By Alix Batte
The Skywalker lightsaber had a big role in Rey’s story in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, but one theory suggests Anakin might have been behind that.
Among a cast of fresh faces and new planets, Star Wars' sequel trilogy featured the return of many familiar elements, including one very important lightsaber. After Rey, Finn, and Han Solo travel to the planet Takodana in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rey is shown Anakin Skywalker’s old lightsaber, which was presumably lost along with Luke’s hand during his face-off with Vader in Cloud City. Throughout the sequels, her journey to becoming a Jedi is linked with Anakin’s old lightsaber, a weapon that isn't replaced by Rey's own yellow lightsaber until the closing moments of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
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Lightsabers have always been a central part of a Jedi’s path, but the Star Wars sequels put a new focus on the Jedi weapon that hadn’t been seen previously. Luke’ Skywalkers journey to becoming the galaxy’s hero started with Obi-Wan’s gifting him his father's lightsaber, but Luke’s decision to become a Jedi had more to do with his personal convictions. In Rey’s case, the Skywalker lightsaber called to her, despite her attempts to run from it. A lightsaber has never served as a beacon to adventure on its own before. Could this be because the lightsaber’s true owner was the one calling Rey through it?
A Jedi's Essence Lives On Inside Their Lightsaber's Kyber Crystal
Even in the Star Wars prequels, when the Jedi were still an organized group, the movies never fully explained the process of how a lightsaber is created by the Jedi. The power and blade of a lightsaber is drawn from its kyber crystal, each of which is unique. Jedi younglings travel to the planet Ilum during their training to harvest their own crystal to create their lightsaber. Upon its completion, each lightsaber blade illuminates a new color and bonds to its specific Jedi. The Jedi’s essence can even remain connected to the crystal even after their death.
In a preview of Marvel Comics' Star Wars # 35 by Charles Soule, Luke gets up close and personal with one of those essences. Seeking to construct a new lightsaber, Luke learns about the kyber crystals from a kyber master named Dr. Cuata. He's informed that since his current and previous lightsabers hadn’t been “chosen” as his blade, they would not have the unique bond that connects a Jedi to his kyber crystal. In exchange for fixing his current crystal, Luke must use the Force to purify a red kyber crystal of its dark energy for the kyber master. In the process, he is brought face-to-face with a Sith from the High Republic.
Luke’s experience with this imprint of an ancient Sith verifies the kyber crystal’s ability to channel the forces within it. Anakin is told multiple times during his days as a Padawan that his lightsaber is representative of his life, and this new revelation about kyber crystals takes that to a new level. The Skywalker lightsaber was not only built by Anakin, but was also present for many formative chapters of his life and saw the end of the Republic Era. The Force-attuned, organic matter within the kyber allows the crystals to absorb the energy around them, which would undoubtedly make Anakin’s crystal a perfect conduit for his essence.
Was Anakin Skywalker The One Who Called Rey To Become A Jedi?
If a Jedi’s essence remains in the kyber crystal of their lightsaber, it stands to reason that Anakin Skywalker himself lives on within the weapon that eventually called to Rey in The Force Awakens. The lightsaber reacts to her presence much differently than it did around Luke in the original trilogy, even seeming to choose her when she and Kylo Ren are both using the Force to summon it. Despite Kylo Ren’s heritage and training, Rey continuously seems to have a stronger connection to his grandfather’s lightsaber, even as she’s trying to avoid it. That connection leads her to Luke, who reluctantly begins her Jedi training.
As the true owner of the lightsaber, Anakin would have the power to accept a new wielder for the weapon. This seems to be exactly what happens throughout the sequel trilogy, as Rey and Kylo Ren battle over its ownership on multiple occasions. Rey’s strong connection with Anakin’s lightsaber can’t really be explained any more clearly than Anakin himself having an influence over the weapon.
Rey Became The Chosen One's Agent To Seek Balance In The Sequel Era
Anakin Skywalker was the galaxy’s Chosen One who was meant to restore the balance in the Force. According to George Lucas, Anakin remained the Chosen One even as Darth Vader, eventually bringing balance even after having served the Empire for so many years. Following his death, the emergence of the First Order and other Sith-influenced groups brought the galaxy into another era of darkness. Without Anakin there to act on its behalf, the Force was once again in need of balance, and this theory implies that Anakin called out to Rey for her to undertake the role.
When Rey first touches the lightsaber, she is immediately hit with a painful Force vision of her past and future, along with details from the lightsaber’s own history. This has never been shown in any Star Wars movie before, but it makes sense for Anakin to be the driving force behind the vision. Even when Luke was using the lightsaber, the kyber crystal was still linked to Anakin, who was Darth Vader at that point. By the time Rey touches the weapon, Anakin has long been redeemed, and the essence inside the Skywalker lightsaber is constantly calling her to learn the ways of the Jedi and fight against the dark side in his place.
Anakin's Lightsaber Proves Rey Has The Right To Call Herself A Skywalker
Rey went through many identities over the course of the sequel trilogy. Before the first movie, many speculated that she would belong to the Skywalker or even the Kenobi bloodlines, but it was eventually revealed to her that she came from no one special after all. In a final controversial twist, Rey discovers that she is actually related to Emperor Palpatine, the granddaughter of the Sith Lord. Rejecting her true bloodline, Rey helps defeat the Emperor and introduces herself as “Rey Skywalker” to a stranger at the end of The Rise of Skywalker.
This plot point was divisive, to say the least, with some insisting that Rey couldn’t consider herself a Skywalker without being directly related to Anakin. But if Anakin really called Rey to wield his personal lightsaber, that should be more than enough to qualify her to use his family name. Having been chosen by the Chosen One himself, Rey is practically Anakin reincarnated in the sequel trilogy.
With his children disillusioned and heartbroken, who better for Anakin to choose than Rey, who shared so many similarities with him. Her power, her need to belong, and her ability to transcend the ridged ideals of the Jedi allow her to be his perfect successor, not just in spite of her bloodline, but because of it. Star Wars has always examined the ideas of good and evil and where they come from, and the concept of Anakin Skywalker, post-Darth Vader, choosing the galaxy's next savior plays into that theme perfectly.
Rey is attracted to Luke Skywalker's lightsaber (which belonged to Anakin Skywalker before him) because she is his daughter, and the grandchild of Anakin Skywalker.How did Anakin's lightsaber end up with Rey? ›
He gave it to Luke Skywalker, who lost it when Darth Vader struck off his son's hand in Cloud City. The lightsaber then became part of Maz Kanata's collection of Jedi curios, where it called to the scavenger Rey. She wielded it in defeating Kylo Ren, then brought it to Ahch-To and offered it back to Luke.Is it Anakin's or Rey's lightsaber? ›
The Skywalker lightsaber, also known at various times as Anakin's, Luke's, and Rey's lightsaber, was a blue-bladed Jedi lightsaber constructed by Anakin Skywalker—Jedi Knight and prophesied Chosen One of the Force—during the final years of the Republic Era.Is Anakin's lightsaber in the force awakens? ›
The lightsaber resurfaced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, having somehow been acquired by Maz Kanata. Rey sensed the blade calling out to her, and when she touched it she experienced a "Forceback," a Force-induced vision of the past.