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Shoto lightsabers, also known as lightdaggers, were scaled lightsabers whose blades were considerably shorter than the normal. They were used by shorter combatants like Yoda, Yaddle, or Even Piell, whose stature made it impractical to wield a full-sized lightsaber, and also as off-hand weapons for duelists who employed twin-bladed techniques as part of Jar'Kai, like Ahsoka Tano, the Tenth Brother and Cal Kestis.


High Republic Era[]


Yoda's lightsaber was a shoto to match his diminutive size.

The long-lived Jedi Grand Master Yoda, on account of his diminutive size, built his lightsaber as a shoto.[4] Another member of Yoda's species, Master Yaddle, also had a shoto.[11] Yoda and Yaddle wielded their lightsabers over the course of the High Republic Era[12] and into the later years of the Republic Era.[13]


A lightdagger could be used to surprise and cut down an enemy.

In 132 BBY[14] during the High Republic Era,[15] the Sith known as "the Stranger" owned a lightsaber that could be split into a lightdagger. During a confrontation against Jedi on the planet Khofar, The Stranger used his lightdagger to kill the Padawan Jecki Lon after catching her saber on his main blade.[5]

Late Republic Era[]

A Lannik Jedi Master who was only slightly less diminutive than Yoda, Even Piell owned a shoto.[16] Tholothian Jedi Knight D'urban Wen-Hurd had two shotos with a blue and green blade and adopted a unique lightsaber combat style which involved dual-wielding shotos, accompanied by acrobatic maneuvers and daggerlike thrusts.[17]


Anakin returned Ahsoka's lightsabers to her.

At some point prior to the Mission to Mortis, the Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano adopted the practice of Jar'Kai,[18] and constructed a shoto lightsaber to this end. This weapon was essentially an abridged version of her original lightsaber, and mimicked the saber's basic aesthetic, save for the shorter blade which possessed a greenish-yellow tinge.[19] This shoto would go on to serve Tano throughout the Clone Wars, up until the moment when she severed ties with the Jedi Order and relinquished both her lightsabers into the care of her former master, Anakin Skywalker.[20] Skywalker would ultimately return Tano's weapons to her when she agreed to help lead a 501st division in the Siege of Mandalore, although he substituted the crystals inside for blue ones; a change that he wryly remarked had improved them.[21]

Age of the Empire[]

Tano would abandon her original pair of lightsabers after the execution of Order 66 in order to fake her death to the Galactic Empire. A year later, she constructed a second pair of lightsabers which also included a shoto during the uprising on Raada.[7][22]

The Imperial Inquisitor known as the Tenth Brother, formerly the Jedi Master Prosset Dibs, wielded a pair of shotos, in contrast to the double-bladed spinning lightsabers used by the rest of the Inquisitors.[6]

Behind the scenes[]

"One of them is shorter, almost like a lightsaber dagger, which I thought was really cool."
―Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ahsoka Tano[23]

A shoto lightsaber first appeared in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones through Yoda's lightsaber.[1] The weapon's name was first given in canon via the mobile game Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings,[24] while the alternate name "lightdagger" was given in the Disney+ audio description for The Acolyte episode "Night."[25] In the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, the character of Ahsoka Tano was given a shoto lightsaber as her second blade for her redesign in the show's third season. Tano's voice actress Ashley Eckstein was quite pleased with the new weapon, describing it as a "lightsaber dagger" that she thought was very cool.[23]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]