Newly unveiled concept art for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker shows off an early design for Dark Rey’s lightsaber. The Rise of Skywalker is the final film of Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy, serving as the capstone to the more than 40 year old, 9-episode saga first started by George Lucas in 1977. Reception towards Disney’s trilogy has been divisive to say the least, with each film eliciting strong reactions (both positive and negative) from fans and critics alike. The Rise of Skywalker was the most maligned film among critics, being the first live-action Star Wars production to receive a “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes since 1999’s The Phantom Menace.
In The Rise of Skywalker, Rey (Daisy Ridley) travels to the submerged remnants of the Death Star II to track down a Sith wayfinder. As she traverses through the ruins, she eventually discovers a vault within what was once Emperor Palpatine’s infamous throne room. Rey is then briefly confronted by a dark side version of herself who wields a hinged double-bladed lightsaber. Though the vision is brief, it is significant in that it marks the second double-bladed to appear in the live-action films (apart from Darth Maul’s).
In a recent Instagram post, concept artist Matthew Savage revealed a discarded design for Dark Rey’s lightsaber. He says that he “was experimenting with using elements of [Rey’s] staff,” though those elements would go on to inform Rey’s final yellow saber from the film’s final scene. Check out Savage’s artwork below:
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As Savage notes, the early design features many elements inspired by Rey’s earlier appearances in the former two films. The emitters on both ends bear striking similarities to the staff Rey uses throughout The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Furthermore, the grip is bound in cloth wrappings that are reminiscent of Rey’s desert garbs from her first appearance. The finalized design for Dark Rey’s saber ultimately appears to take more aesthetic cues from Darth Vader’s lightsaber than anything associated with Rey.
Lightsabers have always played a symbolic role within Star Wars films. In the original, the lightsaber that Obi-Wan gives to Luke serves as the first tantalizing tease of Luke’s mythic heritage. Similarly, Dark Rey’s saber serves as a reminder of what Rey might become, should she succumb to her own sinister bloodline. Despite its shortcomings, The Rise of Skywalker manages to meaningfully expand upon traditions spanning all the way back to the franchise’s inception.
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Source: Matthew Savage/Instagram
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