Star Wars FAQ - The First Ever Lightsaber
In canon, it is unknown when the first lightsaber was created. All we do know is that they were in use thousands of years before the First Order-Resistance conflict, in the Great Scourge of Malachor. And although it’s safe to assume the first one was a regular, single-bladed weapon, sources state that the crossguard lightsaber was not far behind. But because this series is all about definitively answering questions instead of beating around the metaphorical bush, let’s take a look at the Legends universe.
In ancient times, the Rakata species created the precursor to the lightsaber, the Forcesaber. Users were able to channel the dark side of the Force through laboratory-grown black crystals which created the glowing energy blades. But the first lightsaber came into being when the Je’daii Order combined advanced off world technology with a forging ritual, allowing them to “freeze” a laser beam. The earliest known functional lightsaber was the First Blade, which was created by a Je’daii Master simply known as the Weapon Master. When the Jedi Order was formed following the Force Wars, ceremonial weapons were an integral part of their order. And the Jedi continued to use bladed weapons, like swords, for millennia afterwards since lightsabers had not been refined for regular use.
Around 15,000 BBY, Jedi researchers were still unable to create practical and efficient lightsabers. Preliminary lightsabers were highly unstable and inefficiently drew huge amounts of energy from a belt-mounted power supply. In addition, they could only be used for a brief duration before overheating. However, through the ages, the traits that plagued early lightsaber models were slowly controlled. So the weapon became much more stable and lighter. But, with that being said, they still required a huge amount of energy, meaning the belt-worn power pack was still in full effect. The power cable linking the lightsaber and the belt restricted users’ movements and prevented Force-powered and long-range telekinetic saber combat. The Dark Lords of the Sith Empire were ultimately responsible for the advancement of lightsabers as they replaced the power belt with a power cell within the hilt. They also introduced a number of other key elements that were still used thousands of years later…
So there we have it, the first lightsaber ever was the First Blade, created by the Weapon Master. However, it wasn’t until the Dark Lords of the Sith modified the lightsaber that it became the weapon we all know and love today.