What happened to Ben Solo’s lightsaber? Before he was Kylo Ren, powerful warrior of the dark side, scourge of computer consoles, and the First Order’s low-key thicc murdergoth, he was Ben Solo, Jedi-in-training and troubled nephew of Luke Skywalker. Ben Solo’s lightsaber may not have the iconic crossguard design of the lightsaber which Kylo Ren wields, but we have reason to believe that these two weapons are, in fact, one and the same.
Editor’s note: This video and post contain spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so if you haven’t seen it yet, welp, good luck being online.
In The Last Jedi, if you look closely at the hilt of Ben Solo’s lightsaber during the flashback sequences when the Ben has to fend off his creepy uncle Luke Skywalker from, you know, straight-up murdering him in his sleep, you will notice that it looks nearly identical to the hilt of the crossguard lightsaber Kylo Ren uses later. To confirm our suspicions, we reached out to real-world lightsaber smiths Erling del Castillo and Ben Hobbies, who have released designs for a 3D-printed version of Ben Solo’s Jedi saber hilt.
While the experts agree with us, there is canonical evidence to explain how Ben Solo’s lightsaber turned into Kylo Ren’s jury-rigged weapon. In E.K. Johnsont’s novel Ahsoka, it is revealed that a lightsaber’s kyber crystal–its power source–can bleed red when bent to its owner’s will through the dark side of the Force. This “bleeding” quality seems like it would almost certainly apply to the raw, rough-and-tumble nature of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. Our theory is that Ben Solo began this process with his Jedi lightsaber and cracked the kyber crystal during his descent into the dark side. With the crystal cracked, it generated too much heat for a standard lightsaber hilt, thus necessitating the need for the crossguard vents. As for its spooky black color, well, Kylo simply could have painted it black to match his gothtacular wardrobe.
Or, perhaps, Kylo simply copied the design of his old lightsaber hilt when crafting a weapon to use as an agent of the First Order. There’s a precedent for that, too. Obi-Wan Kenobi recreated the design of his first lightsaber after his old one was kicked down a seemingly bottomless pit. Darth Vader’s lightsaber is a dark side version of Anakin Skywalker’s Attack of the Clones lightsaber design, as well. This would, of course, fly directly in the face of Kylo’s whole “Let the past die” philosophy that he adopted in The Last Jedi, but then again, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”
We reached out to Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo as well for confirmation, but he couldn’t comment on the matter, which I can only assume means it’s a secret guarded as closely as the true location of Darth Plagueis the Wise’s body.
But what do you think? Is Kylo Ren’s lightsaber just Ben Solo’s old weapon with a dark side paint job? Is it possible that he broke his old lightsaber? Let us know in the comments below.
Additional reporting and theorycrafting by Jesse Gill.
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