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In all the Star Wars movies till now we can see many Jedi & Dark Side characters using various types & colors of lightsabers. As per the movies, lightsabers can cut through everything & anything.

So my question is, in the Star Wars movies is there anything mentioned about a material that cannot be cut by a lightsaber?

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    If sheilds count as a material - in Ep1 Kenobi and Qui-Gon bail against the droidekas instead of simply deflecting all of the blaster bolts and stabbing through the shielding – NKCampbell Feb 16 at 20:41
  • Now I don't know much bout star wars but I thought I remembered pretty clearly in episode 8 the fight against snoke's guards and the guards had lightsaber-proof arm guards? – Phoenix Feb 18 at 5:45
  • I don't remember precisely, hence I don't provide an answer, but I think in the tome 2 of the Darth Bane trilogy, he found an armor that is a living form and can "parry" almost anything, including lightsaber hit. – Neyt Feb 18 at 10:52
  • They reflect fire from energy weapons instead of cutting it. makes me wonder though--if you fired a big enough bullet at a Jedi and they tried to deflect it, would it simply cut the bullet allowing the two halves to continue past and hit the Jedi? – Bill K Feb 18 at 17:22

10 Answers 10

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In the movies, what lightsabers can cut through seems to be, at best, a mixed bag. Focusing on the earlier movies, IV, V, & VI, where the technology is first introduced, I looked at two major encounters.

Here, in the Cloud City duel, we can see that neither Luke's not Vader's weapons can cut through other lightsabers (obviously). We can also see that neither can cut through various pieces of metal: railings, floor decking, random mechanical~electrical housings ripped from the walls. However, they can cut through coolant gas conduit piping.

Here, in the Throne Room duel, we can likewise see that floor decking and machine housings are lightsaber impervious. However, sometimes railings and decking can be cut, as when Vader throws his saber and brings down the catwalk with Luke on it. However, just a couple minutes later, after Vader finds out about Leia, neither Luke nor Vader can do more than elicit a few sparks from any of those computer terminals, support columns, gangways or stairs. Even though Luke is now pretty emotional, that doesn't seem to affect his lightsaber power output. In fact, their saber cuts just bounce right off the railings! Sometimes without even a spark. It's not until the climactic strike where Luke severs Vader's hand that his lightsaber is able to break through the railing, leaving jagged ends behind. Even there, I'm not convinced that the lightsaber did the damage: this was where Luke was bashing Vader's arm against the railing, clearly weakening it. I think the railing just broke from excess stresses placed on it.

A brief survey of later movies reveals similar limitations. Neither Dooku nor Obi-Wan can seem to put a scratch in the floor, for example.

Conclusion: Lightsabers can only and always cut precisely what is needed to be cut for the narrative purposes of the screenwriter & special effects folk.

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    So what you're saying, is that light sabres are nice narrative knives? That their ability to cut is... hand waved? That they are, in truth, literal plot devices? – Kaithar Feb 17 at 8:01
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    Lightsabers cut with the strength of plot. (With apologies to Gene Roddenberry.) – T.J. Crowder Feb 17 at 8:47
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    Mind that a light saber doesn’t actually cut but melts (when it doesn’t vaporize) the materials it has contact to. This implies that the effect is stronger, the longer the material is exposed to the plasma, so faster swipes could indeed cause less damage. It’s also possible that metallic materials have a deflecting effect on the magnetic field, which requires a certain minimum strength towards the surface, as otherwise the plasma doesn’t even touch it. Of course, I still don’t believe that the movies are consistent in that regard and none answers, where the plasma goes when it doesn’t cut… – Holger Feb 17 at 8:47
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    IMO this answer is more about fight choreography and special effects than it is about canon. It seems to be possible for lightsabers to glance off surfaces, usually causing sparks, without cutting through them, but I don't think there's anything in those scenes the lightsabers canonically couldn't cut through. – ArrowCase Feb 17 at 18:26
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    Lightsabers need to be held against doors for a period of time in order to cut through them, so it appears there is a threshold of energy that needs to be applied by the lightsaber in order to cut through things. That threshold may be high for some material (floors, doors), and low for others (ghost cloaks, hands). – nurettin Feb 18 at 15:06
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Beyond other lightsabers, off the top of my head I can think of two instances in the movies of a weapon capable of blocking lightsaber blades.

The first is in Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battle against Grevious' guards. The guards use an electrostaff that is clearly shown to block the lightsabers of Kenobi and Skywalker. The electrostaff's material appears to be called Phrik.

The second is in The Force Awakens. Finn faces off against a stormtrooper nicknamed TR-8R (officially FN-2199). At that point in the movie, Finn is using the Skywalker lightsaber, while the trooper uses his "Z6 riot control baton". We see several blows connect, which confirms the baton is lightsaber resistant. However, I couldn't find a name for the material of the riot control baton.

Outside of the movie realm, the videogame Jedi: Fallen Order features similar weapons, with similar capabilities. It tends to confirm those weapons aren't unique.


In line with the conclusion in elemtilas' answer, the simple explaination is likely that the film/game makers simply needed to come up with a cool weapon to put in a lightsaber duel without turning everybody into a Jedi.

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    I'd say that the Riot control batons would be based very very closely off of the Magna Guards staffs. They even function more or less the same, are both nonlethal etc. Also It'd be a too massive leap for Disney Star Wars to invent something actually new – Hobbamok Feb 17 at 10:08
  • You have to take into consideration the skill of the user. It's like wielding a katana blade, if you have to cut a bamboo tree at your first lesson, you will not be able, but master swordsmen would be able to cut ~20 bamboo sticks in a swing – RigaCrypto Feb 18 at 7:55
  • @RigaCrypto Obi-Wan and Anakin have fought a war lightsaber in hand for three years, and Finn clearly has had training in melee combat, so it's nobody's first lesson. Furthermore, it's not a katana, it's a magic spacesword. It's kinda the schtick that it cuts through stuff effortlessly. – AmiralPatate Feb 18 at 8:26
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    @AmiralPatate Ofc, but Finn hasn't handled a lightsaber in his life and I would be scared AF to fight with something like that for the first time. It was just a point, not necessarily a conclusion :) – RigaCrypto Feb 18 at 10:30
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    @Hobbamok For a series that screams about letting the past die so much, you'd think they would stop bringing back every reference possible... – Harabeck Feb 18 at 22:45
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I don't know which material it was made of but the blast doors in Star Wars I: Phantom Menace are more or less impervious to the light sabers:

Blast doors were extra doors that were closed next to a room's regular entrance or other closed door to provide extra reinforcements against hostile forces such as explosives, powerful blasters, or even lightsabers.

From the Legends Wookieepedia Article on Blast Doors

However, as we see in the same film, Qui-Gon cannot cut through the blast door but has to melt through:

I don't know if you count Beskar, which appears in Mandalorian and other SW-series to be relevant to your question:

Beskar was one of the toughest and most legendary metals in the galaxy. The alloy could withstand direct blaster fire and was capable of repelling the strikes of a lightsaber. The metal could also be reforged to any warrior's liking.

From the Canon Wookieepedia Article on Beskar

However, Exar Kun was able to cut through Beskar:

Mandalorians furnished starships and constructed weapons with beskar, while the Jedi Master Arca Jeth utilized a heavy slab of Mandalorian iron to seal the tomb of the deceased Sith Lord Freedon Nadd on Dxun. The beskar door proved an impediment for the Dark Jedi Exar Kun, who was shocked to find that his lightsaber was rebuffed by the Mandalorian iron, and only gained access to the blocked tomb with repeated strikes of his saber at its highest power output.

From the Legends Wookieepedia Article on Beskar

So, with Beskar being officially one of the toughest material in the Star Wars Universe and a lightsaber being able to cut through, there is probably no material that is totally impervious to lightsabers. However, as we see in the Phantom Menace, there are materials even a lightsaber cannot simply cut through. With enough time, it would seem like everything can be gone through with a lightsaber.


In Legends, there are materials that can block a lightsaber. Not directly a material but metal enhanced by Sith Alchemy

Sith swords were constructed through various metallurgical and arcane means, transmuting base metals into an alchemical alloy possessing an unusual affinity for dark side energies. The rare metallic compounds used in its construction could result in blades varying in weight from 3 kilograms up to 6.5 kilograms, a blade far heavier than its 1.4 meter length[source?] would indicate. It often required great strength of body as well as in the Force to successfully wield the weapon and make it as dangerous as a lightsaber. In fact, the alchemical alterations allowed the Sith sword to block incoming lightsaber attacks, as well as deflect and redirect blaster bolts in much the same way a lightsaber did.

From the Sith Swords article on Wookieepedia

If block means it's totally impervious to lightsabers or simply can resist it for a short time before the lightsaber melting through, I don't know.

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    The question is about the MOVIES. In both Legends and Disney canon, there are several examples of materials that can withstand lightsabers (Beskar, Cortosis, etc). But in the MOVIES, there is no such material mentioned. – Remy Lebeau Feb 16 at 9:50
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    Even in Legends, while several materials can resist lightsaber attacks, to varying degrees, I don't remember any of them ever having been conclusively established to be impervious to lightsabers, outright. That is, while a suit of Beskar armor might deflect a lightsaber swing and prevent you getting cut in half, it's less clear whether a lightsaber-wielder at their leisure to take a bunch of time working on a Beskar plate in calm circumstances, wouldn't eventually be able to slowly erode it away and eventually completely cut through. – Matthew Najmon Feb 17 at 3:17
  • @RemyLebeau Thanks for pointing this out. I was probably too eager to answer and didn't read the question precisely enough. I only had time now to improve my answer and have done so. – Shade Feb 20 at 5:06
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In The Clone Wars Season 2 Episode 18 "The Zillo Beast" Anakin Skywalker encounters a gigantic creature which is the episode's namesake. He is quite surprised to find that the hard scales which cover its body are completely impervious to his lightsaber.

A TV show is like a movie.

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  • I have some clips of these scenes in my answer below, along with some extra information if anyone is curious – Mister SirCode Feb 17 at 20:43
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In the Star Wars EU: Cortosis blades, made of Cortosis, could enhance weapons to make them resistant to lightsabers. Some variants with high purity materials could short out a light sabre for limited periods.

Not in the movies though.

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YES! In Canon, Star Wars Clone Wars, an animated episode depicted the Zillo Beast:

The Zillo Beast, an Unbreakable Creature

It originates from Malastare

Its heavy plated armor was invulnerable to explosions, blaster fire, and even lightsaber strikes. Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker discovered that gaps in the creature's armored plates could be exploited to damage or stun the creature.

I remember watching the episode, the Jedi knights attempted to pierce the armor of it, but it was not worthwhile, they did no damage.

See this clip of Anakin's Lightsaber doing nothing: Clip of "The Zillo Beast"


The Zillo Beast appeared in the episodes "The Zillo Beast" and "The Zillo Beast Strikes Back" from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series.

Originally, The Emperor actually cloned the beast in plans on using the skin as new armor for the Clone Troopers, but as far as I've heard, I know nothing more.

See this clip of him ordering the cloning: Clip of "The Zillo Beast Strikes Back"

So yeah, not everything can be pierced, including the Force Deities, who could wield the pure energies of the force, basically making them invulnerable to the lightsabers.

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  • Lets all just happen to notice that if the cloning had been successful, perhaps clone troopers wouldn't just be "bucket heads" who's armor did nothing. – Mister SirCode Feb 17 at 20:38
  • The question is about the movies specifically, also note this has already been included in another answer. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 17 at 20:41
  • @TheLethalCarrot I answered before that one was posted, it took a while to capture the clips. Henceforth why his was answered first, furthermore, my answer includes direct links to footage and the wiki link plus extra information. Need anything else? – Mister SirCode Feb 17 at 20:44
  • it took a while to FIND and CAPTURE the clips my bad. – Mister SirCode Feb 17 at 20:52
  • A six hour gap is quite significant hence my comment. However, the main point is that the question is scoped to the movies and your answer is about one of the TV series. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 17 at 21:05
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Beskar steel, prominently seen in The Mandalorian, is said to be so tough it resists attacks from blasters and lightsabers, which is why Mandalorians go to such lengths to (re-)aquire it and forge armor and weapons out of it.

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From the books, specifically the Jedi Academy series, the Fireworm has a crystalline skin that makes it impervious to being sliced by a lightsaber.

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    Not that the question is about the movies. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 18 at 20:12
  • Indeed, in the books there are many materials that can go toe-to-toe with lightsaber plasma; Cortosis, or any other plasma blade like a Vibro blade, etc. – TylerH Feb 19 at 14:43
  • I dont believe this is canon, legends is just lore – Mister SirCode Feb 19 at 15:58
  • @TaylorS Yes, though Disney has brought up lots of stuff from Legends canon into Disney canon as they have seen fit. It's quite possible they'll add Fireworms to Disney canon some time in the future. – TylerH Feb 19 at 16:12
  • @TylerH I find it a bit hard to believe, theyre done with the main series, and the mandalorian is more focused on its own series now. I doubt they'd just pull up an old entity from legends and throw it into the mandalorian. – Mister SirCode Feb 19 at 16:30
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Another lightsaber.

It can essentially cut any material but a lightsaber. It itself is nothing, it’s energy from a crystal, but one lightsaber cannot go through another lightsaber which is essentially nothing but energy, interesting.

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A lightsaber, regardless of the name appears to be made of plasma isolated in some kind of magnetic field, any material with a melting point higher than the temperature of the "blade" will remain intact. Star Trek has a plasma cutter that is in every starfleet engineers toolkit for general maintenance, with much the same effect as a lightsaber.

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    well science usually doesnt make any sense here. The force deities bypassed the laws and literally wield the energy which emits from the blades with their hands. If it was just some basic plasma, surely it would burn them, they are still living creatures. – Mister SirCode Feb 18 at 13:55
  • I think its more like, perhaps some kind of Physical force energy, similar to the first lightsaber, who's blade was made almost entirely of kyber crystals, which could clear cut through entire planets and galaxies. No way thats just some plasma – Mister SirCode Feb 18 at 13:57
  • The user is probably protected by both the magnetic containment that is probably in a way keeping a layer of cold charged particles around the layer of hot charged particles in order to keep the surrounding air cold. As for the grip, it is probably made of an extremely low thermal conductive ceramic that appears to be metal. – noam Mar 7 at 2:36

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