Despite success with critics and audiences alike, there were a great few things missing from the box office smashing Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. From further exposition behind Kylo Ren's motivations, to the ever present question of who Rey's parents are, there's a lot still to be developed as we move forward through the vast galaxy of the series.
But one of the biggest missing pieces of the puzzle is the presumably long story behind Luke Skywalker's legendary lightsaber — the device that first belonged to Anakin Skywalker himself, before he turned to the Dark Side and became the infamous Darth Vader. In Star Wars 7 the lightsaber was passed to Rey via Maz Kanata, but how did the saber end up in her castle on Takodana?
We nearly saw a bit more of the famous lightsaber in Star Wars 7, indeed we see it appearing in a small clip in the trailer that was absent from the movies. You may remember the snippet in question, in which we see the small hand of Maz as she hands it to General Leia Organa.
Leia takes the lightsaber and cradles it in her hands as she regards the lost possession of her lost brother. It's a nice moment, but the scene was cut from the film itself, as director J.J. Abrams clarified shortly after release:
"That was a scene actually filmed, but we took out. At one point, Maz used to continue along with the characters back to the Resistance base, but we realized that she really had nothing to do there of value, except to be sitting around."
The one big thing this scene did was clarify that Maz Kanata did survive the attack on her castle, but it also would've marked another stop for Luke's lightsaber along the road until it reached him again upon the island of Ahch-to.
But where had it been prior to the events of The Force Awakens? According to unconfirmed sources from BirthMoviesDeath the original opening crawl for Star Wars 7 started with the lightsaber falling through space and landing upon an unidentified planet.
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Another rumor puts the spotlight on Rey's mysterious and already heavily picked apart vision (which you can watch below for a quick refresher).
According to sources from Making Star Wars, this scene originally included a teaser for what happened to Luke's lightsaber after he lost it (and his hand) in Cloud City. Here Rey witnesses the lightsaber being picked up by a "peasant," who drops it and starts a fire. Not knowing what it is, from there he sells it to a "local trader," who then sells it to a "prosperous man."
This doesn't clarify all that much though, it's pretty much what we thought before: Someone found the lightsaber where it fell upon Bespin, and through the hands of various traders it passed into the hands of the equally mysterious Maz Kanata, one of the few who knew the significance of the item.
But from this account there is one very interesting part, something that is almost certainly going to be covered either in Star Wars Episode VIII or IX. And it concerns the happenings of Kylo Ren at the Jedi Academy.
"... there’s a battle raging and the [lightsaber] is being used by the clan against the Seven. They are all dead and we see Kylo Ren approaching Rey."
We'd previously assumed that when Rey sees Kylo Ren in her vision it's as part of an account of the moments just after he's slaughtered the other Jedi trainees — so if this account is accurate, it means that Luke's lightsaber was also present at that battle. Not the lightsaber that he wields in Return of the Jedi (and presumably still has during The Force Awakens) but the one he lost during Empire Strikes Back.
This could be linked to Kylo Ren's claim that the lightsaber belongs to him, as he tells Finn during their climactic battle. Because of course, how did he know that this was the lightsaber that belonged originally to his grandfather, and then to his uncle? He'd probably seen it before, at the Jedi academy.
The events of that scene might very well be expanded upon in the next installment, Star Wars 8. The rest of the account of Rey's vision from the leaked source did match up with what we saw in the finished movie, so it does seem likely that these additional parts with the lightsaber were merely cut from the final piece, perhaps to keep a secret to be expanded upon later.
Because — as Maz Kanata herself says when asked how she came into possession of the lightsaber — "It’s a good question for another time."
Have you got a theory about where Luke Skywalker's lightsaber has been? Have your say in the comments below!