In part one, I introduced the new saber and the theoretical problems that existed with the new crosspiece style hilt.
In part two, I dove into alternatives that would make this fantasy weapon “realistic” in the Star Wars universe.
Now, I’ve found the source of the design (I think).
When the Star Wars canon was redefined as being comprised of the original and prequel movie trilogies, The Clone Wars TV program, and all future film and television series, a lot of fans were disappointed in what that meant for the Extended Universe and all that it contains. I’ll admit, I’m not an avid reader of EU literature, but the concepts that I’ve picked up from various comics and books have greatly broadened my love for the Star Wars brand. Doing away with the credibility of these seemed like a sad decision, but maybe not.
The EU still exists and is a treasure trove of Star Wars goodness. Stories, characters, and creations exist there waiting to be tapped by the canonical entries now being produced and licensed by Disney. Apart from what we’ve seen in Star Wars: Rebels, I think I’ve found one of the first examples of that with the very lightsaber we’ve been talking about at length for the past week. This is what I’ve found.
The above illustration was first posted online at 7:39AM on June 24, 2010 by Flickr user Robbe. The German artist, who specializes in weapon design and vector artwork, also included the design in a deviation entitled “Lightsaber collection II." This entry included a full description of the blade.
Lightsaber of Xho Ran, Dark Lord of the Sith
Ran was a member of the Brotherhood of Darkness. The most noteworthy detail of his saber the crossguard consisting of two smaller lightsaber blades. It didn’t do him any good though, since he participated in the thought bomb ritual and perished when it went off.
Xho Ran is not listed as a Star Wars character officially or unofficially. It seems as if he is a force-sensitive character of Robbe’s own creation.
Looking at this illustration now, I can’t help but draw the similarities between a 2010 fan-made design and the newly official blade wielded in the teaser trailer. The differences are small and curiously enough, more similar to the proposed changes in Tech Crunch Editor T.C. Sottek I mentioned in part one of this series.
This is cool for a variety of reasons. Firstly, Abrams is probably drawing from the EU and showing us that in the very first teaser. If the hooded figure in the trees is using a lightsaber based off of this fan’s drawing, who knows what else could be used from the masses of Star Wars wealth on shelves and online.
Secondly, dorks like me are digging further into the EU and fandom just to find this stuff. We’re tearing an 88 second trailer apart and dissecting every bit to find meaning and clues. We aren’t finding much of that so far, but we are stumbling upon great things that have existed unnoticed in the Extended Universe and fandom for years.
Again, I doubt Abrams will ever come forward with anything specifically about this saber before the movie drops. He doesn’t have any reason to. We’re talking about it exhaustively and that’s exactly what Episode VII needs, constructive and nerdy space chatter. After all, it’s not just the Force awakening here, it’s our love for the fictional universe the Force holds together.
In the event this similarity is never confirmed as inspiration for the new lightsaber, I’d like to extent congratulation to artist Robbe for making it up first. That’s a really cool thing to have done, even if only you and I know it.