There had been non-Jedi/non-Sith dabbling with lightsabers a bit. General Grievous swung a bunch around like crazy. And I do recall there had been some kind of stick weapon that the lightsaber bounced off in the prequels.

But in Star Wars 7:

Finn (no-force) battles Kylo (Sith) to a draw even injuring Kylo with a lightsaber. This is the same Finn who almost gets dispatched by a simple stormtrooper with a lightsaber proof baton.

So if we have non-Jedi, non-Sith grabbing lightsabers and standing equal with Jedi and Sith, and every stormtrooper has an anti-lightsaber baton that they can just about beat a Jedi with, then in what sense is a Jedi with his lightsaber a fearsome sight?

Has anyone picked up on anything or heard Lucas or JJ talk about it or knows of good counter examples?


There are a group of weapons called Vibroblades in-universe that have the ability to parry and other wise act like a lightsaber whilst being a physical object. In the EU there were various daggers and axes in addition to swords. This is due to a method of weapon creation called Cortosis-weave, which is very expensive due to the use of rare components. This may be where the baton came from.

As for the effectiveness of the weapon, that lies in the ability of the wielder. The stormtrooper and Finn both had basic melee training, but there's serious differences, which is why Finn had so much trouble - he was used to using heavier things, so using this very light saber (ha!) actually was against his training. Similarly, Rey attacked Emo Ren using the lightsaber as though it was a staff, at first, until letting the force guide her. General Grevious was able to use them with machine-accuracy, in addition to sith training.

Are Jedi still terrifying? Certainly. The force allowing them to react faster than the speed of blaster bolts is a literally deadly skill, plus the many, many abilities that the force makes available to them. Just like a random postal worker with a hunting rifle is a scary stereotype, but it wouldn't hold a candle of effectiveness to a veteran military sniper.

  • Do you have a theory about why Finn was able to wound Kylo Ren? Kylo Ren can react faster than a blaster bolt, but Finn almost beats him and in fact wounds him. – Joe C Apr 9 '16 at 3:14
  • There could be many reasons. Kylo could have been arrogant of his own abilities, thinking this "mere mortal" couldn't compare, thus letting his guard down. Kylo may be so focused on the potential power of Rey that he's constantly distracted during the fight with Finn. Ren also doesn't have the finesse or training for a close quarters fight, while Finn does, so while Kylo can physically react faster those reactions are less powerful or even the wrong type reaction. – Vogie Apr 9 '16 at 15:04

The light saber is a symbol mostly of Force-sensitivity.

Also the fact that a lightsaber is not a common device in the galaxy. They are each individually designed, built and used by the same Force-user almost exclusively.

The one exception is the Skywalker family as Anakin has his saber passed down to his son, from which he eventually designs his own.

Yes General Grievous wielded four, they were all stolen from Jedi he killed. Finn wielded one but that was more or less given to him to give to Rey.

The fact a non-Force-user can use them isn't relevant. As any sword can be picked up by any man and be used, albeit poorly. If Ben was better trained then he wouldn't need a broadsword.

  • Two problems: 1. Anakin didn't ask for his lightsaber to be passed down - Obi-Wan dismembered him and basically stole it, and Vader assumed his unborn child had died with Padme. 2. Luke based the design of his second lightsaber on that of the one Obi-Wan carried in A New Hope. He ignored the design of the one Obi-Wan took from Anakin on Mustafar. – Wad Cheber Jan 12 '16 at 3:29

There are plenty of reasons that a Jedi with a lightsaber (as opposed to a different weapon) is something special:

  • Lightsabers have a power output that is out of proportion to their input, and may come from the Force:

    By rights lightsabers shouldn’t have been able to cut through meter-thick durasteel and yet they could, which lent credence to the notion of their being augmented by the Force itself.

    Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

    Just because the other weapons can withstand a lightsaber blow (by using some sort of electrical field to deflect it, by all appearances), doesn’t mean they can slice through doors or limbs.

  • A lightsaber constructed by a Jedi helps center them in combat, augmenting their already formidable fighting skills. According to the Databank:

    At the heart of every Jedi lightsaber is a kyber crystal found on several planets, most notably the icebound caves of Ilum. This crystal is attuned to the Force, and connected to a Jedi Knight on a deeply personal level. In this way, a lightsaber is an extension of a Jedi’s Force awareness. Because Jedi let the Force guide their selection of the crystal, the vibration that the crystal creates in the lightsaber blade helps Jedi center themselves and find balance in the Force. In this way, a Jedi can center his or her attention beyond the distractions of combat.

  • A lightsaber can deflect blaster bolts, whereas another weapon (even some of the anti-lightsaber weapons) might have more trouble.

A few additional points, with respect to why a Jedi (or Force-user in general) is indeed someone to be feared:

  • We don’t know that Finn is not Force-sensitive. As of this answer, Star Wars VIII and IX have yet to come out, and could well reveal that Finn has some Force talent. Regardless, he’s a very skilled combatant. This answer explains the fight between Finn and Kylo. Regardless of whether Finn is Force sensitive or not, Kylo is definitely the more skilled fighter, and would win a fight—most of the time.
  • Weapons that can deflect lightsabers are rare and expensive.
  • It’s not surprising that Finn, with a lightsaber, could be beaten by a stormtrooper with a riot-control baton: you’ve got one person wielding a weapon he’s never used, versus another with a weapon they’ve extensively trained in. Even if Finn does have the Force, and keeping in mind that he’s quite good at melee, that’s a fight he could plausibly lose.

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