How Heavy is a Lightsaber?
Watching Jedis swing their lightsabers around is fascinating. Lightsaber duels are one of the most amazing and highly-anticipated parts of every Star Wars film. But as you watch these, have you ever wondered how heavy these lightsabers are?
It can be hard to guess because, in the original trilogy, everyone wielded their lightsaber with both hands as if it was heavy. Then came the prequels, where we saw some highly-acrobatic one-handed fighting styles. Now, the sequels are here, and we once again see the two-handed lightsaber fighting with Rey.
This brings up several questions concerning the weight of lightsabers. Let’s take a closer look at this and answer these questions.
Do Lightsabers Have Weight?
One question that might pop into your mind is, “do lightsabers have weight at all?” Watching characters like Yoda battle, it seems as if this weapon is completely weightless. In his battle with Count Dooku, Yoda was flying around with his saber all throughout the duel.
Yoda’s battle with Dooku:
However, lightsabers do have weight. Not only do a lot of characters behave like it has weight, but we were told that it is quite heavy. Where?
If you watch Star Wars Rebels, you will be familiar with Sabine Wren. This character is not a Jedi, rather she is a Mandalorian. In the series, she was given a lightsaber, and she was shocked to find that it was so heavy.
Sabine Wren Ignites Lightsaber: (skip to 3:00 for Sabine’s surprise and Kanan’s insights into what makes a lightsaber)
This proves to us that lightsabers have weight. And not just any weight either, but a heavy one as well. So why can Yoda flip it around like it’s nothing?
Once again, Sabine’s story sheds some light on this. The more she used the blade, the lighter it began to feel. She commented on this while training, to which her trainer Kanan replied, “You’re connecting with it, it’s becoming a part of you.”
This shows us that the weight of the lightsaber also has something to do with the force. It not only has a physical weight but also force properties. The stronger you are with the force, the more you connect with your lightsaber, and the lighter the saber begins to feel.
So how heavy is a lightsaber exactly? Let’s say you, as a human being, were thrown into the Star Wars universe. Will you be able to pick up one of these weapons?
Yes, like Sabine, you don’t have to be connected with the force to carry a lightsaber. But when you do, it is going to feel heavy. How heavy exactly, you might be wondering?
To answer this, we turn back to the original trilogy. George Lucas, the first filmmaker of Star Wars, intended the lightsaber to be a galactic version of the medieval two-handed sword. This is why everyone in the original trilogy uses two hands on their sabers.
This gives us the idea that the lightsaber should be anywhere from 6-11 lbs (3-5 kg). Now that is heavy for a sword. No wonder Sabine noticed the weight right away when she picked one up.
It’s one thing to have a heavy sword, it’s quite another to have an imbalanced sword. The weight of a sword has to be balanced, otherwise, problems will come out. If a sword is too hilt-heavy, it will be very difficult to feel where the blade is when fighting.
With this in mind, you’ll immediately wonder, does the blade have any weight? Are all the 11 lbs of weight packed in the hilt? If so, how difficult is it to use a lightsaber?
We don’t have any definite answers to this. Judging by the fact that lightsaber blades are solid, we can say that they do have some weight on them. Remember, lightsaber blades are not made of light which is weightless, they are made of plasma.
That said, plasma is also very lightweight. This means that even though the blade has mass, lightsabers are very imbalanced. The hilt is a lot heavier than the blade.
So if you, a human being, were to wield a lightsaber, you will have a very hard time doing this. Because of the imbalance, it’ll be very difficult for you to feel where your blade is. Your attacks and blocks will also be very slow.
This is likely one of the reasons why those not strong with the force rarely use lightsabers. Instead of having to master the physical aspects of the weapon, the Jedi relied on the force to guide them. When they connect with their lightsaber, the weapon is not only lighter, but they can also sense exactly where the blade is.
This doesn’t mean you can’t master a lightsaber though. For example, General Grievous was not strong with the force. Yet he with his cyborg abilities was able to master the lightsaber’s physical properties so well, he could wield 4 at a time!