Star Wars: Why Does Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber Crackle?

kylo ren

When he was introduced in ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens,’ Kylo Ren immediately became the topic of many different fans because of his lightsaber. The thing about his lightsaber is that it was unique in the sense that it had a crossguard design. But what made it a lot more unique was the fact the blade was very unstable while the hilt was emitting it. So, why does Kylo Ren’s lightsaber crackle?

Kylo Ren’s lightsaber crackles because it has a cracked and unstable Kyber crystal that turned out the way it did after he poured his negative energy into it during the bleeding process of the crystal. Due to Kylo Ren’s bottled-up emotions and confused state, the bleeding process made the crystal unstable.

While we often look at Darth Vader as a tragic figure, Kylo Ren wasn’t any different from his grandfather because he also became a tragic figure that was never truly evil but was the result of the different circumstances surrounding his upbringing. As such, he turned into a person who did not even know what he truly wanted in his life, which is reflected in the unstable form of his lightsaber.

Is Kylo Ren’s Kyber crystal unstable?

Kylo Ren was first introduced as one of the villains of the sequel Star Wars trilogy. When he appeared in ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens,’ he had a lightsaber with an unstable and crackling blade. This is unlike the other lightsabers we’ve seen in the past, as the blade of a regular lightsaber is stable. But Kylo Ren’s lightsaber had a crackling blade that ultimately made him stand out as a villain.

kylo ren saber

The fact that Kylo Ren’s crackling lightsaber blade was the product of the process that turned lightsabers red. We know that Kylo Ren was once Ben Solo, the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo and the grandson of Anakin Skywalker.

However, his experiences in his life made him a confused young man that didn’t know what was happening around him. Things worsened when his family started hiding the past from him out of fear that he would also turn to the dark side if he ever learned the true secret behind his family.

However, when Ben ultimately learned the truth and got closer to dark side users in the form of the Knights of Ren and Snoke, he was tempted by the dark side of the Force. Luke sensed this, and that was when he attempted to kill his nephew, only for him to stop because he couldn’t kill his family. But Ben was shattered by the fact that his own master and uncle actually thought about killing him, which ultimately led him to the dark side.

Now known as Kylo Ren, he had to “bleed” the Kyber crystal in his lightsaber as part of the process that turns a lightsaber red. He poured his malice and darkness into the Kyber crystal using the dark side of the Force. But what turned out was a crystal with an unstable cracked shape.


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In that regard, Kylo Ren’s Kyber crystal turned into an unstable mess due to the bleeding process. Because the crystal itself was unstable, the blade that it emitted out of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber was also unstable. And that explains the crackling that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber makes.

Why does Kylo Ren’s lightsaber have three blades?

On top of the fact that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber came with a crackling blade that resulted from the unstable Kyber crystal that was powering it, another thing that made it unique was that it came with three blades. Of course, there is the main blade, which is longer than most lightsaber blades. The other two were very short blades emitted from the vents just above the lightsaber’s hilt.

This design was always called the crossguard lightsaber, which was very popular in the Jedi Order thousands of years ago. While the crossguard lightsaber served a specific purpose in that the smaller blades were extra weapons, there was a very good reason why Kylo Ren had to adopt a crossguard design for his red lightsaber.

As mentioned, his Kyber crystal was very unstable due to what happened during the bleeding process that turned it red. Because the crystal spewed out uncontrollable energy, Ren needed a crossguard design that allowed the vents to serve as an exit for the extra energy that the Kyber crystal emitted whenever Kylo Ren used his lightsaber.

The design itself was chosen out of necessity and not out of choice. On the other hand, most of the Jedi of the past used the crossguard design if they were practitioners of Form II: Makashi combat form, which isn’t necessarily something that Kylo Ren actually uses.

Kylo Ren was still confused

While we did mention that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber had an unstable Kyber crystal due to the bleeding process, this is the first time we’ve seen this happening in canon. Those who’ve turned to the dark side usually bleed their Kyber crystals without a problem and end up with stable crystals. And the fact that Kylo Ren had an unstable Kyber crystal reflects his entire character.

kylo ren crystal

As mentioned, Ben Solo grew up under problematic circumstances. Leia and Luke hid the truth about Vader because they feared what learning the truth could do to Ben. However, Solo eventually learns the truth in the worst way possible, and this affects his relationship with Leia, who retreated from her political career due to the backlash surrounding the revelation that her true father was a genocidal war criminal.

Luke also found it difficult to provide counsel and support because he did his part in keeping the truth hidden from Ben. This led Ben to befriend the wrong people, including the Knights of Ren, which were users of the dark side. He also came into contact with Snoke, who wanted to complete Ben’s training and turn him into a being far stronger than his grandfather ever was.


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There was also the fact that the pressure on Ben’s shoulders was immense. He was named after a legendary figure in Old Ben Kenobi and was the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo. And because he was Luke Skywalker’s nephew, he was supposed to be a great Jedi that had the makings of the leader of the future generations of Jedi Knights.

In that regard, the earlier part of his life was nothing short of confusing for him. He had to live up to the legends of the heroes that came before him but was demystified by the fact that his own parents and his uncle hid the truth from him because they were afraid that Ben could also turn evil. 

So, when Ben Solo finally embraced the dark side, he was still a confused young man who wasn’t sure about his feelings. He poured his malice and darkness into his Kyber crystal to bleed it. But it turned out that he could lie to his feelings, and this caused the bleeding process to mess up. As such, the Kyber crystal became an unstable cracked object reflecting Kylo Ren’s unstable personality.

Of course, it was proven that Kylo Ren never fully turned to the dark side because Rey Skywalker and Leia Organa eventually redeemed him and made him embrace his identity as Ben Solo once more. And when he finally used the Skywalker Lightsaber after he ditched his unstable lightsaber, he embraced his true identity as a Skywalker.

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