|Physical and technical specifications|
Typically 10-15 centimeters
|Usage and history|
The lightsaber shoto, commonly referred to as simply shotos, but also known as short lightsabers or lightdaggers, were essentially miniaturized lightsabers, whose purpose was primarily to serve as an off-hand weapon for those duelists seeking to employ the twin-bladed technique of Jar'Kai, but were also utilized by those Jedi and Sith whose diminutive stature made wielding full sized lightsabers impractical, or, in some cases, impossible.
Design and constructionEdit
Technically the lightsaber shoto was nothing more than a scaled version of its larger sibling, and differed very little in its internal mechanism and construction. Generally speaking a shoto would be half the size of a standard lightsaber in both blade and grip length, and usually featured hilts that were considerably slimmer and more streamlined to allow for maximum dexterity.
Although relatively rare in comparison with common lightsabers, shotos were in great vogue during the Jedi Civil War, to the point where a standard design was adopted, and saw considerable usage, particularly among the Dark Jedi of Revan and Malak’s empire, who wielded shotos with blades of crimson or violet. Like their more traditional counterparts, these sabers were constructed by hand, and were as unique as the individuals who wielded them. Shotos that followed this basic blueprint all shared several common traits, including conical shaped pommels, ringed handgrips and cylindrical emitter shrouds with a pair of wide vertical slits down either side.
Typically a duelist seeking to incorporate a shoto into their arsenal would recreate their original lightsaber in miniature for the sake of convenience and familiarity, although many also opted to make their second blade a different color from that of their primary weapon.
Purpose and usageEdit
In the off-handEdit
The primary purpose of a shoto in lightsaber combat was to counter attacks by an opponent's weapon while freeing the primary lightsaber for a return strike. To this end, shoto wielders were required to become proficient in the lightsaber techniques of Jar'Kai in order to reduce risk of injury to themselves due to the increased dexterity needed to master the use of both blades simultaneously. Masters of this technique could deliver a high number of attacks in a very short time, potentially overpowering opponents quickly rather than engaging in a protracted duel. Shotos were also used to counter lightwhips.
Some ambitious duelists took this strategy a step further by dispensing with the use of a regular lightsaber entirely, and instead wielding two shotos simultaneously. By doing so a combatant sacrificed reach and leverage in exchange for unparalleled speed, dexterity and range of motion. It is worth noting that any handicap inherent in this form could be compensated for with sufficient knowledge of Ataru , whose acrobatic maneuvers could be used to regain the ground automatically lost when shortening one's own blades. The renowned Jedi Master and High Council member during the Old Sith Wars Vandar Tokare was a prolific applicant of this technique, as was the Dathomirian Dark Acolyte Saato.
As a primary weaponEdit
For some, however, the use of a shoto is not a choice, but a necessity. Throughout history many diminutive individuals both Jedi and Sith have adopted the shoto due to the physical impracticality of wielding a full-scale lightsaber. The Jedi Grand Master Yoda, for example wielded a shoto as his primary weapon, as did his contemporary Yaddle and the ancient Sith Acolyte Toki Tollivar.
Old Sith WarsEdit
The first confirmed use of the lightsaber shoto was by the ancient Sith Lord Freedon Nadd. Nadd constructed and wielded a bronze-bladed shoto during his reign as the Dark Lord which, after his death was laid to rest with its owner in his tomb on Dxun. This blade was later recovered from its sarcophagus by three of Meetra Surik’s companions.
The shoto didn't reach its heyday, however until the Jedi Civil War, by which time dozens of Jedi, dark and light had learned to appreciate the increased maneuverability afforded to them by the weapons more modest blade length. Two such notables were the famed Jedi Guardian Kavar, who wielded a blue-bladed shoto in conjuncture with a larger twin, and Yuthura Ban, deputy headmistress of the Sith Academy on Korriban, whose scarlet lightdagger served as her only weapon.
Although many luminaries of the Jedi Order adopted the shoto during this time, it was most commonplace among the legions of Dark Jedi that flocked to the fledgling Sith Empire of Darths Revan and Malak. These fallen Jedi would typically wield shotos with amethyst colored blades alongside their bloodshine Sith sabres.
After the redemption of Revan, the death of Malak and the fragmentation of their empire, the Sith and Dark Jedi that followed them were scattered. The bulk of Malak’s shoto wielding acolytes perished with him on the Star Forge, with many more being massacred by Revan within the halls of the Temple of the Ancients. These events, along with the cleansing of the Sith from Korriban by Republic forces, and the dwindling numbers of lightsaber bearing individuals during the First Jedi Purge saw the shoto consigned once more to obscurity.
New Jedi OrderEdit
Behind the scenesEdit
In the RPG video games Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic II, the shoto is referred to as a "Short Lightsaber." Its main purpose is as a side weapon. Shotos as depicted in other media, however, seem to have significantly shorter blades.
Shōtō is also a Japanese term used for swords between 1-2 shaku (roughly 30-60 cm) in length. Samurai often wielded short swords such as shoto in their off-hand, keeping up the comparisons between Jedi and samurai.
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- "Disturbance in the Force" - Challenge 66
- The Force Unleashed Campaign Guide
- The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force (First identified as Lightsaber shoto)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Three
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- ↑ The Clone Wars
- ↑ Jedi: Mace Windu
- ↑ The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Star Wars 96: Duel With a Dark Lady
- ↑ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- ↑ Betrayal