Star Wars is trying to address a core design issue with Kylo Ren’s lightsaber with The High Republic. Reactions to the design of the villain's signature weapon were met online with equal excitement and confusion when The Force Awakens came onto the scene. Now, Star Wars’ Lightsaber Collection book gives one of the older Jedi a more grounded version of Kylo’s iconic weapon. Master Stellan Gios will be rocking a lightsaber with a crossguard, but there’s an important distinction with this sword according to artist Grant Griffin and Disney Publishing illustration manager Jeff R. Thomas. They told StarWars.com about how they’re approaching it with The High Republic.
“When designing Stellan’s lightsaber, I looked at the iconic lightsabers that have already been established,” Thomas explained. “He needed an iconic weapon that could stand beside the other famous lightsabers, but at the same time be unique to him and evoke the time period of the High Republic.”
In this house we stan Stellan Gios and his amazing lightsaber 😍 pic.twitter.com/EuysZPH3ro— Zen✨ (@ZenSkywaIker) September 23, 2020
The caption in the book reads: "....Gios' lightsaber is an elegant weapon with a crossguard and a longer hilt that allows him to easily wield it with two hands like a broadsword. The crossguard's quillons point forward when the saber is not in use, and the weapon rests in a holster that leaves the saber easily accessible. the hilt features striking black, gold, and silver details. When the saber ignites, the crossguard blades push the quillions outward, forming caps to the blades and creating a secondary guard."
From there it was a natural fit to adapt something like Kylo’s design and make it more attuned to the era in question.
"With the High Republic, we wanted to implement a more traditional crossguard, but I still wanted to include the saber-blade into the crossguard design, so that Stellan would be able to defend himself against saber attacks. That’s where Excalibur came into play,” Thomas added.
“What would a lightsaber version of Excalibur look like? I started sketching and came up with a silhouette I really liked, but the practicality of holstering/sheathing it nagged at me until I had the idea that the crossguard didn’t have to be stationary. Perhaps it could activate or deactivate with the saber. So after some more sketches and some back and forth with Lucasfilm, it was decided that the crossguard would activate as opposed to always being open, which would give the saber the slimmer silhouette while holstered and would lend itself to some great visuals when activating.”
Do you like this version of the crossguard saber better? Let us know in the comments!