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As another answer shows, after Anakin defeats Count Dooku in a lightsaber duel at the beginning of Episode III, he drops Dooku's lightsaber and leaves it there. He doesn't just ignore it, he specifically drops it, as he used it to kill Dooku. Why does he do that? It would have been a proof of what he's done, in case someone (the Council?) asks for it. It's also a dangerous weapon (that shouldn't be left around), it's easy to carry, and it's even valuable1.

On the other hand, at the end of the movie, when Obi-Wan wins the duel, we see that he picks up Anakin's lightsaber.

What do Jedi Knights do with the lightsabers of the enemies they have defeated? Why doesn't Anakin take Dooku's, whereas Obi-Wan takes Anakin's?


1 According to this answer on Reddit,

Canon: In Season 2, Episode 11 of the Clone Wars, the black market price of a lightsaber was given at 20,000 credits. Season 5 Episode 6 tells us that the main components of a lightsaber are easy to come by, but it is the kyber crystal that makes sabers so costly and rare.

To put it in perspective, in Episode IV Han Solo demands 10,000 credits to take Luke and Ben to Alderaan, and an outraged Luke says that "We could almost buy our own ship for that!", which indicates that it's a lot of money.

  • Isn't the kyber crystal used in lightsaber specifically tuned to the user? I seem to remember that - from another question (scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/145382/…) - it takes quite a while to build a lightsaber? – AcePL Jan 17 at 15:36
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    The answer, of course, which isn't an answer; is that Revenge of the Sith is a prequel, and in prequels (to forward a chess analogy) the final positions of all pieces on the board are already known, you just get to work out how they got there. We already knew that Ben had Anakin's Light saber to give to Luke, so we are filling in a known outcome. – Andrew Jan 19 at 5:09
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There does not seem to be evidence of any sort of standard policy among the Jedi.

There are limited examples in canon media of Jedi having the opportunity to retrieve their opponent's lightsaber, and no real consistency in what they do. Anakin simply discarded Dooku's lightsaber, while Obi-Wan retrieved Anakin's.

I would suggest, however, that Obi-Wan specifically took the lightsaber with the intention of doing exactly what he eventually did many years later, giving it to Anakin's child. He already knew that Padme was pregnant with Anakin's children and after their battle he seemed to agree with Yoda that those children would be the best hope for defeating the Emperor.

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    While I agree that this assessment is likely and plausible, it doesn't actually answer the main question of what "Jedi", in general, normally do. You're implying, but not stating, that it's standard for them to leave a valuable, and potentially dangerous, item lying around after a battle, and that Kenobi's case was the exception for a unique and specific reason. – Dalila Jan 15 at 22:43
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    @Dalila Honestly, there just don't seem to be enough canon examples of lightsaber duels in which a Jedi kills an enemy without the enemy's lightsaber being destroyed or lost to draw a particularly strong conclusion. Logically speaking the Jedi council would probably prefer them to retrieve such a dangerous weapon, but it just doesn't come up that much in canon content. Everyone's always falling into bottomless pits or getting their lightsabers destroyed. I'm operating under the assumption that taking the weapon of an enemy is dishonorable, but it is just an assumption. – Kyle Doyle Jan 15 at 22:59
  • Yeah, the lack of examples (that I'm aware of) is why I'm not attempting an answer myself. Your explanation of Kenobi's logic makes sense, but Anakin leaving Dooku's doesn't fit, and so skews the results of the very limited sample size. And I don't have enough info on any other instances to draw any better conclusions. – Dalila Jan 16 at 14:56
  • I'm afraid I have to agree with both of you, @Dalila and Kyle Doyle: we don't know enough about this, because it happens rarely, and even when it does it isn't explained. Well, I'd say that "There's no clear answer", as unsatisfying as it may be, is a valid answer. If you want to add it... – Fabio Turati Jan 17 at 22:00
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From what we have seen it could be a case by case basis:

  • Anakin left Dooku's saber because he had no reason to take it.
  • Obi-Wan takes Anakin's with the intention of giving it to Anakin's child since he knows Padmé is pregnant as @Kyle Doyle pointed out.
  • Ahsoka is another case we have seen, we know she took the saber of the Sixth Brother after the fight to complete her own, but her main reason is the crystals called out to her. So maybe if this had not happened she would have left it.

There is the possibility that maybe the Order had some kind of protocol to deal with the sabers of fallen Jedi considering how important they are to the Jedi themselves. But I can't recall any instance when a specific policy is stated.

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