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This 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.
—Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker, on lightsabers
Designed as much for elegance in combat as for ceremony, the Lightsaber, also referred to as the "laser sword", was a distinctive weapon, the very image of which was inextricably bound with the mythos of the Jedi Order and their polar opposites and ancient enemies, the Sith. The lightsaber also became synonymous with the Jedi Order's values to uphold peace and justice throughout the galaxy. This perception endured, despite the many conflicts with lightsaber-wielding Sith and Dark Jedi.
The weapon consisted of a blade of pure plasma energy emitted from the hilt, suspended in a force containment field. The field contained the immense heat of the plasma, protecting the wielder, and allowed the blade to keep its shape. The hilt was almost always self-fabricated by the wielder to match his or her specific needs, preferences and style. Due to the weightlessness of plasma and it's strong gyroscopic effect, lightsabers required a great deal of strength and dexterity to wield, and was extremely difficult—and dangerous—for the untrained to attempt using. However, in the hands of an expert of the Force, (although non-Force users have shown the ability to use it effectively) the lightsaber was a weapon to be greatly respected and feared. To wield a lightsaber was to demonstrate incredible skill and confidence, as well as masterful dexterity and attunement to the Force.
Other types of lightsabers included Atomic Sabers, Electrum Sabers—special hilts utilized by Palpatine, as well as other Force users—and Crossguard Lightsabers, the latter of which were long sabers used by the Jedi during the time of the Old Republic. They were similar to a whiplash that carried on like a Force push.
Rayth Saber: Was rare even in the Old Republic. This weapon was a four sided lightsaber. It was dangerous to use.