A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — a young Jedi named Anakin Skywalker found himself a general in what would later be called the Clone Wars. After losing his previous weapon in the foundries of Geonosis, Skywalker constructed for himself what would be one of the most legendary lightsabers of all time. It’s a simple weapon, with a storied past.
Also, Han used it to mutilate a dead taun-taun once.
This video compiled by editor Christopher Sherwood is a powerful visual guide to this legendary item. But let’s delve into the nerdy details too.
Weapon of the Clone Wars
Constructed some time before the Battle of Christophsis (between Star Wars: Episode II and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated movie); the lightsaber is simple in design, utilizing a kyber crystal to produce its signature baby blue plasma. Anakin continued to wield it throughout the three years of the war, though from time to time it gets taken away. He brandished it in battle against the fallen Count Dooku more than once, ultimately using it to execute him under the direction of then-Chancellor Palpatine.
In the final days of the Clone Wars, Anakin’s lightsaber became a thing of horror, turned against the Jedi of the temple on Coruscant and the younglings who trained there. Anakin was finally stripped of his weapon (and a few important limbs) on Mustafar by his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi.
From Tatooine to the Death Star
Kenobi absconded with the lightsaber and ran off to hide in the deserts of Tatooine. He hid it there for 19 years before finally handing it over to Anakin’s son Luke. Obi-Wan began instructing Luke in the basic forms of lightsaber dueling aboard the Millenium Falcon, using a remote training droid which Finn later tossed aside in The Force Awakens. Maybe if Finn had paid more attention to the training droid he would have done better with the weapon later on.
The Cave and Cloud City
While training under Master Yoda on Degobah, Luke took his lightsaber with him into the dark side cave, wielding it against Darth Vader in his vision. He later faced the real Vader in the Cloud City of Bespin, despite his master’s warnings that he’s not ready; simultaneously losing his hand and his father’s lightsaber in the battle. The blade appears to fall off into the nothingness below.
Luke had the blade for 3 years, just like his dad, before losing it in an arm-rending battle, just like his dad.
The Cantina Pirate
Now, Bespin is one of the only gas giants featured in the movie series and it looks like the lightsaber might have fallen into the clouds below. Somehow, it ended up in the hands of smuggler Maz Kanata on the planet Takodana. It’s within Maz’s cantina/castle that Rey touched the lightsaber and appears to have received a force-vision of the future and the past; at which point she straight up refuses to take the cursed thing.
Finn was not so reluctant to carry the weapon and ended up wielding it in battle for a time. He memorably fought using the weapon when squaring off against FN-2199, one of his former squad-mates who rudely came after him with a riot control baton.
The Forests of Starkiller Base
Though Finn was known for his skill with melee weaponry (according to the novel Before the Awakening), he didn’t have a chance facing off in a lightsaber duel with a trained former Jedi. Kylo Ren disarmed him and attempted to take the blade, having claimed that it was “his.” However, Rey amazingly takes the weapon for herself with some powerful use of the force and ultimately bests Ren.
The final moments of Star Wars: Episode VII are basically just Rey offering the lightsaber up to the aging Luke Skywalker (she really doesn’t want that thing).
For more information from both primary and legacy Star Wars canon, check out the Wookieepedia page for the Skywalker saber.
Featured Image Credit: Lucasfilm Limited
Image Credits: Lucasfilm Limited