Look, the Star Wars franchise is built upon a deep and dense mythology, so there’s no way for a fan to know every little bit of information, as much as they hate to admit it. Even Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo – himself a tomb of infinite Star Wars knowledge – admits that he notices something new every single time he watches one of the movies.
Case in point: in one of his latest tweets, Hidalgo points out a goof in The Empire Strike Back that’s gone largely unnoticed since its 1980 debut.
I've noted this before, but every time I watch a Star Wars movie, there's something new to notice. Especially if I'm fortunate to catch it on the big screen. This latest discovery? that 'NEW YORK' is visible on the bottom of Luke's lightsaber in EMPIRE. pic.twitter.com/Z85NPvgcVR
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) June 19, 2019
Turns out, Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber wasn’t constructed by his father in the Crystal Caves of Ilum, nor was it crafted at Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Instead, according to its inscription, its hilt hails all the way from the United States of America – more precisely, in New York City.
Of course, while we hate to drop the veil while watching the films, we all recognize that they’re just fictional creations built by teams of people that rely on elaborate special effects to suspend our belief. And honestly, that fact that these movies so wildly succeed at impressing us is a testament to their pop culture staying power.
Hidalgo went on to explain that Luke’s original lightsaber hilt was made from an old camera flash holder, produced by Graflex in New York. Prior to its release on Blu-ray, the only way to have previously seen the inscription was crisply projected onto a massive theater screen. There’s certainly no way that quality of image could’ve held up on some VHS tape.
For an unknown reason that’s shrouded in secrecy, you’ll be able to catch Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber once more in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Despite being shattered in a feud between Kylo Ren and Rey in The Last Jedi, the decades-old weapon looks just as new in the film’s latest trailer as it did in The Empire Strike Back.
Could the Emperor’s return have something to do with it? Perhaps Luke fixes it with his Force ghost powers? Or maybe Rey just overnighted a new one from the Bronx? I’m sure all will be answered when the last movie in the Skywalker Saga hits theaters on December 20th.