Can Only Jedi Use Lightsabers?


One of the most popular aspects of the Star Wars franchise is undeniably the lightsaber. The question, of course, is: can only Jedi use lightsabers?


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Lucasfilm

The lightsaber is one of the most dynamic weapons established in fiction and is virtually invincible when used in combat. A versatile weapon, the lightsaber is highly functional in both offensive and defensive combat, and was introduced thousands of years prior to the age of the Galactic Republic. They rose to prominence during the events of The Clone Wars and were designed with the intent that they would bring an end to any form of conflict. Their condensed and controlled design was mindful of permitting the user full control over the use of the saber.

Lightsabers are one of the most popular and coolest weapons of choice throughout the vastness of Star Wars canon, so much so that, to the delight of fans everywhere, Disneyland recently showcased a real-life lightsaber. Of course, Star Wars lore dictates a level of responsibility in wielding one. However, it’s seldom been discussed as to who can actually use a lightsaber. Indeed, they’ve been used by the Jedi, the Sith, and individuals throughout the diversity of Star Wars media. There has been an ongoing debate on whether certain groups of individuals within the Star Wars universe have the right to own lightsabers over others. As the film franchise prepares to develop a new Star Wars trilogy, the consideration of power diversity – indeed, the lack of clarity – challenges the answer of who has the right to the laser-bladed sword. As such, here, we look into the matter: can only Jedi use lightsabers?

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Who Are the Jedi & What is the Force?


Jedi Order Star Wars
Image via StarWars.com

The Force is an energy field produced by the bond of life that is created across the universe. If it is created in life, it is found in every living being. While it hosts a connection with all life, the Force has the ability to establish symbiotic relationships with those who are more susceptive to it. Those who develop these connections are referred to as “Force-sensitive” and have the ability to form a conscious bond. They are gifted with the ability to manipulate the Force and harness its powers as their own. The Force is divided into two symbiotic aspects: the Cosmic Force and the Living Force. The Cosmic Force bears the responsibility of holding all living things together; the Living Force is the energy source provided to life itself.


Jedi and Sith are commonly associated with the Force and its power. The Jedi Order was formed as an act of devotion to the Light Side of the Force, forming a coalition of protection through the intentions of using the Force for the greater good of the galaxy. The Jedi are noted for their strong association with lightsabers and their natural ability to control the Force. Because of these close affiliations, it has been questioned if only Jedi are fit to use lightsabers. Originally, the Jedi Order presented itself as a mystical organization in the interest of preserving peace across the galaxy. The passing of time muddled the true intentions of the Jedi as they found themselves engaging in warfare in contrast to their pacifist nature. Previous interpretations viewed the Jedi as religious beings who rotated their lives around eight sacred texts and defined themselves as the keepers of the peace.


Can Someone Without the Force Use a Lightsaber?


Han Solo Hoth Lighsaber Star Wars Harrison Ford
Image via ComicBook.com

The question behind Force-sensitivity and lightsabers has sparked debate among Star Wars fans. There has been little urgency in the franchise to fully address the lack of clarity in the conversation, and continuously leaves the answer open to personal speculation. Some may defend the claims that only Force-sensitive lifeforms or Jedi are best suited to carry lightsabers. The defense comes from the direct need to host an intimacy with the Force in order to fully grasp the nature of lightsabers. The weapons respond to those who are connected to the Force directly, which prompts the conclusion that only those with the Force are deemed equipped to bear the lightsaber as their own. The implication between the Force and lightsabers is a speculation made by what has been inferred through specific lightsaber users. Those who are known for using a lightsaber are also known for being acquainted with the power of the Force.


The claim that only Force-sensitive creatures have the exclusive right to the lightsaber is misleading. Most who are sensitive to the Force are found carrying a lightsaber with them, but one can easily come without the other. Those who do not identify as Force-sensitive have been seen using a lightsaber since the earlier eras of chapters entered the Star Wars cinematic canon. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) has been depicted using a lightsaber on Hoth during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). In Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), ex-Storm Trooper Finn (John Boyega) picks up Anakin Skywalker’s (Hayden Christensen) blade in order to defend himself against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). This disappointingly misleads the possibility around Finn being Force-sensitive and frustrated his overarching narrative. The bait, however, proved that the Force is not directly connected to those who can use a lightsaber.


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Why Lightsabers Should Only Be for Jedi


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Image via The Geek Twins

Jedi credit the use of lightsabers as a means of concentrating on their focus and discipline. As explained by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, “the lightsaber was the formal weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. More skill than simple sight was required for its use. An elegant weapon. It was a symbol as well. Anyone can use a blaster or a fusioncutter – but to use a lightsaber well was a mark of someone a cut above the ordinary. ” This quote deems the lightsaber as “the mark of the Jedi” and solidifies that the Jedi have the right to claim them as their own. Young Jedi are subject to a rite of passage called The Gathering during their training. Through this, they are asked to venture into the caverns of IIlum and retrieve a Kyber crystal. These crystals are attached to the energy of their Force and are drawn to each who is determined to find their gem. These Jedi are then instructed to build their own lightsaber. The tradition of The Gathering is strongly rooted in Jedi culture and connected to the Force. Because of this, it is alleged that lightsabers are only for Jedi. Younglings who are sent into the Crystal Caves of IIlum are faced with challenges that are personalized by the Force and ask them to conquer their fears.




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