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Why do Lightsabers Look so Uncomfortable to Hold?

Why do Lightsabers Look so  Uncomfortable to Hold?

Lightsabers are without a doubt one of Star Wars most iconic aspects, the choice weapon of the galaxy’s peacekeepers, the Jedi, and their age-old enemies, the Sith. When building a lightsaber, a Jedi can spend weeks and even months in search of the proper materials, and even then actually assembling it, is a whole other hassle on its own.

However, despite being ‘an elegant weapon for a more civilized age’ and their aesthetically pleasing appearance, lightsabers hardly seem to have the most comfortable-looking hilts. We will be looking into the reason why, and surprisingly enough, there are two explanations.

Why do lightsabers look so uncomfortable to hold?

As said before, there’s two answers to the question, one having to do with the Star Wars canon, and one tied to the actual production of the films. But let’s talk about the canon answer, which Star Wars fans will be more fond of.

Every lightsaber is tailored to its owner’s likes and personality, reflecting certain philosophies and ideals, so naturally there’s bound to be diversity.

You can make the hilts from a number of metals, certain woods, gemstones, and even bones of creatures found within the Star Wars universe, such as Cartusion whales, and that’s just the base. Other parts are needed, such as dials and buttons to adjust the blade’s length and power, which leave the saber looking rather clunky.

However, its size as well as the assortment of odd bumps serve the purpose of keeping the inner workings of the hilt safe, which, unlike the actual blade, is not nearly as indestructible.

A specific part of the weapon that must be kept from harm’s way is the delicate and powerful kyber crystal. While the precious crystals are durable, they are also unstable, and could very well explode if suffering enough damage.

The reason lightsabers look uncomfortable to wield is because, apart from the person who actually built it, they would be uncomfortable to fight with. The weapon is made specifically for one person to use it, to fit their needs and preferences, and theirs alone.

Not to mention, the bond the owner has with the power source, a living kyber crystal, within is another component which is necessary when using a lightsaber.

Why do lightsaber hilts look very unergonomic?

I’m going to be honest with you all, canon aside, when it comes right down to it, a lightsaber’s unnecessary ridges and awkward protrusions are simply because of the design employed by producers of the Star Wars films.

The concept chosen for design was “used future”, meaning that dirt and dust still exist in the distant future, and the ships or cars or whatever crazy inventions could still be old and broken, rusty and well used.

In a sense, it made the world seem even more real, not something distant and out of touch.

Lightsabers themselves were a collection of old random parts, some pieces taken from world war II, and then there were others taken from simple day-to-day items like cabinet window sliders.

Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber was made from a Graaflex camera for crying out loud, Darth Vader’s was made from Precision Products flash attachment, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s, probably the most bizarre of the bunch used a grenade from world war I, yet the aesthetic totally works for all of them.

Lightsabers aren’t ergonomic, it’s the truth. During the filming, the actors themselves complained about the uncomfortable hilts. In the end, it resulted in the producers making far simpler stunt lightsabers for fight scenes.

And it’s not just the hilt, the iconic weapons have a handful of other problems. Such as there’s no guard, if a Jedi is to clash sabers with an enemy, there will be nothing to prevent the blade from sliding down and injuring the users’ hands.

Another issue is the actual grip of the lightsabers, which one may assume to be rubber, are plastic.

And if the blade is burning hot plasma, capable of slicing through limbs and even blast doors… well, you’d think your hands would get just a little sweaty, and I mean just imagine trying to keep a grip during a fight.

How are you supposed to hold a lightsaber?

Ah, yes, how to hold the lightsaber. Putting its unergonomic nature aside, there are various ways to wield the one, seven to be exact.

Within the Jedi order, there are seven official forms of lightsaber combat: form I, form II, form III, form IV, form V, form VI, form VII.

Form I – Shii-Cho

Form I, The Determination Form, also known to be called The Way of the Sarlacc, is the oldest form of lightsaber combat within the Jedi order, as well as the base for all others being as it is the most rudimentary form. They teach it to all students in the order, so in times of great distress when the Jedi’s chosen and mastered form does not suffice, they can fall back onto Form I when all else fails.

A notable user of this form was Jedi Master Kit Fisto.

In regard to how you should hold the lightsaber when using this form, it is quite simple. It requires a two handed grip, one hand at the near the bottom of the hilt, and the other at the top, never pressed together for that would limit mobility while wielding the weapon. And, when doing wide sweep attacks, you can get the best possible reach by using a one handed grip.

Form II – Makashi

Form II, as you can assume from its name, was the second form of lightsaber combat created by the order and is known for its graceful, controlled, and precise style. Makashi is commonly used in duels between Jedi and Sith, and was actually born in response to the growing numbers of Sith.

A notable user of this form was former Jedi Master Count Dooku.

The proper way to hold a lightsaber while fighting in Form II is with a one hand grip, typically the dominant hand, and similar to fencing, the free hand is held behind your back or held out to keep balance.

Form III – Soresu

Form III, The Resilience Form, also known as The Way of Mynock, focused on defense and attack. Having risen to counter blaster fire, the usual stance was short and guarded. Form III was best used in drawn out battles, its goal is to exhaust enemies.

A notable user of this form was Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The best way to hold your lightsaber while using this form was harder than the others. Since to block blaster bolts, you have to constantly keep a light grip on the hilt to allow for the necessary twirling to block. This form changes between using both hands and one.

Form IV – Ataru

Form IV, The Aggressive Form, was a form focusing mainly on offense and known for the incredible agility and acrobatic skills it granted its users. This form is best used in open spaces so you can use it to the fullest.

A notable user of this form was Jedi Master Yoda.

The right grip for this form is mostly one handed and higher up on the hilt, best for the speed and strength that comes with the fast paced nature of Ataru. And every now and then, you could switch to a two handed hold for balance, but only for a quick few seconds.

Form V – Shien/Djem So

Form V, known for its two main disciplines Shien and Djem So, was based on Form III, and used mostly by whoever wanted to use a more offensive style. The two variants are a well-balanced blend of defence and offence, though both are still unique in their own right.

A notable user of this form was former Jedi Master, wait no, sorry, former Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker.

Both styles would switch between one handed and two handed grips, but for Shien, some people would use a reverse grip for stronger strikes and surprise attacks.

Form VI – Niman

Form VI, Niman, was very popular among all force users, and many saw it to be the ‘new’ Form I in a way. It didn’t have the sheer power that came with using the other forms, but it wasn’t a problem since users of Niman made up for it by blending their saber work with usage of the force.

A notable user of this form was Sith Apprentice Darth Maul.

When it comes to Niman, there is no single answer for which is the right way to grip it, since it is a big mishmash of forms I through V. You could use both hands, one at the bottom of the hilt and one at the top, or you could use a one handed grip at either ends of the hilt. Really, it would depend mostly on the situation and user.

Form VII – Juyo/Vaapad

Form VII, The Ferocity Form, also known by its two styles Juyo and Vaapad, was a very dangerous style for Jedi to use due to its channeling of dark side powers and was limited to only a handful of people chosen by the High Counsel.

A notable user of this form was Jedi Master Mace Windu.

This form favors a firm two-handed grip, seeing as it uses passion and anger, all of which lead to the most powerful blows possible.


In the end, Lightsabers are far from perfect, they’re mostly uncomfortable to anyone but their owners, the actual props were kind of ‘kit bashed’ together from the oddest things you’d imagine, and there are far more ‘correct’ ways to hold them than you would expect.