Lightsabers are one of the most notable things about the “Star Wars” franchise. Even most non-fans know about the iconic weapons that the Sith and Jedi use throughout the various films.
However, as wonderful as the films are, the mechanics of the lightsabers are never explained in any of them. So, it’s up to fans to seek out additional information on the creation and mechanics of lightsabers, including the kyber crystals that they are made out of.
The main component of a lightsaber would be its kyber crystal. These crystals are a Force-attuned mineral that is used to focus the power of the Force into the blade of the weapon.
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How Many Crystals Can a Lightsaber Have?
These rare crystals are mined by the Jedi, or Sith, who intend to use them for creating their lightsaber. The kyber crystals can be found on a variety of planets, but most notably the Crystal Cave on Ilum, an ice planet where younglings were sent out for their Jedi training.
The Force-user and their intended kyber crystal find each other by using the Force. The crystals are colorless until they are connected with their chosen Jedi or Sith, once connected, the blade color depends on the wielder’s nature.
In most cases, kyber crystals will create a blue or green blade for the Force user since the minerals are automatically attuned to the light side of the Force. The Sith were able to use lightsabers by “bleeding” the crystal by, according to Emperor Palpatine: “corrupt[ing]” the kyber crystal by “teach[ing] it your pain. Teach[ing] it your anger” (Emperor Palpatine, from Issue #12 of Darth Vader comic series).
One kyber crystal is all that is needed to create the core of a lightsaber, which brings its standard blade length to be about a little over 3 feet long. However, if a Jedi or Sith chooses to do so, they may create a lightsaber with multiple kyber crystals to create an advantage with their blades’ length.
If a lightsaber is created using 2 or more kyber crystals, it is called a dual-phase lightsaber. Darth Vader’s iconic red lightsaber is an example of a character using this type of lightsaber.
Since Darth Vader’s lightsaber contains 2 kyber crystals, it begs the question “how many crystals can a lightsaber have?” The short answer is 3 crystals.
The “Star Wars” character that created a single lightsaber with the most crystals (3) would be the Jedi Knight Huulik. Since his lightsaber was designed specifically for him, a Rodian, his saber is said to be uncomfortable to use with a human’s hand.
Huulik’s character first appeared in “Heir to the Jedi ” which is a canonical novel released in 2015 by Kevin Hearne. This quote from the novel when Luke is trying to take apart Huulik’s lightsaber provides canonical evidence that it is possible to have up to 3 kyber crystals in a lightsaber.
“The power cell at the base was insulated and held no interest for me. Above that was a platform for the primary focusing crystal that gave the lightsaber its color. Two additional crystals floated above it, balanced so precariously on mounting ridges that they could easily be disturbed-and they had been. They lay askew, and I feared I must have done that in the process of disassembling it. The lightsaber wouldn’t work properly now, even if I put it back together; without proper focusing there was no telling what would happen if I tried to turn it on. It might explode.” – Luke Skywalker, from Heir to the Jedi
Even though it is now canonical that a lightsaber can contain up to 3 kyber crystals, Huulik is the only official character to have one. However, that number only represents the most kyber crystals in a single lightsaber.
How Many Crystals are in Dual-bladed or Multiple Lightsabers?
“Star Wars” fans know of Darth Maul’s famous double-bladed red lightsaber. The dual-bladed saber was split in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi during their Naboo battle in the prequel trilogy’s “The Phantom Menace”.
Before its split, Maul’s saberstaff contained a total of four red kyber crystals, presumably two on each side. Since Darth Maul’s lightsaber was a conjoined set of sabers instead of a single one, that still leaves Huulik as the “Star Wars” character with the most kyber crystals in his lightsaber.
Darth Maul isn’t the only “Star Wars” character to have a unique lightsaber setup utilizing multiple kyber crystals. Another well-known character with multiple lightsabers would be General Grievous, who first appeared in the final prequel movie: “Revenge of the Sith”.
General Grievous, a Kaleesh warlord for the Galactic Republic, is known for his collection of many Jedi lightsabers. This is why the lightsabers he wields are blue and green, the typical Jedi colors, instead of red, which is what is usually what the villains of “Star Wars” use.
Most characters in the entire “Star Wars” franchise are classified as a Jedi or a Sith, General Grievous is neither one. Although he is a skilled lightsaber user; that is only because of his training with Count Dooku since he also has no Force sensitivity.
Grievous’s collection of lightsabers serves as trophies of his conquests against the Jedi he has killed and weapons for killing them. He has such a deep hatred for the Jedi because they sided with the Huks during the Huk War, which is a species that enslaved Grievous’s kind.
General Grievous is known for his four-arm lightsaber-wielding battle style, which utilizes his vast fallen Jedi lightsaber collection. Each lightsaber is a standard single edition of the weapon, meaning that they more than likely contain only 1 kyber crystal each.
Since Grievous fights with a lightsaber in all four of his arms and each lightsaber is assumed to have 1 crystal, the general has the power of 4 kyber crystals total during his battles. The lightsabers that General Grievous uses aren’t technically his since they were created or designed by him or for him.
This means that even though Grievous has a total power of 4 kyber crystals in the lightsabers that he wields, they aren’t his own lightsabers like Darth Maul’s 4 kyber crystal powered saberstaff is. So even though they both have 4 crystals total, Huulik from “Heir to the Jedi” still contains the most kyber crystal power in a single saber.
Does Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber have Multiple Kyber Crystals?
Fans might wonder whether or not Kylo Ren’s lightsaber contains more than 1 kyber crystal, especially considering its unique crossguard feature. However, that is not the case because there is another reason for the appearance of Kylo’s lightsaber.
The initial lightsaber from when he was known as Ben Solo during his Jedi training with his uncle, Luke Skywalker, was blue, which signifies his skilled combat abilities. However, after his switch to the dark side and he turned into Kylo Ren, he chose to create a new lightsaber and “bleed” it by pouring rage, hate, and other negative emotions into it through the Force.
Kylo’s unique lightsaber look comes from the aftermath of that process because it made the blade unstable and caused it to crackle. The crystal he used for his lightsaber was cracked, which is what also adds to the level of instability of his blade.
Kylo didn’t make it to the part of Jedi training with Luke to learn about proper lightsaber construction, so this is a lot of the reason why his lightsaber is unstable and different from any lightsaber that “Star Wars” fans have seen. Also, using a cracked kyber crystal as the base of the saber mixed with the inferior construction created what we know as his lightsaber today.
The iconic crossguard that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is known for wasn’t an aesthetic design choice; the purpose is functionality. Since his kyber crystal was cracked and the frame of the lightsaber wasn’t constructed properly, there was a heat issue which required it to be vented to work properly; which resulted in his crossguard feature.
Despite Kylo Ren’s lightsaber having an atypical appearance, that is not because his blade has more than 1 kyber crystal. It is only due to the unprofessional construction and the cracked kyber crystal.
So, the short answer to the question “how many crystals can a lightsaber have?” would be 3 kyber crystals in a single blade. However, if a lightsaber is double-bladed, like the one Darth Maul has, a Force-user or lightsaber wielder can have up to 4 kyber crystals worth of power in their lightsaber(s).