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Guard shoto (also referred to as lightsaber tonfa) was a rare perpendicular-gripped type of short lightsaber with a second handle extending from the main hilt at 90 degrees. Though it could be gripped by either hilt, when wielded by the perpendicular handle, it was especially useful at blocking other lightsabers.
The guard shoto's design allowed for a wide variety of blocking, trapping, jabbing and slashing techniques making it a versatile and extremely dangerous weapon in the hands of someone trained to wield it properly. Conversely, it could be very hazardous to one unskilled in its use. Because the guard shoto was primarily designed to block other lightsabers, it was most useful when its handle was laced with phrik, a lightsaber-resistant metallic compound. However, this was an expensive process.
A lightsaber made in this design could have been held with the blade pointing out for attacking or with the blade pointed back along the wielder’s own arm to provide greater defensive cover and allow the wielder to move in very close to their opponent. However, the perpendicular grip made it difficult to deliver powerful attacks, resulting in a loss of offense compared to a normal shoto.
- Darth Maul 2 (First appearance)
- The Force Unleashed novel
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed comic (Appears in flashback(s))
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- Jedi Academy Training Manual
- (First identified as Guard shoto)
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force