I didn’t want her building it, I just wanted it to appear, like Luke’s appeared.
But Luke’s saber had an established origin story, since Vader confirmed that Luke constructed it himself. Rey finally building her own lightsaber would be an important step on her character arc, just like it was for Luke.
As for treating it like a joke, I don’t feel that’s as out of left field as is being suggested. It’s being tossed to show that it’s not a holy object, and given where Luke is at spiritually makes the most sense for his character to do. Calling it a laser sword is quoting the original trilogy, and again echos the dismissiveness that fits Luke’s character. As for porgs playing with it, that’s no more silly that Luke about to stab himself in the face in A New Hope or Anakin’s previous lightsaber being chopped in half and Anakin treating the moment like his parent is gonna ground him for getting a bad grade on homework.
A few criticisms of that:
- I already said that I agree with Rian’s stance in theory. Lightsabers aren’t holy objects, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. I just feel like TLJ went too far.
- The term “laser sword” never appeared in the OT. The only time it was used elsewhere was when Anakin realized Qui-Gon was a Jedi, where it was used to show his inexperience in the Force. The explanation of Luke being dismissive might make sense though. I guess I just don’t like Luke’s “sarcastic old man” attitude in TLJ.
- That scene of Luke almost stabbing himself was an alternate take that wasn’t used in the movie, and I didn’t like the “Obi-Wan’s gonna kill me” line anyways.