One of the most useful abilities of a Jedi’s lightsaber is that it can block and deflect blaster fire. It’s a good thing they can do this, too, as otherwise, most Jedi careers would end pretty quickly. We first saw this in Star Wars way back in 1977, when Luke was sparring with a combat remote on the Millennium Falcon soon after receiving Anakin’s blue lightsaber. The skill was featured much more heavily in the prequels though, where we saw that fully trained Jedi were able to instinctively block and direct a hail of incoming blaster fire.
So, how do they do it? Well, one answer is simply training. In Attack of the Clones, we saw Jedi Younglings practising with training lightsabers against remotes, being taught by none other than Yoda himself. But the recent Secrets of the Jedi book explains that deflecting blaster fire isn’t simply a matter of practice and reflexes, it requires attunement with the Force.
Here’s Luke Skywalker on the ability and a Jedi’s connection to the Force via their weapon:
“It’s said that wielding a lightsaber is less like swinging a sword and more like directing a current of power. When you’re attuned to the Force, your thoughts and actions all become part of the same flow of energy, which is then directed through the kyber crystal and into your lightsaber’s blade. But that kind of focus takes practice.
In the days of the Jedi Order, younglings would study lightsaber combat from an early age at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, using low-powered lightsabers designed specifically for training. At first, their primary focus was defense, learning to block laser blasts while wearing special helmets that obscured their sight. By doing so, they could learn to let the Force be their guide. Only after mastering the defensive arts could they begin to study offensive techniques under the tutelage of some of the finest duelists the Jedi Order had to offer.”
If you want a taste of this yourself, try the Vader Immortal VR game. The main campaign doesn’t add up to much, but the package includes a fantastic Lightsaber Dojo mode in which you can face off against blaster remotes and Stormtroopers and practice your blaster bolt deflecting skills until your arms get tired. It sounds cheesy, but deflecting a rapid sequence of fire really does make you feel like a Jedi badass. It’s on Oculus Quest at the moment, but it’s coming to PSVR soon.