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You can tell from this video that Finn is actually pushing that button to activate the lightsaber

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It seems like there are different on-buttons or something because the toys say the big rectangular one near the middle is the on-button.

From this video:

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Is there more than one on-button? Or is this just a continuity error? Where is the official on-button, and

why the seeming inconsistency?

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Considering your avatar, shouldn't you ALREADY know the answer, since you claimed it was "yours"? :) – DVK-in-exile Jan 3 at 23:12
    
@DVK - His Saber had a different config – Valorum Jan 3 at 23:18
    
Actually, I think the first time Finn uses the saber (after he gets it from Maz) he presses on the protrusions (fins) above the blade-length adjustor. – Clockwork-Muse Jan 4 at 5:05
    
The answer to "why the inconsistency" is "because the 'activation matrix' nonsense is very bad design". If it looks like an "on" button and clicks like an "on" button, it better damn well be an "on" button. It's those little things on the side that should do things like adjust the length or brightness. – Martha Jan 4 at 23:46
    
So probably not a canon answer, but if you had a sword with an on/off switch, wouldn't you want more than one button on there? I mean you might be skilled as hell, but the one time you grab it wrong and have to fiddle for the button - bam, you're dead. I'd want a couple of buttons. – Misha Rosnach Jan 25 at 12:28

From the Star Wars: Visual Dictionary and Force Awakens: Visual Dictionary.

The "on button" is the big shiny thing on the handle.

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4  
If you press the quick-recharge port expecting it to turn on, you're gonna have a bad time. – Valorum Jan 3 at 22:59
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Is it USB-C or microUSB? – DVK-in-exile Jan 3 at 23:10
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@DVK - It actually looks like some kind of dual-prong connector – Valorum Jan 3 at 23:15
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I know, but USB is the cool new thing.... – DVK-in-exile Jan 3 at 23:24
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@Gusdor - Years of listening to treknobabble has made me the man I am. – Valorum Jan 4 at 13:09

Let's say it has both the activation button and the length adjust control as depicted in the dictionaries. Presumably the activation button would cause the blade to quickly jump up to the set blade length. However, if you left it on, but turned the length to 0, maybe holding the length adjust button down would cause it to extend in a slow, cool, way! That way, both the OP images could make sense.

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Ah, hibernation mode. – Mr Lister Jan 4 at 9:52
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That would be a poor user interface if you could leave it on and turn the blade length down to zero. Imagine you get jumped by somebody, pull out your weapon, activate it, and...nothing happens. That's because you just turned it off! You left it on, remember? You desperately try to activate it again and you still get nothing, because the blade length is zero! Good luck with that. – Mohair Jan 4 at 18:43
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@Mohair And then we have the awkward scene where the villain rolls his eyes at you and waits for you to figure it out. – Michael Jan 4 at 19:00

In episode 2 of the unfinished episodes of the Clone Wars, which I believe are canon, Anakin turns his lightsaber on by pushing the big red button in the front. This, added to the many ways you cited by which this lightsaber can be turned on, leads me to believe that there is in fact more than one way to turn it on.

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If you have any quotes or pictures to back this up, that would be great. Otherwise, good answer. – CHEESE Feb 16 at 1:44

Jedis tend to make their own light sabers and can fiddle around with button configurations howsoever they wish. Ask anyone who has programmed a macro for playing a MOBA or MMORPG and they'll tell you the power of custom mapping.

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Except this question is about why different people turn on the same exact lightsaber using different buttons. We're not talking about all the various lightsabers constructed by various Jedi; we're talking about one particular lightsaber, originally constructed by Anakin Skywalker, tried out by his wife Padmé, inherited and lost by their son Luke, recovered by Maz Kanata, and used by Finn and Rey... and it seems every one of those people use a different button to turn it on. – Martha Jan 24 at 0:00
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Perhaps I'm being unclear here- my point was that once the light saber ends up in a Jedi's hand, they can reprogram the trigger button howsoever they wish. – Broklynite Jan 24 at 10:48
    
Are you telling me that in the few short seconds after Padmé picked up her husband's lightsaber, she reprogrammed the thing to use a different trigger button? What about Finn? When did he have a chance to fiddle with the saber, and how the heck did he learn how to do so? – Martha Jan 24 at 18:34
    
I hadn't realized the timing was that close together- never watched the movies, not my kind of thing. – Broklynite Jan 24 at 22:17
    
@Broklynite. Why do I get the feeling that last comment was a joke? – John Bell Jan 25 at 11:57

I noticed that right away. The way Rey and Finn turn it on, seemed to me just a stupid mistake. Obviously the young actors grew up with silly cartoon versions and prequel of SW (where is not clear which button they switch, since it changes all the time), they do not know where the actual switch on button was in the original trilogy (where Luke actually turns on the lightsaber always in the same rectangular spot in the middle of the handle, and the replica has the exact same design), and apparently no one, either in pre-production, or on set of Ep.VII TFA, bothered to check for continuity purpose, not even the director! Lame...

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