Alongside the mysterious Force, lightsabers have always been one of the more intriguing aspects of Star Wars. And much like many other concepts in the galaxy far, far away that attract the zealousness of those who believe in a higher power, these powerful weapons have also developed extensive lore to complement their presence in the story.
George Lucas always depicted a Jedi’s weapon as sacred. In fact, in many instances, the Skywalker Saga strives to give these sabers an identity of their own. And so, rather than serving as a means to an end, they’re companions through which the Jedi harness the power of the living Force and focus it. Similar to how J.K. Rowling describes wands in the Wizarding World, lightsabers also somewhat choose their owners in a trial known as The Gathering, where Jedi Masters take younglings to the planet Ilum to participate in a test of courage and find a kyber crystal to power their lightsabers.
In the Star Wars canon, the kyber crystal forms a unique bond with its owner. Of course, other Jedi can still use the lightsaber, though the connection that a youngling initiates with their crystal will always remain embedded into the seemingly sentient metal. But what happens to a Jedi’s lightsaber when they fall in battle?
Luckily, one of the first novels in The High Republic publishing initiative, titled Into the Dark, finally explains what becomes of all those lightsabers lying around after their owner has passed away. Apparently, the Jedi take the kyber crystals out of the saber’s hilt and use them to construct an archway in one of the meditation chambers in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. This eventually becomes known as the Kyber Arch, and to scale it through the Force is a challenge of sorts in the Order.
Alas, we never see the Kyber Arch in the prequels or any other Star Wars media for that matter, but given the fact that the new narrative takes place 200 years before the events of the films and depicts a very different Jedi Order from what we’ve come to know, it’s safe to assume that the tradition may have lost its significance over time.