One of the most sensational moments in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi came when rival Force-users Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) clashed over ownership of Luke Skywalker’s (and previously, Anakin Skywalker’s) lightsaber, ending up tearing the weapon into two pieces through the power of the Force.
However, in trailers for upcoming sequel The Rise of Skywalker Rey appears to have the lightsaber again – so what gives? Did she make another one with a similar design? Or did she, somehow, find a way to fix the two shattered pieces together again, as many fans have suggested?
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Well, the truth has finally been confirmed as the latter. At a recent launch event for Triple Force Friday (which signifies the release of new Star Wars toys and merchandise) in Pinewood Studios, a few props from the Rise of Skywalker were on display, including the lightsaber with a notable new band of metal around the point where it had previously been broken.
Rey’s lightsaber prop in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Huw Fullerton, Disney)
And if guests looked closely, like RadioTimes.com did, a small card confirmed many fans’ suspicions: Rey has indeed re-forged the original lightsaber.
“Rey carries the lightsaber once belonging to Anakin and Luke Skywalker, its shattered pieces reunited, as she continues down the Jedi path,” the annotation reads, beneath the prop title “Re-forged Skywalker lightsaber”.
And this newly-confirmed detail casts an interestingly light on Rey’s status as the keeper of the Jedi ways. Traditionally, as part of their training, young padawans on their way to full Jedi Knight status had to create their own lightsabers, selecting the Kyber crystals that power them, meditating with them and hand-building the lightsabers.
Even Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker went through this process after losing his father’s lightsaber in The Empire Strikes Back (the same lightsaber Rey now possesses), despite the Jedi no longer existing – so what should we take from Rey’s decision to mend the older lightsaber instead?
Well, it could be story-driven – maybe Rey will get another lightsaber later that she’ll make herself – or it could be something of a metaphor. The Last Jedi hinted that the Dark Side/Light Side divide may not be quite as simple as previously thought, and that the ways of the Jedi aren’t necessarily the only way to have a positive relationship with the Force.
Maybe, this repaired lightsaber represents Rey’s commitment to re-working and re-fitting the Jedi ways to a new, more modernised approach to peace in the galaxy, free of the Jedi’s bureaucracy, inaction (as shown in the prequel movies) and slavery to tradition. She can use parts of the old to make something new, just as she’s done with this lightsaber.
On the other hand, it could be argued that in fixing this lightsaber (in keeping with her mechanic skills) Rey has fulfilled the Jedi training in creating her own weapon, even if – like most of her training process – it was extremely unorthodox.
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (LucasFilm, HF)
On the other other hand (there must have been at least one alien in the Mos Eisley cantina with three hands, right?) this could just be Rey’s way of continuing Luke’s legacy, and suggesting that the Dark Side can be turned away from, as she once hoped Ben Solo/Kylo (Driver) would do. After all, if a lightsaber used to murder lots of children can later save the galaxy, who’s to say light can’t come to darkness anywhere?
Alternatively, all this is just nonsense, and Rey just fixed the lightsaber because it was easier than tracking down Kyber crystals with only a few Jedi texts (and a possible Luke Skywalker Force Ghost) to tell her how on Earth she was supposed to build one of those whizzy laser swords.
Whatever the truth, as we draw closer to The Rise of Skywalker’s release in December fan speculation can only become more feverish as to what we can expect from Episode IX. At least one small mystery can now (partially) be put to bed.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in UK cinemas on the 19th December