Please do not discuss these details openly on social media as to accidentally spoil anyone that wishes to refrain from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story spoilers.
As readers know, recent Star Wars books have discussed the Death Star’s superlaser and the use of Kyber crystals. The Kyber crystals are probably most known for their use in lightsabers. The Jedi went into the crystal caves on Ilum and if they succeeded came out with a crystal to build their new lightsabers. Ezra Bridger communed with Yoda inside a Jedi temple on Lothal and was then awarded the crystal from the temple. The Empire would apparently use a large one to power the Death Star. The Death Star is how the Kyber crystals link to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
We don’t know how much the Kyber crystal will play into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story but what we do know is interesting.
The crates themselves are called Kyber crystal crates on set. The crystals are being taken (mined?) from a mountain where they are placed into crates. There is a communication platform there on the side of the mountain where Imperial scientists reside. Death Squad’s Death Troopers are also at the location for the sequence. On set there were a lot of crates. We may have seen these crates in drone photos but we aren’t certain yet.
We speculate that the crystals are being mined for synthesis by the scientists. The Death Troopers are there to protect the valuable crystals. Perhaps the Empire has had some problems with getting that crystal to focus properly? Is the mountain simply a mine or a secret research facility? It is all pretty fascinating.
It also appears as if Paul Weston (who played a Nikto in Return of the Jedi) plays a scientist in this sequence. We were just told Paul Weston plays a scientist, so we assume it is Return of the Jedi‘s Paul Weston. We aren’t sure if he’s playing a human or a Nikto again, however.
An unproduced arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars gave us this:
With so many tales of the Empire stripping worlds of their precious materials, I would imagine the Empire would mine up all the Kyber crystals for the Death Star project (or worse). I wonder if this is why the temple on Lothal awarded Ezra his crystal instead of sending him to a crystal cave on Ilum? So many questions could be answered in future books around the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Perhaps when we see Ezra’s new saber next season we will learn how he got a new crystal, if he needed one?
The gist is, there be Kyber crystals in them there mountains! Imperial scientists have them.