Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended on a relatively quiet note, with Rey fulfilling the movie’s quest to find Luke Skywalker and wordlessly holding out Anakin’s old lightsaber to him. Coming at the end of a nearly two-and-a-half hour film, it is easy to miss the full gravity of the moment, yet a fan video recently released on YouTube has crystallized the weapon’s journey through the Star Wars saga as it has followed the trials of the Skywalker family.
The moving video was created by Christopher Sherwood, according to CinemaBlend. Using footage and audio from both the original Star Wars trilogy and the prequels, as well as The Force Awakens, Sherwood was able to distill the lightsaber’s path from Anakin to Obi-Wan, Luke, and Rey, before it is finally returned in a scene that bookends the video.
The two-minute-long clip begins with Rey holding out the sword to Luke, as his voice from A New Hope can be heard, asking Ben Kenobi about the weapon. It progresses to show Anakin as a child, transfixed by Qui-Gon’s lightsaber long before he had his own. The blade was there as Anakin fell to the Dark Side, poignantly highlighted as Obi-Wan takes it from the battle at Mustafar. Hearing Luke’s disembodied voice saying he wished he had known the man Obi-Wan called “a good friend” takes on a whole new resonance when set against the image of Anakin’s mutilated body burning after his ill-fated duel.
— Nerdist (@nerdist) March 31, 2016
Of course the lightsaber eventually made its way to Luke, before he lost it in his first major confrontation with his father. Its whereabouts remained unknown, as it was replaced and absent during Return of the Jedi, yet the lightsaber made a major return in The Force Awakens. The sword called out to Rey, but with her refusal to take it, Maz Kanata passed it on to Finn. How she came by the weapon is an as-yet-unanswered question, as Entertainment Weekly notes, though it remains to be seen if that story will play out in one of the future Star Wars films.
— Mashable (@mashable) March 31, 2016
Of course, Rey eventually did take possession of the lightsaber at the climax of The Force Awakens, wrenching it away from Kylo Ren with the Force and fighting him to a draw. Sherwood’s video cleverly sets this moment against Luke’s final duel with Vader, as both the Sith lord and Kylo Ren fall to the ground, defeated. As the Star Wars theme delicately comes to a close on a solo piano, the video returns to Luke and Rey, while the voice of Yoda implores the last male Skywalker to “pass on what you have learned.”
— Inside the Magic (@InsideTheMagic) March 29, 2016
Anakin and Luke’s lightsaber didn’t appear in every film in the series. It wasn’t constructed (presumably) at the time of The Phantom Menace, and it disappeared after The Empire Strikes Back. As Sherwood’s video so clearly highlights though, the weapon is symbolic of the truly epic scope of the Star Wars saga over the course of seven films. Not only has the Skywalker family faced moments of great upheaval and change, but so has Anakin’s lightsaber as it passes between generations.
With at least two more films set to continue the core Star Wars saga, it remains to be seen if the journey of Anakin’s lightsaber is complete, or if it will be passed into the hands of a new scion of the Jedi.
[Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images]