Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi yet (or any of the Star Wars movies, for that matter) this article does contain spoilers. So what are you waiting for? Go buy Star Wars: The Last Jedi (iTunes/Amazon) and come back here and keep reading…
In the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke was given his father’s lightsaber in Episode IV: A New Hope and then continued to use that same lightsaber in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. But as we all know, Luke lost his lightsaber (along with his hand) during his lightsaber duel with his newly revealed father, Darth Vader. The latest Star Wars trilogy has so far followed a similar pattern of lightsaber progression. Rey is initially offered Luke’s lightsaber (the original lightsaber he was given in Episode IV) by Maz Kanata but Rey refuses to take it. But then later in Episode VII, Rey not only takes Luke’s lightsaber but she uses the force to call it to her (much to the surprise of Kylo Ren) after Kylo quickly dispatches Finn in their short-lived duel. Just as in The Empire Strikes Back, our Jedi hero is wielding the same lightsaber throughout The Last Jedi. But just like the Empire Strikes Back, something happens to our Jedi hero’s lightsaber at the end of the movie, which means Rey will have a new lightsaber (most likely of her own design)… just as Luke had in Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi. This article is a bit of fun fan speculation about what Rey’s lightsaber may look like in Star Wars: Episode IX. All concept art in the post (except where noted) was created by my very talented cousin Dante DiPasquale, and you can see more of his art over at his DanteInferno Facebook page.
Hints of What Is to Come
There were four scenes in The Last Jedi that I think were a bit of foreshadowing of what we can expect Rey’s new lightsaber in Episode IX to look like:
Hint #1: Rey’s Quarterstaff Practice Session on Ahch-To Island
While Rey is still on Ahch-To Island with Luke (but before Luke agrees to train her), there is a scene where Rey is out practicing with her quarterstaff near the edge of a cliff. She practices several moves in the vicinity of a large rock on the edge of the cliff, and during one of those practice moves she pauses and then picks up Luke’s lightsaber and continues her practice session. This scene is important for a couple of reasons. First off, this was the first time we see Rey pick up and use a lightsaber as a weapon purely out of choice. I don’t consider the fight scene at the end of The Force Awakens as much of a choice. She had to make a rash decision to save both her and Finn and her only real option was to use the lightsaber. But when she is practicing on Ahch-To Island this is really the first time she has chosen to pick up the lightsaber and accept it for what it is… a physical extension of herself as a Jedi. I don’t think it was an accident that her practice session with her quarterstaff was used to get her to pick up and start practicing with Luke’s lightsaber. I see this scene as her first step away from a weapon that is quite comfortable to her (her quarterstaff) and into a weapon that in the previous film she had very specifically said she did not want:
“I’m never touching that thing again. I don’t want any part of this.”
– Rey (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
But it was the scene here on Ahch-To Island that Rey made the connection between her quarterstaff and Luke’s lightsaber and realized that these two weapons (her quarterstaff and the lightsaber) and these two worlds (her life on Jakku and world of the Jedi and the Sith) could co-exist and in fact work together.
Hint #2: When Rey Confronts Luke on Ahch-To Island
The second clue we get during The Last Jedi is the scene were Rey confronts Luke about his role in “creating Kylo Ren.” There is a physical confrontation between Rey and Luke and, at first, it is just the two of them sparring each other with their staffs, but then Rey puts an end to the conflict by using the force to call Luke’s lightsaber and pinning him down on the ground with it. In this scene, Rey goes beyond getting comfortable enough with the lightsaber to practice with it… she uses it to end a conflict. She uses it as a weapon, but as a weapon to end the confrontation in a peaceful way. While this is not a fight about physical prowess between Rey and Luke, it is a battle about making mistakes and admitting when you have made a mistake. Later in the film, Yoda makes, in my opinion, his most profound quote yet:
“We are what they move beyond. That is the challenge of every master.”
– Yoda (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
In this scene, Rey moves beyond her master, Luke, when she rightfully calls him out for his mistake that ultimately pushed Ben Solo to become Kylo Ren. This sparring scene is also important because Rey starts the fight with her Quarterstaff and ends it with the lightsaber. I believe this is foreshadowing that these two weapons will eventually be combined into a single weapon. Also, Daisy Ridley did a lot of training to learn how to fight with her Quarterstaff for this scene (as well as for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Wouldn’t it be shame for all that training to go to waste and not be used in the final film of the trilogy?
Hint #3: The Rey & Kylo Ren Fight Scene Against the Praetorian Guards
This lightsaber fight scene opened up all kinds of new variants on the lightsaber. We saw everything from what I can only describe as a lightsaber axe to some kind of segmented nunchuck, and I don’t think this was an accident that Rey got to fight against several of these unique lightsaber designs. She even had to use some ingenuity to free up her lightsaber from one hand and into her free hand to dispatch one of guards. We have seen alternative lightsaber designs before on-screen like Darth Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (for those of you that even acknowledge this as a Star Wars movie) and Kylo’s crossguard lightsaber in Episodes VII and VIII. If you open it up beyond just the primary movies and into television and novels, the number of examples increases dramatically, like Asajj Ventress’ interlocking lightsaber and The Grand Inquisitor’s double-bladed spinning lightsaber. The point of bringing all of this up is that Rey’s is a new generation of Jedi and she is non-traditional both in her lack of Jedi or Sith heritage and in her original fighting style and I think ultimately her lightsaber design in Episode IX will reflect that originality.
Hint #4: The End Scene Between Leia and Rey
The scene where Leia and Rey were sitting next to each other with the two pieces of Luke’s lightsaber in Rey’s lap sealed the deal for me on what I think is ultimately going to end up evolving into Rey’s lightsaber design for Star Wars Episode IX. Leia’s words about “we have everything we need” speaks not only to spark that has been ignited within the rebellion but I think it is also a not so subtle nod to the lightsaber pieces in Rey’s lap. As soon as I saw this scene the first thing I thought about was a lightsaber with two blades… one blade for each piece of Luke’s split lightsaber.
Putting the Pieces Together
If you take the four key scenes I mentioned above and both literally and figuratively put the pieces together, I think Rey ends up with quarterstaff lightsaber with the two shards of Luke’s lightsaber comprising each end of the staff. But we don’t need to call it a quarterstaff lightsaber because this design has been used before in the Star Wars universe and it is called the Lightsaber Pike.
Lightsaber pikes have been used by the Jedi Temple Guards in the past and have been featured in the animated series The Clone Wars (the episode titled “The Wrong Jedi”) and in the most recent animated series Star Wars Rebels (the episode titled “Shroud of Darkness”).
I think it is fitting that Rey (the last remaining Jedi) would wield the lightsaber pike, which was originally used to protect the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and now being used by Rey to protect the Jedi from becoming extinct. The pike by design is more of a defensive weapon and it fits well with Rey’s natural fighting style and her origins with her quarterstaff. Her quarterstaff was fashioned from spare parts she scavenged on Jakku, so it makes sense that she is now re-using Luke’s original lightsaber, which was turned into scrap in the final struggle between herself and Kylo Ren, and now scrap is again being used to forge a weapon for Rey (I have to admit I’m having a hard time referring to Luke’s lightsaber as scrap). Apparently once a scrapper, always a scrapper.
But that brings up the last detail for Rey’s lightsaber pike: the color of the blade. While it is certainly possible that Rey will stick with the light blue blade color, I think it is safe to say that the Kyber crystal from Luke’s lightsaber was destroyed in the final scene between Rey and Kylo Ren (which is actually a bit of foreshadowing to Luke’s ultimate fate). So either Rey would have to somehow repair the Kyber crystal (I’m no Jedi lore expert but I don’t think this is even possible) or she would need to find a new Kyber crystal. In fact, for a pike design, she may need two depending on whether her variation on the Pike design would allow for independent single-bladed use or not. Either way, a new Kyber crystal opens the door for a new blade color and I have a theory here as well. The original lightsaber pike blade color was yellow, and I think Rey may stick with this classic color. Not only is it a nod to Star Wars canon but it is also a nod to Rey’s origins on the desert planet of Jakku and the yellow sands of its desert. There is also the very obvious tie to Rey’s name, which of course refers to light or a ray of sunlight which for both our Earth’s Sun and the central star of Jakku’s system is a yellow or yellow-white colored star.
Rey is a very unique Jedi and as such, I think she deserves a very unique lightsaber. The original pike design is just the starting point for what I think will ultimately become Rey’s new lightsaber. I think Rey’s design will extend the center section of the pike design to incorporate much of her original quarterstaff and the ends of pike (which now extended out a bit further than the original pike design) will feature the two pieces of Luke’s broken lightsaber. Another possibility is that the design will allow for each end of the pike to be separated, allowing Rey to fight with either a single lightsaber blade or with one blade in each hand (Ahsoka Tano style). If that is the case then Daisy Ridley better start training now, because that is a lot of different fighting styles she is going to need to master for the next film! Even if her new blade is simply used as a new kind of lightsaber staff, I think we all have a lot to look forward to in the next movie.