A vambrace was a dueling guard that was worn over the forearm, sometimes extending over the hand or the elbow, that allowed the wearer to deflect enemy attacks with the forearm while fighting in melee combat. Vambraces could be worn as a component of a larger set of armor or independently. Vambraces were distinct from gauntlets, such as Mandalorian crushgaunts or the cortosis gauntlets worn by Imperial Knights, and from armor worn on the forearm for general protection, such as that worn by Imperial Stormtroopers.
Vambraces of various designs were worn throughout the galaxy, sometimes constructed to withstand the cutting power of lightsabers. This was done by forging the vambrace from a lightsaber-resistant material such as phrik, cortosis, or beskar, or by combining the vambrace with personal energy shielding technology, such as that which was common during the Mandalorian Wars. Notable individuals who wore vambraces included wearers of Mandalorian armor made of beskar, the Sith apprentice Warb Null, the Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrick, and the Sith Lady Darth Talon.
Mandalorians were known to wear full-body armor made of beskar—including forearm protection that also functioned as vambraces—as early as the Great Sith War circa 4000 BBY, although it is possible that they were worn as far back as the reign of Mandalore the First when he founded the Mandalorian Crusaders in 7000 BBY. Mandalorians continued to incorporate forearm protection into the designs of their armor; however, not all of these were vambraces designed to deflect melee weapons when dueling.
Warb Null, a dark side apprentice and commander of the Naddist forces in 3998 BBY, wore a suit of full-body Sith armor that was resistant to lightsaber strikes, although this did not prevent Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma from beheading him where the armor did not protect his neck.
From 3964 BBY to 3963 BBY, the renegade Human Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrick utilized a pair of unique vambraces invented by the Arkanian mechanic Gorman "Camper" Vandrayk. Camper created this set of vambraces using a tydirium-phrikite alloy of his own design that he combined with personal energy shielding technology. These vambraces were fully capable of deflecting blows from a lightsaber, and saved Zayne's life when dueling his former master Lucien Draay.
Notes and references
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 1
- "The History of the Mandalorians" – Star Wars Insider 80
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Tales of the Jedi – The Freedon Nadd Uprising 1
- Knights of the Old Republic 6
- Knights of the Old Republic 42
- Knights of the Old Republic 20
- Jedi Council: Acts of War 2
- Legacy (2006) 17