There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Rey’s yellow lightsaber ever since the first trailers for The Rise of Skywalker came out. We were all conned into thinking she had a collapsible version of Darth Maul’s double-bladed energy sword. This scene turned out to be nothing more than an inaccurate vision in the actual movie, though.
In reality, we saw Rey bury Luke and Leia’s lightsabers before revealing her own– a beautiful, badass golden sword. Cue the confusion. A blue lightsaber we would have understood. Even a red one could be justified, given Rey’s biological roots. But a yellow one?
As more of Rey’s past unfolded though, it became more and more apparent why she would wield such a rare-colored lightsaber.
Yellow Lightsaber Meaning | Why does Rey wield yellow?
The Yellow Lightsaber is the neutral of all sabers. It in not aligned with the dark side or light side but it does have a special meaning for those who are force sensitive. The Yellow (often referred to as Yellow Bladed) lightsaber was first seen being wielded by Anakin Skywalker when he battled Count Dooku on Geonosis, and although his was almost immediately destroyed afterwards, it made a lasting impression on fans of the saga and became an iconic symbol of Anakin’s journey towards becoming Darth Vader.
It is said that only a Jedi/Sith who has gone over to the Dark Side will ever wield a yellow lightsaber (although this remains unproven).By the time Yellow Lightsaber Anakin Skywalker and Qui-Gon Jinn first encountered Count Dooku on Geonosis, the latter had already fallen to the Dark Side. Yellow Lightsabers have long been associated with Sith Lords and Dark Jedi (a fact not known to Anakin, who may have just assumed that Yellow was an uncommon color), but it is unclear whether they actually cause someone to fall to the Darkside or if they are simply wielded by renegade Jedi(or Sith).
Yellow Lightsaber Origin – The Jedi Sentinel
Rey’s weapon of choice is not the first yellow lightsaber we see on screen. Yellow lightsabers have long been associated with the Jedi Sentinel, who are regarded to be somewhere in the middle of Consulars and Guardians. Yellow saber-wielding sentinels are thought to be equally attuned to their diplomatic and combatant sides.
Furthermore, Sentinels often possess practical skills that are outside of the ambit of the Force, making them powerful trackers, spies, healers, technicians, communicators, and the like. They recognize that no matter how powerful the Force is, it cannot solve every single problem in the galaxy.
For instance, in The Clone Wars and Rebels, we saw Sentinels acting as Jedi Temple Guards who wield yellow double-bladed lightsaber pikes. What makes these Force-sensitive bodyguards so special is that they are famous for being morally incorruptible, having committed their entire lives to protecting areas that are essential for the survival of the Galactic Republic, just like the sacred Coruscant Temple.
The Future is Yellow for Rey
So what does Rey have in common with Jedi Sentinels and/or Temple Guards that makes her a plausible yellow-saber wielder?
By now, pretty much all of us already know that Rey (Palpatine, Skywalker, what have you) is the last Jedi standing. Towards the end of The Last Jedi though, we see a bunch of kids learning about the Skywalker legend.
It is highly likely that these younglings pick up interest into becoming Jedis themselves. We were clued in on the fact that Finn might be Force-sensitive, too.
Now, who else would be perfect for the job of training these potentially new set of padawans than the Last Jedi herself? If so, it makes sense for Rey to take after the Jedi Sentinels, whose yellow sabers signify the perfect balance between diplomacy and battle skill. If solely trained by Consulars, the new Jedi Order would be wise, knowledgeable, but easily defeated in combat.
On the other hand, padawans trained by Guardians would be great fighters, but would be a huge disappointment for Grand Master Yoda, who has always reminded young Jedi that diplomacy and seeking peace is just as important as being an exemplary swordsman.
If she were to truly train young padawans in their quest to “strike a balance between the physical and mental disciplines of the Jedi Order,” Rey has to think like a Sentinel.
If it were her intention to take up new apprentices to maintain peace and order in the galaxy, her heart would have reflected a yellow hue into her kyber crystal, which she likely forged along with her old staff to come up with the yellow lightsaber we saw her wield at the end of The Last Jedi.
Furthermore, Rey’s predicament is similar to those Guards who have dedicated their whole lives to protecting the Coruscant Temples.
Choosing the Light
While other characters in the Star Wars universe have also struggled with overcoming the Dark side of the Force, Rey has had one of the most remarkable stories of choosing the Light. It didn’t matter that she literally had Sith blood coursing through her veins. Neither did she give it all up for Kylo Ren, even though he’s her dyad, and she his.
The moment Rey took the Skywalker name for herself, she committed her whole life to the light, and everything it stood for, just like a true Sentinel. We also know Rey for her practical talents like flying planes and being a mechanic.
Being the last Jedi alive is no small responsibility. Luckily, Rey’s got her yellow lightsaber to call on whenever it should be necessary. Before having her own weapon, Rey subsisted on hand-me-down weapons from other members of the Skywalker clan, but throughout the movies we see her reluctance to fully forge a connection with Luke’s weapon of choice.
It would seem that Rey preferred having her own identity, despite her allegiance with the Skywalkers. This is another trait of yellow lightsaber-wielders: they are their own bosses, and they serve the Empire out of the goodness of their own hearts, without the need for compulsion.
Black Market Mystery
Aside from Rey, there is another notable character in Star Wars who was seen with a yellow lightsaber in tow. Bounty hunter Asajj Ventress admitted to having bought her yellow lightsaber from the black market. It has never been revealed who originally owned this weapon, or if in fact, Asajj decimated a Jedi Sentinel just to acquire the lightsaber.
Rare as it is, it would be interesting to find out who it originally belonged to, since it is clear that Ventress’ personality and history did not warrant a yellow lightsaber of her own.
To this day, there is a considerable debate whether or not Plo Koon wielded a yellow lightsaber. If he did, it would explain his level-headedness and unbreakable calm even in the face of adversity.
Contrary to the usual trigger-happy state of sentient beings, Plo Koon respected life in all its forms, and devoted his life to protecting clones under his command.
Finally, troubled as he was, the Force-sensitive Cal Kestis eventually learned to fully accept his past and learn from his experience. The same time he started to act level-headed and wise like a true mentor, he started sporting what appeared to be a yellow lightsaber, in an apparent attempt to exhibit his maturity. If you’d like to get your own lightsaber, check out my guide to buying a lightsaber. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful if you’re thinking about getting yourself a duelling lightsaber.