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Star Wars: Is The Death Star A Giant Lightsaber?

With its legions of stormtroopers, bevy of vehicles for all terrains, and two of the most powerful Sith in the "Star Wars" universe leading it, the Galactic Empire is an imposing force, to say the least. To up its fearsomeness factor a significant bit more, though, Emperor Palpatine's (Ian McDiarmid) regime is armed with a planet-destroying superweapon (that took a long time to build) known as the Death Star. Both it and its second incarnation, the Death Star II, are symbols of the Empire's near-unlimited power, with it capable of wiping out entire civilizations in the blink of an eye. Surprisingly, their energy source and classification have generated much conversation, likening it to another, much smaller "Star Wars" weapon.

Seeing as both Death Stars generate a colored beam and contain kyber crystals, just like lightsabers, could they be considered the same type of weapon? Fans like u/verrma on Reddit asked this exact question. They do operate in a similar way and contain the same energy amplification source, after all. At the same time, when it comes to the beams generated by both, lightsabers and the Death Star greatly differ. Lightsabers extend a single plasma-based blade until the hilt is turned off, while the Death Stars launch several beams into a focused one that is then fired out rather than sustained.

While the Death Star isn't quite a lightsaber, another version of it from "Star Wars" Legends leans more so in that direction — at least, visually speaking.

The Darksaber resembles a lightsaber more than the Death Star

When people think of Death Star copycats from the "Star Wars" universe, Starkiller Base is likely the first and only one to spring to mind. The First Order transforms the plant Ilum into a gigantic weapon capable of wiping out entire planetary systems in a single blast, making it something of a super Death Star. Going to the non-canon "Star Wars" Legends continuity, though, we see one that, interestingly, resembles a lightsaber more so than its canon predecessor.

Introduced in Kevin J. Anderson's 1995 novel "Darksaber," the Darksaber (no, not the Mandalorian one) is a superweapon created by crime lord Durga the Hutt and designed by Bevel Lemelisk years after the Battle of Endor and the fall of the Empire. It's based on the original Imperial plans for the Death Star, only without a whole bunch of elements. Basically, it's just the firing chamber of the Death Star, which, in its cylindrical durasteel form, very much resembles a giant lightsaber hilt, hence the name. Still, it retains the Death Star's firing ability instead of emitting a sustained blade like a lightsaber would.

Like the Death Stars and so many lightsabers throughout the "Star Wars" saga, the Darksaber is eventually destroyed. So ends the story of the closest thing fans have ever seen to a Death Star lightsaber and what deserves to be regarded among the dumbest things from the "Star Wars" Expanded Universe.