By Dom Reseigh-Lincoln Last updated
Kylo Ren’s triple-bladed crossguard saber
With The Force Awakens still tantalisingly out of reach until later this month, it wouldn't be right to see one of the film's new big bads ranking any higher at this stage. When his weapon of choice first appeared in the original teaser, the internet lost its collective mind (although, let's not forget that cross-guarded sabers have been old hat in the Extended Universe - now rebranded as the Legends universe - for years, but those facts have been purged from our memory banks so “Ermahgerd it's got three blades!”). Ren's saber, like most, is self-built but it's purposely ragged and crude, with a fiery blade and a crossguard (or 'quillon') that emits energy from either side. The tool of the aspiring badass.
Count Dooku’s rapier saber
When you make the effort to add the Hammer Horror legend Sir Christopher Lee to your cabal of Sith Lords, you give the man a lightsaber that's just as unique and memorable as the man wielding it. Based on ancient designs associated with the Makashi form (one of seven Jedi lightsaber combat styles), Dooku's weapon has a curved hilt giving him more precision blade control. It's even got a dual-blade setting enabling the man also known as Darth Tyranus to shorten and extend the blade for close quarters and more open swordfighting. Interestingly, Dooku's red-bladed saber is the same one he used when he trained as a Jedi. When he left the Order and became a Sith under Darth Sidious' direction, he swapped the crystal out for a red synthetic one.
Mace Windu’s purple-bladed saber
You'll notice this list has favoured the Dark Side so far, however we're C-3PO in the run up to The Force Awakens being released, so it only seems fair to give the good guys a bit of representation. As anyone who's sat through Attack Of The Clones will attest, there were a lot of Jedi wielding lightsabers before Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine significantly thinned the Order's ranks with Order 66 - but none of them stood out as much Windu's purple-hazed laser sword. Flying in the face of conventional blue or green for Jedi/red for Sith principles (come on this is Samuel L Jackson, did you expect any less?), Windu's purple lightsaber is in fact his second one. After ascending to the rank of Master and assuming a place on the revered Jedi Council, Windu built a brand new version with gold plating and a purple crystal no less.
Darth Vader’s classic saber
Vader's sleek death-dealing weapon is almost as iconic as the armoured man/machine himself, so no list of lightsabers would be complete without it. Built by Vader after his fall to the Dark Side (to replace the one he lost dueling Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar), his lightsaber remains one of the Saga's most memorable. Like a number of other saber designs (including Count Dooku's curve-hilted weapon), Vader's blade has a dual-phase switch that enables the Dark Lord Of The Sith to extend and retract the length of the blade. We know by the time of The Force Awakens begins, Vader has become a cultish legend for fanatics such as Kylo Ren. Ren also gets his hand on Vader's melted helmet - will he recover his blade, too?
Darth Maul’s double-ended saber
Come on, Kylo Ren's crossguarded lightsaber snap-hissing into angry life during the first The Force Awakens teaser may have got heart rates racing, but it pales in comparison to Darth Maul's awe-inspiring trailer debut. Or, to be exact, the first appearance of that frickin' double-ended lightsaber! Although these dual-bladed weapons were nothing new to the Star Wars universe back in 1999 (ancient Force users such as the dangerously named Exar Kun were using them thousands of years before Maul settled on one), the twin blades set the stage for one of Star Wars sagas most impressive duels. The blade could also be used as a single-bladed saber and even still functioned when Obi-Wan cut it in half. An iconic weapon, indeed.