While fans had a lot of theories about ‘Dark Rey’ as featured in the D23 trailer for the last movie in the Skywalker Saga, the film ultimately disappointed us by revealing that the evil counterpart to the Sequel Trilogy’s main protagonist was but a mere illusion, the same kind that haunted Luke during his training in The Empire Strikes Back. Still, J.J. Abrams did give us a few fleeting moments with the character and even brandished her with a cool-looking red double-bladed lightsaber. Only this time, Dark Rey’s weapon seemed more complex than what Darth Maul wielded in the Prequel Trilogy.
In fact, according to a recent interview with Lucasfilm’s archivist, Madlyn Burkert, the design team spent a lot of time perfecting the weapon with numerous tiny details, even if Daisy would go on to use it briefly. Early concepts envisioned a visually similar look to the saber’s hilt when compared to Rey’s staff, but they ultimately decided against going with that idea since it was too much in line with the character’s light side.
So, to show the clear contrast between what she could become if she were to give in to the Dark Side of the Force, designers adored the saber with red and black accents. As Burkert herself puts it:
“There’s a lot of red details on this and we often associate that color with the dark side, with the Empire or the First Order.”
Taking a closer look at the weapon, she revealed that the saber is held by two strong magnets to give it some weight upon ignition, and continued to explain what made it the ultimate tool for a Dark-Side practitioner.
“It kind of gives you that sense that heat has come out of this piece on the regular,” she said. “There are some parts of it that you can tell are painted to look like it’s worn. And other elements that are clearly paint loss suffered during filming. We like to keep it as is just to show us this is part of the life of this object.”
Interesting stuff, and as is the case with most things in the last Star Wars movie, it’s a shame that the director didn’t get to properly use all these intricate details and bring them to life on the big screen.