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In Star Wars, Luke wielded both a lightsaber and the Force, neither of which was explained in much detail.

In The Phantom Menace, it was explained that intelligent microscopic life-forms called midi-chlorians enable Jedi to control the Force. We all loved that.

Is there any similar explanation for how a lightsaber works?

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Related/Possible duplicate: What keeps a lightsaber from going on infinitely? –  gnovice Oct 27 '11 at 20:48
    
+1 for using the words "pretend science" lol –  System Down Aug 24 '13 at 0:33
    
See the later question scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/10628 Lightsaber physics ? –  b_jonas Aug 24 '13 at 8:35

1 Answer 1

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Yes. See http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Lightsaber#Mechanics_and_specifications

Cliff notes version as requested by commenter:

A diatium power cell generates the energy which passes through a series of focusing lenses and energizers before being converted into plasma. Focusing crystals project the plasma. Some widgets made the beam coherent. Plasma was reflected back by blade containment field. Insert other pseudo-technical mumbo jumbo to taste.

Full explanation from Wookiepedia:

High levels of energy generated by a high-output Diatium power cell was unleashed through a series of focusing lenses and energizers that converted the energy into plasma. The plasma was projected through a set of focusing crystals that lent the blade its properties and allowed for the adjustment of blade length and power output. The ideal number of crystals was three, though only one was required.

Once focused by the crystals, the plasma was sent through a series of field energizers and modulation circuitry within the emitter matrix that further focused it, making it into a coherent beam of energy that was projected from the emitter. The blade typically extended about a meter before being arced by the blade containment field back to a negatively charged fissure ringing the emitter, where it was channeled back to the power cell by a superconductor, completing the circuit.

Below is a list of the primary parts almost all lightsabers needed to use to function properly:

  • Lightsaber hilt
  • Pommel cap
  • Diatium power cell
  • Inert power insulator
  • Focusing lens
  • Lightsaber crystal
  • Emitter matrix
  • Blade emitter
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That’s the stuff, excellent. Plasma, who’d have thought it. –  Paul D. Waite Oct 27 '11 at 21:10
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@PaulD.Waite: Lucas. –  Jeff Oct 27 '11 at 21:48
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There actually was a show on the Science channel called Sci-Fi science where the host examined how a lightsaber could actually be constructed using technology that either existed or would likely exist in the next couple of centuries. –  BBlake Oct 28 '11 at 4:10
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@BBlake I don't suppose you have a link for that by any chance? :P –  greatwolf Jan 28 '12 at 4:20
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Here's a link: science.discovery.com/videos/… –  BBlake Jan 28 '12 at 12:35

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