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I can't seem to find the answer anywhere on the internet.

What weapons did the Jedi and Sith use before they moved on to proto-sabers?

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This is addressed in the Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force factbook. In short, the early Jedi Order started with metal swords, then progressed to swords forged (and artificially hardened/sharpened) with Force powers before then moving onto proto-Lightsabers and finally Lightsabers proper.

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    Oooooo, nice graphics. I should get this book! – Canadian Girl Scout Dec 4 '16 at 4:17
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    @CanadianGirlScout - It's one of my personal favourites and a lot of fun to read, especially with the handwritten notes from Ahsoka, Anakin and Dooku. – Valorum Dec 4 '16 at 7:47
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    It's a great book, but it's worth noting that it's now Legends and not part of the new Disney canon. As far as I know the only canon info we have on Jedi weapons before modern lightsabers is the darksaber from the Clone Wars show, which appeared to have a physical blade surrounded by some kind of energy or force field. – Hypnosifl Dec 4 '16 at 16:37
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    @Hypnosifl - Indeed. As I've mentioned on other posts, this was one of the last factbooks that had direct input from from the same people at LucasFilm that went on to form the LucasFilm Story Group. – Valorum Dec 4 '16 at 16:39
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If you played SW:TOR (Star Wars: The Old Republic) and you play as a Jedi Knight or a Sith Warrior the starter weapon you get is a practice saber (also called a vibrosword.)

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Virbroswords are melee weapons with cylindrical blades that delivered painful shocks on contact instead of cutting or cauterizing like a normal sword or a lightsaber.

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