The Double Blade of Rey.
Who wasn’t enraptured by the sight of Dark Side Rey in the trailers for The Rise of Skywalker? Dark Rey needed a lightsaber equally as dark as her character could potentially be, and it would seem that the concept artists and prop makers had the same idea. The weapon is a switchblade style weapon which requires a bit of intent behind its use. It needs some strong magnets to keep it together when hanging from Reys belt!
If you are going to open it up, especially for a piece of action, there needs to be some weight to it, some deliberateness to it.
The hilt also contains a discrete Easter egg, perhaps referring to the ‘Made in New York’ stamped on the original trilogy blade. if you look closely you can see Dark Rey’s dual blade is stamped with ‘Made in Germany!’
Apparently early designs of the weapon saw it being made from Rey’s staff. This was decided against in the end as the staff is very much aligned to Rey being part of the Light side. It would seem that the designers decided to go all out in Sith references with the final design. With the switchblade fully unfolded, the Lightsaber resembles one of the Siths most dastardly weapons; Darth Mauls double sided blade.
There are even black and red accents throughout the hilt which are most often associated with Darth Maul, the Empire and the First Order. There is even a reference to our favourite Dark Lord – Darth Vader, embodied on the hilt of Dark Rey’s saber. Where the blade ignites, a black accent can be found which is similar to one on Vaders.
An interesting fact is that the ends of the saber are slicked with oil in order to give the illusion of the heat emitted from the blades. Although wear and tear is represented through paint effects, some of the wear on the weapon comes from the lightsabers use on set.
There are some parts of it that you can tell are painted to look like it’s worn. And other elements that are clearly paint loss suffered during filming, We like to keep it as is just to show us this is part of the life of this object.”
It looks feminine. It feels expensive. And it feels special.
On the other end of the spectrum to Dark Rey’s lightsaber, is Leia Organa’s weapon. The lightsaber is kept in the archives in a bag marked ‘Q’ for Queen. The hilt is smaller than others throughout the movies and is a lot more stylised. It was important for the filmmakers that the hilt served as a suitable tribute to the late Carrie Fisher and everything her character had come to mean to fans worldwide.
Leia was a Princess, a general and a member of the Skywalker family. Her Jedi weapon needed to embody this. Interestingly, the design team looked to the designs for Padme Amidala’s wardrobe by Trisha Biggar for inspiration. As well as this, Madlyn Burkert states that the lightsaber was inspired by the streamlined shapes of the Art Deco movement.
“It’s sort of streamlined and mechanical, but also organic at the same time, You have these sharper lines, but there’s also this very cool almost like sunburst design. And I think of that as being a little more organic.”
In direct contrast to Rey’s rustic hilt, or Luke’s streamlined hilt, Leia’s hilt consists of a silver and rose gold base with a mother of pearl inlay. As well as the more traditional D-ring at the end of the saber, Leia’s has a belt hook as well. Ultimately the film making team wanted Leia’s lightsaber to look really important and unique to her character. The beautiful end result definitely looked something befitting the Rebel hero and Resistances General.
A Behind the Scenes peek at the Archives.
In discussion with The Star Wars Show, Madlyn even treats us to all the John Williams Easter eggs seen in The Rise of Skywalker. How cool are the Pilot Wings from Catch Me if You Can? How many of the John Williams references can you spot in the film?
And with The Rise of Skywalker recently being released for home viewing, we can keep an even closer look out for all these amazing Easter eggs and behind the scenes references. Let us know what you find.