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Ezra's lightsaber (pictued below) features a gun attachment that can be single-handedly fired while the lightsaber is activated. The energy bolt cannot be deflected back at the firer.

Regarding the lightsaber his Jedi Master, Kanan, flippantly said "Well, it's…different, but that seems about right for you. Come on" (Star Wars Rebels: Path of the Jedi)

enter image description here

I believe that he has overlooked the greatest advancement in lightsaber technology in millenia. Should the opponent be forced to block the blade with his own lightsaber, the gun becomes nigh impossible to evade.

Here are some pictures to illustrate my point (complete with bad drawings and sound effects):

Exhibit: How Ezra's lightsaber could have saved the Old Republic

Exhibit A: It could have saved Mace Windu enter image description here

Exhibit B: It could've helped Yoda defeat Sidious enter image description here

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11  
Are you aware that Ezra has had his ass comprehensively kicked by every other duellist that he's come into contact with? – Valorum Mar 23 at 22:03
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+1 for the quality of your elite Photoshop skills – Peter Mar 23 at 22:04
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Given the fact that Rebels takes place before A New Hope and by The Force Awakens gunless lightsabers are still used, it seems the answer is no, it didn't revolutionize lightsaber duels. – Rogue Jedi Mar 23 at 22:50
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@Peter But -1 for lack of freehand circles. – jpmc26 Mar 24 at 2:14
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+1 for the sound effects. Including "Pew! Pew!" improves many things, young padawan. – pleurocoelus Mar 24 at 10:31
up vote 18 down vote accepted

Ezra's lightsaber's design would have changed the rules of lightsaber combat, but not enough to save the Old Republic. Your idea, however, is potentially enough to save the Old Republic.

There is a major difference between Ezra's lightsaber and your idea. Like Richard stated, Ezra's weapon cannot draw the blade and fire simultaneously.

Ezra's lightsaber was able to significantly influence the tactical circumstances of battle, however. In the finale to Season 1, Kanan borrowed Ezra's lightsaber to fight with the Grand Inquisitor. Kanan had the sense to mix shooting and swordfighting, which was enough to surprise the Grand Inquisitor and grant a measure of tactical advantage. Ezra's reaction to Kanan's strategy was simply one of surprise and "why didn't I think of that?"

Ezra never intended for his lightsaber to do both at the same time. It just didn't come to mind. When he built his lightsaber, what drove his design decisions is the need to not get caught by Imperial spot checks. Therefore, he had the illegal lightsaber doubled as a legal stun pistol to evade detection, and to ensure he is not helpless in battle when revealing his Jedi identity is not an option.

The idea of shooting during swordfighting, however, is a very good one nonetheless (though Ezra can't claim most of the credit):

  • As the Clone Wars and the Great Jedi Massacre demonstrated, Jedi are vulnerable to shots they can't block, such as during a saber lock.
  • A traditional lightsaber has three Kyber crystals: The main energy focusing crystal, and two secondary crystals that allow the wielder to configure the blade's length and power
  • If you can reduce the power output of a blade, theoretically you can also divert part of the power into shooting without sheathing the blade.
  • It can be a low powered stun, or maybe even shoot to kill. Who knows?

Basically, it seems the theory is sound that a lightsaber that can swordfight and shoot simultaneously is feasible. That said, the question then comes down to: If a lightsaber's shot is incapable of killing, then would a stun blast be significant against a Sith Lord, a master of pain? A comic I chanced upon a month back showed a pre-Phantom Menace Darth Maul being attacked by a Nightsister with Force Lightning - and the Nightsister implying that only the Sith Lords can endure and resist such an attack.

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No. According to Star Wars Insider #154, you need to disengage the blade in order for the battery pack to power the blaster. Your lightsaber duel would last about four seconds and then you'd get your hands cut off.

If anything, Ezra's revolutionary design would make it more likely that you'd get killed in record time which is why his style of fighting is known as form 8; Dumbasso

enter image description here

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3  
"where he can disengage his saber". it does not say he must disengage for the blaster to work. – phantom42 Mar 23 at 22:56
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I believe every instance we've seen of the blastsaber has the blade disengaging when being fired. I think you are also misreading that sentence. The "can" relates to the option to use the multi-function, wherein the blade is disengaged and the blaster enabled. – NKCampbell Mar 23 at 23:00
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Although, the stun blaster does give Ezra (and Kanan, who has wielded this lightsaber on occasions) something to do while they close the gap to their opponent. – Ellesedil Mar 23 at 23:09
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What's a mutli function? – Bergi Mar 24 at 1:16
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@Murphy - Hey, I've had a great idea. I'll strap an explosive to the side of my lightsaber. I can't see anyone using that against me in combat. – Valorum Mar 24 at 15:08

I don't think it would make much of a difference. Especially if it became widespread and it wasn't a surprise. Look at that picture of Palpatine. He is catching a lightning storm with his hands. What do you think would happen if there was a couple blaster bolts added into that malestrom?

Judging by what happens when Vader get shot in ESB, Not too much.

enter image description here

It would just be something they'd have to adapt to.

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13  
Just a minor comment, Palpatine is casting a Lightning storm from his hands. It's Mace Windu who is catching it, and then on his Lightsaber. – Obsidian Phoenix Mar 24 at 16:51
1  
Catching on his saber, and deflecting. That's why Palpatine is getting deformed. – Daniel Mar 25 at 18:13
    
Right concept, wrong movie and person. In the beginning of TFA, Kylo Ren stops a blaster/lightning bolt with the Force that was fired by Poe Dameron. In the scene above I don't think Vader is using the Force at all. Remember, his arm is metal. I think he just blocks the blaster bolt (note the sparks and smoke that result) – Machavity Mar 25 at 18:54
    
Darth Vader didn't use the Force. In Legends at least, his artificial hands are made of a very strong and durable metal, which is attributed to as the reason he could block and absorb Han's shots with negligible damage to his bare hands. – thegreatjedi Mar 27 at 10:40

I don't see how someone might take a page out of Darth Maul's book and simply adapt one lightsaber to fire shots, attach it to another lightsaber and voila! Or perhaps configure multiple crystals in the same unit to achieve the right power and function needed...

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How does this answer the question? It reads more like a comment, and if you like I can convert it to one. – Rand al'Thor Mar 26 at 16:01

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