|Physical and technical specifications|
|Usage and history|
- "…Biting metal and stinging light…"
- ―Excerpt from the Sith tome that inspired the creation of Lumiya's lightwhip
Lumiya's lightwhip was the personal weapon of choice used in combat by Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith. Lumiya crafted her lightwhip, a device of ancient Sith design, after she found an instructional tome during her pilgrimage to the world of Ziost, which spoke of a scourge that included both tangible extensions and coherent lightsaber energy. The then–Sith apprentice forged the hilt of her lightwhip out of near-indestructible Mandalorian iron and powered it with shards of Kaiburr crystal gifted to her by her Master, the Sith Lord Darth Vader.
Lumiya first revealed her signature weapon during the onset of the Nagai–Tof War against her archenemy, Luke Skywalker, whom she defeated in their initial confrontation on the planet Kinooine. Skywalker later bested the Dark Lady in a rematch on the same battleground after he discovered that the combination of a standard lightsaber and its short-bladed version was able to sufficiently negate the advantage of her lightwhip's dual nature. Lumiya brandished her trademark flail for nearly the next four decades, eliciting fear with its mere mention and maiming or killing those opponents who got caught in its tendrils. Her lightwhip served as a note of contention for many Jedi over the years as well, but none so much as her long-time rival, Luke Skywalker. In 40 ABY, Lumiya utilized her lightwhip for a final time against him in a duel on the planet Terephon. Forsaking the advantage of his shoto, Skywalker defeated the Dark Lady of the Sith with only his lightsaber and killed her with a decapitating strike as her lightwhip fell into the chasm below the precipice on which they fought.
- "But only some of your whip's tendrils are of energy. Others of them are corporeal, formed of metal, or of hides."
- ―Den Siva
Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya's signature accoutrement, the lightwhip, was a Sith weapon that produced beams of pliant energy in conjunction with physical matter. Its tubular hilt was forged from nearly-indestructible Mandalorian iron and was powered by shards of Kaiburr crystal given to her by her Sith Master, then–Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader. While lightwhips operated by other individuals only produced single flexible blades of lightsaber energy, Lumiya's was quite unique in that it had three separate extension types: along with several filaments of yellow plasma, the weapon included multiple extensions of leather studded with Mandalorian iron and flexible gem-speckled metal. Lumiya kept spare parts for the whip, including additional shards of Kaiburr crystal, locked within a storage room in her asteroid home near Bimmiel.
- "How does it work?"
"On the same principle as my whip…when you activate that stud on the hilt, it releases a beam of coherent energy which forms the sword blade."
- ―Lumiya explains the similarities between a lightsaber and her lightwhip to Den Siva
Lumiya usually held her whip with the extensions coiled when not in use. Other times, she wore it around her waist like a belt, or even concealed the whip within one of her mechanical legs. It had an equal number of each of the three extension types and a range of up to six meters, although there was the potential to retract them into the hilt to effect better control. The lightwhip could have also wielded any one of the three types singularly and independently of the others. It operated in the same manner as a traditional lightsaber in that a switch was required on the hilt to activate the weapon's energy portion. When the energy extensions of her lightwhip were used, the weapon resonated with a snap-hiss similar in sound to that produced by a lightsaber. Its white-hot beams had the ability to rend durasteel, and cleave body parts, organic or otherwise. Severe wounds could also have been inflicted by the extensions even after the whip was deactivated.
- "That combination is what defeated him. His Jedi training had prepared him for an energy weapon, or a solid one. Not one that was both at once."
- ―Lumiya, explaining the advantages of her whip
The more common lightwhip was already a rare and exotic weapon, and its solitary, flexible, energy appendage—while less powerful than a lightsaber—was an unfamiliar occurrence among traditional lightsaber adepts. Because of that, lightwhip masters usually enjoyed a considerable amount of leverage over their foes. However, the one-of-a-kind construction of Lumiya's whip afforded her an even greater advantage when fighting against lightsaber-equipped opponents, especially those who had no prior experience in dealing with lightwhips and were thus confused by the dual nature of her exclusive weapon.
The range of the lightwhip's extensions allowed Lumiya to attack her enemies from a vantage point of several meters; that made it extremely difficult for them to closely engage the Dark Lady and allowed her to maintain control of combat situations. The whip's tails could have splayed in a vertical attack pattern, which allowed Lumiya to strike high, midway, and low all at once. Conversely, fanning the whip's tresses out in a horizontal flourish gave it the appearance of a weaponized cloud, in a maneuver that prevented contenders from sidestepping to evade the impending assault. Attempting to defend oneself by twirling a lightsaber into a shielding arc was also useless, because the lightwhip's reach extended over and beyond the length of the blade. If her guard was somehow penetrated, Lumiya was able to use the whip like a short lightsaber to parry incoming attacks, and she had the ability to even handle it like a staff to block the blades of adversaries.
- "Two blades—one long and one short?"
"Against the two natures of your weapon."
- ―Lumiya and Luke Skywalker
Lumiya's lightwhip could be defeated by a warrior skilled in the Jar'Kai dueling style who was furnished with both a standard lightsaber and a short-bladed variation known as a shoto. Furthermore, while the whip's hilt was forged from an indestructible ore, its extensions were not. The whip's metal and leather thongs were vulnerable to being cut, and the energy beams had the potential to short out violently if sufficient force was applied with a lightsaber. By ensnaring the whip's plasma energy with the longer lightsaber, an individual had the ability to use his or her shoto to shred the whip's metal and leather cords. After the tangible extensions were eliminated, Lumiya's challenger could have then focused on the destruction of the whip's energy beams.
It was also possible for an individual with a single lightsaber to overcome Lumiya's lightwhip through superior combat finesse against the Dark Lady. On one occasion, patience, cunning, and capitalization on Lumiya's mistakes allowed an opponent to avoid the whip and come within striking range of its owner. The use of speed to eliminate the whip's ability to gather sufficient swinging momentum and brute force to hammer at its master's defenses was also an effective offensive combination. Certain projectile weapons, such as a flechette launcher, rendered the lightwhip's copious range obsolete, and strong Force-pushes were even able to slow the speed of the whip cracks.
A Sith weaponEdit
- "You know what I can do with this."
- ―Lumiya threatens Faron Tolis with her whip
Before completing her training as the apprentice of then–Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, Lumiya was tasked with the creation of her own weapon. She embarked on a sojourn to the Sith world of Ziost, where she uncovered an ancient relic that spoke of a weapon that included both lightsaber energy and corporeal matter. It was upon this foundation that Lumiya crafted her lightwhip.
The lightwhip first saw action against a Belderone native named Flint, who Lumiya defeated in a vicious duel on the planet Vjun. Later that year, the Dark Lady allied herself with the war-faring Nagai species in the midst of their invasion of the galaxy. While meeting with her attaché, Lumiya intercepted a team of Alliance of Free Planets scouts who had been sent on a reconnaissance mission to the desolate world of Kinooine. Nineteen members of the twenty-person team were killed by Lumiya's whip, and the sole survivor, Faron Tolis, was repeatedly tortured with it. When Alliance Commander Luke Skywalker arrived in search of Tolis' team, his two companions, Kiro and Dani, were brutally attacked by a lightwhip-swinging Lumiya. Skywalker later attempted to avenge the assault on his friends when he dueled Lumiya but was trounced because of his inexperience with facing someone who utilized a weapon of both substantial and intangible ends. The weakness of her whip was soon discovered by Skywalker, who made use of a shoto along with his regular lightsaber in his rematch with Lumiya. He destroyed much of it with his two blades before finally defeating her, much to her surprise.
Following the end of the Nagai-Tof War, Lumiya undertook a mission on behalf of the Galactic Empire to the communications research space station Epsilon Nine. After successfully reinstating the traitorous inhabitant's commitment to the Empire, Lumiya used her whip to bisect a giant New Republic sigil that served as a symbol of the station staff's short-lived freedom. Soon afterward, her lightwhip was employed in a duel against rogue Emperor's Hand Mara Jade on Caprioril, which ended in a stalemate. Lumiya went underground after her confrontation with Jade, but the memory of her infamous weapon was far from gone: one of the many lessons taught to the students of Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order was the legend of the Sith Lady Lumiya and her peculiar choice of equipment.
- "So I think it's time to break out my shoto."
- ―Luke Skywalker, preparing to face Lumiya and her whip
As Lumiya returned to galactic prominence, so too did her notorious flail. In 40 ABY, she lured Skywalker's nephew, Jacen Solo, and another Jedi Knight, Nelani Dinn, to her asteroid habitat in the MZX33291 star system, where the whip was briefly wielded in a duel with Dinn. The Jedi girl had never before faced such a weapon and was flogged several times with it by Lumiya. During the onset of the Second Galactic Civil War, Lumiya traveled through the underlevels of the galactic capital of Coruscant and killed several of the transient inhabitants with her whip as she made her way to the Well of the World Brain to meet with Solo—now her Sith apprentice.
The whip was later used in combat against Chev Jedi Master Tresina Lobi on Coruscant in the Senate District's Fellowship Plaza. Fanning its extensions kept Lobi at bay temporarily, but a combination of acrobatic maneuvers and distractions allowed the Chev Jedi to dodge the whip cracks before severing Lumiya's cybernetic weapon arm. Being ambidextrous, the Dark Lady continued to wield her lightwhip with her intact arm and used its ends to shear off both of Lobi's legs at the knee. The Jedi Master was killed immediately afterward by Lumiya's accomplice, the Twi'lek darksider Alema Rar.
Lumiya and her whip next appeared at the Roqoo Depot refueling station, where she fought with her nemesis, Luke Skywalker. Many of the station's patrons were seriously wounded, losing limbs, heads, and their lives to the lashes of her lightwhip before the Jedi Grand Master finally took action against her, unveiling both his lightsaber and shoto to counter the whip's dual nature. He came within striking range, but the Dark Lady struck at his feet with the whip, depriving him of the opportunity to attack. He then used his two blades to meticulously begin cutting away the whip's strands as Lumiya thrashed at all angles, but she managed to land a critical strike that both severed his shoto-hand and slashed him about the chest. In preparation for the killing stroke, the Dark Lady shortened her whip's extensions for more precise control after using the energy tendrils to relieve Skywalker of his other lightsaber. She was defeated, however, after he shot her several times with a blaster. Lumiya's lightwhip met Skywalker's twin blades again in battle on Gilatter VIII, and that of his wife, Mara Jade Skywalker, soon afterward on the resort moon of Hesperidium. During that duel, Jade Skywalker was able to frustrate the whip's strikes by making use of blaster weapons before being ambushed by the Sith Meditation Sphere under Lumiya's command.
Lumiya's lightwhip saw its final usage on the Inner Rim world Terephon, when the Dark Lady again entered into single combat with Luke Skywalker. Eschewing the use of his shoto, Skywalker implemented an aggressive two-handed onslaught against the whip's linear assault. Lumiya was unable to achieve its maximum velocity when Skywalker rushed her, forcing the Dark Lady to give ground as she attempted to regain sufficient distance to effectively swing her weapon. She held its hilt like a staff to block Skywalker's blows, but this too was ineffective. He ended the duel by decapitating Lumiya, while her lightwhip tumbled down into the gorge below the cliff on which they fought.
Behind the scenesEdit
Lumiya's lightwhip first appeared in the Marvel Star Wars' ninety-fifth issue, No Zeltrons, written by Mary Jo Duffy. The whip was penciled by artist Cynthia Martin, originally appearing only as an energy weapon. In the following issue, Duel With a Dark Lady, Duffy and Martin revealed that the whip included corporeal elements along with energy, all of which originated from a cylindrical hilt design. The actual Star Wars 96: Duel With a Dark Lady comic was re-released in 2009 in a package that included action figures of Lumiya with her lightwhip, as well as Luke Skywalker and both of his lightsabers for Hasbro's Star Wars: The Legacy Collection series.
The backstory for the whip's creation was fleshed out in Michael Mikaelian's short story titled Lumiya: Dark Star of the Empire, which was featured in Star Wars Galaxy 3. The whip's origins were also touched upon in several pieces of source material, including Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties, The Emperor's Pawns, Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force (in which artist Tommy Lee Edwards distinctly depicts the whip with a curved hilt), and 2008's The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. The lightwhip was prominently featured with its owner in several of the Legacy of the Force novels: Betrayal, Tempest, Exile, and Sacrifice. An action figure of Lumiya and her lightwhip is included in the Legacy of the Force set of Star Wars Miniatures.
- Star Wars 95: No Zeltrons (First appearance)
- Star Wars 96: Duel With a Dark Lady
- Star Wars 97: Escape
- Star Wars 100: First Strike (Mentioned only)
- "Lumiya: Dark Star of the Empire" — Star Wars Galaxy 3
- Inferno (Mentioned only)
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 111 (BRI2, Shira Brie)
- Abel G. Peña's StarWars.com Blog (content now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- Star Wars Miniatures: Legacy of the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 33 (Indirect mention only)
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- "Red Five"—Star Wars Insider 137
Notes and referencesEdit