There must be a huge array of amazing jobs to do if you are lucky enough to work for Lucasfilm. One job that sounds pretty cool though, is being the Lucasfilm Archivist at Skywalker Ranch. Who wouldn’t want to spend their working day surrounded by lightsabers and everything else that Lucasfilm has ever produced?
Currently, the role of Lucasfilm’s collections and exhibitions archivist belongs to Madlyn Burkert. Madlyn recently discussed some of the lightsabers used in the final instalment of the Skywalker saga with StarWars.com. Not only does she offer an in depth look at three of her favourite lightsaber hilts, she even discusses the craftsmanship and hidden details hidden within each infamous design.
As the person here who is the caretaker of these things once they’re done being used on the films, I really want to respect their artistry and learn their stories, and just maintain them so that it’s understood that a lot of craftsmanship and work went into them. I’m just the lucky one who gets to take care of them.
The Skywalker Lightsaber.
The Last Jedi saw Lukes iconic blade literally torn apart during an epic battle of the wills between Rey and Kylo Ren. The Rise of Skywalker sees the blade reforged by Rey (or to be more accurate the prop makers and concept artists) ready for her quest to continue. Fans of the original trilogy know the story of Luke and Anakin’s lightsaber well. It was originally crafted from a Graflex camera 3 cell unit flash handle, and even had a stamp stating it was made in New York on the bottom (something which was removed for future incarnations of the hilt).
The body of the Lightsaber was machine tooled to specifications. In The Rise of Skywalker however, the lightsaber was recreated as if Rey had fixed the hilt herself. The lightsaber can be seen as a representing the journey taken by our heroes through the nine Skywalker films. It perfectly illustrates the time, effort and tools available to our heroes at that time. There is a galactic war taking place, don’t you know? Madlyn goes on to talk about Rey’s amendments to the Skywalker hilt.
If you look closely you can see burned in soldering marks and a new addition, consisting of metal and leather used to rejoin the lightsabers broken pieces. The lightsaber looks like the heirloom that it is, an artifact that embodies the heroics and misdeeds that have befallen it across all nine films.
If you look at the broken lightsaber from the end of The Last Jedi, this is supposed to show us that she’s taken that literal exact one and fixed it. These are her solder marks. They’re not covered up. They’re not refinished. Because guess what? Rey ain’t got no time for that.”
Of course, many fans were eager to see Rey’s own lightsaber, one that embodies her essence and individuality as a Jedi. After all, isn’t is a rite of passage for all Padawans to find the Kyber Crystal and construct their own saber? We finally get to see Rey’s lightsaber at the end of the film once we are back on Tatooine, where it all began.
Rey buries her past and the Skywalker past, igniting her own fresh, yellow bladed saber (which looks to contain elements of her trusty staff.) Not only is this moment awesome in itself, but it gives Rey the autonomy and independence to begin her own journey, without the legacy of the Skywalker saber. (The issue of her taking the Skywalker name is an issue for discussion, maybe at a later date…)
Check out more lightsabers on the next page: