When a lightsaber gets low on power, what happens?

Does it slowly power down over time, or would it just turn off?

  • 3
    Would you accept Legends canon answers (the old Expanded Universe)? If so, add the tag to your question and we'll get an answer in no time.
    – user40790
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 17:56
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    It probably stops using background data and turns off the automatic wifi search. it might even dim the blade based on the amount of ambient light, depending on the kernel version it's running.
    – Jeff
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 18:14
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    @MrLister There should be no one who uses the spelling "light sabre" either; the term "lightsaber" is a unique compound word, not a two-word term where localized spellings of the individual words would be allowed. There's no such thing as a lightsabre or light sabre.
    – TylerH
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 21:36
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    @TylerH You know, you almost sound as if you don't believe me. i.sstatic.net/NIDlr.jpg
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 22:48
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    @TylerH That's a very provincial viewpoint. The world is bigger than the United States.
    – Jane S
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 13:18

5 Answers 5


A lightsaber running out of power was depicted in chapter 2 of the novel Shatterpoint (which is Legends, but you indicated that was OK in a comment). It happens to Mace Windu, after an authority had confiscated his lightsaber and secretly drained the power cell before giving it back to him. Here's how it's described:

While he was trying to feel his way toward what they might try next, he noticed that his blade cast a peculiarly pale light. Much too pale.

Even as he crouched there, staring drop-jawed into the paling shaft, it faded, flickered, and winked out.

He thought: And this trouble I'm in just might be serious.

His lightsaber was out of charge.


They use force powered crystals which, as far as I understand, only stop working if they are damaged, turned off via the force, disabled, or come into contact with the water (unless the jedi/sith/gray jedi is using a waterproof lightsaber. In these cases, the crystals stop providing the lights aber with power so the blade simply goes out. It's worth noting that the old lightsabers (pre-Old republic) required special packs attached to the jedi's utility belt to power them, but this problem is solved with "modern" lightsabers.


I don't recall an instance of a saber specifically being drained 100% from use in G/Disney canon, but we have specific mention of the lightsaber basically "burning out" because Obi-Wan forgot to turn it off (unclear what the water itself does), and needing "recharging", possibly on its own.

From The Phantom Menace

OBI-WAN : Sorry, Master, the water fried my weapon.

OBI-WAN pulls out his burnt laser sword handle. QUI-GON inspects it, as JAR JAR pulls himself out of the mud.

QUI-GON : You forgot to turn your power off again, didn't you?

OBI-WAN nods sheeplishly.

QUI-GON : (cont'd) It won't take long to recharge, but this is a lesson I hope you've learned, my young Padawan.


Assuming that the lightsaber blade requires full power to maintain a full length blade it would be reasonable to assume that the blade would shorten rather than dim as if it dimmed it would just disperse. This assumption is also made with the fan theory that lightsabers are beams of plasma is true.


I suspect the lightsaber blade shortens occasionally as it loses power. In this youtube video of Obi Wan versus Darth Vader, you can see Obi Wan's blade briefly shortens around 45 to 55 seconds. That's right before Vader says "Your power are weak old man." And Obi Wan's blade goes back up to full length before it shortens again at 60 to 65 seconds.

Although there is no official movie canon scene where a lightsaber sputters out completely, I think this snippet shows what happens on low power.

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    I really don't think that's what you're seeing in that scene. What you're looking at is an example of foreshortening
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 8:02
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    The blade does shorten, but that's because it's a bit cold on the Death Star.
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 17:13

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