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"What do they do with the severed limbs? Ponda, find out!"
―Dr. Cornelius Evazan, to Ponda Baba[1]

Darth Vader severed the Sixth Brother's hand as a lesson in loss.

Dismemberment was the loss of one or more limbs, such as the hand, foot, arm, or leg. Limbs could be lost intentionally, in battle, or accidentally. It was relatively common for such an injury to be inflicted during lightsaber combat, as lightsabers could cut through almost any substance. Individuals who had lost limbs were usually outfitted with cybernetic prosthetics.

The term was also used in reference to severing the limbs of droids, or limbs that were already prosthetic.


"It is only natural. He cut off your arm, and you wanted revenge."
―Sheev Palpatine, to Anakin Skywalker, referring to the latter's execution of Dooku[2]

Anakin Skywalker's right arm was severed by Darth Tyranus during the First Battle of Geonosis.

During the Battle of Naboo, Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi severed Darth Maul's torso from his waist to avenge the death of his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn at Maul's hands.[3] During the First Battle of Geonosis, the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus severed Padawan Anakin Skywalker's right arm in a lightsaber duel.[4] Skywalker exacted revenge three years later by cutting off both Tyranus' hands with his lightsaber during the Battle of Coruscant.[2]

Following the issuing of Order 66, Maul, now a renegade Sith, engaged with multiple clone troopers during a skirmish aboard the Venator-class Star Destroyer[5] Tribunal,[6] having been a prisoner onboard the ship before Ahsoka Tano released him as a diversion for the brainwashed clones. Encountering a squad in one hallway, Maul drove them back using the Force before telekinetically pulling one trooper's arm through a closing blast door, with the arm being severed when the door closed.[5] This allowed Maul to steal the trooper's wrist-comm and eavesdrop on the clones' transmissions.[7]

Darth Vader lost his left arm and both legs when Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated him on Mustafar.

After turning to the dark side of the Force, Skywalker severed Mace Windu's right hand to save Darth Sidious when Windu tried to kill the latter. Skywalker later dueled his former Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and lost both legs, as well as his left arm. The loss of all of his remaining limbs, burn injuries and subsequent reconstruction as a cyborg caused the fallen Jedi to all but fully embrace his new Sith identity as Darth Vader, Sith Lord and apprentice to Emperor Palpatine.[2] As a Dark Lord of the Sith, Vader oversaw the training of the Inquisitorius—a group of fallen Jedi who turned against the Jedi Order in the aftermath of Order 66. To teach his Jedi hunters a lesson in the pain of loss, Vader dismembered the right hand of Fifth Brother and the left forearm of Sixth Brother.[8]

The Ninth Sister lost her right leg to Sixth Brother[9] and her right hand to Cal Kestis.[10]

Luke Skywalker's right hand was severed in battle by his father, Darth Vader.

During the era of the Galactic Empire, Kenobi dismembered the Aqualish thug Ponda Baba in self-defense.[11] Years later, Luke Skywalker lost his right hand in a duel against his own father.[12] Skywalker fought Vader once more during the Battle of Endor, and this time he emerged victorious after severing his father's right cybernetic hand.[13]

In the last day of the New Republic, Chewbacca ripped off one of the arms of the Crolute junk boss Unkar Plutt after he threatened the Jakku scavenger Rey, the Wookiee's newest friend.[14] Sometime afterwards, when Rey was brought before Supreme Leader Snoke of the First Order, the dark side warrior Kylo Ren took advantage of the situation to kill Snoke and usurp his throne, cutting off through Snoke's waist and wrists.[15]

Behind the scenes[]

"Yet another in the series of Star Wars severed limbs. I've actually tried to talk to George [Lucas] about the whole reason for the severed limbs in these movies and he always just sort of smiles and chuckles and never gives me the real answer"
―Rob Coleman on the dismemberment gag of the saga films[4]

So far, all Star Wars movies of the Skywalker Saga have featured dismemberment of either organic or artificial limbs. In the commentary track of the 2002 film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, Rob Coleman discussed that while he tried to talk with George Lucas about the reason of the gag, Lucas just smiled and chuckled at him without giving him the answer.[16]


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Notes and references[]