Star Wars Introduces The First Live-Action Lightsaber Whip 39 Years After Its Legends Debut


A classic lightsaber type has made its live-action Star Wars debut in The Acolyte, 39 years after it was introduced. Lightsabers are one of the most recognizable elements of the Star Wars franchise, taking inspiration from various forms of “magic swords” in folk tales and more recent science fiction and fantasy properties, from literature to film serials. Not long after the introduction of the lightsaber, however, the Star Wars franchise began introducing lightsaber variants, with unique and deadly new forms of the weapons being wielded by heroes and villains alike. Said variants include the double-bladed lightsaber and the crossguard lightsaber.

One of the earliest lightsaber variants was introduced in the classic Marvel Star Wars comic series, one of the franchise’s earliest non-movie properties. While the first six issues simply adapted A New Hope, the comics began telling original stories in the fall of 1977, capturing the characterizations of the Star Wars heroes and villains flawlessly as well as giving viewers new stories in the Star Wars galaxy before the release of The Empire Strikes Back. The comics also greatly expanded the Star Wars mythos at a time when they – along with other

Expanded Universe materials – were officially canon.

The Lightwhip’s Origin In Legends Explained

Marvel’s classic Star Wars comics introduced a plethora of planets, species, concepts, and characters to the Star Wars mythos, with much of its lore impacting later Legends-era works and – in some cases – making its way into live-action properties. Easily one of the most powerful and cunning Sith to rise to power after Return of the Jedi was the Dark Lady of the Sith, Lumiya, who debuted in Marvel’s comics. Initially known as Shira Brie, Lumiya was a Force-sensitive Imperial spy who Darth Vader trained in the ways of the Sith (with Emperor Palpatine’s approval). Lumiya’s signature weapon was a lightwhip.

Lumiya’s lightwhip debuted in 1985’s Star Wars issue 95 (by Mary Jo Duffy and Cynthia Martin) and was used to devastating effect against Luke Skywalker in the following issue. Despite taking place less than a year after Luke Skywalker’s victory over Darth Vader, Lumiya defeated him in their duel on Kinooine, leading Luke to build a shoto (short-bladed lightsaber) to counter it. Lumiya would use her lightwhip against Luke – now a Jedi Grandmaster – in the Legacy of the Force novels. Although Lumiya was the original and most famous lightwhip user, other lightwhip wielders would appear throughout the Legends continuity.

The Sith Lord Githany, who falsely thought of herself as a potential Sith apprentice to Darth Bane, wielded a lightwhip alongside a standard lightsaber, though she notably was not as skilled with the weapon as Lumiya. Although lightsabers and lightsaber variants were rarely found among Force sensitives who were not Jedi or Sith, one Nightsister, Silri, used a lightwhip as her signature weapon. As shown in the 2004 novel The Cestus Deception, by Steven Barnes, Obi-Wan Kenobi constructed a lightwhip for Kit Fisto, when the latter disguised himself as a member of Count Dooku’s Sith Acolytes during the Clone Wars.

How Lightwhips Work In Star Wars.

The mechanics of a lightwhip are explained succinctly in the 96th issue of Marvel’s Star Wars comics. Lumiya explains to the Nagai Den Siva that a lightwhip operates on the same principles as a standard lightsaber, with Force-imbued crystals powering the weapon. While standard lightsabers can function with only a single crystal (though some use more than one), lightwhips require multiple gems and the hilt lacks the necessary components to keep the energy blade rigid. The result is a far longer energy blade that is flexible, allowing it to be used like a conventional whip.


Lightwhips are arguably superior to lightsabers as offensive weapons, with their flexible blades making them extremely difficult to predict and counter. That said, lightwhips are inferior to lightsabers as defensive weapons and are extremely hazardous to their own users if they are wielding them at close quarters or lack the proper skills to wield them. Although Jedi and Sith both use lightwhips, the fact that the weapons are geared more towards offensive techniques makes it unsurprising that they are found in the hands of Sith more often than Jedi.

Vernesta Rwoh Introduced The Lightwhip To Canon

Although Star Wars Legends became a mostly-discontinued alternate continuity in April 2014, it continues to inspire the lore of the modern Star Wars canon. Lightwhips were introduced to the newer continuity via a mention in Endless Vigil, a Star Wars roleplaying game sourcebook. The weapon made its first full appearance in the 2021 novel The High Republic: A Test of Courage, by Justina Ireland. The novel depicts a younger Vernestra Rwoh as a Jedi Knight, modifying her lightsaber so it could function as a standard weapon or a lightwhip.

The book reveals that lightwhips were used by ancient Jedi in their various wars with the Sith, using the exotic weapons to counter Sith Lords who used Forbidden Forms in combat. The book also reveals that the Nightsisters of Dathomir (who were significantly reimagined for the modern canon) sometimes used lightwhips. Vernestra Rwoh has made her live-action debut in The Acolyte, with episode 6 – “Teach / Corrupt” – including the live-action debut of the lightwhip, with Rwoh using her weapon against an attacking umbramoth.

The Lightwhip Is Now At The Center Of A Major Acolyte Theory

Did Vernestra’s Lightwhip Give Qimir His Scar?

Both the lightwhip and Qimir’s scar being introduced in The Acolyte episode 6 have caused the weapon to become the center of a dark theory. Though Vernestra’s history in the Star Wars: The High Republic publishing initiative suggests otherwise, it seems as if the show is starting to hint at the possibility of Vernestra using her lightwhip against Qimir, thus creating this curved scar. This would explain why Qimir tells Osha that he was stabbed in the back by his Jedi Master, and why Vernestra has been so comfortable acting outside the Jedi High Council.

It would certainly follow the Legends history of the weapon if something like this truly did occur. Though Vernestra never seems to give off an air of dark-sidedness, Jedi have had brushes with it before and come back to the light – including Elzar Mann, a Jedi Vernestra works with often in the High Republic era. Wielding a weapon that has a Sith history attached to it and Legends and more makes this even more likely. Still, it would be a shock if The Acolyte proved this to be true, and only time will tell if this theory is correct.