Star Wars galaxy is very similar to our world in many ways. Some of the Star Wars concepts are supernatural, but others are scientific. But, can everything in Star Wars be answered according to this logic? Let’s look into a famous question.
Lightsabers are like swords or knives. We know when we drop a knife, it does not fold itself. In that context, why do lightsabers turn off when dropped? To understand this question, we have to go into the explanation of the mechanism of lightsabers. What is Tarkata, and how is it relevant? So, let’s have a look at how lightsabers work.
Lightsaber and its Functions
A lightsaber is a laser sword that can cut everything. These swords cut thick metal doors, rocks, and even deflect blasters.
A lightsaber appears to have a laser blade, but the blade is pure plasma. The temperature of this plasma blade can reach up to 25000 C. Plus, the blow of a lightsaber can feel like a thunderbolt. The lightsaber blow and its temperature collectively work to melt everything, making it look like the blade cuts it.
A lightsaber hilt contains Diatium power cells fixed inside the hilt. These Diatium power cells are known to last for years. The other important thing inside the hilt is Kyber crystals. These natural crystals in Star Wars give colors to the lightsaber blade. But, they have a more important function as well. It enhances the blade’s energy.
The Diatium power cells ignite the plasma blade, and the Kyber crystal boosts up the blade’s energy a hundred times higher. Only the Force users use a lightsaber in Star Wars as it requires intense training and use of the Force to use a lightsaber effectively.
A lightsaber’s Diatium power cells are considered ever-lasting batteries. Although Jedis charge them once in a year or two, they contain a self-charging phenomenon. Similarly, the Kyber crystals are live beings that feed themselves off the Dark matter (Space.) So, a lightsaber can go on forever and never run out of energy.
We see many different types and colors of Star Wars lightsabers, but all of them have similar internal compositions and functions. Some lightsabers can have more than one Kyber crystal. Darth Vader’s lightsaber had two crystals. Similarly, a Sith Lord who appeared in the Vision series had multiple Kyber crystals in his Umbrella lightsaber.
We learned that a lightsaber never runs out of energy. So, why does it not stay ignited forever? Why does the lightsaber turn off when dropped?
Why do Lightsabers Turn Off when Dropped?
We know that a lightsaber has a hilt switch ON and OFF button. A lightsaber does not turn ON without pressing the button. This protects the Jedis from accidentally turning it On while the lightsaber hilt is in the belt. But, it turns off when dropped from the Jedi’s hands without pressing the button. The reason is that it is designed to turn off while falling for safety automatically. A safety switch is used for this purpose.
This switch needs to be held while using the lightsaber. If the lightsaber is dropped from the hand, the switch will turn off, and the lightsaber goes off. This switch is also useful to avoid slipping the turned-on lightsaber from the hand during lightsaber fencing. It can seriously damage anyone coming in its way.
Although the safety switch is a precaution, some believe it is a weakness of the lightsaber that needs improvement. According to them, the safety switch can hinder the fighting. Holding a lightsaber can be tricky when holding the switch with your thumb. Similarly, if the switch gets stuck, the lightsaber will not turn off and can harm the user’s surrounding people.
So, to avoid such situations in which you can hurt others or yourself, Geoge Lucas designed Star Wars Lightsabers in a way to automatically turn off when they dropped off from the hand.
Some people also believe the Jedi can turn off and on the lightsaber at the will of the Force. This is highly unlikely, and there is no authentic information regarding this. Yes, they can move objects with Force, especially the lightsaber. Still, they cannot turn the lightsabers on and off at will.
The Jedis have found a way to cover the weakness. They use the Force ability to keep the switch on hold, so they do not have to focus on the switch with their hand, which covers the weakness of holding the switch. Holding a switch with the hand can divert the attention, and even one second of distraction can cost you your life in Jedi Sith battles.
Tarkata Star Wars
Some Jedis thought lightsaber turning on and off ability was a weakness. But, the Jedis of the Old Republic perceive this ability in a completely different way. Instead of considering it a weakness, they use this ability as a strength of their weapons.
Tarkata was a Star Wars lightsaber form developed by the Jedi Council to overcome the weakness of the lightsaber. The Tarkata lightsaber form includes constant engagement of the lightsaber switch. The Jedis used to turn their lightsaber off and on to confuse their enemy.
The Tarkata had many beneficial techniques. For example, the Jedis turned their Star Wars lightsaber off while blocking the enemy’s attack. This caused the enemy to stumble, and Jedis or Sith lords got an opening for attack.
Similarly, some Tarkara lightsaber form users turned their lightsaber off while attacking. The enemy tried to block the attack, but the Jedis bypassed the attack and found an opening. Similarly, another useful Tarkata technique was Flash Slash.
As the time passed, the Jedis continued to practice the other 8 lightsaber forms. But, the Tarkata lightsaber form stopped appearing in the lightsaber combats. Jedis stopped using it probably because of the greater influence of the Force abilities. Other lightsaber forms involved Force abilities, while Tarkata didn’t. This disadvantage caused the Trakata lightsaber form to disappear as time passed.