Designed as much for elegance in combat as for ceremony, the lightsaber, also referred to as the "laser sword" by those who were unfamiliar with it, was a distinctive weapon, the very image of which was inextricably bound with the mythos of the Jedi Order and their polar opposites, the Sith. The lightsaber also became synonymous with the Jedi Order's values to uphold peace and justice throughout the galaxy. This perception endured, despite the many conflicts with lightsaber-wielding Sith and Dark Jedi.
Many SWRP members recognize the Lightsaber, especially force users such as Sith, Jedi and Nightsisters. With the many choices of styles and looks available thanks to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the looks and use of Lightsabers are limitless within Second Life.
Lightsaber hilts were the basic, all-encompassing part of a lightsaber. A combination hand grip, blade emitter, activator switch and power source, it held within the inner workings of the weapon that allowed it to produce its distinctive energy-based blade. The first hilts were produced as early as the advent of the lightsaber itself, approximately 15,500 BBY; though cumbersome and requiring a backpack-mounted power source, the Jedi Order nonetheless began to embrace the technology. Eventually these hilts evolved to only require a small belt-mounted pack, and again to a fully self-contained weapon system; such designs saw service as early as 5,000 BBY at the start of the Great Hyperspace War. Over the thousands of years that followed, power technology and indeed the construction of lightsaber hilts continued to evolve, eventually encompassing shotos, shorter hilts used in the off-hand, as well as double-bladed, curved-hilt, and dual-phase designs.
The basic parts needed to build the hilt (according to SW Canon) are;
- Lightsaber hilt
- Pommel cap
- Diatium power cell
- Inert power insulator
- Focusing lens
- Lightsaber crystal
- Emitter matrix
- Blade emitter
However in SL, the design of the hilt is only limited by the imagination, building skills or the finances of the user. A great deal of designs are available on Xstreet or within the stores of each sim. Some Groups take the time to teach the Padawans how to build and manipulate a prim to be able to help them to build their own Light-saber.
To replace the crystals required to form a blade in a lightsaber, people would create a simple melee blade and change the color. In those days there was not much for combat except the use of Linden Damage.
With the creation of various combat meters people would then try to make version to work with these systems. That is until the creation of the LCK kits back in 2004. The original LCK kit was created by Jora Walesa, and was rebuilt to form LCK 2.0 which then became open source. Versions of LCK include:
- LCK 2.1 (Maintained by Gistya Eusebio Current version 2.1b20)
- LCK Turbo (Created by Hanumi Takakura, No longer maintained)
- LCK Twin Turbo (Maintained by Salene Lusch)
- LCK TT+LGG (Maintained by LGG)
- P/LCK (a free lightsaber kit maintained by Halcali Hardware in 2 versions)
- F/LCK (Non free LCK version maintained by Furia Freeloader.)
These kits include almost everything needed for the SWRPer to make their Light-sabers fully functional. The animations included are usually basic styles for light-saber combat with the option to replace them with other more advanced versions. A HUD usually comes with the kit/product that controls the weapon, including color, power and length.
One of the best features of the LCK system is that not only can customize your hilt, but the blade as well. This in turn ensures you are able to produce an almost fully custom Light-saber.
(Currently the LCK 2.1 is available on XStreetsl.com for free)
The Fusion system is radically different from any technology that you have previously used to enjoy melee light saber combat. FUSION is 100% made by R34l1ty H4ck3r5 the only build team in SL to make a system without using any LCK code.
(the following is quoted from their page)
"Throughout all of our minor and major testing initiatives one overwhelming concern that we have (to date) been unable to address is the dilema of custom sabers. We realize that in most RP communities and groups a Jedi/Sith/<Insert Your Title Here> is expected to construct his/her own light saber for their first weapon. One unfortunate side effect of the advanced functionally provided by Fusion sabers is the extreme difficulty in assembling the blades."
At some date in the not-so-distant future R34l1ty H4ck3r5 will be releasing a kit to allow residents to create their own custom sabers utilizing the Fusion code. The system will let you do all of your own setup, and allow you to update your saber by yourself any time new blade code is released. Certain limitations in LSL scripting make this a very difficult project, however, and it's going to take some work. (Although, if you wanted to help us out, you could take a few seconds to vote on SVC-579  which would speed things up considerably...tell your friends to vote too ;-).