The DARKSABER Explained (Star Wars SCIENCE)

The DARKSABER Explained (Star Wars SCIENCE)


– This episode of Because Science is sponsored by Star
Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. At this point, I guess
a significant percentage of earth’s population knows what this is. But what about this? What is a dark saber? And how does it work? Let’s get technical. (electronic whirring) (upbeat techno music) The dark saber first
appeared in Stars Wars canon back in the Clone Wars TV show in 2010. It may not be as flashy-looking
as a light saber, but it’s definitely more mysterious, and very cool-looking. A singular weapon crafted by the first Mandalorian Jedi. It may be shaped a bit differently, but it’s supposed to function just like a regular light saber in that it’s very hot and glowy and it can cut through stuff with ease. But, how can it function
just like a light saber if the dark saber’s design is based on, apparently, the absence of
what makes a light saber a light saber? (off screen squealing) Whoops! First, what is a light saber? Well, my pet explanation that is the correct one, is that a light saber
is hot and dangerous, just like Han Solo, because it is a tightly-confined
ring of ultra-hot plasma kept in place by ludicrously strong and helical magnetic fields and powered by ….. something. A light saber’s plasm
emits enough light and heat to slice through just about anything. Ohhh! If a dark saber is supposed
to operate in a similar way, then it should be designed
in a similar way, right? Well, I’m not so sure. Star Wars lore implies that a dark saber is just a light saber
that uses black plasma instead of another color,
like blue or green. But, (guttural noises) I don’t think that’s right. If you could see the
atoms and the molecules that make up the air
you’re breathing right now, you would find that everything
is more or less together. Nuclei in these atoms have
their associated electrons, and everything’s chill. But if we started adding
heat to the equation, or applied a very strong
electromagnetic field, you’d find that things
get decidedly less chill, as atoms and molecules have
their electrons ripped from them and everything is bouncing around and gaining more and more energy. Ho ho, not chill! This is now plasma, one of the four states of matter. Gas that is partially or fully ionized. And a plasma can have a
huge temperature range, from basically cold
enough for you to touch, like the plasma inside of
a fluorescent light tube in your office building
that makes you look sick, to hand cutting and star hot, something you should
definitely not just grab! Ohh! This kind of heat, if a dark saber has it, is why it needs to be something else. Can I get a robot hand, please? Anything with a temperature
above absolute zero will emit radiation. For example, you, with a
human body temperature, emit radiation in the range
of about 10 micrometers, in terms of wavelength. This is infrared, and it’s
also why infrared cameras are good at finding humans. Like you. And maybe me. A star, on the other robot hand, is hot enough to emit radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from IR up through visible radiation and all the way to x-ray. The relationship between
an object’s temperature and the wavelength of
radiation it’s putting out can be characterized by what’s called Wien’s displacement law, which sketches out a
graph, as you see here. Hotter and hotter objects, if you look at the graph, emit shorter and shorter wavelengths, which is why some of the hottest stars are blue-hot, even white-hot. Now, if a light saber and a dark saber are hot enough to cut and cauterize, then they should be star-hot, very, very, hot. And looking at a normal light saber, you can infer from it’s color that it must be thousands of kelvin. And there’s no room on this graph for “black” plasma. So, since the canon is wide open as to how a dark saber’s actually made, I’m gonna suggest that it’s
exactly what it looks like, a black hole blade, hoooo. I know that sounds extreme, and it would introduce
a number of problems, however, a black hole blade would explain a few crucial
aspects of dark saber design. First of all, the look. You probably already know that a black hole looks the way it does because any light that
would be reflected off of it and return to your eye, is instead funneled down into oblivion. Why, though? If you wanted to leave the earth, and I don’t blame you, the minimum velocity you
would need to give yourself is the velocity that would take you infinitely far away from the planet without ever falling back down the gravity well. If you consider your
total amount of energy before and after escape, your kinetic energy and your
gravitational potential energy, you find that once you’re
infinitely far away from earth, slowing all the way down to zero, this side of the equation
afterwards just goes to zero. So you can solve this side, giving you the equation
for escape velocity. If you ignore air resistance
and plug in earth digies, you get an escape velocity of around 11 kilometers per second. Now, notice how this relationship depends on both the mass of the body
and the radius of the body, and therefore there’s no real upper bound on escape velocity. In theory, an object could
have an escape velocity higher than, say, the speed of light. And some do. Any object with a mass and radius sufficient to make it’s escape velocity higher than the speed of light, is necessarily a black hole. Not even light, going the fastest speed
there is in the universe, can escape it. And therefore it gets this
characteristic voidness. If a dark saber had a
similar inescapability, it might look right, just like we see it in Star Wars. But where is this glow coming from? And is this what kids call a glow-up? I have no idea. Because black holes
gobble up the information that would let us observe them directly, we have to rely on indirect
evidence of their existence, like their warping of space-time, or the changing orbits of planets and stars in their vicinity. But black holes aren’t always so passive. As we explained in a previous episode about turning Jupiter into a star, using a black hole, in the presence of this kind of gravity, material will swirl around
down the gravity well, forming what’s called an accretion disc, that gets hotter and hotter as that material smashes
up against itself. Accretion discs, or round black holes, can get so hot, in fact, that they can outshine entire galaxies. Now imagine a dark saber
with similar properties. It would have this
characteristic voidness, but then it might also have that glow around the edge of the blade, in the form of a mini accretion disc, as material, like the air that it’s in, falls down into it and
creates temperatures that should be hot enough
to slice the Sarlacc, or another Star Wars
word that begins with S. Ssssaba the Hut. No. A black hole blade would also explain the dark saber’s final curious property. It’s attraction (bird squawking) it’s attraction (bird squawking). In Stars Wars lore, the dark saber has an almost magnet-like
pulling effect on other objects, most notably, other light sabers. And this could be a
black hole’s doing, too. Technically, everything in the universe is pulling on everything
else at all times, no matter the mass and
no matter the distance. The moon is pulling on you right now, as is Pluto. As am I, no matter how
far apart we actually are. Most of the time, this pulling is so small that you don’t even notice. But if you put a black hole in a sword, you’d feel it! A black hole on the scale
of something like a sword, would be really heavy, like, trillions and
trillions of kilograms heavy. And so, according to the force of gravity, if you held this much mass, just, maybe an arm’s length away, you’d be subjected to an
incredible pulling force, so much that you would need something like six billion of our best rockets to pull you in the opposite direction. Everything near a black hole blade would be incredibly attracted
to it (bird squawking) And, as you can see, this is where we start
running into problems. Unfortunately, a black hole dark saber creates as many problems as it solves. Aahh! (bird squawking) The heaviest actual sword
ever used in human combat didn’t weigh all that much, maybe around 15 pounds or so. But a black hole, somehow
shaped into blade form, would be a bit heavier (cheesy muzak) A bit heavier. A black hole blade would
obviously be so massive, no one could ever swing it, no-one could ever lift it. And it wouldn’t just
attract other objects, like light sabers, at arm’s length. It would, it would rip you apart. For example, if you took
a black hole dark saber and put it on the opposite
side of the planet, it would still pull on you
with 70 pounds of force, even a planet away. So, you can imagine, if you were close enough
to wield this thing, it would spaghettify
(long drawn out moan). The other big problem is shape. A source of gravity pulls
inwards in all directions through an object center of gravity. Not an actual point, just the mathematical average
of where all the weight is. Now, what shape would
you expect these forces to make something? Gravity has to make everything
in the universe a sphere. Well, why then isn’t everything
in the universe spherical, a young Padowan might ask? Well, that’s because gravity is very weak, the weakest of nature’s
fundamental forces. You can beat it right now on this planet with a simple hop. So, it’s just the case
that most smaller objects have internal forces and structures that are stronger than gravity. It’s not until you have,
like, the mass of a planet, that gravity starts spherifying stuff. In fact, that’s one of the
ways we classify planets. If a dark saber was really made from, or had the properties of, a black hole, there is very little chance that it would maintain this shape. It would probably immediately
return to a sphere. And then it’s not a saber anymore, is it? It’s like a spheratawk. No, that’s worse than therm scissor punch. That doesn’t work. So, where does that leave the dark saber? Well, a black hole blade
would be able to explain the look, the glow and the cutting heat, in my estimation. But it would create the immediate problems of mass, shape and spaghettifying gravity. My idea only really half works here, but it’s the best scientific
analog I could find, and it’s better than “The
Force” or “kyber crystals”, because those don’t really have good explanations themselves. It’s not a perfect explanation, Sir, but it checks out. Kinda. Because Science. Whaaaaay (jibberish). (upbeat techno music) Thanks again to Star
Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, for sponsoring today’s episode. You play Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padowan who narrowly
escaped the purge of Order 66 following the events of Episode
Three: Revenge of the Sith. On a quest to rebuild the Jedi Order, you must pick up the pieces
of your shattered past, to complete your training, develop new, powerful Force abilities and master the art of
the iconic light saber, all while staying one
step ahead of the Empire and it’s deadly inquisitors. Fallen Order is available
on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on November 15th. Look, I’ll be the first to admit that this is certainly
not a perfect explanation. It has a lot of problems. But then we’d be in very good company with most Star Wars technology. Wild blasters just shoot plasma that, kinda like, expands
like a little fart out and does nothing. Why does anti-gravity
tech work on spaceships? Why Ewoks? There’s a lot of problems with everything. Yub-nub. (electronic beeps)

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100 thoughts on “The DARKSABER Explained (Star Wars SCIENCE)”

  • Plasma is plasma, but in canon it’s the Kyber crystal’s colour which changes the colour of lightsabers. The darksaber’s kyber crystal is black which is why it looks black. If the crystal was replaced with a blue crystal then it would be blue. It’s not scientific but that’s basically it lol

  • You've missed one critical property of black holes that makes your idea actually feasible. Since black holes are a product of density, you don't need ludicrous masses to form one, just mass packed into a small enough area that the cumulative force of gravity is great enough that light can't escape. Its' theoretically possible for you to have a black hole with the mass of a person, that behaves like the Darksaber does, but due to the relatively low mass of the blade, light has to stray incredibly close before getting sucked in. Black holes on that scale also emit radiation at a faster rate than they consume it due to hawking radiation, and a sufficiently low-mass black hole might require the constant input of energy put out by a lightsaber to maintain form at all.

  • The only thing I can think to add is the generic "because space magic" answer. If I recall, there is mixed information regarding the operation of a lightsaber, but it was originally thought that the force user had to use their powers to both summon and shape the blade, the force gives it that shape (this is largely contradicted by Han Solo using a lightsaber at one point, leading to the idea that he was either force-sensitive and didn't know it, or that lightsabers just have a button that you press to make the blade). If it is true that the force gives a lightsaber its shape (kind of a big "if"), then it would make some in-universe sense that a force user could also shape a small black hole and reduce the negative effects of it with the force. Pretty low reasonability I suppose, but not impossible (in-universe). Without looking it up, I feel the need to ask a space question here: Is there a such thing as a pseud-black hole, or a demi-black hole? Something with enough mass to pull in some or most of the light but not enough to go full-black hole? If so, that might be the answer. For that matter, what exactly is "dark matter," and would it fit the bill?

  • Its probably just a lightsaber that doesn't let energy out theirfor being heavier with little glow and cutting stuff with direct contact only utilising Mandalorian technology.

  • NOOOO WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, you compared the lightsabers color to its temperature. Dude…if you are any fan of Star Wars, you would know that there is plenty of different colors, and they don’t affect the temp

  • Its more interesting to think of it as black things absorb more.energy therefore you could create a dark super.material that was an extreme energy sink. It would kill living tissue via extreme sudden cold, if the energy extraction is sudden enough it can cause burns that's how you end up with bruises doing the salt and ice challenge, so much is subtracted so quick it leaves a burn mark. This would just be alot worse. It's not as cool as a hot glow stick of doom but definitely interesting

  • Hey Kyle another great episode! For a blackhole blade for the purposes of the blade being more real or capable of existing, coundn’t the blade be actually just a casing with a microscopic blackhole with matter being shoved inside being used to produce extra radiation like the matter of Jupiter does in the your one episode. This way it could be just do as it should minor amounts of attraction while the radiation produced heats up the casing to slice through anything. What would the casing be? Idk dark matter maybe still need to figure out what that exactly is.

  • Umm, Blue hot should be hotter than White hot. Our Sun is white. Blue stars are hotter. At least that is my understanding.

  • Bowling balls don't have a center of gravity in the middle of the ball, allowing them to move easier when spun. If the same thing was applied to the earth, what would it's path around the sun look like?

  • Perhaps it would be a hollow shell made of nano scale kugelblitz black holes. If there are enough of them, and they were small enough to evaporate immediately after creation, their gravitational effects may not have time to propagate. If you think of spacetime as the surface of a pond, and the kugelblitz as a pebble, the equal and opposite reaction of spacetime snapping back into place might cancel out the most of the gravitational warping. In a perfect sequence the gravitational waves may have a reductive interference pattern. Thus constraining the lion's share of the gravitational forces created.

  • Wouldn't this type of saber take a LONG time to generate enough heat for it to become effective? Also, I feel like the whole saber would collapse in ok itself as it absorbs it's own device.

  • I have not seen the movie. But it looks like it's made of dark mater the unclassified mater that makes up for 85% of the universe and is supposed to be made of subatomic particles. Or its just a normal lightsaber wethe a changing polarity magnetic field , that is emitting light at a wave length the human eye can see. But that's no fun.

  • Maybe the blade is made from a series of very small kuglebliz black holes that are constantly being created by an array of ligth emitters and partly maintained by radiation from their neighbor's evaporation. You would need a containment field similar to that of a lightsaber, but much thinner in order to concentrate the energy into tiny black holes. Maybe even shaped like a mesh in order to create an interference pattern with tiny kugleblitzes in the nodes. This could explain the shape of the darksabers blade and why the wight is much less than what a solid black hole blade would be. You would expect a blade like that to be transparent, since it is mostly empty air, but the containment field could be redirecting the light and/or somehow blocking.
    The power source and light generation could ne similar to what a lightsaber uses.

    This does not explain the pull other objects feel towards the blade. But to be honest, coservation of energy rules out creating black holes with a larger mass than that of the power source, so that is a bad explanation anyway.
    The Star Wars universe does have artificial gravity generation though, so maybe a bit of artificial gravity is involved in generating the blade.

  • or the lack hole part was like a plank length thick give or take a few lengths and i bet it would be light enough to pick up and still have a noticeable attraction

  • But the coolest part about star wars is it doesn't have to make sense. It's just cool. But let's be honest, if you could you'd make a black hole sword if you could

  • Strictly speaking, a black hole can be any mass, as long as it's dense enough. A black hole the mass of a sword, however, will be so tiny you can't see it and will evaporate through Hawking radiation immediately.

    I suppose it's possible that the blade IS a black hole (black line?) that's being sustained by some mechanism in the handle to keep it from evaporating, but that would be incredibly soft sci-fi. Then again, that applies to most of Star Wars.

  • The darksaber was actually stated to draw other lightsabers in on rebels and close ups of the saber show that it might be absorbing light.

  • In legends a lignin crystal produces a black blade because the crystal is black. Its attractive effects might be an attribute it posses through the force because all kyber crystals are technically alive. There is even a crystal that produces an electric blade in legends of course.

  • Last I checked lightsabers are focused through a focal crystal and that is how they color is determined. So what we can deduce from this is that each crystal is used sort of like a pass through filter. The energy being emitted is essentially white energy (emitting through all spectrum like white light) passed through this crystal which focuses only on the spectrum in which the user determines to be emitted then it is projected as such b

    So if we are looking for a black saber then what we would need is a bounded field emitter (unfiltered white energy) that took the shape of the blade and then have that field, in essence, work in reverse. Instead of light being emitted from the hilt of the light saber the light within the bounded field is, instead, absorbing all visible light from within the bounded field.

    Though aside from your black hole theory I’m uncertain as to how that’s even possible unless the bounded field somehow is capable of siphoning the photons from within the bounded field to create the light you see along the barrier of the saber.

    But then again if that were the case all you’d see is a white saber.

    Damnit… this scientific explanation of science fiction object behavior is frustrating.

    Fun fact. The first time I ever saw a black saber was in the game Star Wars The Force Unleashed.

  • I think a dark saber might look much weirder than you suggest. Its intense mass would create gravity lensing. This is so severe that someone entering the event horizon could look ar the back of his own head (if he still had one). Even looking it on the outside, I suspect you'd get a bizarrely distorted effect.

  • Is it at all possible that the dark sabre is so thin (like near two dimmensional) that the blade shape can be shown and doesn't rip the user apart?

  • There were definitely no combat swords weighing 15lbs. Not even Andre the Giant could use such a thing effectively. Sure, you could make a sword weighing 15lbs and call it a "combat" sword, but that'd just make you a smartass with a useless hunk of mostly metal. 8-10lbs is the upper limit for greatswords and those can be over 2 meters. Speed > mass

  • I'm still upset that disney removed a lot of previously-canon lore, then started cherry picking things it thought was cool — there were definitely black lightsabers before 2010… I'm pretty sure both KOTOR and The Force Unleashed had them

  • How heavy would the gravity actually have to be to start absorbing visible light? Would you actually have to get to black hole levels to get a "dark" effect?

  • And then you have the clear lightsaber.
    Yes it was actually a thing at one point.
    Considered the perfect weapon, the ghostfire lightsaber is a myth of a myth of a myth of a myth of a myth of a mythical weapon.
    It is said to have shone almost colorlessly, made no sound unlike most lightsabers, and left behind only phantom images of its user.

  • Interesting, as always 🙂
    But why do you suppose that a "normal" lightsaber that limits its emissions in all but the UV band wouldn't work?

  • Am i missing something here? The light sabre generates power in the hilt, then releases it through a focusing crystal so it basically vents a controlled jet of plasma forward?
    the Dark sabre generates power in the hilt but has a stub blade , that means it cant vent the power forward but has to be using the blade to shape and focus the plasma, thats why the light sabre has a circular blade pattern but the dark sabre still has a knife form. The colour in a light sabre depends on the type of focusing crystal used, the sabre takes its colour from the focusing blade.
    The difference isn't in the way its powered or the type of energy it produces but in the way it controls and directs that power.

  • Interesting idea love the science. I have another conjecture, Dark matter plasma. Again a lot of problems and unknowns come with the solution however dark matter is known to not interact with light and is therefore invisible to the entire electro magnetic spectrum. So assuming someone could figure out how to manipulate the matter and create a plasma from it, I would argue it could result in a similar outcome to the darksaber.

  • Did you Know maybe DARKSABER is Supernova a collapse Supernova & the disruptor rifle ammo is a neutron star disintegration! Also Supernova have iron core!!

  • People can change the colour of the blades using different coloured Gems or different coloured kyber crystals thats the Science behind it using Different coloured things to make the light glow that colour jesus all this blackhole stuff is just Garbage

  • A few questions…

    So you mentioned that the mandalorian armor couldn’t be cut by lightsabers. This implies that whatever Boba Fett’s armor is made of is is MUCH STRONGER than the trillions of degrees of heat. Be this the case, then wouldn’t there be a material that is strong enough to contain a black hole? Science fiction world, right?

    If that’s the case, wouldn’t that solidify the idea of the black hole blade? If you can use a strong enough magnetic field (like regular light sabers) to contain the gravitational pull, and make a handle with a black hole INSIDE of it, wouldn’t you be able to theoretically crate a black hole blade?

    Or am I just dead wrong? Science fiction world, though?

  • One thing I thought of as an alternative is this.

    Star Wars apparently has at least partial dimension-skimming tech, as shown by the Hyperdrives. What if the Darksaber is actually derived from that technology, and is effectively just a sword-shaped dimensional void? Anything it hit would be severed by the transposition of nothingness into it. The glow could be the result of the fields used to keep things from passively going in (or coming out).

  • A darksaber would spaghettify you just as your episode about lightsabers says they would instantly ignite everything in the room the moment one is turned on. So, basically, just say no to Jedi weapons, and stick to vibroblades.

  • "No, that's worse than therm scissor punch. That doesn't work."

    I think I just cracked a rib laughing.

  • What if instead of being a black hole, the darksaber was Dark Matter? We know very little about it (and soooooooo many sci fi shows/games have a purpose for it), so maybe this is a weaponized dark sunshine

    Again, taking tremendous liberties here, but it makes a tiny bit more sense than a black hole

  • So what if whatever is used to contain the saber was let loose, so that when the pull of the saber pulls it in, it makes somewhat of a shape. What if the access containment/escaped gravity is what pulls the sabers.

  • Not too mention the hawking radiation will immediately cause the air around it to expand and give you a massive explosion.The saber would last less than minutes if not seconds

  • This is ridiculous, how would you turn a "black hole blade" off?
    And why could 'black' plasma not exist? It does almost exist after all, inside some fluorescence lamps: mercury vapor that emits mainly UV radiation instead of visible light, with the plasma inside reaching a temperature of almost 10'000K. The white edge could be due to a cooler outermost layer of the lightsaber that emits mostly white light but is too thin and faint to be seen from in front so you can only see it at the edges where you would be looking through a much wider section.
    I'm not saying that it's something like a Mercury Plasma Sword but black plasma is way less of a stretch than a black hole blade.

    Like waaaaaaay less.

  • Starwars tech runs on null point energy

    Light Saber. Actual blade is needle thin with most of the width the plasma glowing in the magnetic containment field

    A. Dark saber uses anti matter plasma via other sides of null point energy power source (anti energy,anti light,aniti matter)

    Em fields in Starwars can travel with blaster fire and can maniiffest as lenses and conduits like the Death stars EM Lens focusing multiple beams into 1 blastt

  • Anti-gravity fields could explain it. The black hole can't effect anything outside it's containment field. Because science fiction.

  • Gee, if only these problematic technologies had something in common… A device that keeps light in a stick shape, a device that keeps light in a stick without any leaks, a blaster not letting plasma leave the form of a stick even after leaving the barrel, ship gravity making things stick to the floor, anti-gravity not letting things stick to the ground… It's almost like all these control gravity without the need for mass in an easy, simple and affordable way.

    Telescopic, portable or stationary, even shootable gravity sticks. Obviously

  • In my opinion, I think the dark saber has some sort of antimatter crystal in it. Because we don't yet know what kind of light antimatter would emit or reflect, that it's possible instead of emitting light when energy is added it actually absorbs and even pulls light towards it. This could explain the white glow around it as well as why light sabers seem to get pulled towards it.

  • A darksaber would be much more efficient if it were in mace form. Having a centralized and contained black hole at the end of an extending rod.

  • Given that starwars takes place in the vast expanses of space it could very well simply be a color that we can only perceive as black even though it actualy isnt, the blade could also be liquid carbon that tech is used to give it and mantain shape and the carbon is used to create an extremely powerful energy field that does all the cutting and burning

  • Our consciousness is so complex, that it's code of operating is written and stored somewhere near the source code of the Universe, particularly the part about forces and interactions and so we can alter it's variables a little. That explains the force. The character uses the force to cross the forces, created by the black hole saber with an equally big, but opposite ones and he also uses the force to keep it the saber form. That solves everything, except why he doesn't just close his dark saber and compress his enemies to instant death.

  • hey, kyle great video as always. but I had a thought what if the Mandalorians thought of all of this and either made some Futuristic way to manipulate the gravity in either direction or force on specific objects (because come on if they do know how to shape black holes then maybe they can control the gravity as well) or maybe they have something in there armour that protects them from the tidal force that would spegettifiy them