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I know why the lightsaber needs vents, but why don't the vents ignite first? (Is ignite the right word?).

I'm clearly no engineer, and I've clearly never made a lightsaber before, so I'm just wondering why the vents don't ignite (again, what's the word I should use?) before the blade.

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This is explicitly explained in the Force Awakens: Visual Dictionary. In short, the aim is to get the main blade extended ASAP. This then causes the lightsaber to overload and to compensate, Kylo Ren has added vents that allow extra energy to vent out of the crossguard pieces.

An iris opens a second after the main blade has ignited, hence the slight delay.

enter image description here

  • Ah makes sense to get the main blade out ASAP. But that part of the picture that's circled just says it comes out delayed, not why. – bmarkham Jan 25 '16 at 1:23

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