One of the most prevalent images of the [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) promo material was Kylo Ren's (Adam Driver) lightsaber. Shaped more like a traditional Western sword with a cross-guard in contrast to the sleek katana like lightsabers we'd seen before, Ren's lightsaber divided fan opinion when the first images were released.
But, let's be honest, it looked pretty great in the film. The Force Awakens didn't really go into the specifics of the cross shaped sabre, but the Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary makes up for that, featuring a pretty detailed description of the odd looking sword:
"Kylo Ren’s unusual lightsaber is an ancient design, dating back thousands of years to the Great Scourge of Malachor. The crossguard blades, or quillons, are tributaries of the primary central blade, all spawning from a cracked kyber crystal that is the cause of their ragged, unstable appearance. An array of focusing crystal activators split the plasma stream into perpendicular blade energy channels creating the quillons. The emitter shrouds on the crossguard protect the bearer’s hand from the smaller blades."
There's a lot of interesting stuff here like the fact that the kyber crystal used in the lightsaber is cracked, which seems like a bit of a design flaw but suits Ren's unstable personality as he's torn between the light and dark.
Now comparisons have been drawn before between Kylo Ren and Darth Revan from the Knights of the Old Republic video game. Not only do they look very similar design wise with their helmets, hoods and flowing cloaks they also have a similar narrative path; with Revan being a Jedi Knight turned Dark Side, leading his own little band called the Order of Revan and possessing his own internal light and dark struggle which isolates him from his peers.
So the Visual Dictionary makes mention of "the Great Scourge of Malachor", something which hasn't come up either in the official canon or Expanded Universe as of yet. But there is something in Knights of the Old Republic 2 which could make that link.
In KOTOR 2 - as part of Revan's backstory - it's revealed that he and his general Meetra Surik pretty much destroyed the planet Malachor V using a super-weapon known as the Mass Shadow Generator. Malachor itself was a place of great Sith power, and Revan fought against and eventually destroyed the inhabitants whilst he was a Jedi General, so this looks like yet another link being drawn between Ren and Revan.
Could the Battle of Malachor V be what the Visual Dictionary refers to as the Great Scourge of Malachor? It seems likely, given that the Mass Shadow Generator left the planet a barren wasteland. Did Kylo Ren's lightsaber crystal come from Malachor, and was it cracked during the Scourge?
Of course Knights of the Old Republic has now been non-canonised, but that doesn't mean that Lucasfilm can't use elements from the EU in the upcoming films if they so desire, as they stated:
"Creators of new Star Wars entertainment have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe. For example, elements of the EU are included in Star Wars Rebels."
EuroGamer actually reached out to Lucasfilm for comment on this possible connection, but did not receive a response. What do you think?