Lightsabers are one of the most important parts of the Star Wars Universe and even though most people focus on the color of the various laser swords, the hilts are just as important. The hilt of the lightsaber contains the powerful crystal, from which the lightsaber derives the vast majority of its power. The hilt is made up of a blade emitter (where the lightsaber beam comes from), the power source (which is the lightsaber crystal, imbued with the force), and the activator switch, which is used to turn on the lightsaber. All of these parts put together combine to form the inner workings of a weapon that holds the Star Wars galaxies together. Synonymous with both the Jedi Order and the Sith, the lightsaber is a powerful weapon in the hands of a skilled user.
The History of the Lightsaber Hilt
According to the Star Wars Universe, the first hilts were created thousands of years before the Battle of Yavin, which is the focus of Star Wars Episode IV. The Jedi Order quickly began to embrace the technology and realized the power that lightsabers contained. Therefore, they made this sword a cornerstone of their role in the galaxy. Over the years, the lightsaber itself would evolve with the order until it reached the form that is seen on the TV shows and in the movies. During this time, the hilt of the lightsaber evolved as well. The hilt became shorter so that it could be used off-hand. The hilts also evolved to include the curved hilt that some might have noticed as well as the double-hilt that Darth Maul wields. Throughout the movies, the hilts would only continue to become more advanced, including the unique design wielded by Kylo Ren in the most recent films.
Assembling the Hilt as a Trial
The orders of both the Jedi and the Sith view building a lightsaber from scratch as an essential part of the training of a young student. While the Jedi typically view the lightsaber as an additional tool, the Sith see the lightsaber as a weapon with which to rule. A padawan or an apprentice was typically required to find their own lightsaber crystal, imbue it with the force, and then construct their lightsaber hilt using parts and their crystal. Completion of the lightsaber was often required in order to ascend in the ranks. Even though the lightsaber could be constructed from common materials, including wood, getting the parts to work together was often a long and drawn out process. The hilt is the cornerstone of the lightsaber and must be made with care.