The Lightsaber Umbrella In Star Wars: Visions Explained

Ever since Darth Maul whipped out a double-edged lightsaber in "The Phantom Menace" to take on two Jedi at once to the tune of John Williams' "Duel of the Fates," "Star Wars" has been playing a game of constant one-upmanship with its laser swords.

George Lucas once boiled his lightsaber aesthetic down to the simple maxim of, "Good guys are green and blue. Bad guys are red." However, for his character Mace Windu in "Attack of the Clones," Samuel L. Jackson — ever the bad mofo — was able finagle a new color, purple, out of Lucas.

In "Revenge of the Sith," General Grievous got busy with four arms and four spinning lightsabers. Then, Kylo Ren showed up in "The Force Awakens" with a crossguard on his lightsaber. Suddenly, it was no longer enough to have one regular old laser sword.

The lightsaber umbrella in the Disney+ anime series, "Star Wars: Visions," takes things to a new level. It appears in the first episode, "The Duel," where one of the new "Visions" villains, identified in the credits only as "Bandit Leader," wields it. Lucy Liu voices the character in English while Akeno Watanabe voices her in Japanese. The tie-in book, "Ronin: A Visions Novel," reveals that her name is Kouru.

Co-executive producer Justin Leach explained to that Kouru "can turn her lightsaber into a weapon capable of defensive and offensive maneuvering." It looks like a whopping eight lightsabers in one, but that's not really how it works. So, let's discuss the particulars of how it does work.

One Lightsaber Crystal Split Eight Ways

In "The Duel," Kouru first deploys her lightsaber umbrella as a fast-twirling shield. "Ronin: A Visions Novel" (by way of Wookiepedia) refers to the weapon as a "lightsaber parasol," but the description there gives it six blades instead of eight. Either way, laser blasts bounce off of it in "The Duel."

Kouru next busts out a Mary Poppins move where she uses the lightsaber to helicopter up and float down to the ground. The protocol droid who's firing a Gatling gun at her realizes she's a Sith, and she promptly lawnmowers through him and his compatriots. This leaves the Ronin, voiced by Brian Tee in English and Masaki Terasoma in Japanese, to defend the dusty, Kurosawa-esque village where they're fighting (and where "Visions" takes "Star Wars" back to its Japanese roots).

As she faces off with the Ronin, Kouru slides off the umbrella top — what's known as the "lightsaber auxillary" — and discards it. This is your indicator that it's not actually eight lightsabers; it's just one, with the power of a single red kyber crystal split eight ways through the top.

This is backed up by what happens at the end, when the Ronin breaks open the lightsaber hilt and retrieves the one red crystal from inside. He almost pockets it before bequeathing it to the village chief to ward off evil.

As CBR notes, the umbrella top could conceivably work "as an attachment for any standard lightsaber." Maybe we'll see more Jedi or Sith using this attachment in the future. A lightsaber umbrella certainly would come in handy on a rainy day on the planet Kamino — or in Japan, before ducking indoors to visit the real-life museum exhibition that inspired "Star Wars: Visions."