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"First, they must seize a pure crystal from the lightsaber of a Jedi they have vanquished in combat—for the saber of a Sith is not given. It is taken."
―Darth Sidious[7]

Sith lightsabers, also known as Sith sabers, were lightsabers wielded by members of the Sith. They were constructed through methods similar to those used by other Force-sensitives, but the underlying philosophy was different. Unlike the Jedi who followed the light side of the Force, the Sith could not establish a mutual bond with kyber crystals. This was due to the hate, fear, and other emotions associated with the dark side that clouded their concentration.



"A red saber is no different than any other except… it has been made to bleed."
―Darth Sidious[8]

In the construction of a Sith lightsaber, individuals partook in a process known as bleeding. By ways of the Force, they would pour negative emotions, such as rage, hate, fear, and pain into kyber crystals. The process would result in the crystals gaining a distinctive crimson or red hue. Any kyber crystal could be bled for use in a Sith lightsaber, though some Sith believed that the proper method to gain a crystal involved capturing one from a Jedi lightsaber.[1]



Darth Vader's lightsaber

The materials, length, and shape in which Sith lightsaber hilts were composed of varied. Darth Sidious' lightsabers had nearly indestructible phrik with a flat aurodium blade emitter and were finished with electrum as he had discerning tastes.[4] The two hilts each had a length of 19 centimeters. Darth Vader's lightsaber was made out of alloy metal and carbon composite with a hilt length of 28 centimeters.[1]

Sith lightsabers could be of various designs. They could be a standard-hilt like Darth Momin's lightsabers, Darth Shaa's lightsabers, and Darth Sidious' lightsabers,[9] dual-phased like Darth Vader's lightsaber,[4] double-bladed like Darth Maul's lightsaber[10] and Savage Opress's lightsaber, have a curved-hilt like Darth Tyranus' lightsaber[11] and Asajj Ventress's lightsabers, cross-guarded like Darth Atrius' lightsabers[12] or sickle-bladed like Darth Noctyss's lightsaber.[13]


Age of the Republic[]

"To complement their mastery of the dark side, the Sith have long relied on an ancient, elegant weapon in combat: the lightsaber."
―Darth Sidious[7]

Darth Sidious concealed a pair of Sith lightsabers within the robes he wore as Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine.

The lightsabers of the Sith became a rare collector's item after the Sith's supposed disappearance from the galaxy for a millennium.[12] The Jedi Order sought to collect the remaining Sith lightsabers, as well as other Sith artifacts that were ultimately stored in the Archive of Forbidden Artifacts, a Bogan Collection located in the Jedi Grand Temple on Coruscant.[2]

Darth Sidious possessed a large Sith-imbued kyber crystal in his personal Sith artifact collection, from which the Sith Lord would use shards of it for creating Sith lightsabers.[14]

Imperial Era[]

"Where is your lightsaber, Lord Vader? Use its power! Defend yourself!"
"Lost in the fight with… Obi-Wan. He… took it."
"That blade belonged to another. A Jedi. You are a Sith."
―Darth Sidious and Darth Vader[8]

Darth Vader's lightsaber was used by the dark side warrior to enforce the will of the Galactic Empire and the Sith Order.

Upon Darth Vader's fall to the dark side, Sidious tasked him with recovering a kyber crystal from a Jedi's lightsaber, even lambasting Vader for daring to call the lightsaber he had used as a Jedi as his blade. While Sidious could have simply given over one of the numerous lightsabers recovered in the wake of Order 66, Sidious wanted to see Vader complete the Sith trial[8] of defeating a Jedi for their blade[15] and then bleeding that crystal,[16] all while being aware it would be hard for Vader to find a Jedi in the first place due to the success of Order 66.[8] Venturing to the river moon of Al'doleem upon learning about a surviving Jedi Master named Kirak Infil'a,[17] who had avoided Order 66 due to his separation from Jedi duties under the Barash Vow,[15] Vader ultimately murdered Infil'a, claimed his lightsaber and its kyber crystal,[18] and traveled to the planet Mustafar, where he bled the crystal to his will.[16]

With his lightsaber in hand, Vader used it to enforce the will of his master and the Galactic Empire[19] they forged.[20] At first, Vader continued to use Infil'a's lightsaber hilt. During a mission on the planet Cabarria, as the young bounty hunter Chanath Cha attempted to pull Vader's saber towards her with a tractor rifle, Vader attempted to reclaim it with the Force, with the tension of the two pulls eventually shattering Infil'a's hilt.[21] Afterward, Vader constructed a hilt of his own design, which impressed Sidious.[22] Much later in its reign, the Empire hired out the smuggler Sana Starros to recover the lightsabers of the ancient Sith Lord Darth Atrius, but both of the weapons were destroyed by Vader and Luke Skywalker.[12] After the fall of the Sith at the Battle of Endor, Vader's lightsaber became an object of worship for the Acolytes of the Beyond. On Taris, the cult obtained what they believed was the weapon, so they could destroy it and return it to Vader in death.[23]


"To harness the damaged crystal's full energy, Kylo Ren modified his weapon's hilt, adding quillon emitters to emulate an ancient crossguard design once used by the Sith Lord Darth Atrius."
―Darth Sidious[7]
Kylo Ren confronts Rey and Finn

Kylo Ren's Sith lightsaber featured crossguard blades.

Kylo Ren's crossguard lightsaber was a Sith weapon, although Ren himself was not a Sith. He used his lightsaber to kill his father, Han Solo, and engaged the scavenger Rey in a lightsaber duel. He continued to wield it after his accession as Supreme Leader of the First Order. However, Ren was ultimately swayed back to the light side of the Force by a Force vision of his father. He cast his Sith lightsaber into the ocean of Kef Bir, rejecting the dark side and reclaiming his identity as Ben Solo.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

Sith lightsabers were first introduced into the new Star Wars canon through the Lightsaber article in the Encyclopedia of StarWars.com.[24] Sith lightsabers also existed in the Star Wars Legends continuity.[25]


Non-canon appearances[]


Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

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