Star Wars fans love to collect replica lightsabers for several different reasons. First, they are tangible representations of the most iconic symbol of the franchise they love so much. They also serve as valuable collectables that fans can display, cosplay and duel with.
In addition to a saber’s hilt and blade quality, and special effects, one other important consideration to keep in mind when buying a lightsaber is its length.
The length of your lightsaber’s blade can convey a sense of skill and power (longer blades often convey more fighting experience while shorter blades may indicate an agile and unconventional style of fighting), so it is important to find a good balance between visual impact and practicality.
That being said, how long should your lightsaber really be? Read on to find out.
Are All Lightsabers the Same Length?
In the Star Wars universe, several iconic characters and Force wielders can be seen wielding lightsabers, and while most of them may appear to be the same size, their lengths actually vary from user to user.
The lightsabers used in the Star Wars universe weigh almost nothing, and this allows their users to create blades of different lengths without any worry about lack of balance or additional weight to the weapon.
This means that not all lightsabers are the same length. Most of the time, blade length is determined by the user’s fighting style and personal preferences (height and build).
For example, warriors like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker all had lightsaber blades of about 3 feet, while taller Jedi like Yarael Poof had lightsaber blades that exceeded well over 4 feet to accommodate for his height.
So What Are the Categories of Lightsaber Lengths?
Different lightsaber designs have different blade lengths, and the most common lightsaber length categories are;
The Standard Lightsaber – This is perhaps the most common class of lightsabers that can be found with both the Jedi and the Sith and sometimes even other Force users.
The average length of a standard lightsaber blade is about 3 feet and this length is enough to allow its wielder a variety of fighting stances and movement combinations.
It also allows for decent thrusts and stabs. The lightsaber fighting forms that are taught in the Jedi temple were based around this type of blade variation.
Notable characters who wielded this class of lightsabers include Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin, Luke and Sith warriors like Vader, Darth Sidious and Dooku.
If you’re looking to get yourself an Obi Wan lightsaber, make sure that the saber features a blade that is at least 3 feet. It should also have either a curved or straight hilt to match.
The Shoto Lightsaber – This is a class of lightsaber that is significantly shorter than the standard lightsaber. It is typically used as a secondary weapon for Jedi that favour dual lightsaber wielding during combat.
A notable user of the dual-wielding combat strategy is Ahsoka Tano, who wields two lightsabers (a shoto lightsaber and a standard lightsaber). The shoto lightsaber is also ideal for short-statured Force users like Master Yoda.
This lightsaber length usually requires the wielder to get very close to their opponent, but it does offer the advantage of allowing for quick successive strikes, which can help bring down an opponent’s guard. The lightsaber fighting form that favours this type of blade is form IV Ataru.
Dual Phase Lightsabers – This is another special category of lightsaber blade lengths. The sabers in this category utilise two kyber crystals in their construction.
One of the crystals will serve as the primary emitter for the lightsaber blade, while the other one acts as a focuser that allows the blade length to be adjusted as needed. This category of lightsabers is quite rare, and they allow for improved variability in both fighting techniques and practical usage.
Light-Whips – Lightsaber whips (or light-whips) are another rare category of lightsabers whose blade lengths can range from 2-3 meters. Although their usage allows for great flexibility, most practical Force users rarely ever use them.
What About the Hilts?
Lightsaber hilts also vary in length, with smaller hilts being about six inches and longer hilts measuring up to 12 inches.
How Long Should a Lightsaber Blade Be?
The perfect lightsaber blade length will almost always depend on the needs and preferences of its wielder. This means that when choosing a lightsaber, important factors such as your height and build should always be put into consideration.
If you’re under 5 ft tall, a standard blade of about 32 inches (2 ft 8 inches) would be ideal. Taller users may wield blades of about 36 inches or longer.
Another important factor to consider is the intended purpose of your lightsaber. Longer lightsaber blades are ideal for display and cosplay, while a standard blade length is better for duelling.
When choosing a duelling lightsaber, make sure to also take your preferred fighting style into consideration. Standard lightsabers, for example, favour most fighting forms, while shoto lightsabers only favour Ataru.
Furthermore, the weight of the blade and its balance play a crucial role in determining the optimal length. A longer blade provides a wider reach, advantageous in choreography, while a shorter blade offers quicker, more precise strikes.
Jedi seeking versatility might opt for a middle-ground length, catering to various scenarios. It’s worth noting that blade length can impact maneuverability and defensive capabilities, influencing your overall lightsaber proficiency.
Lightsabers come in different lengths, from standard and shoto to dual phase and light-whip. At the end of the day, the perfect lightsaber length for you boils down to your personal needs (height and build), preferred fighting style and the saber’s intended use.