Over the past few times that we have talked about lightsabers, there is one undisputed fact that we have established. This being that lightsabers are unique for every Jedi or Sith that uses them.
Just because lightsaber designs and hilts were unique to every Jedi, it does not mean that they did not share inspiration and similarities between themselves. The occasional Master and Padawan duo would share the same color scheme or even the same blade colors.
Many parts of a lightsaber looked like each other with minor changes and differences. These parts would combine to form designs that, despite being unique and different from each other, would look similar from a certain distance.
One of the best examples that we have seen of similar lightsabers in the Star Wars Universe is the lightsaber of Obi-Wan Kenobi. It shares a lot of similarities with the lightsaber that Luke Skywalker built for himself after losing his father’s lightsaber on Cloud City.
But before we can dive into the similarities between these two, and the differences, we must first break down the construction of a lightsaber into its most basic parts and steps.
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How many parts does a lightsaber have?
Before the intricate similarities and differences of a lightsaber can be compared or even brought to light, we must first identify the different parts of a lightsaber.
Every basic lightsaber has anywhere between six to eight basic parts. And while two of these are optional, we will talk about the six that can be found in any lightsaber throughout the Galaxy Far Far Away.
The hilt of any lightsaber is more easily defined as the handle of the blade itself. The hilt is usually where most of the stylistic individualism shines through. Every Jedi or Sith designs their lightsaber to represent themselves and the ideologies they believe in.
Hilts are further divided into the blade guard and the outer casing of the Kyber Crystal chamber. Hilts are usually metallic and are found in varying shades of silver and grey, with accents that are usually either black or gold or sometimes even both.
The blade guard is usually defined as the outer casing of the emitter matrix of the lightsaber. The guard varies from hilt to hilt, with some Force users opting to have it protrude out of the handle to accent the blade, and others opting for a more intricate assembly.
The blade of a lightsaber is self-explanatory. This specific component is nothing other than the main offensive component of any lightsaber. The blade is generated using the power cell inside the lightsaber’s hilt and is focused using the Kyber Crystal.
Lightsaber blades can be found and seen in many colors, but the most common are either blue, red, or green. So, while they could potentially help set a lightsaber apart from the other. This is rarely the case.
The emitter, or more formally known as the blade emitter, is the main component used in creating the blade of a lightsaber. The emitter is usually found at the front end of the lightsaber and its main job is to stabilize the blade itself.
The emitter itself is hidden inside the blade guard and is rarely visible from the outside. So, despite its design, it cannot help in differentiating between two different lightsabers.
Lightsaber couplers (singularly known as a lightsaber coupling) are optional attachments to any lightsaber that can be attached to the base. Lightsabers have two famous form factors, and while the single lightsaber is extremely common, the double-bladed lightsaber requires a coupling to build.
The coupling is attached to two lightsabers, and functions in the same manner as a jigsaw piece with how it locks two individual lightsabers together, to allow the two lightsabers to function as one. Most lightsabers that can split apart use couplers to function.
The pommel is the base of the lightsaber and is one of the three components from this list that can be used to differentiate between two lightsabers. The pommel is more of a practical addition to the lightsaber, while also serving to change or improve the hilt’s aesthetic.
The pommel’s only practical purpose is to act as a belt clip or as a holster. But without interfering with the practicality of the lightsaber itself.
But now that we have defined the different parts of a lightsaber and have identified which of those could potentially help us tell apart two similar-looking lightsabers. Let us get into why we are here.
Are Obi-Wan’s and Luke’s Lightsaber the same?
Out of all the lightsabers that we have seen throughout the nine Star Wars movies, only two have been aesthetically alike to each other. Anyone who has watched the movies will know that the Original Trilogy featured two lightsabers that could almost have been mistaken as the same lightsaber.
We are talking about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber, which he used to fight Darth Vader on both Mustafar and the Death Star, and Luke Skywalker’s second lightsaber, which debuted in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi.
Throughout the Skywalker Saga, no two lightsabers have been as similar as these two. But that was not without reason. The similarity between these two lightsabers has been explained extremely well in the Star Wars canon.
But it would be too easy for these two to be the same lightsaber, which did seem likely before Luke ignited his new lightsaber for the first time and its blade was green instead of the blue we had seen from Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber.
What makes these two lightsabers so similar?
While the movies themselves do not explain why Luke’s new lightsaber looks so similar, there are two canonical explanations. The first of these is the fact that Luke was trained by Obi-Wan and that Obi-Wan was his master.
And while this does not mean much, we cannot forget that the Padawans of the Jedi of old believed in paying homage to their masters when they became Jedi Knights. So, it would not be that far of a stretch to believe that Luke built his lightsaber this way to honor Obi-Wan and his teachings.
But this theory is merely speculation and the wishful thinking of the Star Wars fandom. There is a far more accurate and canonically viable theory that was offered to us by the novelization of Episode Vi: Return of The Jedi.
The novelization tells us how, after his defeat at Cloud City, Luke went back to Tatooine in despair. Not knowing how to continue his journey as a Jedi without a lightsaber, he was guided by the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi about what his next steps should be.
The book tells us how Obi-Wan guided Luke to find a Kyber Crystal in the caves around his old house on Tatooine. Obi-Wan then guided Luke to a chest in the house he used during his time as Ben Kenobi.
It was here that Obi-Wan had some spare lightsaber parts in case he ever needed to repair his own. Luke used those parts, and some others that he acquired by trading and scavenging, to build his new lightsaber.
This explains how and why Obi-Wan’s lightsaber and Luke Skywalker’s second lightsaber are so similar in design. It also matches into the first theory that Luke may have wanted to honor Obi-Wan with his design choice.
So, what we have learned is that Obi-Wan and Luke’s lightsabers were not the same, despite how similar they were. But we now know that they looked so similar because of the parts that Luke used and how they were initially backup parts for Obi-Wan’s lightsaber.
Using our knowledge of lightsaber parts discussed above, we can also tell where the similarities occur between these two lightsabers. When compared side-by-side, we can tell that the blade emitter along with the pommel was almost, if not exactly the same as Obi-Wan’s lightsaber.
The hilt, although being heavily inspired, had some noticeable design differences. The similarities returned in the switch and then were most noticeably absent in the blade itself and its color.