• Mattie Stu

The Lightwhip (Legends) - Star Wars Weapons Lore

Also known as an energy whip or a laser whip, the lightwhip was a rare variation of the lightsaber. However, unlike a regular lightsaber, the weapon was incredibly agile and free-flowing, making it extremely dangerous in the right hands…

Generally speaking, lightwhips functioned on the same principles and mechanics as lightsabers, consisting of a handle and an emitted coherent beam of energy. However, rather than having straight, meter long blades, lightwhips featured long and flexible ones that often exceeded several meters in length, allowing the users to attack from a fair distance away. In addition, instead of one large crystal, each weapon had multiple small crystals. Though most lightwhips emitted only single blades, some, like the Sith Lumiya’s, had multiple tassels. Just like lightsabers, the weapon came in a variety of colours and shades, which included red, pink, orange, yellow and green. Wielded like a normal whip, lightwhips were seen as exotic weapons due to their unfamiliar occurrence among traditional duelists. Because of this, lightwhip users always had an advantage over their opponents. Furthermore, the weapon’s ability to flex around a lightsaber made them difficult to defend against. With multiple tassels, Lumiya was able to overwhelm her enemies, attacking them from every angle.

Though lightwhips had many advantages, they featured just as many drawbacks. Without mastery of normal whips, wielders struggled to control lightwhip blades, making an untrained user just as likely to be injured as their opponent. Furthermore, lightwhips were not as strong as regular lightsabers as they could not always penetrate durasteel armour or walls, meaning many substances could survive a direct hit. They had to be swung wide in order to gain enough momentum for an attack, and were hard to defend with as flexible blades were not meant for parrying. Lightwhips ultimately left the user vulnerable to both great speed and brute force. Unfortunately, the weapons were also known for shorting out violently when struck with enough force. However, efforts were made to combat such flaws. For example, Lumiya added tassels composed of solid matter to her weapon. The mixture of solid and flexible strands made the weapon highly unpredictable. But all the innovation was still not enough to overcome every disadvantage.

One of the earliest known users of the lightwhip was the Sith Lady Githany, who was active nearly a millennium before the Battle of Yavin. According to the Sith Blademaster of the time, Kas’im, she never wielded the weapon for its advantages, rather the unfamiliarity of the lightwhip to opponents. Githany wielded the weapon until her death in the final battle of Ruusan. Other lightwhip users prior to the Clone Wars include Ona Nobis and Vianna D'Pow. During the conflict, Obi-Wan Kenobi crafted a lightwhip for himself and Kit Fisto to use. It was based on Ona Nobis’ and was first used during a mock duel between the two Jedi. The lightwhip was used during one mission as Kenobi’s secondary weapon. Unfortunately, it burned out, forcing Kenobi to discard it. Though many individuals equipped a lightwhip over the years, the most notable user was Lumiya. She constructed her own from Mandalorian iron and a shard of the Kaiburr crystal provided by Darth Vader. In addition, numerous tassels composed of leather knots studded with Mandalorian iron and flexible, gem speckled metal were added on. Lumiya crafted her lightwhip nearing the end of her training under Vader, and wielded it against Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, just to name two notable individuals. However, it was lost during her final battle with Skywalker, when it fell into a nearby gorge alongside her headless body…

Now it’s time for this week’s question: would you rather equip a lightwhip or a regular lightsaber? Let me know in the comments below.

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