One of the most important steps on the way for every Jedi is to create their own lightsaber. In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, our hero Rey finally gets this chance. This is the first time in the Star Wars films that a character is building their own lightsaber instead of doing it between sequels. It is therefore fitting that Rey’s lightsaber has a particularly rare function. But just like everything that has to do with Jedi, this rarity is rooted in the history of the Jedi.
(Ed. Note: This post contains spoilers from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.)
Before we see her activate her new lightsaber, we can tell you a few things about what she built out of the grip of the weapon. One thing that is immediately clear is that Rey didn’t let her trusted staff – who apparently already contains some lightsaber pieces – fail in creating their first lightsaber. It appears that she has used the end of her wand as a new lightsaber emitter and that the middle grip area has the same fabric wraps that have adorned her wand since we first saw her in The Force Awakens.
When Rey finally lights her own lightsaber, we hear the familiar activation sound, but the visual is a little different. Thanks to its attachment to this special cyber crystal, Rey’s lightsaber has a yellow blade. It is the first time in a Star Wars film that a main character has built a lightsaber with such a unique color, and it is the first time that someone has a yellow lightsaber in the Skywalker saga. But she’s not the only Star Wars character ever to have a saber of that color.
An example of a lightsaber with a yellow blade comes from the canonical novel Dark Disciple from 2015, in which Asajj Ventress, a former apprentice to Count Dooku, buys a yellow sword on the black market. Unfortunately, with such an illegal source, we don’t know much about the history of this saber.
Ahsoka Tano, the Jedi Padawan by Anakin Skywalker (and favorite of Star Wars fans who could keep up with the EU) also briefly used a yellow-green lightsaber in the Clone Wars animated series. This was technically a Shoto lightsaber, which meant that the blade was a bit shorter, so it could easily be used as a secondary weapon in the Jedi’s hand. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about how the weapon got its special color.
Most of the information about yellow lightsabers comes from the guards of the Jedi Temple. Temple guards, who appeared in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, wore lightsaber spikes, which were double swords that were almost always yellow in color. Whenever a large group of lightsabers in Star Wars has a unique color, it makes sense to check whether there is a connection or not. And in the case of Rise of Skywalker, the symbolism seems pretty clear.
The guards of the Jedi Temple in Star Wars: RebelsImage: Lucasfilm Ltd.
After Samuel L. Jackson personally requested a purple blade for the prequel films, the dam broke against lightsaber color traditions. Every color of the rainbow is represented across the spectrum of Star Wars storytelling, from Jedi: Fallen Order (where you can wear a yellow blade after the game) to Disney’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land where you can build Buy a replica of Rey’s new weapon for $ 199.99.
The yellow blade is becoming more and more ubiquitous, but it is still unique in the film. Abrams and his co-author Chris Terrio let their heroes choose the traditional color of the guards of the Jedi Temple and used Rey as the protector of the Jedi heritage. Although we don’t know if Rey had any idea about the Jedi history of color or not, her yellow lightsaber provides a nice symbolic end to her story and a hint of her future.