Because Kyber crystals don’t grow on trees.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, and one of my favorite podcast networks has to be the GOLiverse. Starting with Geek Out Loud (get it–G.O.L.?), Steve Glosson has expanded over the years from offering a safe place to geek out to shows about Star Wars Rebels, rock and roll, a chronological history of the Disney films, a professional wrestling show, and more. He’s an amazing podcaster–the type that can get you interested in listening to him talk about anything.
Great. Really! So what’s all this have to do with Luke Skywalker?
So, I was listening to his show Rebel Yell, and he proffered a very interesting theory about the origin of Luke’s green lightsaber from Return of the Jedi.
For those who don’t remember, Obi-Wan Kenobi gave Luke his father’s lightsaber in Star Wars, one with a blue blade, which was lost when Darth Vader cut Luke’s sword-hand off in The Empire Strikes Back. In Jedi, Luke has a new lightsaber—seemingly out of nowhere–with a green blade. It has one mention in the entire film (Vader: “I see you have constructed a new lightsaber.”), but no further information was every given.
Now, lightsabers require Kyber crystals, and those aren’t found just anywhere. By Jedi, almost all of the known locations of rare crystals were known to the Empire and none of them were known to Luke (so far as we know).
Steve theorizes that the new green lightsaber crystal comes from a former saber. One that hadn’t been used for a long time…a long time.
The lightsaber of Qui-Gon Jinn!
But, how can this be? Qui-Gon died over 40 years before Return of the Jedi! Consider:
Qui-Gon died in a duel with Darth Maul. Following the decisive blow, Obi-Wan used his master’s saber to cut Maul in two.
So, where did the old master’s saber go after that? It wasn’t burned with him. The likeliest possibility is that Obi-Wan kept it in honor of Qui-Gon. It was in that chest on Tatooine, right next to Anakin’s lightsaber, in Star Wars. So, when Luke returned to the desert planet in Return of the Jedi, it would still be there, holding a Kyber crystal for the taking to construct his new lightsaber.
I can only hope the new Star Wars comic series eventually gets to tell this story!
This would also be an interesting piece of connective tissue between The Phantom Menace and Return of the Jedi. Ring theory, anyone? It seems like a detail Lucas would have considered.
The one flaw in the story: in Episode III, all of Obi-Wan’s possessions would likely be at the Jedi Temple, which was sacked by the 501st. The only reason he has Anakin’s lightsaber is because he took it from Mustafar, and then promptly went into hiding. Unless Kenobi grabbed Qui-Gon’s saber when he reprogrammed the distress message at the temple or had it hidden somewhere off of Coruscant, I can’t see how he got it to Tatooine. So, it is all entirely plausible, just not airtight.
I hope it’s Qui-Gon’s lightsaber crystal. I think Luke and Qui-Gon would’ve gotten along really well.