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SPOILER ALERT: This article contains major spoilers from Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker**. Read no further if you haven't seen the movie yet!**
Star Wars fans likely have a few questions after leaving their screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. At or near the top of the list is likely, “What the hell was the deal with Rey and that yellow lightsaber?” It was one of the last reveals in the film that wrapped up the Skywalker saga.
We certainly have our questions as well, but thankfully, we also have several answers regarding that unfamiliar color of Rey’s new Jedi weapon blade. For one, believe it or not, the familiarity of the yellow lightsaber actually depends on your familiarity with the Star Wars saga, but more on that later.
Here we will get into the nitty gritty of the Rey’s new yellow lightsaber from the science behind its creation, its historical relevance within the expanded universe of the Star Wars franchise, what the color of the blade means to the Jedi and what it could mean for the future of the franchise, whatever and whenever that may be. This is everything we know about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s most obscure reveal.
How Does A Yellow Lightsaber (Or Any) Get Its Color?
A lightsaber’s color is determined by its kyber crystal, the substance that powers its blade, which, as Star Wars: The Clone Wars demonstrated, actually possesses no color until gathered by a padawan to construct their own weapon (the red lightsabers commonly used by Sith get their color from synthetic crystals). However, the colors do serve a purpose in identifying different types of Jedi.
The Jedi Order was made of varying schools of thought, such as the Consulars, who specialized in mental knowledge of the Force, and the more combat-based Guardians. Consulars are known to wield green lightsabers (like Qui-Gon Jinn or Yoda) while Guardians are associated with blue, both of which are the most common colors seen among lightsabers wielded by Jedi.
Probably the least common lightsaber blade color is purple, particularly due to Samuel L. Jackson’s personal request that George Lucas have his character Mace Windu wield one. However, another rarely seen lightsaber color is yellow, which is most often associated with the little known school of thought within the Jedi Order called the Sentinels.
Who Were The Yellow Lightsaber-Wielding Sentinels?
If your expertise in the Star Wars universe does not go very beyond what is depicted in the films, you have most likely never heard of the Sentinels (heck, you might not have realized there were differing schools of thought in the Jedi Order). Mostly prevalent to just literature, video games, and other entertainment inspired by the franchise, the Sentinels actually have a history of being a rare breed.
Sentinels sought a middle road approach of honoring the purposes of both the Consulars and Guardians, however the skills they possessed were not necessarily associated with the ways of the Force, such as technology-based knowledge, espionage, security, etc. Master Morrit Ch’gally believed Force meditation and lightsaber combat were a potential distraction from necessary real world skills.
The Sentinels’ signature yellow lightsabers are so rarely seen, essentially because so few followers of this school of thought existed by the time of the Clone Wars era. Most members of the Jedi Order favored practices of the Consulars and Guardians and chose that path for their training, hence the higher frequency of blue and green lightsabers.
Furthermore, it was also a common notion for Sentinels to keep their whereabouts concealed, while dispatching themselves as silent guardians, if you will, of a certain planet of their choosing. Not to mention, given their skills in covert operations and tech savviness, rarely did the tasks they would take on required the use of their yellow lightsabers anyway.
What Does Rey’s Yellow Lightsaber Mean For Her Future?
As mentioned before, since yellow is the color of lightsabers most commonly wielded by Sentinels, they have never made an official appearance in the films of the Skywalker Saga. That was until a yellow lightsaber made its theatrical debut at the conclusion of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
After the resurrected Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is defeated, the reformed Ben Solo (Adam Driver) sacrificed his force energy to revive the fatally weakened Rey (Daisy Ridley), and the Resistance sealed the downfall of the First Order, the final scene of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sees Rey visiting the childhood home of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). She chooses this as the burial spot of the lightsabers that once belonged to Luke and his sister, General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), before revealing her own newly built lightsaber bearing a black handle and blade shining a bright yellow.
For casual of the Star Wars movies, this introduction of the yellow lightsaber most likely incited amusement over an unfamiliar color on the Jedi weapon’s blade. For those with extensive research to the expanded universe of the saga, this was a long-anticipated reveal that is sure to have been met with a slew of pressing questions.
Why did Rey's kyber crystal glow yellow for her? Does Rey even realize what the yellow lightsaber blade historically represents? If so, does this mean that Rey’s continuing of the Jedi practice will also see the reemergence of the Sentinels’ school of thought? Or, did director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio think a yellow lightsaber would be a fun Easter egg to throw in for the die-hards?
Considering Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is meant to be the concluding chapter in the Skywalker Saga, it is not likely we will be graced with an answer to all of the above questions on the big screen anytime soon. However, given that the Star Wars films have been rebooted twice in just the past few decades, never say never.
The one thing we can say for sure is that a new chapter in the history of the rare yellow lightsaber has been immortalized in cinema. I see an astronomical rise in sales for cosplay replicas in the near future.