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Star Wars Unveils a Sinister Twist in Huyang’s Jedi Backstory

by Lidia Lucovic

The Droid Professor Huyang, overseeing the lightsaber construction for generations, played a significant role in Star Wars lore. Both Ahsoka and The Clone Wars series provided viewers insights into his teaching methodologies for efficient and practical lightsaber crafting. However, a recent story within the High Republic saga has shed light on how he made permanent modifications to the fundamental lightsaber template, thereby cementing the iconic design familiar to Star Wars enthusiasts.

In “Star Wars: The High Republic – Shadows of Starlight #1” by Charles Soule, Ibraim Roberson, and Phil Noto, a groundbreaking revelation is unveiled, fundamentally reshaping the previously established understanding of Star Wars history.”Amidst the escalating threat posed by the Nihil, the Jedi High Council collectively decides to implement the Guardian Protocols, a proclamation that would permanently modify the construction process of lightsabers, attributed in part to Professor Huyang.

As illustrated in ‘Shadows of Starlight #1,’ these Guardian Protocols introduced novel regulations within the Jedi order, notably altering the lightsaber crafting procedures. Prior to this development, Jedi within the High Republic enjoyed the liberty of dedicating as much time as needed to customize their saber hilts, aligning them with their individual combat styles, personalities, and philosophical beliefs. However, the Guardian Protocols mandated strict adherence to Professor Huyang’s minimalist and efficient ‘battle saber’ design. Initially perceived as a temporary alteration, this design would eventually become the standard, evident in the lightsabers wielded by Jedi during the Prequel Era and beyond.

During the early stages of the Jedi Order, there was a notable absence of restrictions on lightsaber designs, leading to the creation of highly distinct and elaborately styled hilts. For instance, Stellan Gios possessed a white and gold crossguard lightsaber reminiscent of Excalibur, while Vernestra Rwoh wielded a multi-functional saber, including a lightwhip mode. Regrettably, the implementation of new protocols mandated a shift towards simplification of designs under Huyang’s guidance. This shift aimed to facilitate swift and straightforward replacement of lost sabers during the impending confrontations with the Nihil. The practice of dedicating time to meticulously engrave emblems and decorative motifs, craft uniquely contoured pommels and emitters, or integrate quillon beams into lightsaber hilts was forsaken in favor of expeditiously creating purely functional weapons.

The Onset of the Jedi Decline: Impact of Huyang’s Lightsaber Design

Kirak Infil’a, the Jedi credited with introducing the Barash Vow to Star Wars lore, contended that Jedi should prioritize using their sabers to save lives rather than focusing on aesthetic appeal. While his intent and that of the Jedi were arguably noble, the unintentional consequence of adopting Professor Huyang’s design as the standard through the Guardian Protocols marked the commencement of a gradual dogmatization within the Jedi Order. This process involved stripping away elements that distinguished each knight as an individual. Consequently, this decline played a significant role in the ultimate downfall of the Jedi. As observed by fans in Star Wars narratives of the Prequel Era, the Jedi progressively became resistant to diverse perspectives, to their own detriment.

This inflexibility appears to have initiated, or at least solidified, with the widespread adoption of Huyang’s standardized ‘battle saber,’ mandatory for all Jedi. Concurrently, as individuality seemingly diminished, so did the breadth of innovative ideas within the Jedi Order. Their demise depicted in ‘Revenge of the Sith’ can also be ascribed to their entrenched dogmatism, a consequence of their increasing entanglement in galactic politics and their unquestioning allegiance to the Republic’s wars. The pivotal point in their decline was the Order’s preference for tradition over progression, catalyzing their downfall—where Huyang stood as the herald of this turning point, permanently reconfiguring the Star Wars universe

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