Entertainment: Star Wars: How Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber Became a Symbol of Hope

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  Star Wars: How Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber Became a Symbol of Hope © Provided by CBR

The following contains spoilers from Star Wars #26, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

Lightsabers are easily the most recognizable part of the Star Wars franchise. Ever since Obi-Wan pulled out Anakin's "elegant" weapon and presented it to Luke Skywalker, fans haven't been able to get enough of the colorful, energized swords. The franchise has made good use of this fascination by introducing a plethora of variants over the years. Recently, Star Wars #25 showed how Obi-Wan almost made a totally unique saber, and in September Doctor Aphra #24 will debut a new, extravagant Sith lightsaber.

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However, lightsabers were always much more than flashy weapons. They represented hope in the galaxy. Luke Skywalker once again proved that when he produced his secret lightsaber in Star Wars #26 (by Charles Soule, Ramon Rosanas, Rachelle, Rosenberg and VC's Clayton Cowles).

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The issue sees the Rebellion regrouping after finally defeating the recently introduced Female Darth Vader, Ellian Zahra and attacking an Imperial Unity Day Parade on the Core World of Bar'leth. The mission was an unquestioned success. The Rebels got in and out without any casualties, while destroying a number of Imperial equipment and weapons. They also ensured that no civilians were harmed.

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The Rebels were in an understandably festive mood upon returning to their capitol ship. Amidst the revelry, one of the pilots asked Luke to ignite his lightsaber, and it was clear that it wasn't the first time that such a request had been made. At first Luke was reluctant, but eventually he gave in. He drew his yellow lightsaber, much to the marvel and delight of his peers.

As impressive as the weapon was, it also clearly served as symbol of inspiration for the members of the rebellion. One of the pilots even noted that they had "the light" on their side. The pilot's comment reflected the association the lightsabers had with the Jedi, who were seen as the very representation of hope. This was further clarified by the Jedi's lightsaber emblem representing "the Path" in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and explains why it was so important for Luke to become a lightsaber-wielding Jedi. He (and the lightsaber itself) was an inspiration to the Rebellion because he represented the very hope that was at the center of their struggle.

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Many fans of the franchise are unaware of Luke's yellow lightsaber because it only appeared in the comics. He used it in the time period between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but didn't build it himself. He instead found it at a High Republic Outpost in Star Wars #6, and used it to fight a zombified version of the Grand Inquisitor.

Building his own lightsaber in Return of the Jedi represented the culmination of Luke's journey to Jedi Knighthood, but finding and wielding the yellow lightsaber was in important stepping stone. It gave Luke the confidence that he could actually become a Jedi, and it gave the Rebellion the hope that it needed to continue the fight against the Empire.

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