The secret story of Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi could very well be re-titled: “A Tale of Two Lightsabers.” A new international poster for the movie depicts Luke not only holding his father’s old lightsaber but igniting it too, suggesting to some that he has ditched his green bespoke lightsaber for good.
On Monday, Making Star Wars tweeted about the existence of the new international poster for The Last Jedi. And just like the character posters from D23, this image shows Luke holding the famous Skywalker lightsaber built by Anakin Skywalker, passed down to Luke, and discovered by Rey. The difference this time is Luke isn’t just holding it to inspect it, but instead, seemingly wielding it just as he did back in the classic films. But what does it mean?
In Return of the Jedi, Luke built a new lightsaber to replace the one he lost in The Empire Strikes Back. So far, we’ve never seen Luke in possession of that second lightsaber in either The Force Awakens or the trailer footage from The Last Jedi. Which begs the question: does he even have it anymore? On Twitter, this has led to two popular fan hashtags: #ignitethegreen and #ignitetheblue. Obviously, if you’re a fan of continuity, you are kind of obsessed with knowing what happened to Luke’s second lightsaber if he doesn’t have it in The Last Jedi. But, because The Force Awakens didn’t give us a sufficient explanation for how Maz Kanata had Luke’s first lightsaber, it seems increasingly unlikely that The Last Jedi would address both mysteries. In other words, the stories of two lightsabers are driving fans crazy, and we’re worried the new Star Wars movie won’t address our questions about either one.
Promotional material for new Star Wars movies has been playing fast and loose with lightsaber-igniting for a while now. In the lead-up to The Force Awakens, everyone was led to believe that the person wielding the classic lightsaber the most would be Finn, not Rey. And while this proved to be true in the final film (Finn does use it more than Rey) we don’t think of the lightsaber as “Finn’s lightsaber.” Which begs the question: even if Luke ignites the blue lightsaber in The Last Jedi, will he even swing it that much? After all, Vader fired-up Luke’s green saber briefly in Return of the Jedi, but he didn’t really swing it ever.
But, in 1983, Luke’s green lightsaber was almost blue. The origin of Luke’s greens saber is connected to a last-minute change during the post-production of Return of the Jedi. According to possibly apocryphal lore, George Lucas decided the blue lightsaber didn’t look good against the blue sky of Tatooine, so it was changed to green at the last minute. All the promotional posters and trailers for Return of the Jedi support this idea because Luke has a blue saber in all of them. Meaning, sometimes lightsaber colors in promotional materials don’t reflect the “truth” of a final Star Wars movie. During the lead-up to Revenge of the Sith in 2005, several toys featured Anakin Skywalker rocking a red ligthsaber, even though he never did in the film.
Still, the new image of Luke holding a blue lightsaber is clearly the hilt of the same lightsaber Rey is using, i.e. Luke’s original saber. Meaning, he either takes it away from Rey at some point and then gives it back to her, or they share it throughout the movie. But, both of those scenarios still mean The Last Jedi could very well never address what happened to Luke’s green lightsaber. Which, may end up being more important to hardcore fans than anything having to do with Rey’s parents, Kylo Ren’s choices, or anything having to do with Snoke.
Unless of course, Snoke hired Rey’s secret parents to steal Luke’s second lightsaber, which is why he’s so confused in the trailer when she brings him back his first one.
The Last Jedi — the mystery of Luke’s green saber — opens everywhere on December 15.
If you liked this article, check out this video of a customizable toy lightsaber.