Ever since Ben Kenobi in A New Hope introduced us to the lightsaber, we’ve been hooked. “This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight,” he tells Luke Skywalker. “Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”
In the decades since, we have seen tons of different lightsabers, and a new book chronicles many of them. Published by Insight Editions, The Lightsaber Collection is the definitive reference material for the most famous weapon in the galaxy. The book, written by Daniel Wallace with beautiful illustrations by Lukasz Liszko and Ryan Valle, is absolutely gorgeous and a tremendous book for a Star Wars fan to add to their collection.
The book begins with several pages of introduction, setting the stage for the content that follows by walking readers briefly through the history of the lightsaber and providing background information both in-universe and out-of-universe. Then the rest of the book is devoted to looking at different lightsabers. The layout is simple yet incredible to look at; when you open to a lightsaber, you will have a brief description of the lightsaber, its wielder, and the history of the saber/character both in canon material and behind-the-scenes. There’s an illustration of the wielder, plus a look at the ignited saber. Then on the right side opposite of it is a detailed look at the lightsaber itself. This makes it very easy to follow along with, provides valuable information, and is visually brilliant. Then at the end of the book is an index with illustrations of every lightsaber that is included, which makes it easier to compare them to one another.
In all the book includes 58 different lightsabers, and you’d probably have a hard time thinking of a lightsaber that was an obvious omission. We first get a look at lightsabers belonging to “Jedi of the Galactic Republic,” and in this section we see the lightsabers of Jedi like Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and many more. Then there’s a section on the “Acolytes of the Dark Side,” exploring lightsabers belonging to dark siders like Darth Maul, Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and many more. Then finally is a section on “A New Jedi Tradition,” where we get a look at the lightsabers of Ben Solo, Cal Kestis, Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Leia Organa, and Rey Skywalker.
For many characters, we actually get a look at multiple lightsabers, as we get looks at the different lightsabers belonging to Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Asajj Ventress, Rey, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren, and Ezra Bridger. This really helps to differentiate between the lightsabers, which is very helpful for both the casual reader and the hard-core Star Wars fans alike. It’s very easy to follow along with.
But perhaps my favorite part about the book is just how extensive it is. Obviously there are plenty of lightsabers that would have been no-brainers to include, most notably the Skywalker lightsaber. And while all of the obvious ones make it in, so too do many lesser-known ones, spanning a variety of mediums. There are lightsabers that appear in films, in animated shows, in comics, in books, and in video games. The lightsaber of Lord Corvax is included, from the VR series Vader: Immortal. We get our first look at the lightsaber of Stellan Gios, a character from the upcoming The High Republic publishing project. Asajj Ventress has two lightsabers in the book, including her one as a Jedi padawan that draws from The Clone Wars and Dooku: Jedi Lost. The Ren shows up, having appeared in the comic series The Rise of Kylo Ren. The video game Jedi: Fallen Order is very well-represented, as the Ninth Sister, the Second Sister, Taron Malicos, and Cal Kestis all have their lightsabers included in this collection. And we could go on, but hopefully you get my point. This book includes lightsabers from all mediums of Star Wars storytelling, which is fantastic.
Additionally, a particular highlight for me was getting a better look at the lightsabers belonging to Ben Solo, Leia Organa, and Rey Skywalker (her yellow one), as these all make very brief appearances in the sequel trilogy and are worth exploring more. I was thrilled to see them included here, and they make up some of my favorite pages in the book.
The only negative I have to offer with this book actually has nothing to do with the content or the illustrations, but has to do with a rare publishing error, as my edition of the book included five pages that were misprinted in another language. This was disappointing, but like I said, I assume it is a rare enough error that you shouldn’t have the same issue. But just beware that it’s possible to get a misprinted edition.
Overall, though, this book is great. It combines good content with stunning illustrations, all laid out in a very simple and readable format, that makes it a great book to include in your collection.