The High Republic era features the Excaliburs of lightsaber designs

Cover art for Star Wars: The High Republic comic. Photo: Star Wars/Marvel.
Cover art for Star Wars: The High Republic comic. Photo: Star Wars/Marvel. /

Lightsabers are generally pretty neat, but the Higher Republic era takes it to a whole new level.

There’s a certain beauty in lightsabers and the crafting of lightsabers. Just like a wand in Harry Potter, no two lightsabers are really alike — and that’s what brings out the beauty in them. Except, on a wider scale, the lightsaber hilts throughout the Star Wars films typically featured the same design, just with a varying degree of alterations.

But for the High Republic era, the lightsabers of the old Jedi Order are getting a major upgrade. And has just revealed what those new (or rather, “old”) designs are going to look like. Keep in mind, the upcoming High Republic era is going to take place a few centuries before Episode I. This era, which will be explored through a variety of literary publications, is described as the peak time for the Jedi, and so their lightsabers should surely play the part.

Ahead of the book Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection dropping on Oct. 20, Star Wars offered fans a peek into the creation behind these newer lightsabers that reflect the high times of the Jedi. In a photo shared by Star Wars (which you can see in the tweet below), it shows off just one of the looks of the new lightsabers.

This design is for the Jedi Stellan Gios, and his features an interesting crossguard creation that is almost similar to that of Kylo Ren’s. Whereas Kylo’s crossguard is always sticking out in the T-formation, Gios’ is able to “activate,” giving it a slimmer look when it’s folded in and de-activate.

All this is according to Disney Publishing illustration manager Jeff R. Thomas, who revealed the information to the Star Wars blog. And that design in particular, he mentions, was inspired by the sword Excalibur. The thinking here is that, if the High Republic Jedi Order is comparable to that of the Knights of the Roundtable, then they’ll certainly need their own versions of Excalibur to match that.

Thomas explained the process in his own words to the blog, saying:

"What would a lightsaber version of Excalibur look like? I started sketching and came up with a silhouette I really liked, but the practicality of holstering/sheathing it nagged at me until I had the idea that the crossguard didn’t have to be stationary. Perhaps it could activate or deactivate with the saber. So after some more sketches and some back and forth with Lucasfilm, it was decided that the crossguard would activate as opposed to always being open, which would give the saber the slimmer silhouette while holstered and would lend itself to some great visuals when activating."

So, while there won’t be any lightsabers being pulled from stones to declare who gets to be head of the Jedi Order, there will be many more lightsaber designs with this level of detail and craftsmanship. He and Michael Siglain, Lucasfilm Publishing’s creative director, have given some significant thought and consideration into these designs after all, so hopefully there will be more visual sneak peeks to come. (And perhaps their vision of the High Republic era will even be translated on screen one day.)

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The High Republic era of books kicks off January 2021.