8 Lightsabers Worse than the One from The Force Awakens Trailer


By now we’ve all seen the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. There were some cool things (unless you’re a racist), some weird things (unless you’re a soccer fan), and some stupid things (see above image). But while the Internet rages itself into a froth over Darth Abrams’s light-claymore, let’s take a moment to remember that this is nowhere near the first poorly designed and functionally useless lightsaber variant to grace the Star Wars franchise. Here are eight more, some of which are even dumber!

1. The Double-Bladed Lightsaber


I don’t claim to know much about melee weapons, but I’m pretty sure that one of the chief benefits of a staff is its reach. I’m also pretty sure that that advantage is completely negated when you can only touch the middle 20% of the weapon without cutting your hands off. Popularized by Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, the double-bladed lightsaber was actually an Expanded Universe invention, first used by the fallen Jedi Knight Exar Kun in the Tales of the Jedi comics. Star Wars lore would have you believe it’s much deadlier than the standard single-blade version, and that may be true, but only because the double-saber’s drastically limited range makes its user much more likely to cut himself in half than his opponent.

It looks freaking sweet, though, and that’s all that matters.


2. The Curved-Handle Lightsaber


George Lucas gave this weapon to Christopher Lee in Attack of the Clones because it was supposed to emphasize his elegant fencing style of lightsaber combat. I’ve never seen real fencers use a sword with a hilt shaped like a banana, but this is such a slight tweak of the basic lightsaber design it’s hard to find fault with it. Or at least it used to be, until, like so many other cool elements from the movies, the ceaseless Star Wars marketing machine took it too far and made it stupid. Asajj Ventress, a character from the animated series The Clone Wars and the Expanded Universe Clone Wars multimedia campaign, was such a badass she had to use two curved lightsabers, which she would sometimes link together to make an even more impractical double-bladed lightsaber.


It’s like the best of both worlds, if both worlds were made of garbage.


3.The Forked Lightsaber


One of the most infrequently seen lightsaber variants in the EU, this is basically a normal lightsaber with a second, much shorter blade emitted at a 45-degree angle just below the main blade. I have no idea what function it’s supposed to serve, besides severing your fingers if your hand slips too far up the hilt. Of all these weird variations, this is probably the closest to the one in the teaser trailer, but I’ll go on record as preferring the teaser version. I don’t even know what this one is supposed to be.


4. The Lightwhip


Somebody said, “You know, the lightsaber is pretty cool, but it just doesn’t violate enough laws of physics for me. How about a weapon made of light that’s not only a fixed length, but doesn’t even stay in a straight beam?” Personally, I don’t even mind this variation in principle, as it’s a fairly logical extension of the lightsaber concept in a science-fantasy setting. But if we’re taking J. J. Abrams to task for goofily improbable ideas, however, let’s consider everything he had to work off of.


5. The Light-nightstick


It’s a short-bladed lightsaber except you hold it by a little handle perpendicular to the main handle. Why not? Why not hold your sword like a gun and run at people with it? Unless you were planning to need your forearm or elbow afterward, I guess.

6. The Light-nunchuks


Easily the most useful lightsaber variant. I cannot foresee any possible negative outcome or disadvantage here.


7. The Light-What-The-Hell-Is-This


This is the weapon of the Inquisitor, the main villain on the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. Although it looks like it was based on a children’s toy, this lightsaber actually originated as an unused concept from The Force Unleashed, a videogame best known for the sequences in which its protagonist catches a falling Star Destroyer with the Force, founds the Rebel Alliance, kicks Darth Vader’s ass, battles the Emperor to a standstill, and makes out with a hot blonde with a British accent. This lightsaber’s ring can rotate independently of the handle, rapidly spinning the blades. It probably looks awesome if you’re ten. In really dire straits, the Inquisitor can separate his weapon into two single-bladed lightsabers and a deadly Frisbee.

Seriously though how could this ever help you in any way?


8. Lord Nyax


“This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”

You know, suddenly that trailer doesn’t look so bad anymore.



(Are you the sort of reprehensible nerd that enjoys whiling away their life talking about Star Wars lore? Then check out Frank’s Suicide by Star  Wars Apocrypha articles where he attempts to examine and review the entire Star Was Expanded Universe. Also consider liking the U4E on Facebook or following us on Twitter or Tumblr.)

  • Carl Rood

    OK, I get your point. I loved the Maul saber, but you make a valid point about it defeating the purpose of a staff. I might call push on that one. The others really much stupider and more dangerous. How would you even survive the training with light nunchucks?

    • Lord-Alfie Fagin Wright

      I know somewhere in star wars there’s a more practical staff sabre its a long Handel with a medium length blade kinda like a polearm

      • Faded Light

        like a naganata or Forcepike though the force pike only allowed you to channel the force through it, still fearsome

        • Steven Anderson

          Not sure if it counts as canon, but in the first Force Unleashed game, Kazdan Paratus uses a saber pike against Starkiller

  • Phil Goodman

    number five is a type of tonfa so not a bad idea or a surprise to see one

    • Chexwarrior

      Except that a tonfa won’t sear your flesh if you accidentally graze against it: solid beatstick next to your arm = good idea, plasma blade next to your arm = bad idea

      • Jeff J

        However it is amazing how close a jedi or sith can put a plasma blade to their skin with out getting burned. At that rate, shouldn’t they need protective gloves just to hold one of those things?

        I like the idea of a Light saber Tonfa. Until you realize that the entire outer edge is used to block with.

        I’m betting the mechanical part of the Tonfa Saber holds up to a Light Saber strike as well as Darth Maul’s saber did.

  • Louis Sargeant

    I actually own a cutlass and the hilt of it is ever so slightly curved and this allows me to make quick cuts just by squeezing my hand as the weight of the blade creates a pivot and the curved blade strikes my opponent.

    A few examples of my sword:



    of course, the hilt isn’t as curved as Count Dooku’s lightsaber hilt

    To be honest though I always liked the Count’s style of lightsaber combat and his style of hilt.

  • Joe

    I never had an issue with the broadsaber anyway as Jedi and Sith generally build their own lightsabers without any manuals or guidebooks, just a basic principle. So i can easily see how someone would customize their own lightsaber like that, either simply to intimidate or for self protection because they’ve seen too many other people get their hands cut off. I really don’t see why people are so hypersensitive about it.

    • Ed Appleton

      The problem is that it’s not solid if they hit the hilt then they would still lose there hand. Also there is a large chance they could cut there own hand off with the light sabre tooth picks on the side

      • Joe
      • Joe
      • Joe

        Nice try, though. 🙂

        • Aaron Fales

          Nice try? It’s the truth. You could easily cut your hand off with it. The double bladed lightsaber isn’t meant to be a staff, that’s the light pike/long handled lightsaber. The double bladed lightsaber is meant to catch opponents off guard and be harder to fight. The curved lightsaber allows for more avenues of attack and it’s more ergonomic to you can execute flawless movement. I’ll give you the light whip because that really is kind of crap, but whoever made this list (and you) obviously know nothing about lightsabers and what they’re supposed to be used for.

      • Miezko

        Yea, but it would provide added protection when parring attacks. And no lightsaber I’ve seen has a guard so hands slipping, for a Jedi/Sith, probably isn’t a real danger otherwise you’d think someone would have had the good sense to use one.

  • Jeff J

    I don’t feel that the double bladed saber should be on the list. The point of fighting with a quarter staff is to use the two striking ends to attack and block with. It gives the same advantages as using two blades, but in a way that is more manageable than using a blade in each hand.

    I agree that a light saber pole arm might be cool. And in that respect the author skipped the adjustable blade length light sabers from the EU.

    I found the Curved handle light saber to be as elegant and fencing related as intended. When I saw it, it called to mind the top of a gentleman’s cane from the 1800’s.

    I do have to agree with Joe’s comment. Every jedi and sith create their own blade. So there can be a lot of latitude given for it.

  • Jason Limey Phoenix

    light sabers are conected to the plasma of the holder so it will not cut the person using it it is an extension of their own plasma!!!

    • Chris Reynolds

      No. The light saber will slice the user in half. There is no such connection.

      • Michael Reardon

        You guys need to get a life or get laid.. This isn’t real…it’s made up.

        • Lucas Gilliland

          This made me smile

        • Phil J Fry


        • Chris Reynolds

          Irregardless, the scientific concept is sound.

        • Malcha

          Saying people should’t discuss made up things is dumb.

          You essentially just said that works of fiction are never worthy of discussion whether it be Faulkner, Ibsen, Puccini, or Asimov, or any other writer.

          Sure, it’s made up. That in no way means works of human creativity are not worth discussion. Heck most religions are made up but people all over the world find themselves discussing it on a daily basis.

  • John Michael Crofford

    The double-bladed lightsaber is deadlier against non-lightsaber-wielding foes simply because it has twice as much cutting/reflecting surface. In a fight against Jedi, it becomes pretty pointless, I’ll admit, but for tearing through support personnel on raids? It is amazing.

  • Let’s address these one by one.

    Staff: True that the reach of a staff is a major benefit but in dueling there’s another one and that’s misdirection. A saber staff actually isn’t more effective a weapon since the threat to the user limits your strikes and makes switching between katas more difficult. It works on a psychological level. The brain of your opponent tries to follow each blade separately without realizing that they are connected, if you know where one is, you know where both are. It catches people wrong footed as they over think and react more slowly.

    Curved Handle: This type of hilt was also gifted to Darth Bane, a practitioner of form V, the one that teaches you to use your blade like a hammer, not a sword. The big deal about this isn’t that it works better for a duelist, its that it changes the power and angle of your strikes. A two handed strike can use one hand as a fulcrum to land a swifter stroke. The Asajj staff was stupid though.

    Forked: yeah i don’t know what they were thinking with this one. While it would make trapping and disarming an opponent easier (a la Sai) the length of the blade and angle would make this odd. Again, its more a psyche out thing than having a real tactical advantage.

    Whip: Actually less useful than the staff but works off the same principle of being a weapon rarely seen so its rarely prepared against. The whip actually isn’t a projected beam like other sabers but rather one that radiates from actual metal. The whip when turned off actually is a working whip.

    Night Stick and Nunchuk: The result of a designer not understanding how these weapons actually work or how often your flesh is making contact with them. Night Sticks (or Tonfa) are great to block with because you can use your whole forearm, not so with the lightsaber version since if you block and don’t have the wrist strength of Hercules you’re gonna lose a bit of skin. Nunchuk…..just no.

    Star Wars Rebels: Single blade is cool as is dual blades and I already covered the staff. As per the spinning thing, just a large no is in order. This serves no tactical advantage besides intimidation. Becoming Space Xena is neat but this really is a matter of having the General Grevious staff toy not sell well and then going “What if we made that toy into a thing and then sold it with a new paint scheme?”

    Nyax: considering each of those blades can move independently this guy is an absolute BEAST in a fight. Imagine having a sword fight with a guy who’s wearing armor that features bladed and spiked knuckles, knees and elbows. His every step is a possible disemboweling strike that you need to watch for, his every block a possible slash via elbow and pinning his weapon is essentially a death wish. The staff and whip are exotic or add extra thing you need to watch for but are themselves not as effective weapons as a single or paired blade. This guy doesn’t psych you out into thinking he’s got more options than is reasonable. He actually does have all of those options. Too bad he woke up while still half brain dead.

    • James Buchanan

      The blade really isn’t a heat issue on its own. I’ve held torches, welders and plasma cutters in operation with my bare hands without issue. The handle’s are easily insulated against the emitted flame’s heat, and the only real issue one has with those EXTREMELY hot tools (temps measured at thousands of degrees at the point of contact) isn’t the emitted heat of the tool, but the slag from whatever you’re cutting backspraying on you. Given that a typical lightsaber duel rarely involves extensive contact with slaggable material, the heat will rarely be a difficulty. Now…Quigon pulling his little melting move on the Trade Fed blast door? He’s getting cooked.

    • Kevin Smith

      Well put. I enjoyed your response.

    • Jacob Kilgannon

      I completely agree with this reply. With the nightstick form of the saber, if the wielder wore a lightsaber-resistant material (ie. beskar or cortosis), would this be a more viable weapon option?

      • It would but at that point you’d have better reach and range of motion using a single blade and Beskar bracers. Taking a defensive measure in order to USE your weapon is more than a little ridiculous. I grant that it would make the nightsticks useable, but only by highlighting the problem with them.

      • It certainly would but the only example of this type of blade that we see is on a tube top wearing emo teen. As part of an armored suit they would be effective weapons no doubt but that would take a bit more design thought.

    • Jacob Kilgannon

      Also just to piggyback on what you said about the double-bladed lightsaber, I believe that it is also a matter of acrobatics. Darth Maul is very acrobatic in combat, which to me seemed like a natural way to fight with such a blade. Idk, just a thought 😀

      • Maul is acrobatic as a result of needing to be to better use the weapon. It highlights the limits of a Double-Blade in that you are burning far more energy than your opponent to be just as effective. Look at Maul when he takes up a single blade in Clone Wars. He’s just as deadly an opponent but manages it without needing to be as acrobatic.

        • Lawrence Wong

          Double bladed saber is better against multiple opponents. Notice how when maul first fights qui gon he only uses 1 blade. The double bladed lightsaber can essentially be used as a longhandled single bladed lightsaber. It’s a perfectly valid weapon.

          • meowmachine

            In theory, the double-bladed lightsaber is a superior weapon for more movement-conservative defense. The problem is that every user of a saberstaff fights very offensively.

          • Michael White

            Not true. Darth Zannah fought defensively. Maul and Kun fought offensively because it matched their temperaments. Zannah was taught by Bane to conserve her energy and move as little as possible during a fight and wait until her opponents became fatigued or impatient and made mistakes. That served her well when she was fighting THREE Jedi at once

  • Jgking876

    Luckily they get past all of these difficulties with the force. This is why even normal lightsabers can only be wielded by those skilled in the force. Anyone without this necessary benefit would surely sear themselves even with the ‘traditional’ design. However, your point is well taken.

    • CraigN

      Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back didn’t seem to have much of an issue.

  • adam

    I think the new one is cool looking.

  • Thrand Godfrey

    Star Wars: Episode VII Lightsaber Crossguard Tested – Is It Dangerous? We test out the design to see if it is viable.

    • Miezko

      I think we have to keep in mind that these guys are strong force users, remember how the force helped anikan (or however you spell it) relied on the force to race in a sport that was so fast no other human pilot was able to race in. So I really don’t think it’s that difficult for these masters to use the force to anticipate where the blade will be.

  • Squall

    I think people forget, that not only do Jedi/Sith have the force to guide their movements to prevent self harm, but they all practice for years upon years before actually using the real lightsaber in combat.

  • George Bailey Ryan

    no i dont think ill share id rather you scruffy looking nerfherders star god what a bunch of haters!

  • Chris


    Check out this video, because every design has a reason

  • MyDolos

    There looks to be about an inch or two for the side blade emitters. This is a stop fire your hand so it won’t slip up into the blade. Now look at regular lightsabers without one. They are essentially a pole, so if you loosen your grip, your hand can slide up the handle and onto the blade. This stops it. Also when two lightsaber are held together at a 45 degree angle, one simply needs to push forward and stab the other in the face with the side blade. How many times could this of happened in all the duels?

  • Jacob D Johnston

    Nothing wrong with the cross hilt lightsaber, or any of these other lightsaber variants…Except the light nunchuks.

  • Robert Moore III

    Just want to say #5 is wrong, they are not night sticks, in that sense they are tonfas and if she is using them correctly that can be a useful way as long as she doesn’t touch her leg with the light blade.

  • Eric Mork

    I think the double bladed lightsaber makes perfect sense for what Darth Maul used it for. First of all, the second blade is optional. He didn’t use it against Qui-Gon rhe cirst time they met on Tatooine. Wouldn’t have been practical. But against two Jedi, he can take a primarily defensive position, dealing with a pair of lightsabers more efficiently until he tires out his opponents and separate them, which is exactly what he did. And let’s not forget that Obi-Wan didn’t defeat Maul until his dual saber was cut in half, leaving him with a single blade. Maybe there was some advantage with the staff after all.

  • Chris Rew

    Lord nyax would not be on this list had the author read any books in the EU. First of all, the portrait inaccurately depicts the angles and number of lightsabers on his body. Second, all his blades were equipped with safety switches that turned the blades off if any of his body were to cross the path of a blade of his own. Third, it took the strongest Jedi to take him down, even then they would not have been able to without a fleet of vong vehicles blasting away at nyax during the battle. Read the books.

  • James

    This article is ridiculous. First of all, Darth Maul’s blade is a ‘dual-bladed lightsaber’, it is not a staff. It’s supposed to replicate two swords joined together. You know? DUAL bladed. Secondly, the night sticks are based on tonfas. She uses it like a martial artist would use a tonfa. Lastly, everyone knows mostly everything in Star Wars is scientifically impossible, however the Star Wars universe is supposed to be a different one to the one we live in. So who actually cares? They look cool, take it for what it is. Sciene FICTION.

  • Kieran Calcifer Hilliard

    OP knows that no.5 is a Tonka and not a sword right..?

  • Matthew Hobson

    I need to point out here that an old school ish fencing foil (sword) can often come with a very curved handle. It completely changes how u can grip the weapon and the angle that u can hold it at…. (fencer for 5 years)

  • Benjamin

    Okay, so some of these I completely agree with, but others I can argue are better than the average lightsaber. Yes Lord Nyax’s setup, light nunchucks, and the forked lightsaber may not be the most practical, but they are fit for the user only. I can see lord Nyax’s setup being used as a more defensive style, an intimidation technique, and will even keep the enemy on their feet at all times, because of the different locations of the blades. Light Nunchucks may have been usefull when facing opponents not wielding a lightsaber, and against a user may have been a bit impractical, but it looks as though you could use them as dual wielded as well. The forked saber, of these three I believe is the most practical, as it could be a defensive precaution to block incoming saber strikes and maybe could help to trap a saber user’s blade in between the two allowing the forked user to disarm them.
    The other’s on this list actually make complete sense. A curved saber is commonly used in the Makashi style of lightsaber combat, as it gave the user good precision, and required little movement. It was used mainly in one hand and gave it’s user a great advantage in defense and finding the right moment to make the perfect strike. Although it was hard to master, it was very effective in lightsaber dueling. The double blade saber was also a misunderstood style of saber. It was mainly used in Juyo, and Niman, as it was very versatile and could push an opponent off guard in seconds. It required the opponent to battle two sabers at once and gave the user more power behind their strikes. Not only this but it was such a long saber that defending against the long strikes of Shii-cho was easily achievable.
    The final three lightsaber styles are not commonly seen but have their uses as well. A light whip is very useful at a long range and in the Niman style, as combing force techniques with it could be very deadly. Users of this type commonly control the blade with the force and may even empower it with force lightning. It may be a bit useless in close range, but with a saber like this, who would ever get into close range. It is probably the hardest type of saber to defend against. The nightstick saber is also very useful in defense. Like some users of the basic saber, the blade is pointed in the opposite direction where the user is facing. This is useful for defense and also throws many off guard because of how uncommon it is. Unlike the average saber though, you can switch to face it forward with a quick hand movement, making it even harder to defend against. While wielding two however, it is even more effective, where one can be used primarily for defense facing backwards and the other in offense facing forward, such as Maris uses in the force unleashed video game. The final variation of the saber on your list, the “light-what-the-hell-is-this”, is a saber we have only seen one person use. The inquisitor uses this in many ways, such as in the style of makashi, like count dooku in a fencing sort of way, with one blade extended, and with both extended, I would still consider it makashi. Unlike darth maul who wields his double saber with two hands, this is wielded with one hand and allows for more quick moves and combinations. It also leaves your other hand open at all times for force abilities to be used at any moment. These two ways of fighting with this blade, I cannot say are impractical, but when the inquisitor start’s to make it spin in circles, I can understand where this is coming from. This may look impossible to maneuver but I think it is kind of like General Grievous’s blade spins that he so often uses, except the inquisitor can swing it around unlike the General who prefers to keep it right in front of him. This allows for the inquisitor to be nearly untouchable from the side he is holding the saber, and when swung it becomes impossible to defend against. All you could do is dodge it and use the force to aid you. It may require a very aware force user to wield, as it’s movements in this setting are nearly uncontrollable other than by the one handed hilt, but if you choose to focus on this style, it could be very versatile in battle.
    Finally, two things. First I would like to mention that the likeliness of a force user to accidentally skim one of his/her own limbs or body parts with their saber is extremely low. The force user has spent years mastering this style of fighting and to slip up like that is extremely uncommon. Second, I would like to say that I do not believe the cross guard blade is really that impractical. It would keep other lightsaber users from sliding their blade down to disarm him or stab him. It also looks pretty damn scary to the guy on the other end of the battle. Hopefully this was helpful for whoever is reading this to understand the uses behind these misunderstood lightsaber types, and hopefully now we all understand that no lightsaber is completely impractical.

  • Juan

    The lightwhip is better than the lightsaber by the range and that the carrier can handle the lightwhip as a part of her / his body through telekinesis.

  • Miezko

    I’d like to see them create a true light staff, make it so the handles could slide up and down the shaft. This way you’d be able to actually use it like a bo staff.

  • brojenks

    you might wanna read some of the books to understand the light whip, the double bladed light saber and the Curved light saber because this is a list of things you have little knowledge on. the light whip was not the same as a lightsaber. it was actually small threads of material that had the energy travel down it. the double saber was made for intimidation purposes and took extreme ability to master the forms of this. and have you never see a foil used for fencing? it has a T shaped handle under the basket hilt. the curved grip was for dooku’s personal style of combat, not flashy and showy like aniken.

  • Fraser Hamilton

    From reddit user rick17126:
    “In the lore Dooku is known as a master duelist which favored Form II which is very similar in style the real life fencing style.

    In real life Christopher Lee was a experienced fencer, both sport and theatrical.

    If you look at Dooku with saber1 and saber2
    you’ll notice that with the curve of the hilt the blade forms almost a straight line with his arm, this is a classic sort of hilt to blade line arrangement for a swordsman that favors a style cut and thrust style using the tip of the sword. Small movements in the elbow give great movement at the tip of the blade while keeping in line with the natural line of the wrist at rest.”


    May olympic fencers use curved and very odd looking hilts for similar reasons


  • StrikeR

    I think whats lost in this discussion is that lightsaber wielders really aren’t counting on a fair fight. If you have a lightsaber in the starwars universe most of the time it doesn’t matter what size or shape that lightsaber is because close combat is an automatic victory against 99.999pct of the starwars universe. Considering that, an exotic weapon/fighting style gives an advantage against someone who can actually block a lightsaber. One hit kill against 99.999pct…suprise waiting for that .001pct.

  • Gileum

    why is the saber staff called into question here? Its a bo-staff. It is extremely defensive and versatile. They actually DO make longer lightsaber polearms where you can grab the ends of the weapon with only a spear-tip on it. But why bash Darth Maul’s saber? It was incredibly effective in the movie, and with it he beat 2 jedi, at once. He only lost because of his arrogance and letting Obi-Wan escape.

  • Renaud Bonenfant

    eAt least he confesses never to have touched a weapon, so fucking mouth TABARNA At least he confesses never to have touched a weapon, so shut your fucking mouth TABARNAK, 1- Comme des style Shaolin mo1- Comme des style Shaolin monk avec des pouvoir magique et de sensibilité a1- Like shaolin monk style with magic power and sensitivity to Play whit feeble mind feel présence of Force master , changed the laws of physics and more, they surelly know where There hand are and à been of Do condanced ligth IT Solid IT sûre st the noise (wooonng) IT make just waving IT the heat IT produce…
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