If you think about it, that makes Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber a whole lot more valuable doesn’t it?
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the First Order’s dark side group, the Knights of Ren. We know they’re clearly dedicated to destroying the Jedi, worship Darth Vader, and kinda have an interest in Sith artifacts. But, like the Sith, are they the anti-Jedi? Or are they something else?
What about the other Knights of Ren? Don’t they have lightsabers?
Well, take a look at that picture of what we’re pretty sure are assorted Knights of Ren. We admit it’s a little hard to see, but Kylo is the only guy with an ignited lightsaber. It’s pretty clear there’s a gentlemen in the back holding a staff and another knight on the far right holding a blaster… but aside from that? Not so much with the weapons.
We don’t think they carry lightsabers.
How could they not carry lightsabers? Don’t they use the Force?
However, it’s pretty obvious the Knights of Ren aren’t at nearly the same power level as those two masters of the Force… which brings us to our answer at the question at hand:
We don’t think they carry lightsabers because they don’t know how to make them. It’s a lost technology.
But Kylo Ren made a lightsaber…
And we’re sure he’s super proud of it. But if you look at that thing… despite the cool hand guards it’s actually kind of a piece of crap:
The blade is crackling with energy and clearly unstable. There’s exposed wiring, fatigued metal, and exposed screws. It’s like he cobbled it together of whatever he could find that would work, and it seems to barely work at that. It’s very possible it took him a long time (with plenty of trial and error) to figure out how to get a work lightsaber together. Compare it to Anakin Skywalker’s blade:
Look at that thing. It’s solid, well maintained, and basically not a shoddy mess. And that one was probably built on the move during the Clone Wars. It was also built during a time when lightsaber construction was based on knowledge that was readily available among the Jedi but was still a deeply personal thing.
Don’t the Inquisitors have lightsabers?
Yes they do, but that was also when two Sith were controlling the Empire and could teach their disciples how to build their own lightsabers. It’s also possible Vader created and bestowed lightsabers to Inquisitors. There’s not enough information to say either way… but after the fall of the Empire it’s very possible that information was lost. Combine that with the fact all information of the Jedi was purged from the galaxy by the Emperor… and no one really knows how to make a lightsaber anymore.
What about Luke Skywalker?
That’s right. He does. He made that badass green lightsaber that made its debut in Return of the Jedi (which we hope he still has in The Force Awakens). You’ll notice the movie treats that like a big deal.
In fact, when Luke and Vader are reunited on Endor Vader takes the time to be impressed with the fact Luke could build the thing at all:
Darth Vader: “I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete. Indeed you are powerful as the Emperor has foreseen.”
In the original trilogy, there are only four lightsabers: Vader’s, Obi-Wan’s, Anakin’s, and Luke’s. They were rare and carried a great significance to them.
We think the filmmakers behind The Force Awakens understand that and will purposefully keep the number of lightsabers in those films down to a minimum, which will therefore give them more dramatic weight and gravitas.
It’s a big creative choice, to be sure. But we think it’s the right one…
… as long as Rey gets a double bladed lightsaber by the end of the trilogy. Seriously. That needs to happen.