The black lightsaber is so rare that, as far as current Star Wars canon is concerned, only one is known to exist anywhere in the galaxy: the legendary Darksaber. It is arguably the most intimidating of all lightsabers, due to its thin, curved black plasma blade, which looks radically different from the brightly colored red and blue sabers most commonly seen across the universe. Even its hilt is distinctive, with its L-shaped hand guard and slanted pommel.
When used in combat, the Darksaber demonstrates capabilities beyond those of the average lightsaber, such as an uncanny ability to deflect enemy lightsabers; it seems to pull an attacking blade toward it, as if by some kind of magnetic force.
Yet what is most notable about the Darksaber is neither its appearance nor its combat capabilities, but rather the immense symbolic importance it holds. To understand the significance of the Darksaber, you must first become familiar with its place in history.
The Mandalorian Darksaber Connection
The Darksaber was created by the Jedi known as Tarre Vizsla, who went on to wield this distinctive lightsaber in a successful campaign to claim his place as Mand’alor (leader) of his home planet, Mandalore. Mandalorian society, which was composed of numerous clans, strongly valued the acquisition of martial skills, and for this reason they were known far and wide as fierce warriors.
Given the combative nature of the Mandalorians, it was only natural that the accoutrements of their ruler would reflect the ideals of these war-like people, as well as having a unique quality that befits a leader. That’s how Tarre Vizsla’s Darksaber came to be closely identified with the position of Mand’alor. Years after Tarre Vizsla’s passing, members of House Vizsla managed to steal the lightsaber from the Jedi Temple, where it had been stored, and use the lightsaber to validate their claim as rulers of the Mandalorian people.
After this period, the Darksaber was claimed in turn by several individuals. Many of them were Mandalorians who hoped to exploit the power and prestige of the Darksaber to attain recognition as Mand’alor, while others merely happened upon it one way or another. However, Mandalorian tradition holds that no one can rightfully claim the Darksaber without defeating its owner in combat. It is not enough to hold the Darksaber in your hands—you must earn the right to do so.
The Significance of the Darksaber
Clearly, the Darksaber is not for pacifists. Its long and colorful history means that it will probably be always linked to militarism and authoritarianism. Large-scale battles have been fought to claim ownership of the Darksaber, and the individual who possesses it is always a target of those who wish to use it for their own ends. If any other black lightsaber should be discovered, it is inevitable that it will draw comparisons to the Darksaber.
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