As Obi-Wan Kenobi says, lightsabers are “elegant weapons for a more civilized age” — so what exactly did they look like during that civilized age? That’s what the Lucasfilm creative team had to figure out while designing the new lightsaber for the Jedi Knights of the High Republic in the Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia story. Set centuries before the events of The Phantom Menace, the High Republic era was known as the peak of the Jedi Order, and needed a lightsaber design that would suit it. See the design for the Star Wars The High Republic lightsaber below.
StarWars.com unveiled the new lightsaber that will be debuting in the Star Wars: The High Republic series of novels and comics. The lightsaber belongs to Stellan Gios, a Jedi Master during the High Republic era, and the design will debut officially in Insight Editions’ The Lightsaber Collection, a compendium coming October 20. The design is a departure from the lightsabers we’re used to, taking inspiration from Excalibur, the famous sword of King Arthur, according to Michael Siglain, Lucasfilm Publishing’s creative director.
“Internally, we often refer to the Jedi of this era as ‘the Jedi Knights of the Round Table.’ Taking that idea one step further, their sabers can be viewed as their own versions of Excalibur,” Siglain said.
See the concept art for the new lightsaber below.
Artist Grant Griffin took the first stab at designing the lightsaber, with Disney Publishing illustration manager Jeff R. Thomas further developing Stellan’s lightsaber hilt, which notably has a crossguard.
“With the High Republic, we wanted to implement a more traditional crossguard, but I still wanted to include the saber-blade into the crossguard design, so that Stellan would be able to defend himself against saber attacks. That’s where Excalibur came into play,” Thomas said. “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.”
The Lightsaber Collection arrives October 20, 2020 and is available for pre-order now.
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September 24, 2020