The crossguard design of Kylo Ren's lightsaber is one of the many new things things fans were introduced to in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. At the time, the reason for its design, which many fans viewed as impractical, had been a mystery. Well, one of the concept artists in the blockbuster film is explaining the reason behind that crossguard. Apparently, the design of Kylo's weapon had been utilized to tell us more about the character.
In an interview with Yahoo, concept artist Doug Chiang revealed that there's a reason for every prop and visual imagery in a Star Wars film. Chiang, who is also a Star Wars fan who worked with George Lucas himself on the prequel trilogy, said he knew that he wanted to be part of The Force Awakens as soon as he learned about it.
He said Kylo's Ren's lightsaber, the weapon had been something that helps viewers tell what kind of character he is without having to say anything.
Part of it is trying to create iconic visual images that help support the story of the character. Early on, J.J. had always described Kylo as this next-generation villain who's going to be as bad as Vader, and as powerful.
And he said, he's kind of like a knight, a dark knight. So it works well, that the blade has a crossguard. You bring in those little elements that start to reflect the character. I love it when designs can do that, inform who the character is.
And at the same time, I remember when I first saw the crossguard on the lightsaber, it put a smile on my face. It was so unexpected but felt right. I know it took risks of, how would you explain it? Would it be practical? You can explain that afterwards.
While that side of the weapon is explained, it however remains a mystery how safe and practical it is exactly to wield a crossguard lightsaber. From the looks of it, its wielder has a high chance of getting injured with the weapon while holding it. Of course, we didn't see Kylo getting injured with his own weapon. It could just be that he's really talented and his training with Snoke involved wielding a crossguard lightsaber.
As far as Chiang's mission goes though, he's clearly accomplished what he set out to do since it's clear from the beginning Kylo Ren is the villain in the film as soon as he held his weapon.
While Kylo Ren's lightsaber was the first time we saw its kind in a Star Wars film, the weapon has also appeared in the last season of Star Wars Rebels, when Ezra, Ahsoka, and Kanan were exploring an abandoned Sith temple. Ezra picked up a crossguard lightsaber from the ground, but that one was green.
Would you like to see other Star Wars characters wielding crossguard lightsabers?
If you liked Kylo Ren's lightsaber, you can now see it again and again in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, now available on digital HD and on Blu-ray/DVD. We'll also be able to see it in a new setting once Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters on December 15, 2017.