Easily the most famous lightsaber in all of Star Wars history, Anakin’s lightsaber (also later owned by Luke and Rey) is a symbol for the series, and one of the oldest.
In fact, Anakin’s lightsaber is the first blade ever shown in a Star Wars film, and has featured in more episodes than any other lightsaber in the series.
But, for such an iconic blade as Anakin’s, many fans have been left confused at how it’s even comfortable to wield.
“Why does it look so heavy? How old is this thing? What’s it made of?” — these are all great questions and, luckily for you, we have answers!
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First up: How Heavy Is It?
This is probably the first question many people ask, and for good reason: Anakin’s hilt at first glance looks like pure metal, and much larger than Obi-Wan’s skeletal hilt design.
Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest to answer.
Neither Canon nor Legends offers a definitive weight for Anakin’s lightsaber.
However, knowing what the prop was actually made from can give us a rough estimate.
Lucasfilm originally created the hilt for Episode IV using the flash attachment from a Graflex 3 cell flash unit, with minor modifications (such as adding the famous ridged hand grip).
While there aren’t any official weights listed (as far as we could see), being made of steel, we can compare it to similar pipes on the market.
At 1.5” across, having a wall thickness of about 1.24 mm, and a total length of about 10 ½ inches, it would roughly equal 3 lbs, give or take a few ounces.
For easy reference, most modern electric clothing irons are the same weight, so when you see Anakin swinging his blade about, just imagine he’s doing it with a clothing iron.
Alright, but what is it actually made of?
Unlike in our world, the Star Wars galaxy has plenty of materials such as cortosis, durasteel, and ionite — each having fantastic qualities of their own.
So, it’s no surprise that many have wondered what materials Anakin chose for his lightsaber.
The answer depends on the parts being discussed.
The hilt itself is mostly made of alloy metal, containing a kyber crystal at its heart, and assorted mechanical parts at its core.
Later, when the hilt was broken by Rey and Kylo, its disparate pieces were welded back together with an unknown metal, and tied off with a leather wrap.
However, the ridged grip is reportedly made of an unnamed carbon composite, instead of metal, and is also described as “rubberized,” making it more comfortable to wield.
Wait, how comfortable is Anakin’s lightsaber?
Despite modifications to increase its comfort (such as the rubberized grip and leather wrap), the Skywalker blade was notoriously uncomfortable to wield.
The hilt possessed a number of protruding bits and pieces, such as the ring tuning flange and power switch, which got in the way of a comfortable grip.
Additionally, it was noted that the rubberized grip made the lightsaber blocky, and its corners sharp (though this was not much of an issue for Anakin, as his robotic hand would have blunted the discomfort).
This, seemingly, did not affect the usability of the blade, however, as even Finn (an inexperienced non-Force user) was capable of utilizing it to a sufficient degree.
If Finn was using it, how old is Anakin’s lightsaber?
That depends on when it’s being used.
By the time of A New Hope, when Luke first uses Anakin’s lightsaber, it’s around 22 years old, making it older than Luke Skywalker himself.
Luke loses the lightsaber by The Empire Strikes Back, however, and Maz Kanada keeps it in her possession until 34 ABY, when it was discovered by Rey and Finn.
By that point, it’s nearly 57 years old, and is used for a year afterwards, from The Last Jedi to The Rise of Skywalker, where it’s finally put to rest.
Despite being broken near the end of The Last Jedi, the lightsaber has remained functional for its entire 57-year lifespan, being repaired by Rey shortly after it was damaged.
From 22 BBY to 35 ABY, that makes the Skywalker family blade the oldest, actively-used lightsaber in the Star Wars canon.
If his lightsaber is so heavy and unwieldy, how does Anakin use it?
There are a lot of factors that go into how a duelist uses their lightsaber, and for Anakin, these can be summed up into a few main points.
Firstly, as mentioned earlier, his mechanical hand (which would be the one gripping his hilt the hardest) is protected from discomfort by virtue of its non-organic nature.
Secondly, Anakin’s dueling style relies heavily on the fifth form of lightsaber combat, Djem-So, which doesn’t place much emphasis on gripping the blade itself.
Instead, it primarily focuses on large, sweeping cuts, which don’t require the lightsaber to be perfectly ergonomic.
This would be a different story were Anakin, for example, a Makashi practitioner, a form which places the utmost importance on hilt-maneuvering.
Finally, and most importantly, the mechanisms behind a Force-user’s dueling style don’t actually involve physical strength or comfort.
Because of their prowess in the Force, most duelists are capable of channeling its power to give themselves physical advantages (like incredibly high Force jumps).
With that, many duelists simply use the Force to make their movements swifter, stronger, and, yes, more comfortable.
On top of that, dueling itself requires a state of oneness with the Force; this is why non-Force users tend to be bad duelists.
While one can fight competently without the Force (see General Grievous), it’s the Force that dictates a duelist’s moves in the heat of battle, and thus, heavily influences how comfortable their fights are.
The Skywalker family blade, while a bit bulky, uncomfortable, and old, remains one of the most famous and well-used lightsabers in all of Star Wars.
It’s a testament to the blade that so many master duelists have used it, from Anakin himself to Luke Skywalker and then onto Rey.
With that said, have you learned something new about this pivotal lightsaber in Star Wars history? Or did we miss something?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to share on social media if you felt this article was helpful.
And, as always, may the Force be with you.