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I found this question which asks if there were ever any other technologies based on lightsabers.

What I would like to know is if there's any instances in canon or Legends where an actual saber is being used for anything other than combat or combat-related actions, such as "hacking" a control panel to a door during a chase.

What comes to mind are industrial and medical type uses, like:

  • Melting metals together to mend a ship or,
  • Amputating a limb

We've seen both of these examples in the movies (When Qui-Gon cuts through the blast doors in Ep1, and Luke losing his hand in Ep5, respectively), so the proof of concept is there. I'm sure there could be other uses for desperate enough Knights, like starting a campfire or carving makeshift housing out of a tree, or for the Younglings, maybe extreme arts and crafts.

So are lightsabers ever used for anything other than fighting? It doesn't have to be handled by a Jedi or Sith to count.

  • 5
    This seems very dupey to me. – Valorum Dec 12 '16 at 22:19
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    What about the scene where Obi-Wan and Anakin avoid combat by simultaneously and quickly cutting out a circle out of the floor underneath them and falling through, in a deleted, non-canon scene? – Iwillnotexist Idonotexist Dec 13 '16 at 0:06
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    Non cannon: it's not common for one to use a weapon in non-combat situations. Most disciplines recognize that a weapon is inherently designed to be dangerous and unpredictable to those around you. Accordingly, one must assume that once a weapon is drawn, everyone around you is acting accordingly. Draw a blaster in a Tatoine Cantina at the wrong time and see how long you last! – Cort Ammon Dec 13 '16 at 0:18
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    Does Luke freeing himself from the ice shackles right before the ice wampa bears down on him count? From Empire of course. – Todd Wilcox Dec 13 '16 at 3:42
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    Do lightsaber bread toasters count? – Sayse Dec 13 '16 at 8:00
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Cutting tool

In Episode V, Han Solo used Luke's lightsaber to cut open a tauntaun on Hoth.

enter image description here

Image taken from a Youtube video

Han's tauntaun had just died from the extreme cold, so Han cut it open to put the injured Luke inside for warmth.

The canon Star Wars Rebels episode "The Wynkahthu Job" (S03E07) includes an instance in which Ezra Bridger cut through a door with his lightsaber (H/T @NKCampbell):

enter image description here

Image taken from a Youtube video

This is similar to Qui-Gon's use of his lightsaber to cut through a blast door in Episode I, but this is a non-combat situation.

Light source

Lightsabers have been used as light sources, both in canon and Legends. Another answer on this site mentions that they were used as light sources in the canon Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Legacy of Terror" (S02E07):

enter image description here

The Jedi were with clone troopers in this situation, but were not in combat at the time.

Another answer quotes the canon novel Heir to the Jedi describing Luke using his lightsaber as a light source after his lamp was destroyed (though this may be considered combat):

“Stay back!” I warned Drusil as I heard the creature choke and spit up the lamp. It wasn’t working anymore—maybe it was simply in the off position rather than broken, but I wasn’t about to search in the dark for it in the bottom of a sewer with something hungry nearby. We needed to see, so I pulled my lightsaber from my belt and hoped it would give off enough ambient light to spot the creature before it attacked again. Holding it in front of me in a defensive stance, I turned it on as I heard the creature snarl and thrash in the filth. The blue plasma blade bloomed up and my eyes, dilated in the darkness, saw the thing open its mouth and bunch its powerful back legs for a spring at my throat.

The "Betrayed" trailer for the Legends game Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Eternal Throne has a non-combat example (H/T @Ivan Kolmychek):

enter image description here

Image taken from a Youtube video

Player characters in various video games can use their lightsaber as a light source. For example, in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (H/T @Robotnik):

enter image description here

Image taken from a Youtube video

Also Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy:

enter image description here

Image taken from a Youtube video

(This image is a combat example, but only because that was the best I could find showing it as a light source. Having played this game, I can attest that the player is able to activate the lightsaber when not in combat.)

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    Another example of usage as lightsaber as source (althrough non-canon) is in SWTOR "Betrayed" trailer, starting from 4:50: youtu.be/LbpDxrew4A0?t=4m50s – Ivan Kolmychek Dec 13 '16 at 11:32
  • An instance in Rebels also used as a non-combat cutting tool – NKCampbell Dec 13 '16 at 21:42
  • In another light-source example: in the Phantom Menace's PS1 game you could use your lightsaber as a light source. Not sure if this was an intended feature or whether it was just that the game was so poorly lit that it was easier to just run around with your saber out 90% of the time. – Robotnik Dec 14 '16 at 1:07
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    @Null - Season 3: The Wynkahthu Job - nearer the end of the episode – NKCampbell Dec 14 '16 at 17:16
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    np @Null - funny, but I was actually referencing a different scene in the same episode (near the end) where Kanan and Ezra cut a thick cable that is linking the Ghost to another ship – NKCampbell Dec 15 '16 at 19:06
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Episode V:

Episode VI:

Episode I:

Episode III:

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    Tauntaun sleeping bag! Amazing – user31178 Dec 13 '16 at 8:44
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    Aren't the AT-AT and platform cutter considered in-combat? – Mixxiphoid Dec 13 '16 at 11:53
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    @Mixxiphoid Seems to be in-combat to me. Same for the saber throwing for the platform. :-) – Dylan Meeus Dec 13 '16 at 14:15
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    For those who don't get the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag joke: thinkgeek.com/product/bb2e – user22502 Dec 13 '16 at 14:23
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    Kylo Ren uses his to remodel workstations whenever he has a hissy fit. – Snow Dec 14 '16 at 7:51
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Identification
Prior to the events of Order 66, the Jedi would wear their Lightsabers proudly and visibly. This would signify to people that they are indeed Jedi.

Image of actor Ewan Mcgregor dressed up as "Obi Wan Kenobi" from the Star Wars franchise, displaying his Lightsaber.

Look at that badass!

Peace Offering
Rey uses Luke's Lightsaber as a sort of peace offering to signify to him that she's there for him.

Rey holding Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber and offering it up to him.

Instant Messaging Service
Luke's Lightsaber is used, either intentionally or unintentionally as a sort of memory-inducing, mesagging conduit when it flashes a force-memory to Rey when she touches it in Maz Kanata's bar.

  • 4
    I like the idea of an instant messaging service, although I don't think there is evidence yet that it was intentional. – Thunderforge Dec 13 '16 at 4:33
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    The sarcasm is strong with this one. – RedCaio Dec 13 '16 at 5:57
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    While the transmission of the message from the lightsaber to Rey was fairly instant, I'm pretty certain that the message itself was stuck in the lightsaber queue for quite some time. – Ellesedil Dec 13 '16 at 8:56
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    "Hey, so I found a droid containing a piece of a map that, when combined with the rest that's found within your personal droid, which I could only have found by befriending the rebels, produces a path leading directly to this planet, which is entirely uninhabited except for you. But, in case you were wondering if I'm here to see you, Luke Skywalker, in particular, here's your lightsaber." – DisturbedNeo Dec 13 '16 at 15:08
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    Ray -----> Rey. – Wildcard Dec 14 '16 at 7:53
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Off the top of my head...

There are several instances in the Clone Wars TV series showing Jedi using their sabres as light sources. Technically may not qualify, as they were in combat zones, but it is a non-combat use.

Also in the Clone Wars TV series, Yoda used his lightsaber to fashion a crutch for an injured clone trooper by cutting and welding parts of an unused weapon; again, in a combat zone, but a non-combat use.

HOWEVER...such uses are likely to be limited.

Lightsabers are, it turns out, more than just tools that anyone can slap together which the Jedi happen to have an affinity for. The kyber crystals at the heart of a lightsaber are capable of generating enormous energy, but the crystals themselves are deeply attuned to the Force. The crystals were extremely rare before the rise of the Empire, and nearly all of them were in the keeping of the Jedi, who considered them sacred.

It was also extremely difficult to tap into their full capacity without the Force, as demonstrated in the novel Catalyst. In that novel, a genius spends decades trying to tap into the power of kyber crystals. There's also an incident when an attempt to weaponise that person's research ended up destroying an entire city.

All of which is to say that you're not going to find many non-Force users with lightsabers; and the Force users themselves treat them primarily as weapons, with occasional other uses.

  • That's disappointing to hear. I'd hoped there'd be more stories involving miscellaneous/wacky/last-ditch uses for them. It seems to me there's an untapped potential here. – DCOPTimDowd Dec 12 '16 at 22:14
  • General Grievous used (multiple!) lightsabers while not being Force-sensitive, which does not mesh well with the statement that it is "extremely difficult to tap into their full capacity without the Force". – void_ptr Dec 12 '16 at 22:41
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    @void_ptr Grievous' lightsabres were either stolen from Jedi he killed or given to him by Dooku; the difficulty with tapping into kyber crystals refers to the construction of lightsabres rather than their use. – Werrf Dec 12 '16 at 22:47
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In the non-canon Star Wars: Force Unleashed computer game, Darth Vader 'knights' Starkiller with his lightsaber:

You were weak when I found you. Now your hatred has become your strength. [Vader motions his lightsaber over Starkiller's shoulders in a knighting motion]

enter image description here

Image source: starwars.wikia

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    There's at least one canon instance of this as well. See Rebels, Shroud of Darkness. I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up in Clone Wars, too. – jpmc26 Dec 13 '16 at 22:27
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It seems like lightsaber technology could be used in practical tools for many purposes, however, it takes a force trained person to build one and maintain it (as is the most common belief and impression given in the Legends), so probably not too pragmatic if doctors need to wait for a Jedi to calibrate their laser scalpels every time they start surgery. Consider the "Preparation" involved when a Jedi makes his lightsaber, but at the same time, consider Orman Tagge commissioned his lightsaber to be built for him, but by whom?

Other answers here seem to be pointing at strange situations and calling that "non-combat use", like Luke freeing himself from the ice (but only so he could use it seconds later to kill the ice wampa) or as a flashlight (but I doubt Jedi use lightsabers for light when they have to make a midnight run to the toilet). These are one-off uses. I'm assuming you mean to ask if lightsaber technology is used as a matter of conventional practice in any non-combative industry/purpose. I would say there is no evidence of that, and considering lightsaber technology may require the force to create, I seriously doubt it.

  • Not conventional practice necessarily, but instances where the saber's energy was being put towards something without the intent to harm or destroy. – DCOPTimDowd Dec 14 '16 at 18:38
  • Actually, reading about how young Anakin once used his to light the way to the potty while out camping with Old Ben would be a great story – DCOPTimDowd Dec 14 '16 at 18:41
  • @SonOfSam if you only consider instances of active light sabers, i.e. with their blade switched on, you should indicate this in your question. This would invalidate some (parts of) answers given so far. – Michael Schumacher Dec 14 '16 at 19:53
  • I don't only consider activated examples, but I can see where you would take me saying "energy" as meaning that – DCOPTimDowd Dec 15 '16 at 16:48
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Disguise

In the "I, Jedi" novel focussing on Corran Horn, a lightsaber is constructed by Horn himself out of either hoverbike remnants or at least parts closely resembling those. If I remember correctly, the part making up the hilt is described as a hoverbike handlebar - I can't find my copy of the book right now.

At one point in the novel, Horn has to pretend to be dead drunk to avoid becoming the suspect in a case of recent Jedi sightings. A friendly character picks him up, comments on the "drunkenness" and expresses disgust on Horn having crashed a hoverbike. The friend presents the "handlebar" as evidence for this claim, thus dispelling any suspicion someone might have had in regard to the metallic tube Horn was carrying around.

  • 1
    I never considered what an inactive saber would be used for, but this isn't really an example of what I was looking for as it's not "actively" being used in any meaningful way. No more than it hanging from someone's belt. This story does sound neat though. If you can find your source--and maybe anything else related to this guy--that'd be cool too. – DCOPTimDowd Dec 14 '16 at 21:28
  • "This guy" is starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Corran_Horn – Michael Schumacher Dec 14 '16 at 21:35
  • If I had specified only activated lightsabers, I would have never known about this colorful character. :) – DCOPTimDowd Dec 15 '16 at 16:52

protected by Community Dec 14 '16 at 21:18

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