I saw in The Phantom Menace that when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn followed Jar Jar Binks underwater to his city, they held their lightsabers in their mouths and that the lightsaber hilt seemed to shrink to the size of a ballpen. When they came back out, the size of lightsaber hilt was back to normal.

The same thing happened when Order 66 was executed (in Revenge of the Sith). Obi-Wan fell into the water but when he came out his lightsaber hilt size was small again.

Why would they put their lightsabers into their mouths (don't the belts work underwater?) and why does they appear to change sizes?

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    It would help if you could show you didn't just imagine things by posting screenshots proving that the size changed Dec 29, 2014 at 13:10
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    Those weren't their light sabers, they were underwater breathing devices.
    – Robert
    Dec 29, 2014 at 14:02
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    I have literally no idea how you could have come to the conclusion that the rebreathers were lightsabers. As the image Richard posted shows, their lightsabers can clearly be seen during the scenes you describe, and the devices obviously function as re-breathers. Heck, they're not very different from some professional rebreathing systems available today, especially military issue. The big difference is that the Jedi are apparently stupid enough to not develop a rebreather that covers their nostrils. If Richard and others hadn't pointed out what you meant, I wouldn't have had a clue. Dec 29, 2014 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


What you're referring to is in fact an "A99 aquata breather". In-canon these are described as a "Jedi Breathing Device".

The official Star Wars Databank has an article about them:

A small breather that fits snugly into a Jedi Knight's utility belt, the A99 aquata breather is a compact mouthpiece designed to supply its wearer with a breathable gas. The A99 has advanced filters to allow it to function underwater, in a vacuum, and in certain poisonous environments. The A99 has a number of variants to accommodate a variety of alien physiologies. The A99's miniature compressed air tanks can supply two hours of oxygen.

As you can see from the images below, Obi-Wan is still definitely wearing his lightsaber.

Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon stand in their wet Jedi robes with their breathing devices in their mouths; Obi-Wan looks to the floor and his lightsaber is clearly seen on his belt

And here's a closer look at the device:

Close up on Obi-Wan's face underwater showing the breathing device in his mouth

And the actual prop used on screen by Qui-Gon (from the Lucasfilm Archive exhibition)

And from the Phantom Menace novelisation:

The Gungan pointed at the lake. “We go underwater, okeday?”

The Jedi looked at each other, then extracted small containers from their clothing, releasing portable breathing devices the size of the palms of their hands.

“Me warning yous.” Jar Jar’s eyes shifted from one to the other. “Gungans no like yous outlanders. Yous not gonna get warm welcome.”

and the Revenge of the Sith novelisation, which specifically confirms that lightsaber belts do indeed work underwater.

...he was vaguely pleased to discover that even in his semiconscious fall, he’d managed to hang on to his lightsaber.

He clipped it back to his belt by feel, and-using only a minor exercise of Jedi discipline to suppress convulsive coughing-he contracted his diaphragm, forcing as much water from his lungs as he could. He took from his equipment belt his rebreather, and a small compressed-air canister intended for use in an emergency, when the breathable environment was not adequate to sustain his life.

Obi-Wan was fairly certain that his current situation qualified as an emergency.

Interestingly, the original concept was that instead of a breather device, the Jedi were going to put jellyfish on their faces(!);

U.K. Concept Artist Kun Chang helped develop the look of the aquata breathers. "One idea for the breathers that everyone loved -- but ultimately wasn't used -- was that Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were going to pick up a kind of jellyfish and place it over their faces which would enable them to breathe underwater," reveals Kun.

  • In the theatrical version, didn't they have the jellyfish things on their faces? Or am I thinking of something else?
    – Robert
    Dec 29, 2014 at 16:59
  • @Robert: I could swear I've seen concept art of that, possibly in a special features vignette. But we may both be way off. Dec 30, 2014 at 5:41
  • @JamesSheridan - I think this is what you're thinking of; images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/28200000/…
    – Valorum
    Dec 30, 2014 at 11:42

It wasn't the lightsaber that was in their mouths... it was a Jedi Breathing Device, somewhat similar to the one seen in the James Bond 007 movie Thunderball:

Prop of the breathing device from Thunderball; two small tubes insert into a centre piece with a mouth piece on it to allow for breathing underwater

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