11

In this answer, @Will mentions:

Believing in the Sith Religion and philosophy is legal. However, using an offensive and lethal weapon (lightsaber) without being authorized to since only Jedi are authorized to use lightsaber a just as in some countries you need gun license....

Was it actually illegal in the Republic for a non-Jedi to own, possess, or use a lightsaber? I'm asking about cases where blasters or other weapons were permitted - e.g. in a case where non-Jedis carrying personal defense blasters was perfectly legal, would it have been legal instead for someone to strap a lightsaber on their belt as long as the lightsaber itself wasn't stolen (a la General Grievous) or built from stolen parts? Were all lightsabers legally considered property of the Jedi Order with no exceptions? Was there a civilian permitting process that was more intensive to that required for blasters? Was there an actual "Aggravated possession of a lightsaber by a non-Jedi" statutory offense?

To be clear, there's quite a bit of evidence that the Jedi Order attempted to restrict access to lightsaber crystals (via concealing mines, etc.), so it's possible that 95%+ of lightsabers that a typical non-Jedi might find in the marketplace would be stolen or built using a stolen crystal, and that possessors of such lightsabers would (if caught) be charged with Possession of Stolen Property or a similar offense, but is that all, or were the 5% or less of "legit" lightsabers also unlawful to possess? In other words, was this more of a "The Jedi have manipulated resources and the economy to make it really really hard for anyone else to acquire a lightsaber" or a "It is a Class 5 Felony for any non-Jedi to possess a lightsaber, punishable with up to 5 Standard Years of imprisonment, or, for a second offense, execution by Rancor Pit"?

If the legality of this depended on planet (e.g. it was 100% legal on Corellia, 100% illegal on Coruscant, and legal on Naboo only for persons over 21 who could pass a literacy test and had fewer than two felony convictions), that's an answer.

  • 2
    I doubt if any of the non-jedi people (scoundrels, mercs, dark side users etc) who'd come across a light saber, would care if it's illegal to do so... Still, it's an interesting question. – Rebel-Scum Dec 31 '17 at 22:49
  • 2
    @Loki though it could matter even for those people - as then possession of a lightsaber could be used as per se grounds for arrest. Imagine if Palpatine could have been stopped before his fight with Windu and legally thrown into a Rancor pit on a charge of possession of a lightsaber while not being a Jedi. – Robert Columbia Dec 31 '17 at 23:14
4

There is no evidence of it being illegal during the Republic.

So why don't we see non-force-sensitives running around with lightsabers?

  • Regarding the Force in their creation - in I, Jedi it's stated that the Force is responsible for some unspecified change in the lightsaber's circuitry that makes it vastly more efficient. So while it's possible to construct a lightsaber without the Force, it would be weaker and draw too much power to be practical. FWIW, it also states that totally normal gems (like an emerald) can be used instead of anything rare, but it isn't clear what impact (if any) that has on performance. – Cadence May 15 '18 at 20:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.