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Lightwhips are similar to Lightsabers except their blades are flexible like ropes.

This all fine and good, but how does plasma containment field work like optical fibre? Or, is there something that works in place of a containment field?

Is there any indication (from the films, shows, books, comics or games) suggesting how lightwhips actually work?

  • Since lightwhips only exist in the "Legends" canon, there are no canon answers to this. – phantom42 Nov 7 '14 at 6:22
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    @phantom42 - Legends canon is still a canon. – Valorum Nov 7 '14 at 6:27
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    Just what Star Wars needs...an even more dangerous thing to wave around than a light saber. – Oldcat Nov 7 '14 at 19:33
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Lightwhips are nowhere to be found in the establish film or TV canon, existing solely within the comics and EU novels.

Based on what we can see in these "Legend" properties, a lightwhip seems to consist of a series of thin metal tubes, studded along their length with smaller projector matrixes and crystals. The plasma field then forms around these, rather than being projected from a single emission point as we see in a standard lightsaber.

On a low shelf on the opposite wall, she found a few power cells and extra strands for the Dark Lady’s lightwhip. - Inferno

and

He knew the lightwhip by now. He’d relied on the shoto as an extra weapon in the past to counter the whip’s twin elements of matter and energy, but he was flooded with a new confidence that he could take her with just the lightsaber that had always stood between him and darkness. Holding it two-handed over his head, he rotated it slowly, stalking around her. - Sacrifice

and

From the weapon's hilt leapt a thin length of supple metal, immediately followed by the proscribed arc wave of an energy field, this one following the length of the flexible metallic cord.

It was a whip. An energy whip. Jax let its bright green length uncoil, then twirled his wrist. The lightwhip's end singed a larger, ragged circle into the floor in response. He snapped it experimentally, sending a running wave down its length. The tip made a satisfying crack!, louder than its wavering hum, as it broke the sound barrier. Jax couldn't even begin to imagine the complexity of the modulation circuitry within the handle. Jax backpedaled, trying to gain as much time as he could to get more familiar with this new weapon. It wasn't as elegant as an energy sword, or as powerful, or able to cut through as much. It did however, have the advantage of length-easily twice that of his lightsaber's blade at full extension. The metallic core's length was also elastic, he found, to a limited degree. - Jedi Twilight

There's an image of one from the 1985 DC Comic "Duel with a Dark Lady"

enter image description here

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Yeah, the lack of explanation sure doesn't help.

As far as I can sort it out, lightwhips are supposedly similar to regular whips, the "light" part comes from the many emitters on the whip's 'thong' (I imagine lots of tiny lightsabers if it is of any help). Anyway, deactivated it shouldn't be any different than a normal whip (presumably made out of metal), while activated it should have the properties of a lightsaber (cutting through stuff, deflecting stuff, etc, etc,) while only its strength could (emphasis on could) differ.

Still, parts on wookipedia confused me as well(?):

"Lightwhips generally functioned on the same principles and mechanics as lightsabers, emitting a coherent beam of energy" (notice it saying '->A<- coherent beam of energy')

and

"...the plasma in the blade had no cell barriers to keep it straight"

which (as far as my English skill goes) could indicate that the whip's thong does not have a 'physical body', but appears from the hilt upon activation, much like the blade of any other lightsaber (which would make even less sense).

Anyway...

lightwhip

I would so love to see one in action...

So yeah, I'd say the first method is more..."feasible" than the second, in which case seemingly only lightwhips use this method, using emitters, at least I've failed to find "lightsabers" with curved-blade, or lightaxes, lightscythes, and so on. But it's off-topic.

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    In this case, Wookiepedia seems to simply be inaccurate. I'd correct all the mistakes on it if I had a spare lifetime to waste... – Valorum Nov 20 '14 at 10:30
  • Perhaps, still I know of little to no other source to rely on. – Cyst Nov 20 '14 at 10:36
  • My answer lists most of the main locations the article seems to be drawn from. There's a brief mention in "The Jedi Path : Manual" and Star Wars Encyclopedia but nothing useful that helps to answer this question. – Valorum Nov 20 '14 at 11:02
  • Yes I have noticed that. Yet it is not quite concrete, since Lumiya's whip (a "cat 'o nine tails") consisted of two different type of thongs, as shown in the comic. Sadly there are no specific answers, just reason. – Cyst Nov 20 '14 at 11:24
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    That's the problem with having an item (in this case a lightwhip) that isn't covered in the film canon. It means that authors are free to make up whatever rubbish they want. Contrast this with the lightsaber and how tightly described they are. – Valorum Nov 20 '14 at 11:36

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