Lightsaber Resistant Materials
The only things that can block a lightsaber blade is another lightsaber blade; some very, very rare materials; and...those handrails in Cloud City - Craig Page
It is a widely held belief that Lightsabers are capable of cutting through anything and anyone. This is wrong. There are in the Star Wars Universe some materials that cannot be easily cut, and in some cases are out right impervious to, lightsaber beams. As one can imagine, these materials would be highly sought after by all those who use Lightsabers or wished to level the playing field against Lightsaber users. They are as follows
Water: It should be noted that lightsaber blades could not function when immersed in water. Even in heavy rains, the blade will begin to sizzle. Sabers could be modified to overcome this obstacle though, and many aquatic based Jedi and Sith were instructed to do so.
Cortosis: By far, the most common of the lightsaber resistant materials. Purified Cortosis had the ability to short our lightsaber blades for a time. Cortosis Alloy had the ability to deflect blades. Note, the raw ore for Cortosis was Ionized, and was lethal to the holder.
Phrik: Metallic ore, it was popular in the creation of weapons such as electro staffs and vibro blades. It was also used at times in the construction of lightsabers like the Saber Pike and Guard Shotos. These weapons required the use of the "hilt" as part of the weapon and attack, so a LSM was preferred in it's construction
Armorweave: Reinforced cloth that gave limited resistance to blaster bolts and lightsabers.
Ultrachrome: Used from everything from ship hulls to personal shields and armor. Ultrachrome could deflect blasters, projectile weapons and Lightsaber Blades by diffusing the energy across it's superconductive surface. However, if enough energy is applied, the outer layer of the shield can melt and warp.
Mandalorian Iron: Known in the Mandalorian tongue as Beskar. By far the most powerful Lightsaber Resistant Material in the Galaxy. Combination of strong metal and exquisite metallurgy, Mandalorian Iron is folded to provide light weight protection. Breaking the armor, with a lightsaber in general, is close to impossible. It's manufacture has precedence in Real Life, as the making of Samurai Swords involves ore with above average iron content and a forging technique that folds the metal down into several thousand layers.
Life-Forms: There are several life-forms whose bodies are so armored that they reflect lightsaber blades. Some of these creatures are sought for to make armor to fight against saber users, or are breed as protectors and guardians.
The Force: Using Force Techniques have been known to block a lightsaber, even the weightless blade. Also, swords and weaponry that have been infused with the Force can also be effective.
In the saber community, there is some discussion as to the use of LRM in our fights and stories. What is appropriate and what isn't. Lightsaber Resistance isn't really seen in the movies and the shows. Aside from the blast door Qui Gon tries cutting through in Episode I (and nearly melted) and the railings in Cloud City during Episode V. LRMs are Expanded Universe materials, they appear either in the various novels and comics or in the video games.
This brings Canon to the discussion. There are several layers of Canon for the Star Wars Universe, ranging from Non- Canon, to Canon-until-stated-otherwise, to G-Canon. G-Canon is all the materials that George Lucas has signed on and has used in the movies (and now, the Clone Wars TV Show). G-Canon trumps all of the other levels. As of the writing of this paper, none of the LRMs have been mentioned in the movies or the television series. Lucas believes that a lightsaber is an all cutting weapon.
An example of this is from the Clone Wars. During the second season, Obi-Wan is taking on a Mandalorian. The Mandalorian was originally going to use a vibrosword made of Beskar. George Lucas created a weapon called a Darksaber. A lightsaber with a black, flat blade that resembled a traditional katana.
This lack of information now puts us in an interesting position. While Lucas never says that LRMs don't exist, he has kept it squarely a part of the Expanded Universe. When performing, it should always be assumed that people have only seen the movies. There have been plenty of times, even when performing with friends and colleagues in the community, where someone will cry foul because a person should not be able to block a blade with their arms.
Personally, I take a wary stance on using LRMs on the stage, and use it primarily the way it's used in Star Wars: as a
literary device to give the otherwise powerful Jedi and Sith a challenge. Using it blatantly performance-wise may seem a cheat. However, there are some examples of it working right.
Dave Harold, a veteran in New York Jedi, plays the Sith Lord Darth Vicious. Vicious is an eight foot tall, Genetically Engineered Life Form (or GELF). His race was created to mine Phrik in deep space. After an accident that killed most of his people, he found the phrik had bonded with him on biological level. He became lightsaber resistant. This, with his size and animal like nature, made him perfect to be a Sith.
Now, on the whole, most audiences will never hear that background story. However, Dave plays this character like an unstoppable monster. Many liken Vicious to a version of DC Comics' Doomsday, with bones (or in Vicious' case, phrik) protruding out of his skin. He portrays himself as the unstoppable beast. Even if you don't know why he can, you can understand that this is a Monster, and therefore does not run on the same rules as everyone else.
Am I saying "Don't use Lightsaber Resistant Materials for performances"? No. I'm not. I'm merely saying that you should, as all things stage combat, be mindful of what you're doing and why. It has to be clear to the audience what is going on. Even if they don't understand the why and how, they need to know the what.
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