One of the common themes flowing throughout the episodes of Star Wars Visions is the lightsaber. It’s obviously a major part of Star Wars, and it’s picked up on here in a variety of ways.
This series isn’t canon and it is, by its very design, intended to take creative license and ambitious artistry to give different takes (visions) on the galaxy far, far away. And one of the ways in which that artistic license is demonstrated is through the different lightsaber styles. There are tons of really cool and unique designs, and so I thought it would be fun to take a look at my favorite ones from the series.
7. The lightsaber whip (“The Twins”)
In “The Twins,” one of the siblings has a lightsaber that functions much like a whip, and that has a number of different “blades” to attack with. This leads to a great moment where all of these different whip-blades converge on the opponent… only to be wrapped around the hero’s lightsaber and swiftly countered. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a lightsaber function as a whip in recent storytelling; in the High Republic, Vernestra Rwoh wields a saber that she configured to also be able to be used as a whip. She has a single blade, however, and here there are many.
6. The lightsaber dagger (“The Elder”)
The Sith in “The Elder” uses twin lightsabers that are designed much like daggers, which is cool. And the way the Elder uses them is even better: he’s very swift and adept, able to charge at the Padawan to strike in a very rapid manner. He makes great use of both blades (until the Master destroys one of them), but I really like the twin sabers designed as daggers here and how they are utilized.
5. The family saber (“Lop and Ocho”)
In some classic tales that involve significant swords (like King Arthur and Excalibur, or Aragorn and Narsil), there are phrases engraved on the blade that carry deeper meaning. “Lop and Ocho” brings that into Star Wars a bit by introducing a green blade that has words ‘engraved’ in it. This is a family heirloom passed down throughout generations, and I love how the mere design of the lightsaber can evoke such a medieval feel with a sword. It’s the type of creativity that’s really simple yet stands out.
4. The lightsaber sheath (“The Duel”)
Speaking of simplicity that stands out, the lightsaber used by the protagonist in “The Duel” is a fairly straightforward red lightsaber… but the unique thing is that instead of pulling out the handle and then igniting it, this “Ronin” character pulls the already-ignited blade out of his sheath. Again, this evokes a medieval feel stylistically, like a knight would pull his sword from its sheath when preparing to enter battle. This leads to a pretty sweet visual reveal, particularly given how the episode makes use of color sparingly.
3. The umbrella blades (“The Duel”)
Sticking with “The Duel” for a moment, the Sith emerges with a very unique-looking lightsaber – and I would say it’s definitely the most different and creative lightsaber that appears. Basically it looks much like an umbrella, manifesting with plenty of different blades all in a circular pattern, and this is used in a spinning motion by the Sith to deflect oncoming blasterfire and even to glide down to the surface. But it’s revealed that the lightsaber blade itself is pretty standard, and that this umbrella-like contraption is placed atop the blade that directs the emission of the lightsaber blade in different directions. I really love that.
2. The katana blade (“The Village Bride”)
This one might be a surprise inclusion this high on the list, but from the moment I saw the design of the lightsaber at the end of “The Village Bride” I was hooked. It’s much like a katana blade (with its very slim blade) and also really reminds of Rey Skywalker’s lightsaber at the end of The Rise of Skywalker, as the hilt itself has a flash of color (though in this case just yellow, to match the rest of the blade) with a glowing yellow saber. The lightsaber is used very sparingly in this episode, but I love the design of it.
1. Changing colors (“The Ninth Jedi”)
There’s a lot on this ranking that’s arbitrary and hard to really distinguish and sort out, but my top choice here is easy. By far my favorite lightsaber design seen in the series comes in “The Ninth Jedi,” and it’s so simple: the lightsaber blades are designed to change color depending on who is wielding it. This was actually an idea originally discussed all the way back with Return of the Jedi, and it shows up here. And in many ways the brilliance lies in how simple of a concept it is, since it’s something that feels so reasonable and actually able to happen (in-universe, of course) and isn’t stretching things like some of the others in this series are (though I do love them). But the real genius of this design is the way it’s used in the story. There’s the young girl who discovers the lightsaber to have no color when she first wields it, representing her untapped and undeveloped connection to the Force. But as she fights the Sith later in the episode, there’s a moment where her blade turns green while locked in combat. It’s such a great and emotional moment, and there’s no words needed – it’s sheer visual storytelling at its finest. But this color-changing blade concept also serves to provide the biggest shock of the whole Visions series: when the presumed Jedi pick up the blades, they all turn red – revealing that they are actually Sith! And then when the mysterious figure who brought them all together picks up a blade, it’s green glow indicates to us that he’s an ally. The way that this is utilized in the episode is so freaking cool.