When Kylo Ren screams at Finn in The Force Awakens, telling him, “That lightsaber, it belongs to me,” most of the audience probably agreed with him. After all, Kylo Ren is the grandson of Anakin Skywalker, and if he hadn’t become a major Dark side a-hole, his family claim on the “elegant weapon from a more civilized age” would be totally legit. But what if Kylo Ren is wrong? What if Anakin Skywalker didn’t actually build that lightsaber? We don’t really know for sure that Anakin built this thing, so it’s possible The Rise of Skywalker could be hiding a massive lightsaber twist.
Speculative spoilers ahead. This is an original fan theory, but you never know, it could be right!
In The Force Awakens, Maz Kanata tells Rey, “That lightsaber was Luke’s and his father’s before him, and now it calls to you!” Back when we all had no idea about Rey’s confusing, drunk, deadbeat parents, some fans naturally assumed this meant Rey was a Skywalker. That conclusion seems less popular and less true since Kylo Ren states Rey’s parents were “nobody” in The Last Jedi. Putting the whole Kylo Ren honesty debate aside for a second, what if we’ve been looking at this the wrong way? Assuming Rey is not a Skywalker, why did the lightsaber call to her? Because maybe, just maybe that lightsaber wasn’t built by a Skywalker!
You’re like, no way, that is Anakin’s lightsaber from the prequels and he totally built it. But there’s a problem with that assumption: In neither current canon or old legends is there anything that explicitly states Anakin built that specific lightsaber. In fact, in terms of lightsabers he used on screen, it’s just one of four sabers Anakin wielded before becoming Darth Vader. In Attack of the Clones he had three: his “first” one, which was destroyed on Geonosis, then a loaner lightsaber with a green blade, then another loaner with a blue blade. The famous Skywalker saber with all the family heirloom status didn’t show up until The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith. Even then, it basically just appeared out of nowhere. We all assume that he built it, but we don’t know that he built it.
Let’s linger on this for a second and consider why it’s totally reasonable Anakin did not make this famous lightsaber with his robot hand and regular hand. Consider the following:
- Anakin was pretty careless with his first lightsaber in Attack of the Clones, so much so, Obi-Wan lectured him about it.
- Anakin is impatient AF, especially during the Clone Wars. If he had the option of just using an existing lightsaber, it feels like he’s lazy enough to do so.
- In fact, as revealed in the canon Marvel comics series Darth Vader, Vader’s first red lightsaber was stolen from Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a. He modified the hilt and “bled” the crystal red, but still, it’s yet another example of Vader/Anakin using a lightsaber he didn’t actually build for a long-ass time. (Canon tells us Vader later built a second saber, which we see in most of the films, but still — his first red saber was stolen!)
So, Anakin/Vader has a clear habit of not taking pride in ownership with his lightsabers. What makes us think that’s any different from his attitude toward the most famous saber of all time?
Furthermore, if Anakin Skywalker didn’t build this lightsaber, it opens up another very obvious question: Who did? Is Anakin’s saber kind of like Rey’s parents? I.e., it was built by a nobody Jedi, so stop talking about it so much! (Again, even though that sounds crazy, Darth Vader did steal a lightsaber off of a nobody Jedi and use it as his own, so, there’s that.)
If the Skywalker lightsaber was not built by a Skywalker, and its connection to Rey is still significant, perhaps its origin could be neatly retconned by The Rise of Skywalker. Fans have noticed that at least one new toy version of the saber has Anakin, Luke, and Rey all together on the artwork for the box, which, even though it’s not a spoiler of any kind, does seem to indicate that this time around, the history of the saber might matter a little bit more.
So, here’s the basic theory: This lightsaber was not built by Anakin Skywalker, but rather procured by him some time in between Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars. Its origin could be connected to the mystery of Rey, and The Rise of Skywalker just might explain that mystery.
If Anakin didn’t build this saber but it nevertheless has a connection to Rey, that could mean the saber might have been built by one of her grandparents. The identity of that grandparent could be someone we’ve never heard of before, like, say, Palpatine!
When you consider how much Anakin hung out with Palpatine in the prequels, who is to say this saber wasn’t just a spare Palpatine had laying around? If that’s true, a flashback scene suddenly writes itself. Picture it: Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid, reprising their roles as Anakin and Palpatine circa sometime before Revenge of the Sith. Anakin needs a new saber after his duel with Count Dooku, and Palps just happens to hand him the most famous saber in the galaxy.
Star Wars: The Riddle of Rey’s SaberThe Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20.