Dark Rey's 'Rise of Skywalker' Lightsaber Is a Clone Wars Callback
Rey's red lightsaber might seem like a new style of weapon — but it's not.
Rey might turn to the Dark side in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, based on a new trailer shown during Disney’s D23 convention that hit YouTube on Monday. But whether that scene winds up being a fake-out, everyone’s talking about the new two-pronged, double-sided lightsaber with a collapsible hilt that Rey wields. However, she isn’t the first one to use a lightsaber like this.
During the Clone Wars, the four-armed Jedi Master Pong Krell used two lightsabers just like this — one with two blue blades, and one with two green blades. As seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Krell was a reckless general who saw great success at the expense of many clone soldiers.
He eventually turned to the Dark side after experiencing a vision of the Jedi dead, the Republic fallen, and a New Order rising in the power vacuum. He sought to become Count Dooku’s apprentice as a Sith. Instead, he was captured and killed by the 501st Legion. But what about his bomb lightsabers?
Similar to how Dark Rey’s double-sided lightsaber folds in the center of a long hilt, both of Pong Krell’s lightsabers folded so they were easier to carry on his belt. (These double blades are really long.) We didn’t see him activate his lightsabers that often on The Clone Wars, but he did activate one side while it was still folded to threaten a clone trooper. If he really wanted to, he could definitely activate both like Rey does in the new D23 footage.
Check out the comparison of Rey’s and Krell’s lightsabers below.
There’s yet another precedent for this in Star Wars Rebels: the Jedi Temple Guards who protected the Jedi Temple on Coruscant wielded yellow double-sided lightsaber pikes of the same design.
We don’t see the collapsible flipping mechanism in action until Kanan Jarrus has a Force vision while visiting the Jedi Temple on Lothal years later. Within the vision, he fights an earlier manifestation of the Grand Inquisitor, Darth Vader’s lackey who picked up a different double-sided lightsaber and spent his time hunting down rogue Jedi after Order 66.
Just so we’re keeping track, both of the Jedi who wielded similar lightsabers to Dark Rey’s also turned to the Dark side. Could that be a clue confirming Rey’s fall as well? Maybe. Maybe not.
There’s a lot of talk about how Rey will turn to the Dark side based on this scene, but not enough talk about where she might get a lightsaber like these. Does she discover the lightsaber of a Jedi Temple Guard from years prior that is somehow corrupted into becoming a red lightsaber? Or, could this be a modified version of Darth Maul’s second lightsaber? We know based on Star Wars Rebels and Solo: A Star Wars Story that Maul survived his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace. He may be half the man he once was, but he no doubt fashioned himself a new lightsaber.
For what it’s worth, it’s expected that Maul will appear in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series, so Rey’s new blade could be tied to him in some way.
Another thing we should consider: Is Rey’s lightsaber some other color — like yellow — and is edited red in the trailer? Recall that The Last Jedi’s trailer also hinted at Rey breaking bad, and that obviously didn’t happen.
You could also write a book about all the ways Avengers: Endgame’s marketing lied to us with fake spoilers, between editing scenes from the trailer and lying about the title. Nothing is at it seems — but Rey’s new double-sided lightsaber definitely draws its design inspiration from the Grand Inquisitor and Pong Krell.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released December 20, 2019.