I was able to get ahold of tomorrow’s Star Wars 35 early and not only is it a great read (one of the best from this run, certainly), it’s a potential future key issue.
We get some new character appearances AND some important additions to Star Wars lore in regards to Kyber crystals and Luke Skywalker’s green lightsaber from The Return of the Jedi.
Full spoilers below.
Star Wars #35
(W) Charles Soule (A) Madibek Musabekov (CA) Stephen Segovia
LUKE SKYWALKER…IN THE CLUTHES OF DR. CUATA! The would-be JEDI’S LIGHTSABER is all but destroyed! Enter KYBER CRYSTAL expert DR. CUATA! Only he can repair it…but at what price? Luke’s life will hang in the balance…and only ANOTHER JEDI can save him!
In Shops: Jun 07, 2023
Alright… so what has me excited about this issue? Let’s dig in.
The story kicks off where the last issue, Star Wars #34, left off. With Luke standing in front of the Pantoran Kyber crystal expert Dr. Cuata on the planet Cristophsis.
Star Wars 35 is the first full appearance of Dr. Cuata with Star Wars 34 being considered a first “cameo” appearance by the market. I really hope they use him because there’s a ton of potential there. Very cool, yet odd, character.
After requesting Luke Hand over his lightsaber he says that the Kyber crystals strung along his necklace are telling him that Luke needs his help. I know that Kyber crystals have been described as being “alive” in other Star Wars media but my interpretation is that Cuata can (or thinks he can) have direct conversations with the crystals.
It’s hard to say if he’s insane or if he can actually speak to the crystals.
Remember Luke is currently using a High Republic lightsaber that he found in an old Jedi Temple. The crystal was cracked when a Nihil droid tried to destroy it on the old Great Hall of the Nihil in No-Space. That arc takes place in Star Wars 31-33.
After a proper introduction from Dr. Cuata’s assistant, Gretta, who first appeared last issue in Star Wars 34, Luke agrees that he needs Cuata’s help to cure his Kyber crystal if he ever wants to have a chance to defeat Darth Vader so he hands over the lightsaber and they head into Cuata’s workshop.
In the workshop, Dr. Cuata agrees to help Luke fix his lightsaber but only if Luke does something for him in return. He also confirms what I have suspected for some time now, that Luke’s High Republic lightsaber is an old Temple Guard lightsaber. That part isn’t all that important but I found it interesting.
Next, we get a lesson on how lightsabers work as Cuata explains how all of the pieces function together as he fixes up Luke’s lightsaber to function with his cracked Kyber crystal.
But now it’s time for Luke to pay his asking price and fulfill his end of the bargain. He asks Luke to connect with an old Sith Kyber crystal that has been bled to turn red. The canon explanation for red Kyber crystals are that the darkside user pours all their hate, fear, and suffering into the crystal using the force to corrupt it. Turning it red.
Dr. Cuata and Gretta explain that you can reverse the effects by connecting with the crystal using the light side of the force. They claim the crystals can be healed.
Now, things get weird.
When Luke connects with the red Kyber crystal his physical body goes unconscious but his mind is sent to an ancient Sith temple where a female Sith Lord sits on a throne next to her two Charhounds.
First off, I have no idea who this is. My interpretation is that she is the Sith who bled the Kyber crystal that Dr. Cuata wanted Luke to heal. And that Luke is seeing an imprint of that Sith in his force vision.
This may seem obvious at first but on the next page the Sith talks as if she IS the Kyber crystal.
Whoever or whatever it is, this would be their first appearance in a comic book. If she shows up in a larger story down the road this could be a significant key issue. But even if not, this has huge implications on Star Wars lore and bled Kyber crystals.
If you’re able to speak to a version of the person who bled the Kyber crystal it would open up a ton of potential stories of Luke (or any Jedi) connecting with red Kyber to get insight into the Sith.
After Luke and the Sith touch hands he is sent to some sort of force plane where he’s confronted by Darth Vader in his vision. This is similar to the place where Darth Vader went in Charles Soule’s Star Wars: Darth Vader (2017) run when Lord Momin created a portal in his Castle on Mustafar.
After he get’s destroyed by Darth Vader in his vision Luke wakes up, back in Dr. Cuata’s workshop. Luke failed to heal the crystal but to be fair to him he didn’t really get any instructions on what to do.
Even though Luke is still in a panic, Dr. Cuata wants him to connect to a “young” kyber crystal. One that is only a million years old and, much like Ahsoka’s Kyber crystals, is white.
Cuata explains that Luke has never really been connected with his two lightsabers. His current lightsaber was found. Not chosen. His previous lightsaber, Anakin’s, given to him by Obi-Wan in A New Hope, was a gift. Neither carried the connection that most Jedi have with their Kyber crystals.
So Luke agrees and is sent into another force vision.
Instead of seeing a Sith, this time Luke is greeted by Master Yoda. After a conversation between the two Luke tries to leave as his connection to the force has pulled back again.
The interesting part here is that once Luke snaps out of the Force vision we get one more page of Master Yoda speaking with the force ghost of Obi-Wan. This implies that this interaction was real. Without Luke actively meditating with the crystal the vision should have ended. Yet Yoda and Obi-Wan have a conversation about it.
Back in Cuata’s workshop Luke opens his hand to find that the white Kyber crystal is now green. AFTER 40 YEARS WE FINALLY HAVE AN ANSWER TO WHERE HIS GREEN KYBER CRYSTAL CAME FROM IN RETURN OF THE JEDI! I can’t imagine anyone (aside from Soule of course) predicted this origin story.
Personally, I love it. Luke has spent his entire training using other Jedi’s Kyber crystals and lightsabers. By him finally getting his very own, one that he’s connected to on a deep level, it’s symbolic that he’s finally ready to become a Jedi.
The issue ends with Luke Skywalker taking his High Republic lightsaber, his new green Kyber crystal, AND the red Sith Kyber crystal with him as he leaves Dr. Cuata.
Gretta, who I haven’t talked about enough in this post, also leaves having fulfilled her debt to her family by helping Luke in his quest to learn more about Kyber crystals. At least that’s what I THINK she says. It was honestly a little confusing.
The important part for comic speculation is that she seems set up to be included in future stories. My best guess is that she joins the Rebellion and will be included in future Leia arcs.
So here’s the deal with this one. We don’t really have that many canon Sith. Even less that are in comics before any other media. The first appearance of the female Sith from Luke’s Kyber fueled visions could be a big deal if we learn more about her. Considering that Luke took the bled crystal with him it feels like we’ll revisit that well sooner than later.
Aside from that this issue appears to have finally answered the question Star Wars fans have been asking since Return of the Jedi first aired 40 years ago, “Where tf did Luke get that green lightsaber?!”
Hope you guys enjoyed.
Until next time.
Grand Admiral Frik