If there’s one thing as exciting as the new release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s the notion of living in a Star Wars universe ourselves. More specifically, it’s exciting to play with the idea of wielding our own lightsabers. We could strike down bad guys (and occasionally good guys), we could cut through almost anything, and we could deflect lightning or laser blasts when the need arises. If we could just get our hands on a lightsaber, life as we know it would be much easier.
As it turns out, this idea isn’t quite as ridiculous as we may have thought. In fact, one of two new infographics we’ve just received from Costume Collection is dedicated to this very idea. Both of these infographics are brought to us by Ming, the CIO of Costume Collection, to whom we are eternally grateful for the opportunity to share them.
As noted above, the first infographic pertains to the possibility of manufacturing lightsabers in the real world.
Ming notes that several criteria must be met in order for a real lightsaber to function. These are:
Retractable laser blade
Slices through almost any material
Laser collides (clash) when met with another laser
Containment of laser beam
Power cell small but powerful enough to power the blade
The hilt would be easy enough to manufacture, using any number of currently existing alloys. Ming does note that we don’t possess the right type of crystals to focus the “blade,” but that any type of crystal might succeed in this purpose. The diatium power cell affixed to the crystal is a little trickier, but even this could be possible within the next few decades due to new advancements in technology. Ming quotes MIT’s Professor Shao-Horn:
“By dramatically improving the power density of lithium-ion batteries, carbon nanotube technology will pave the way to new and improved portable power applications.”
It’s a little vague, but the implication here is that the plasma blades projected by lightsabers will eventually be made possible by technology small enough to wield. That said, the blade is actually where the notion of real lightsabers may begin to fall apart.
The first problem is that lasers don’t generally deflect off of each other, nor do they cut through limbs. If they did, you’d be targeted by PETA every time you terrorized your cat with one of those little laser pointers. We’d also have to replace the screens in movie theaters once every few days. That said, new research by Harvard and MIT indicates that we might be able to transform photons into a new state of matter. Not only would this make lightsabers a bit more plausible, but it would completely revolutionize the field of physics.
There still remains a problem, with which fans of Clerks: The Animated Series will already be aware.
Randall: And the lightsaber, you turn it on and it goes yea-high. How does it know when to stop?
Dante: The Force?
Randall: Man, that’s your answer for everything.
Dante actually has a point. Without the ability to harness the Force in our world, we do not yet have the means of containing the plasma blade of a lightsaber. So unless you want to cause untold destruction with a never-ending beam of light, it’s best to hold off for now. If you do want to cause untold destruction with a never-ending beam of light, you can apparently incinerate things with this kooky contraption:
Blue and green lightsabers are both used by the Jedi, but they aren’t precisely the same. A Jedi Consular such as Yoda would generally wield a green lightsaber, and would only draw it when absolutely necessary. A Jedi Guardian such as Obi-Wan would generally wield a blue lightsaber. They would still be attuned with the Force and dedicated to keeping the peace, but they would also have great martial arts training and would use their lightsabers with greater frequency as they are more likely to be sent into battle.
Red lightsabers are well-known for their affiliation with the Dark Side, and indicate a particular level of violence and aggression. You will never see a Jedi with one of these, with the exception of Anakin’s brief use of a red lightsaber near the beginning of Revenge of the Sith. And we all know how that turned out.
Violet (purple) lightsabers such as Mace Windu’s do not really have a side. They can be wielded by Force-users of any kind, Jedi and Sith alike. Considering Windu nearly kills an unarmed prisoner when facing Palpatine in Episode III (while having also stated plans to overthrow the Senate), this kind of makes sense. While he may have been a leader in the Jedi Council, he did not always follow the Jedi way. His lightsaber reflects that.
Yellow lightsabers are often held by Jedi Sentinels, such as Bastila Shan in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. This is a group primarily focused on espionage. They have combat skills, but they will not rush to action as quick as the Jedi Guardian might. On the other hand, they will not be as hesitant as the Jedi Consular to draw their blade if need be. Still, you won’t see these lightsabers too often, especially given the rarity of Sentinels among the Jedi.
Orange lightsabers, such as those held by Yaddle (the “female Yoda” who appears in The Phantom Menace and wields her lightsaber in the comics), don’t have any particular meaning. They simply indicate that the user is incredibly strong, which makes it a shame that we don’t see these more often.
White lightsabers are much like purple lightsabers, in that they have no particular designation in terms of Light Side/Dark Side alignment. They are generally employed by Imperial Knights, who are considered “gray” due to their partial rejection of both sides of the Force. You won’t see these too often outside of Star Wars: Legacy.
Black lightsabers, or “darksabers,” are among the rarest of all. In The Clone Wars, it is established that only one is really known to exist. A highly specialized Sith blade, it is eventually stolen by Darth Maul.
Many other lightsaber colors appear in The Force Unleashed and its sequel, as well as MMORPG The Old Republic, but these are simply extra game designs and do not appear have any real meaning to the universe at large. If there are any lightsaber colors aside from the ones above, we certainly hope to see them in the new trilogy and its spin-offs.
Thanks again to Costume Collection for the above infographics. They were certainly fun to dive into, and have doubled our excitement for The Force Awakens as it hits theaters today!