The degree of the curve at the top of the hilt in relation to the hand holds was the important factor. The curve at the bottom of the hilt (if present) only affected electronics and power core placement. The bottom curvature on many lightsabers was mostly ornamental.
History and use
The use of curved hilts allowed for more precise movements as well as near-perfect flexibility when engaged in lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat. It was also more complex and gave the creator of such a hilt more of a challenge in aligning its crystals, as well as requiring a minor variation in holding the grip. Curved hilts needed to be held more in the palm, farther away from the fingertips. The hilt's curvature also gave the wielder more power when delivering overhand strikes and would change the angle of the attacks by the merest fraction of a degree; this was usually just enough to confuse and disorient an unsuspecting opponent, as evident when Valenthyne Farfalla fought and lost to Darth Bane in the Duel on Tython, and again when Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi quickly lost to Darth Tyranus in their duel on Geonosis.
Some techniques were more difficult when using a curved hilt, but many others became far more effective. This hilt design was not limited to Form II; its advantages in dueling carried over to every form including Form V, as in the case of Darth Bane, when Sith Blademaster Kas'im gave him the weapon of his late master. Anakin Skywalker was another duelist who used a curved hilt with Form V to great effect: during his first duel against Asajj Ventress, after being disarmed, he stole one of Ventress' lightsabers and defeated her with it, despite having no training with the weapon.
Unfortunately, curved-hilt lightsabers were generally more difficult to use in blaster-bolt deflection. This, coupled with Form II's weakness in this area, made a Makashi user wielding a curved hilt particularly vulnerable to blasterfire. However, Darth Bane had been able to compensate for such weaknesses, parrying blaster bolts fired by six Sith mercenaries on Ruusan and members of the Skelda clan on Onderon, the latter occasion in which he was mounting a Drexl. Likewise, Darth Tyranus deflected shots from members of the Pyke Syndicate on Oba Diah, using just one hand. His former pupils, Komari Vosa and Asajj Ventress, had no trouble in redirecting blaster bolts back at their opponents.
Behind the scenes
In Star Wars Galaxies, players of the Jedi class could find a lightsaber hilt called the "Old Republic Hilt" on Mustafar, indicating that the curved hilt was a possibly common design during the days of the Old Republic. This hilt is one of the more powerful lightsaber hilts in the game, and it resembles a curved-hilt saber.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Star Wars: Battlefront II (Xbox Live content)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2 game
- LEGO Star Wars: The Quest for R2-D2 film
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
- LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles – "The Phantom Clone"
- Star Wars Trading Card Game – Attack of the Clones (TCG) (Card: ) (Picture only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 68 (LIG11-14, Count Dooku's Lightsaber)
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – The Shadow Syndicate (Card: Curved-Hilt Lightsaber) (backup link)
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force