Apr 19, 2016

A bit of a day dream about Luke Skywalker's blue and green lightsabers

Luke turns on green saber - deleted ROJT scene

A bit of a day dream about Luke Skywalker's blue and green lightsabers

I was randomly thinking if I could boil Star Wars down into one thing, what would it be. My first thought was an X-Wing, particularly one in flight, flying away from me with 4 red orange engine exhausts leaving me in their wake. Because those things are awesome. And then flashed up Vader gesticulating wildly at some rebelling princess. All good things, but no, for this writer, it all boils down to Luke’s lightsaber.

So what of it? There’s two key Star Wars moments for me that relate to Luke’s weapon of choice. The first, and by far the coolest part for me as a kid, was watching Luke give some kind of salute to Jabba’s sail barge which turned out to be a signal for R2D2 to fire Luke’s hidden saber into the air so Luke could do a Jedi flip, grab it in mid air and then wreak the worst kind of havoc over Jabba’s henchmen. That green light slicing across the silver screen was burned into my retina.

The second is the moment Obi-Wan handed Luke his father’s old saber and turned it on. That sound, that flash of light blue, that awe that suddenly struck Luke was mirrored on myself. That gentle wave of the sword around as Luke starred into its light. This was not just a cool space movie, this was now a cool space movie with blue swords!

Something borrowed, something blue

So much happened to Luke’s blue saber both before he actually got his farmer boy hands on it.the saber has already seen a LOT of violence. In the Revenge of the Sith film it was used to kill Count Dooku and to fight against Obi-Wan Kenobi, oh and lest we forget, it was used to massacre the younglings. This weapon has some really history and blood of innocents on it's hand before it gets to Luke.

When it’s first handed to Luke by Obi-Wan, it’s both an introduction to him and the viewer of such things as Jedi Knights, the Force and a big hint as to what is to come. But Luke doesn’t use the saber for violence in A New Hope. That’s saved up for Empire.

There was no lying when Obi Wan told Luke that the saber he handed to him was his father’s Anakin Skywalker. You’ll note that Obi-Wan picks it up just as he’s leaving Anakin for dead, so he had in his possession the whole time he was keeping an eye out for Luke on Tattoinne. Luke then used the saber until he lost it down the shaft on Cloud City. It was not seen again until Maz Kanata laid it out for young Rey to find in the catacombe of her castle. We do not know the tale of what happened to the lightsaber between those two moments.

We finally got to see Luke use his saber for realszies in The Empire Strikes back when his duel Darth Vader results him becoming just another Star Wars statistic. The loss of one’s arm must be pretty traumatic. It must be even more so when you’ve lost it at the er.. hand of someone who has just told you that they are in fact your father.  And it’s a key moment in the story of Luke’s saber – as Luke’s hand arm is cut off it two things occur. The first is that it's simply great drama and the second is also serves as a personal representation of the Empire striking back (along with the Hoth battle of course).

The saber was also used in Empire to show that Luke's powers as a Jedi were improving. When he was stuck in the ice came by the Wampa, Luke showed his control over the Force by drawing it from the ice to him to use it set him free. It shouldn't be lost on anyone that when Rey called with the Force to the same saber, this was an homage to that moment in the cave.

With The Force Awakens we get to Rey returning the saber to Luke at the top of her climb to him on planet Ahch-to. Will he accept the sword from her? We imagine he will ruefully take it, ponder some of moments in his life when it was in his possession and give it back to Rey, signalling the beginning of her training as a Jedi.

A small aside is to remember Luke’s saber also serves as means for Han to get Luke into his dead Taun Taun which meant we got the best joke ever made in a Star Wars film, “and I thought they smelled bad on the outside..”

It ain't easy being green - Luke's second saber

I alluded to earlier in this piece at just how cool I thought the green saber was. I think it's mostly because it was an unexpected surprise to see it suddenly slice and dicing the bad guys. Refer the photo at the top - it's a cut scene from Return of the Jedi. Luke is in a cave on Tattooine and he appears to have found the required crystal to make his newly fashioned saber complete. The shot of him with the saber turned, while cool, would have reduced the excitement of Luke's surprise attack at the Sarlacc Pit. 

Even Darth Vader was moved to comment on this new green saber in ROTJ: "I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete. Indeed you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen." 

Luke and his dad eventually battle it out in a great duel before the Emperor. The clash of red and green was awesome and the set itself was dark and evil, conjuring thoughts of the dark side of the Force and just how close Luke was to succumbing to it.

Shortly after Luke returns the favour of chopping off his dad's arm the Emperor invites him to join him and rule the galaxy. Luke rejects this grand gesture  and throws the saber to the floor. It's just as a telling moment in Luke’s path to becoming a Jedi as any. He is now one and in becoming so has turned away from the lure of dark side of the Force and the attempted seductions of Palpatine.

So there we go, a complete rambling noodle of a thought piece on Luke's weapon of choice. What do you think? What's your favourite Star Wars lightsaber moment?

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