In the answers to this question it is noted that when the user dies a lightsaber goes off and that the activation button on a lightsaber may be a safety feature so that it will go off if the user drops it.

There are cases when lightsabers remain on when not in the users hands (e.g., Darth Vader throws his activated lightsaber during his battle with Luke in The Return of the Jedi.), but it isn't clear that the user isn't keeping it on intentionally with the force.

Does a lightsaber have to be kept on intentionally during use (like by holding a button down etc...), and will it automatically go off if the user drops it?

Answers using any level of canon are appropriate but please note the canon level in your answer.

  • Have deleted my answer as per your clarification. Mar 17, 2017 at 19:23
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    An example of when a non-Force user threw an activated lightsaber would answer your question. That would show that it was on, but not kept on by a Force user.
    – RichS
    Mar 17, 2017 at 19:45
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    An interesting case is Starkiller (Galen Marek) from The Force Unleashed. His lightsaber didn't have an activation button, and he activated it by shorting the circuits with the Force. And yes, he was able to throw it. Mar 17, 2017 at 20:16
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    I'm not enough of a Star Wars buff to make this an "Answer," but I once saw someone say, in an online discussion, that at least one novel has claimed that some Jedi like to have a "self-destruct" feature built in so that if a non-approved user picks up the metal hilt, and tries to turn it on and use it as a weapon . . . the thing literally blows up in his face! That obviously doesn't happen every time in the movies, so my best guess would be that various Jedi Knights (or Sith Lords) have experimented with different "personalized security features" according to their own tastes.
    – Lorendiac
    Mar 17, 2017 at 22:57
  • It is widely assumed that the button on a lightsaber can and does turn on the lightsaber when pressed or held down. However force users tend to use the force to push it or some inner mechanism to keep it on during use, hence it turning off when they die.
    – user75851
    Mar 18, 2017 at 1:19


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