(In Universe Answers Only)

If you notice in most of the Star Wars galaxy most Jedi carry only ONE lightsaber while some carry two. My question is really nitpicky but it makes me wonder: If lightsaber are so rare why do some Jedi carry two while others only carry 1? Wouldn't it be prudent to have "spare" on your belt?

  • Obi-Wan makes it very clear in "Attack of the Clones" that losing a lightsaber is almost unheard of. That being the case, why would you need the extra weight?
    – Valorum
    Mar 8 '15 at 15:25
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    @Richard Yes. But how many times in the prequels do they lose their lightsabers? I think they lose it in every prequel. And once in the OT. Could it possibly have something to do with the Samurai the Jedi were based off of? Mar 8 '15 at 15:29
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    What makes you think they are rare? Jedis make their own weapon, and I don't think it's mentioned that the materials are especially rare.
    – Kevin
    Mar 8 '15 at 15:56
  • How many swordsman can you remember that carried a "spare"? How many gunmen (outside Holywood / The Matrix, of course)?
    – DevSolar
    Mar 9 '15 at 12:40
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    @KSmarts: The Wakizashi / Tanto is no more a "spare" for a Katana than a dagger is a "spare" for a broadsword, or your 1914 Colt is a "spare" for a M1 Garand...
    – DevSolar
    Mar 9 '15 at 15:21

The reality is that although our Jedi heroes seem to lose their lightsabers with alarming regularity, most Jedi would keep a single blade for their entire adult lives.

As Obi-Wan makes clear in Attack of the Clones, the inability to keep hold of a saber is one of Anakin's key failings and something that has been drummed.into.him.repeatedly:

A familiar yellow speeder dropped to a resting place on the side of the street. “Anakin!” Obi-Wan walked toward the young Jedi, pointedly holding Anakin’s dropped lightsaber in his hand.

“She went into that club, Master!”

Obi-Wan patted his hand in the air to calm the Padawan, not even registering Anakin’s surprising use of the feminine pronoun. “Patience,” he said. “Use the Force, Anakin. Think.”

“Sorry, Master.”

“He went in there to hide, not run,” Obi-Wan reasoned.

“Yes, Master.”

Obi-Wan held the lightsaber out toward his student. “Next time try not to lose it.”

“Sorry, Master.”

Obi-Wan pulled the precious weapon back as Anakin reached for it, and held the young Padawan’s gaze with his own stern look. “A Jedi’s lightsaber is his most precious possession.”

Once again Obi-Wan pulled it back, never letting Anakin go from his scrutinizing stare. “He must keep it with him at all times.”

“I know, Master,” Anakin replied, a bit of exasperation creeping into his tone.

“This weapon is your life.”

“I’ve heard this lesson before.”

Obi-Wan held it out again, finally relinquishing that awful stare, and Anakin took the weapon and replaced it on his belt.

As to why they don't carry spares, the answer is that Lightsabers take a considerable amount of effort to make, most Jedi only fight with one blade and most Jedi don't see enough action to justify carrying a pair of (largely ceremonial) blades since they almost never lose them. In short, the additional belt space could be used for something more useful like an aquata breather or a grappling hook.

  • This doesn't disprove the first half of our last paragraph, but the could keep a spare at their dwelling. And it says in The Tales of The Jedi Source book that they make several over a lifetime. Mar 8 '15 at 19:14
  • "largely ceremonial"? Don't Jedi have to deal with violent criminals all the time? Mar 9 '15 at 8:59
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    @aitchnyu - Like most policemen, I'd guess that the overwhelming majority of Jedis have never used their weapons outside of a training environment.
    – Valorum
    Mar 9 '15 at 9:01
  • @Richard that may be true to the time before the Clone Wars. I think it's pretty in the canon that Jedis are a critical asset in the military power of the Republic, each commanding battalions of Clone Troopers. Mar 9 '15 at 12:29
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    @AlfredoHernandéz - That is true, however we don't see many Jedi (aside from anakin) losing their sabers in combat.
    – Valorum
    Mar 9 '15 at 12:37

I'm mixing canon and legends sources here.

The videogame series Knights of the Old Republic (both singleplayer RPGS and the MMO) show that to create a lightsaber, you need 6 parts:

  1. Emitter;
  2. focusing Lens;
  3. Power Cell;
  4. Color crystal;
  5. Focusing crystal (optional)
  6. Power crystal (optional)

Note that you only need 1 crystal to create a lightsaber. However, these crystals are very rare: you can't just use something like an industrial diamond. These crystals need to be harvested from caves, and even these caves are rare. There is only 1 canon source on these crystals, namely the Caves on Tython, and it's a tests for apprentice padawans to get their own crystal from these caves (The Clone Wars series). From the Legends series, there is another cave on Dantooine, and you can rarely find crystals as part of exotic animals, like the Krayyt Dragon. There are also a number of dangerous environments where you can find these crystals.

All in all, the emitter, lens and power cell can easily be crafted by any skilled engineer, but the crystals need to be found by a force sensitive who can best the challenge posed by the environment. In theory, a lightsaber crystal could be synthetic (like we make industrial diamonds), but these were heavily frowned upon, viewed as taking the easy way out.

Because there were rare components needed for a lightsaber, they themselves are also rare.

Canon parts: Cave on Tython, acquisition method of crystals (also part of legends).

Legends parts: all the rest.

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    In Attack of the Clones, we see Obi-Wan and Anakin being thrown lightsabers during the Geonosis fight scene. Clearly the Jedi have spares lying around.
    – Valorum
    Mar 8 '15 at 22:53
  • @Richard There might be spares from fallen or exiled jedi, but those have also been crafted by jedi. Also, because the question in the title and the question in the post are not asking the same question, I was confused about what the OP wanted answered. Since other users answered the question in the post, I answered the question in the title.
    – Nzall
    Mar 8 '15 at 22:56
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    And for that, you shall have an upvote. You might want to flesh this out to show which bits are "Canon" and which bits are "Legends"
    – Valorum
    Mar 8 '15 at 23:03
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    Synthetic lightsaber crystals are commonly used in Sith lightsabers, though Jedi sometimes had to use them as well. The NJO use them almost exclusively, since the Empire raided most natural sources. Mar 9 '15 at 8:11

If lightsaber are so rare

Rare as in not seen or used often by the general population, who prefer easy to use, long range weapons like guns blasters (Never bring a knife to a gunfight). Additionally, lightsabers require strength and precision that results in only force users properly using them.

Not rare as in had to make or get. Anyone who trains in the force can make or use a lightsaber.

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    I don't think it's so much strength as it is a certain finesse because of its imbalance - indeed, they weigh far less than a blaster rifle does
    – The Fallen
    Mar 8 '15 at 19:37
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    Jedi philosophy might discourage losing a lightsaber because when an untrained person finds it they are likely to injure, maim or even kill themselves or others with it. A real-world policeman would never lose their pistol either. It's a basic security principle when handling a lethal weapon.
    – Philipp
    Mar 9 '15 at 11:50

It has been stated several times that a Lightsaber is a very unbalanced weapon; meaning that the only weight to the weapon is the hilt and as such they were very dangerous to use without Force training because you could easily cut your own leg off.

In fact, there have only been two times in the EU that a non-force-user has wielded a lightsaber... 1) Han Solo 2) Bounty Hunter that stole Ahsoka lightsaber.

...and both were only able to make the most basic use of the weapon for fear of dismemberment.

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    Grievous is a non-force user who wields lightsabers, quite adeptly, at that.
    – phantom42
    Oct 25 '15 at 13:36

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