The Star Wars tie-in comics have finally explained the huge plot hole in The Book of Boba Fett surrounding Yoda’s lightsaber. Most of Lucasfilm’s Disney+ TV shows have met with popular and critical acclaim, but unfortunately reception to The Book of Boba Fett was quite poor. Lucasfilm seemed aware of the problems, however, and by episode 5 the show had basically pivoted to become The Mandalorian season 2.5. The show’s focus changes with two episodes in which Boba Fett barely appears; episode 6 even features an unexpected visit to Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple, where viewers get to see Luke train Grogu (aka Baby Yoda).
Unfortunately, Luke’s training methods seem to draw on the lessons of Master Yoda, with the new Jedi Master forcing Grogu to make a choice between the way of the Jedi and the way of the Mandalorians. He does this by presenting Baby Yoda with two items, and asking him to choose between them; beskar armor from Din Djarin and Yoda’s old lightsaber, which he retrieved from the swamps of Dagobah. Many fans criticized Luke for this scene, arguing he’d gone back to the prequel era Jedi’s inability to understand the difference between attachment and love. More problematic, though, was a major plot hole involving Yoda’s lightsaber – because tie-in comics have shown Palpatine retrieving Yoda’s lightsaber after his battle with Master Yoda in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and having it destroyed.
Charles Soule and Steven Cummings’ Star Wars: Crimson Reign #3 subtly fixes this plot hole with a single line of dialogue. In this issue, a student of the Force who calls herself the Archivist attempts to discover Yoda’s location on behalf of the criminal empire known as Crimson Dawn. She is assigned the task by Crimson Dawn’s leader, Lady Qi’ra, who notes the Empire never announced his death. “They made a great show of the other Jedi they killed,” she points out. “Many lightsabers were melted down in Imperial Plaza — including one of Yoda’s.” It’s easy to miss, but this is a simple and effective fix; it means Yoda had more than one lightsaber.
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, it made the difficult decision to erase the old Expanded Universe from continuity. In return, Disney promised that all content would now be equally canon – whether films, TV shows, comics or novels. The plot hole involving Yoda’s lightsaber was seen as evidence that Star Wars canon has become meaningless, but in truth Star Wars: Crimson Empire #3 is a reminder that canon and continuity should be seen as something that evolves. Where a mistake is made – especially a high-profile one like this – it’s possible for later writers to correct it. In this case, the retcon that Yoda had more than one lightsaber is probably the only one that works, but it’s done with an admirable degree of subtlety.
The interesting question, of course, is why Yoda possessed multiple lightsabers. In theory, a Jedi originally intends to bond to just one lightsaber, which becomes almost like an extension of their own body and a focus for the Force. “When you’re attuned to the Force, your thoughts and actions all become part of the same flow of energy,” Luke Skywalker observes in the in-universe Jedi training manual Secrets of the Jedi, “which is then directed through the kyber crystal and into your lightsaber’s blade.” This is why Anakin and Luke’s lightsaber is venerated; because it contains a fragment of their own essence. And it is why Rey could hear that lightsaber “calling” to her in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the voice of previous Skywalkers echoing through the Force to summon the next in their lineage. Given this is the case, it seems rather odd that Yoda would have multiple lightsabers, including the one seen in the prequels and the one from The Book of Boba Fett. Hopefully future Star Wars tie-ins will help explain why.