Warning! Spoilers Ahead for “Star Wars” #25
In the latest issue of Star Wars, the crucial difference between Jedi and Sith lightsabers has been revealed. Being in fact the same weapon, lightsabers symbolize ideals diametrically opposed to the light and dark sides of the Force. Similarly, cyber-powered blades and the way they are used vary greatly depending on the user (whether a Jedi or a Sith). Anakin Skywalker will learn about these key differences in this new issue as a Jedi Padawan, and later in life as a Sith Lord Darth Vader.
While Marvel Comics’ flagship “Star Wars” series usually takes place between “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” the new issue of “Star Wars #25” is a special issue dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the writing of the “Star Wars” script by writer Charles Soule in various novels and comics. Thus, the new issue consists of four short stories written by Soul with a stellar team of artists with whom he worked on past comic book series such as Darth Vader (2017), The Rise of Kylo Ren, Po Dameron, Obi-Wan and Anakin, and others. Thus, the first two stories are called “The Lesson”, the first shows a sparring between Kenobi and Skywalker, and the second shows a much darker duel between the Emperor and Darth Vader years later.
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As can be seen from the new issue of Star Wars, in both stories Anakin/Vader will learn about the lightsaber and what it represents to the Jedi and Sith. As a padawan, Anakin learns from his teacher Obi-Wan that all Jedi use lightsabers as a single weapon, symbolizing their commitment to protecting and defending the galaxy. The lightsaber allows them to “stand firm against the darkness” as one Jedi Order dedicated to the light side of the Force. In addition, the lightsaber also represents the deliberate limitations of the Jedi in their quest for control and balance.
On the contrary, the second story and lesson unfold years after Anakin crossed over to the dark side in the form of Darth Vader. While training with Emperor Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious), Vader is defeated by his new teacher and punished for “fighting like a Jedi”. According to Sidious, the Sith use lightsabers not as their main weapon, but only as a symbol. Instead, they rely on their command and manipulation of the dark side of the Force to crush their enemies. Thus, the main purpose of the Sith lightsaber is to serve as a symbol of fear.
This deeper exploration of the various uses of the lightsaber is incredibly fascinating for the Star Wars galaxy. This new issue not only indicates the Jedi Order’s reverence for the Force through the use of the lightsaber, but also shows that they accept this weapon despite its limitations. This is in stark contrast to the Empire using Cyber crystals to create a Death Star superlaser. The Sith do not have the same reverence for the lightsaber and instead use the dark side to achieve their dark victories. They rely much less on the lightsaber as their primary weapon, using it as a symbol, preferring to use the destructive power of the dark side.
Using Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader to point out these key differences is genius on Soul’s part. After all, Anakin is one of the few beings in the entire Star Wars galaxy who have served both the light and dark sides of the Force. Thus, he has a rather unique lens, given his dual experience of learning how to wield a lightsaber as a Jedi and a Sith. Naturally, this makes reading both stories back to back incredibly fascinating.