One of the most memorable images from the first trailer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was Kylo Ren igniting his lightsaber. The cross-guard design was like nothing we’d seen in any previous movie, sparking a wave of speculation amongst fans as to what it signified.
Prior to The Force Awakens‘ release, J.J. Abrams teased that “the lightsaber is something that he built himself, and is as dangerous and as fierce and as ragged as the character.” None of the Sequel Trilogy movies found enough time to really get into the nitty-gritty of how Ben Solo fell to the Dark Side and became the ‘Jedi-Killer’ Kylo Ren though and the story was eventually told in Charles Soule’s comic The Rise of Kylo Ren, which showed us how he was influenced by Supreme Leader Snoke, his relationship with the Knights of Ren and how he chose his new moniker. The final issue, released in March, also revealed how that unique lightsaber came to be.
Its construction comes in the wake of Kylo Ren violently becoming the leader of the Knights of Ren. Soon after this, he removes his blue Kyber crystal from his saber and begins to bleed it. ‘Bleeding’ is a process by which the individual pours all his negative emotions into the crystal via the Force, effectively juicing it with Dark Side energy and changing its color to red. It turns out that Kylo Ren might have gone a teeny bit overboard, as his crystal is now too powerful and quickly overheats his saber. But, with a bit of kitbashing, he sticks two vents on the side and boom, he’s got himself a fancy looking cross-guard lightsaber.
Said saber was hurled into the oceans of Kef Bir in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but given that lost iconic lightsabers tend to find their way back into the hands of future Force users, I’m betting we haven’t seen the last of it.