SPOILERS OH SO MANY SPOILERS FOR 'STAR WARS 7'
Right, now that that's out of the way let's get on with it.
So, [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) was pretty great right? Whilst it's still got Avatar to beat on its way to becoming the highest grossing film ever it's already setting all kinds of records, from the 93% approval rating to becoming the first film ever to gross more than $800 million at the domestic box office.
Whilst it's been generally well received by fans both old and new alike The Force Awakens is not without its criticisms, sure. Even the most popular film wont please everyone, that's both the awesome and awful thing about different people having such different opinions and viewpoints.
So there's a whole laundry list of things that have been pointed out about The Force Awakens, from unexplained plot-holes to the accusation that it's just a rip off of A New Hope. But some of the places in the narrative fabric which appear a bit threadbare can be explained by deleted scenes, such as the motivation behind Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)'s killing of his father; Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
Other scenes deleted from the full movie fill in little pieces of backstory that we were otherwise denied, such as the story behind Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)'s lost lightsaber. So, let's take a look at what we've learned so far from behind the scenes about the legendary lightsaber - which first belonged to Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) himself.
The Deleted Scene
So you may remember a clip from the trailer in which we see the small hand of Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o) - the keeper of the lightsaber - handing it to General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher).
Leia takes the lightsaber and cradles it in her hands with a sense of loss as she regards the lost possession of her missing brother. It's a nice moment that speaks volumes, but we didn't see this scene in the film itself and director J. J. Abrams has now clarified why:
"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."
So, Maz was supposed to end up back at the base with Finn (John Boyega) and the rest, but narratively her presence didn't do much and so it was cut. At least we know that Maz Kanata must have survived the First Order attack, which means we'll hopefully see the full explanation about how the lightsaber came into her possession in the first place, possibly in [Star Wars: Episode VIII](tag:711868).
Speaking of which...
Where's The Lightsaber Been?
The original opening crawl ended with Luke's lightsaber falling through space and landing on a planet, and another deleted scene might shed some light on what it's been up to whilst Luke's been kicking around staring at the sea. (Bear in mind this description is from an unconfirmed source though, so it may not be entirely accurate).
So, remember Rey (Daisy Ridley)'s Force vision when she first finds the lightsaber? The one in which we see R2-D2 with Luke, Kylo with the Knights of Ren and Rey being left behind on Jakku?
Well according to sources from MakingStarWars.net this scene originally included a teaser for what happened to Luke's lightsaber after he lost it (and his hand) in Cloud City. (The Expanded Universe did cover this but that's non-canonised now so, yeah).
Did Rey See It In Her Vision?
So by this account (which is still in the disconnected format of the Force vision), the lightsaber is seen by Rey to have been picked up by a "peasant". The peasant doesn't know how to use it though (silly peasants) and he drops it, starting a fire. Panicking he runs away, but returns to retrieve the weapon. From there it is sold to a "local trader", who in turn sells it on to a "prosperous man".
So, pretty much what we thought before: someone found the lightsaber and via trading it passed eventually into the hands of the mysterious Maz Kanata, one of the few who knew the significance of the item.
What is most interesting from this description is this part though:
"... 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've 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 at Luke's academy; 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. The one which originally belonged to Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader.
So, is this in some way linked to Kylo Ren's claim during his battle with Finn that the lightsaber belongs to him? How did he know that this was the lightsaber that belonged originally to his grandfather? Has he seen it before, say, at the Jedi academy?
The rest of the account of Rey's vision does match up with what we've seen in the final movie itself, so it looks like these additional parts with the lightsaber were cut from the final piece.
And why? Well perhaps this means we're going to get the full story of how it came to be in Maz Kanata's possession when Star Wars: Episode 8 rolls around, because as she herself says: "It’s a good question for another time."
Got a theory about Luke's lightsaber? Share it with us in the comments below, or write your own post about it!