Kyber Crystals Originally Had A Very Different Impact On The 'Star Wars' Universe
From Healing Powers To Lightsaber Power Source
If there is one thing Star Wars is known for, ideas are never thrown out. Perhaps they are not suitable for this situation, but hold on to them, they might be useful for a future project. Long before (approximately 25 years) Samuel L. Jackson played Jedi Master Mace Windu in The Phantom Menace, Mace Windu's name appeared in George Lucas' very rough draft for Star Wars. Even midi-chlorians were an early concept, despite the divisiveness they caused among older fans in 1999.
Another early concept was the Kyber crystal, which appeared in an early draft of the original Star Wars. At that time, it was spelled Kiber. It made its first official appearance in the book Splinter of the Minds Eye in 1978. Fans know that Splinter of the Minds Eye would have been the sequel to Star Wars had it not been an enormous success. However, Kyber crystals originally had a very different impact on the Star Wars universe than powering the Jedi's lightsabers.
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Kyber crystals are an integral part of a younglings training to be a Jedi in the current Star Wars canon. As seen in The Clone Wars, younglings travel to the planet Ilum to find the Kyber crystal that calls to them. Only then do they know it is the crystal they need to build their lightsaber. But, unfortunately, kyber crystals can be corrupted by the dark side of the Force. When this happens, the Sith makes the crystal bleed, changing it from its natural color to red. This explains why the Sith lightsabers are all red.
In the early days of Star Wars, the Kyber crystal had an entirely different use. After the initial rough draft for Star Wars, kyber crystals reappeared in Splinter of the Minds Eye by Allen Dean Foster, where the spelling changed to Kaiburr. Splinter of the Minds Eye sees Luke and Leia on their way to Cicarpous IV to meet with their fellow rebels, but a storm causes them to crash on the swamp planet, Mimban. It is there that they are forced to evade imperial detection while fighting for survival.
During their crisis, Luke and Leia meet an old woman named Halla, who senses Luke's connection with the Force. Halla reveals a crystal shard to Luke and asks him to help her find the rest. The fragment can magnify one's Force power. Little do they know that Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, also pursues the Kaiburr crystal. It is just a matter of who finds it first.
So whereas the Kyber crystals in today's Star Wars are a vital part of a Jedi's lightsaber, it initially was a tool to strengthen a Jedi's connection to the Force. It also aided a Jedi with healing powers, much like how Rey healed Ben Solo in The Rise of Skywalker and how Grogu healed Greef Karga in The Mandalorian. However, the Kaiburr had a much different effect for dark side users. Rather than healing powers, it would amplify their internal use of the Force.
For example, during a clash between Luke and Vader in The Splinter of the Minds Eye, Vader overwhelmed his opponent quickly due to the increased power from the Kaiburr crystal. It's sort of like that extra shot of caffeine in the morning. Despite Vader's hindered Force connection due to his mechanical body, the Kaiburr allowed the machine parts of Vader to connect to the Force as well. Vader could even temporarily use Force lightning, something not seen until the Emperor in Return of the Jedi. But, in the end, the Kaiburr crystal was a deal with the devil for Vader. Eventually, his power faded and he lost control, losing his battle with Luke.
Another drawback of the Kaiburr crystal was that the further it was from the temple on Mimban, the weaker it got. Darn those cell phone signals! The Kaiburr would later appear in the video games Knights of the Old Republic II: Sith Lords and The Force Unleashed. The Legends version of the Kaiburr is an interesting take and could work in the newer canon with a few small tweaks. Besides, what is the point of having a powerful crystal if it loses its power away from its source? No one wants to be plugged in all day.
Written by Eric Onkenhout
Syndicated from Culture Slate