The Rise of Skywalker is largely reviled by the Star Wars community, but even it had a few good parts. No, really! Sure, it unveiled some of the franchise’s weirdest plot twists and stupidest reveals, but Babu Frik was there. And even the worst moments had interesting cinematography or production design, if you looked carefully.
One such element may have been given a second life through a completely unrelated reveal in Ahsoka. It turns out there’s a similarity between Kylo Ren and Grand Admiral Thrawn, two iconic villains from two vastly different eras of Star Wars.
According to prolific Star Wars leaker MakingStarWars, Thrawn’s inevitable army of stormtroopers won’t wear the stark white armor we’re used to seeing in Star Wars, nor will they be the spec ops troopers introduced in The Mandalorian. Instead, we’ll see a secondhand army of troopers who have carefully repaired their armor, making each soldier look unique thanks to their maintenance work.
What does this have to do with The Rise of Skywalker? You may remember Kylo Ren’s mask met a grisly end when he threw a tantrum after Snoke called him a child (way to prove him wrong, slugger). Kylo then brings the pieces to Sith peon Albrekh, who repairs the mask with metal, giving it red veins.
In our galaxy, this is called kintsugi, from the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with gold. It’s often invoked in discussions of loss and trauma, as the broken part of a piece becomes what makes it unique. Essentially, it turns mistakes and tragedies into art.
Star Wars has long borrowed Japanese motifs, an influence that’s only grown more obvious with The Mandalorian employing samurai movie tropes and garnering countless comparisons to classic manga and film series Lone Wolf and Cub. If this leak is to be believed, Ahsoka would only be following the latest trend in Star Wars stylization.
Although this technique sounds almost identical to the one used to fix Kylo’s mask, the leak suggests one major difference. While Kylo’s mask was repaired with a red “Sardassian iron,” the troopers in Thrawn’s army are apparently using something gold, like the real-world gold used in kintsugi. What exactly is this substance? Maybe it will basically just be gold with a Star Wars name, but considering the vast amount of work it would take to repair an army’s worth of armor, there’s also a chance the work could be done with magic, like that wielded by the Dathomiran Nightsisters.
Ahsoka may be the next chapter for Star Wars, but that doesn’t mean the franchise is forgetting its past — not even the most embarrassing parts.
Ahsoka premieres on Disney+ in 2023.