While we haven't seen much of The Force Awakens yet, one thing we have seen is the highly controversial cross-guard lightsaber wielded by the mysterious cloaked figure currently known to us only by a brief segment of the teaser trailer, and his name: Kylo Ren.
In an interview with the New Yorker, Apple's chief designer Jonathan Ive has recalled a dinner party conversation he attended with Star Wars director JJ Abrams where the topic of conversation turned towards lightsaber design.
It was just a conversation... I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty... more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.
It's unknown as to how influential Ive's suggestion to Abrams was, but if anybody was going to design a more sinister looking lightsaber it would be Apple. ;)