Darth Vader is one of the most endlessly fascinating characters in the Star Wars universe. Stories of his exploits, adventures, and misdeeds are as widely known in our galaxy as they are his. But where would Vader be without his trusty weapon by his side? Darth Vader’s lightsaber is a huge part of his character, which is something not even every serious Star Wars fan knows. We did some research on the subject and came up with a little piece we call . Check it out if you want to learn something about the weapon, or if you think you already know what’s on the list. Either way, read on!
10 Vader Constructed It Himself After Losing His First
The first lightsaber that Anakin would ever own, the one that Luke Skywalker would eventually use, was taken from Anakin after he dueled Obi-Wan on Mustafar. You’ll remember that this happened in Star Wars Episode III: Return of the Sith. You’ll also remember that the next time we see Vader with a lightsaber, it’s a different design and color. What you might not know, however, is that Vader didn’t just take this lightsaber from someone else. In the current Darth Vader comic from Marvel, we actually learn that Vader built the one he used as a Sith Lord by himself. Read on to find out how.
9 Its Hilt Design Came From A Jedi Vader Murdered
The story of Vader’s Sith lightsaber starts with an assassination assignment. In the Darth Vader comic written by Charles Soule, Emperor Palpatine sends Vader on an assignment to assassinate a Jedi who survived Order 66. The Jedi, Kirak Infil’a, put up a valiant fight against Vader but ended up losing, dying from his wounds and leaving his weapon for Vader to take. Vader took the lightsaber but, after an assassination attempt on Vader himself, it was destroyed. Still, Vader retained knowledge of the design, and built a modified version of it on his starship home. Then, it was off to Vader’s lair on Mustafar.
8 Mustafar, Where It Was Constructed, Is A Hub of Dark Force Energy
Before we get into what Vader did on Mustafar, it’s important to clarify just how evil of a place that planet is. Not only is it the place where Anakin lost his duel to Obi-Wan and ultimately became Vader, but this is where Vader actually set up shop for some galactic villainy after the rise of the Empire. That could be because, according to the Star Wars wiki, Mustafar is a place ripe with the Dark Side of the Force. Under its lava and mineral surface lies tons of evil energy, filled with everything that makes a Sith a Sith. This probably helped Vader in doing the next step in making his lightsaber.
7 Its Red Color Is A Product Of A Sith Ritual Called “Bleeding”
Apparently, coming up with a red lightsaber isn’t as simple as selecting a color on some sort of galactic Amazon. To make their lightsabers red, Sith Lords need to take the kyber crystals (the stones that power lightsabers) of Jedi weapons and “bleed” them. This involves psychically pouring negative emotion into the crystal until the color changes. So every time you see a Sith wielding a red lightsaber, remember that they’ve poured all their hate and rage into it. Probably just by rewatching Phantom Menace. With this last Sith ritual complete, Darth Vader had his self-made lightsaber ready to go.
6 It Was An Item Of Interest For Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin had to be a pretty sharp guy to make it as an Imperial Officer. Part of that probably involved knowing who around him was dangerous, which means he’d definitely be keeping a close eye on Darth Vader. At one point in the Darth Vader comic, we learn that Grand Moff Tarkin recognizes the danger of Vader’s lightsaber. He comments at one point that he notices Vader’s hands frequently hovering over it. Probably a smart thing to watch, Grand Moff.
5 Vader Could Alter The Length Of The Blade
What makes Darth Vader’s lightsaber so dangerous is, of course, the veritable Angel of Death that wields it. But the weapon itself is quite impressive as well. According to the Star Wars wiki, Vader can alter the size of his lightsaber for maximum efficiency. (We know the joke you’re thinking about it, please don’t make it.) It’s apparently something called a “dual-phase” lightsaber, which just means that the dimensions of the weapon can change as the wielder needs. Of course, we don’t see this happen in the original trilogy. But then again, we hardly see Vader at his deadliest in those films.
4 Its Use During Rogue One Was Uncommon For Vader
Remember that scene in Rogue One when Vader cut down all those rebels? Well, that must have been a very bad day for Darth Vader. Vader only uses his lightsaber to confront another lightsaber wielder or a significant number of blaster-wielding enemies. We’re talking about a small army here. Using his lightsaber to engage the ten to twenty rebel soldiers that were on that ship was serious overkill. It was unnecessary for Vader’s force talent and maybe even sadistic. I mean, it’s not as sadistic as doing the same thing to a dozen younglings, but it’s still pretty bad.
3 It Didn’t Actually Kill Obi-Wan
Speaking of people killed by Vader’s lightsaber, you may actually have a misconception about one of its victims. Obi-Wan Kenobi, former master and best friend of Vader, appears to die by Vader’s hand in the very first Star Wars film. However, that’s not really what happened. According to the official canon of the Star Wars saga, Obi-Wan Kenobi didn’t die as Vader went to kill him, but became one with the Force just as Vader’s lightsaber was about to touch him. We saw Luke do the same thing in The Last Jedi, also leaving behind only a cloak in his stead. Even you didn’t like TLJ, you have to admit, that’s some pretty great circular storytelling.
2 It Was Destroyed Along With Palpatine
As we were researching this list, we came up with a somewhat academic theory, so bear with us here. This lightsaber is a metaphor for Darth Vader himself. It was made from Jedi parts, bathed in hatred, and used as a tool for evil purposes. It’s only fitting, then, that the lightsaber ends with Darth Vader. Vader’s last great act is to destroy Emperor Palpatine, tossing him into the heart of the new Death Star and becoming Anakin Skywalker once more. What you might’ve also noticed is that, just before he does this, Luke cuts off his hand, sending his dark, Sith lightsaber into the heart of the Death Star as well. In the last moments of Anakin Skywalker, Vader disappears right along with his lightsaber, his legacy survived by the lightsaber that was his son’s, and is now Rey’s.
1 Four Different Stunt Actors Have Wielded It
We thought we’d save the last item on this list for the people who have been lucky enough to actually use Vader’s lightsaber in battle, the Star Wars stunt performers. There wouldn’t be as many amazing Darth Vader fight scenes had these talented and under-appreciated performers not put on the suit and picked up a lightsaber. For that, we owe them a debt of gratitude. So far, a total of four performers have taken on stunt roles for the iconic villain, but we highly doubt that they’ll be the last. And if we’re going to see more of them, odds are we’ll definitely be seeing more of Vader’s lightsaber as well.
Which weapon in the Star Wars universe is your favorite? Which is your favorite Vader fight scene? Let us know in the comments section below!