Kyber Crystals and the Path to Rogue One
Please note, the following article has mild spoilers for Ahoska and Catalyst.
In many forms of storytelling, stories are developed in a linear fashion. We have a starting point and the narrative moves forward from there. The current state of Star Wars storytelling has a very different challenge in front of it. They have various immovable pieces of narrative, namely the six episodic films that preceded the establishment of the canon, along with the content of The Clone Wars television series. The team has built narrative forward, but perhaps the most interesting is the narratives crafted within these stories. A big element that has been retrofit into the canon is kyber crystals.
The concept of crystals inside of lightsabers originated in the legends line of storytelling. While these stories are not canon, “There is always a bit of truth in legends.” Crystals are never mentioned in any of the episodic films, however, it seems that the crystals are finally making their big screen debut in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This is why I wanted to take this moment to look at how the narrative of the kyber crystal has developed.
KYBER CRYSTALS AND LIGHTSABERS
Kyber crystals first surface in the canon in the padawan story arc of The Clone Wars, where Ahoska takes a group of younglings to Ilum to gather their own crystals. This story shows us that, in the Jedi Order, crystals are awarded as a rite of passage to those training to be Jedi, and that the crystal selects the user. These crystals are used in the construction of lightsabers powering their blade. From this point forward, the canon lore of the kyber crystal started to take form. Within the novel Heir to the Jedi, the idea of crystal placement within the saber took a clue from The Clone Wars stories, cementing the need for crystals to be placed within the mechanism of the saber with the use of the force.
The novel Ahoska does much to expand the lore of the crystals. These crystals were protected by the Jedi prior to Clone Order 66, and the Jedi are able to sense them through the Force. They are able to feel their presence throughout the galaxy, and in some ways, the crystals can sense them as well. The crystals are said to choose their user, and certain Jedi are called to certain crystals.
We also learn that crystals define the blade, with Blue and Green being the most common, properly used crystals. When a crystal is manipulated with the dark side, it turns red, which indicates that the Sith steal their crystals from the Jedi, as they are unable to acquire crystals themselves.
KYBER CRYSTALS AND A SUPER WEAPON
We have been discovering throughout the various canon media that kyber crystals became a highly sought after commodity for the Empire. In Star Wars Rebels, the crew of the ghost destroyed an imperial shipment of kyber crystals, concerned about their use. In Ahsoka, we saw the Empire strip-mining Ilum for as much as they could harvest, now that they Jedi were unable to prevent them from doing so. Tarkin and “TK-146275” both make mention to the Empire’s desire to acquire these crystals.
And then we get Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel. After almost three years of canon media, all the breadcrumbs about the kyber crystals have led us to this point, that the kyber crystals are key to the construction of the death star, and perhaps the super laser itself. Galen Erso, Jyn’s father, studied these crystals for their power to produce massive quantities of energy.
Slowly, the narratives of Star Wars have been shaping our understanding of these crystals and those who have followed these stories closely have been able to form their own predictions as to what is happening in the galaxy. All of this lore is leading up to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and very soon we will see how all these bread crumbs have carefully lead up to the events of this film.
Let me know your thoughts by posting in the comments below. You can find my coverage of #starwarscanon stories at my YouTube channel Star Wars: The Canon Explained. I can be found on Twitter (@starwarstce) and Instagram (@starwarstce), and you can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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