightsaber form supports the use of the double-bladed lightsaber.

One expanded variant of the double-bladed lightsaber is the double-bladed spinning lightsaber. This lightsaber, approximately the same length as a straight hilt lightsaber, features a retractable ring around the outside upon which the emitters can spin around whilst the hilt remains stationary. This does not come without strengths and weaknesses: an easier time spinning the blades grants additional defensive properties but makes the inside of the hilt exposed more to attack.

The conversion hilt style of lightsaber construction sees two standard single-hand lightsabers with an interlocking pommel connection to create a double-bladed lightsaber. While this is most commonly found for straight hilt lightsabers, it has also been seen done with curved hilts as well.

The dual-phase lightsaber is a variant available to the Elders of the Brotherhood. The dual-phase lightsaber is able to change lengths, with a standard-length blade and either a shorter blade or a much longer blade available as the second setting using different kyber crystals of high power capacity to channel the energy. Changing blade lengths in the middle of combat is difficult to master and also dangerous, thus their use has been greatly restricted.

The lightsaber pike is a weapon that comes in two different forms. In employment by the Brotherhood it sees use as a spear-length hilt with a short blade, wielded by the Grand Master's Royal Guard in its upper echelons for specialist users. In history, however, it has also seen use as a double-bladed lightsaber with a hilt longer than normal and two shorter blades. This variant saw employment by the Jedi Temple Guard.

Finally, the crossguard lightsaber is a variant that exists in various places across the Brotherhood; employing a cracked kyber crystal and a pair of vents on either side of the crystal to channel and expend the excess energy output of the crystal, the crossguard lightsaber is considered a highly unstable weapon. Due to the damage to the crystal, the blade typically takes on a crackling effect and has a noticeable effect on the feeling of the blade.

Crossguard hilt

4.D—Hilt Materials And Components

A lightsaber's hilt can be made of a variety of metallic materials, the most common of which is durasteel. However, in very rare cases wooden lightsaber hilts have been employed, particularly the wood of the brylark tree (a wood said to be as strong as metal). Inside this hilt is a diatium power cell that provides the enormous amounts of energy necessary to power the saber blade. These cells are internally mounted, and a recharge port on the hilt allows them to be re-charged.

The energy generated inside the power cell is sent through the lightsaber's kyber crystal to generate the effect, which is then modulated by the energy grid and emitter matrix to turn it into the iconic blade. During lightsaber construction, any slight mis-alignment or backwards placement of a single piece can result in the lightsaber shorting out or, at worst, violently exploding with sufficient force to remove one's hand - such is the power of a lightsaber.

4.G—Styling

Many things can be learned from examining a Force-user's lightsaber and over time their design choices may change to reflect their personality or needs, or even their history and heritage. Some lightsaber hilts have been decorated with the fangs or claws of dangerous beasts that the wielder has hunted, for example. The unique characteristics of a lightsaber speak volumes of its master and what sort of person they are. Due to the intertwined nature of the lightsaber and the Force-user, it is important to craft a weapon worthy of defending your life.

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