Star Wars Unveils New Lightsaber Inspired by Excalibur for The High Republic

Star Wars The High Republic's new lightsabers are getting a closer look in new concept artwork. The High Republic will push the Star Wars into a bold new era when it launches in 2021, both literally and figuratively. The High Republic will take us back 200 years before the Skywalker Saga began, a time when the Jedi Order was flourishing as a universal peacekeeping force, having defeated the Sith Army and (seemingly) ending the threat of the dark side. As such, Jedi Knights are wielding lightsabers that are much more befitting the Medieval associations their name inspires!

Star Wars High Republic Stellan Gios Lightsaber Concept Artwork
(Photo: Lucasfilm)

As the caption reads: "During the time of the High Republic, Jedi Master Stellan Gios acended through the ranks of the Jedi Order as the Padawan of Jedi Master Rana Kant. As a young Padawan learner, he developed a strong connection with fellow Jedi Avar Kriss and Elzar mann, though they were apprenticed to different masters. Gios is regularly the voice of reason amongst the three, focused on upholding the Jedi tradition.

"....Gios' lightsaber is an elegant weapon with a crossguard and a longer hilt that allows him to easily wield it with two hands like a broadsword. The crossguard's quillons point forward when the saber is not in use, and the weapon rests in a holster that leaves the saber easily accessible. the hilt features striking black, gold, and silver details. When the saber ignites, the crossguard blades push the quillions outward, forming caps to the blades and creating a secondary guard."

Star Wars High Republic Lightsabers Concept Art
(Photo: Lucasfilm)

This particular lightsaber belongs to Stellan Gios, a Jedi Master in the High Republic era. Artist Grant Griffin's designs were further developed by Disney Publishing illustration manager Jeff R. Thomas, to create Stellan Gios' blade. It isn't just any new lightsaber design, either: Gios' blade is basically the Star Wars version of Excalibur!

As Thomas explains (via StarWars.com):

“When designing Stellan’s lightsaber, I looked at the iconic lightsabers that have already been established. He needed an iconic weapon that could stand beside the other famous lightsabers, but at the same time be unique to him and evoke the time period of the High Republic... We wanted to implement a more traditional crossguard, but I still wanted to include the saber-blade into the crossguard design, so that Stellan would be able to defend himself against saber attacks. That’s where Excalibur came into play. What would a lightsaber version of Excalibur look like?

I started sketching and came up with a silhouette I really liked, but the practicality of holstering/sheathing it nagged at me until I had the idea that the crossguard didn’t have to be stationary. Perhaps it could activate or deactivate with the saber. So after some more sketches and some back and forth with Lucasfilm, it was decided that the crossguard would activate as opposed to always being open, which would give the saber the slimmer silhouette while holstered and would lend itself to some great visuals when activating."

After hearing that design background, it will be great to see what kind of epic adventures Stellan Gios and his Excalibur lightsaber get up to in Star Wars The High Republic.

One of the most exciting aspects of Star Wars The High Republic is the new aesthetic that will come with the new era. Star Wars fans are always psyched to see the new vehicles, weapons, and clothing that appear in a new time period - but compared to The High Republic, those previous changes have been minor tweaks. The Skywalker Saga lasted just over 65 years (32 BBY-35 ABY); The High Republic is 200 years of difference in technology, fashion, and architectural evolution to reflect in the production design.

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Star Wars materials like comic series and books have already made canonized reference to the High Republic and marked it as a time of great abundance for the Jedi, in particular. Jedi temples and safe houses were established in great numbers, as the Jedi Order pushed further into the galaxy than ever before. That includes regions like the Outer Rim, where the Jedi Order would find itself in conflict with factions like The Mandalorians and various other criminal and/or trade organizations. We expect to see many other great Jedi artifacts show up at key moments in The High Republic, which is looking better and better, the more we see!

Star Wars The High Republic launches (in novels and comics) starting in early 2021.