If you've seen The Force Awakens (and you should), you probably noticed Kylo Ren's lightsaber looks and sounds different than any other lightsabers we've seen before. You may be wondering why it sputters and has those two crossguard beams coming out of the sides. Here's the answer, thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary.

It goes back to the Knights of Ren, the group who (apparently) lured Kylo to the dark side. While they haven't been fully explained, the key to remember is that they are not members of the Sith. In the new universe, the Sith no longer exist. That's because when Darth Vader killed Emperor Palpatine, the only Sith in the universe died, and took their knowledge with them. The Knights of Ren have to find their own path.

That means there was no one left to teach Kylo Ren how to make his own lightsaber. He basically guessed at how to make one, and did a lousy job. But the biggest problem is the crystal. It's a tradition to teach new students of the Force (for Sith and Jedi) where to get the secret locations of Kyber crystals, which power lightsabers. Without a guide for pure crystals, Kylo had to make do with a cracked crystal. But the crystal produces so much leaking energy that he had to put vents on the side to keep the lightsaber from exploding in his hand. That's where his so-called "crossguard" beams come from.

That's also why Kylo was so desperate to get his hands on Luke's lightsaber. He wants a real lightsaber, since he knows he can't make one on his own.

What did you think of Kylo Ren's lightsaber?

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