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Everything You Need to Know about Lightsaber Colors

There are many weapons in the science fiction universe. But the most unique and iconic of weapons is the lightsaber. It was first seen in Star Wars back in 1977. Creator George Lucas wanted to refer back to the swashbuckling days of Errol Flynn. So he created what he originally called the "laser sword". The typical lightsaber is shown as a glowing blade of plasma contained in a magnetic field.

Since then it's been seen in movies, television, and comic books. They seem to come in a dizzying variety of colors. But what do the colors mean? Is there any significance to green versus purple? Why are lightsabers red? Read on to find out.

Why Are Lightsabers Different Colors?

The color of the lightsaber is produced from "kyber" crystals that resonate in the blade. The crystals are found in Crystal Caves on one of three planets: Adega, Ilum, and Dantooine.

Each of the crystals is unique and gives the blade a different color and ability. Before the crystal can be used in the saber the wielder, either Jedi or Sith, has to imbue Force energy into it.

The Jedi use natural crystals, but those crystals are sentient and will only respond to light side energy.  So Sith, who reject the light side of the Force, can't use them without force. The Sith sometimes use synthetic crystals but prefer to use a crystal stolen from a fallen Jedi. The synthetic crystals were made from a special furnace and have vicious properties.

The Force guides the user to the crystal and sometimes the color.

Blue Lightsaber

Notable Users: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Ki-Adi-Mundi

Have you ever wondered what a blue lightsaber means? When Star Wars first started there were only two colors of Lightsaber. On the set, the movie used white sticks. But they colored Luke Skywalker's lightsaber blue to show that he's good. 

In Star Wars lore there are classes to the Jedi. Those using blue were from the Jedi "Guardian" class. These were Jedi who used the Force on a more physical level. Blue is the most common lightsaber in the world of Star Wars. Guardians are highly skilled at lightsaber combat and don't use as many leaps and acrobatics in their fighting style. Blue lightsaber users fight head-on and never shy away from a battle.

Green Lightsaber 

Notable Users: Luke Skywalker, Master Yoda

So what does a green lightsaber mean? In Empire Strikes Back they wanted to establish that Luke Skywalker had a new Lightsaber. So they added a new color. This is the first time a green blade is shown in a movie.

Green is the second most common lightsaber, behind blue. Green indicated the Jedi "Consular" class. These Jedi preferred to reflect on the mysteries of the Force and fight the dark side at its heart. Those who use green lightsabers are at peace and only use force as a last resort.

Red Lightsabers

Notable users: Darth Vader, Darth Maul

Now we turn to the second most famous lightsaber color: Red. But have you ever wondered what a red lightsaber means? Behind the scenes, they colored Darth Vaders lightsaber red to show that he's evil. All Sith sabers are red. Did you ever wonder why? All lightsabers are powered by what they call Kyber crystals. Kyber crystals are organic living things.

The Sith corrupts everything and that includes the crystals. In order to use them to power the lightsabers, they have to force them to work. They channel hate, anger, and pain into the crystals until they submit to their will. But there a dark secret behind the color. In Darth Vader #5 (2017) it's revealed the Sith force causes the crystals to bleed red. Chilling.

Purple Lightsabers

Notable user: Mace Windu

Only one person uses the color purple. But it has a hidden meaning. By the prequels, they'd established that there were two colors for Jedi lightsabers. The Jedi use one of two colors: Blue or green. That is until Samuel L. Jackson. 

Jackson loves the color purple and has decked himself out in purple for every role. He decided he wanted a purple lightsaber so he could tell himself apart in a crowd of Jedi. George Lucas first said he had to pick green or blue but finally relented. So Samuel L. Jackson has the first purple Lightsaber.

In Star Wars lore the users of a purple blade were skilled and experienced enough to balance the use of both the Light and Dark Sides of the Force. Mace Windu was known to use a fighting style that channeled dark side energy for its ferocity.

Yellow Lightsabers  

Notable Users: Rey Palpatine, Luke Skywalker

Yellow lightsabers are rare. The first one seen in the movies was used by Rey in Rise of Skywalker.  It's revealed that Rey advanced in her training enough to build her own Lightsaber. The double-bladed weapon had a yellow blade.

Yellow lightsabers were used by the "Sentinel" class. A Jedi that used a yellow blade was of the Jedi Sentinel class. They honed their skills in a balance of combat and scholarly pursuits. The sentinels had served as the guards of the Jedi Temple. The Sentinels favored skills that were beyond the Force. Skills like security, computer technology, stealth techniques, demolitions, repair, or medicine. While Rey is the first we'd seen in the movies it turns out the first in the canon Star Wars universe was Luke. He loses his in Empire Strikes Back. In Star Wars #6 (2020) it's revealed that Luke built a yellow lightsaber.

White Lightsabers 

Notable User: Ahsoka Tano

Have you ever wondered what a blue lightsaber means? As I said before while filming the original film's lightsaber scenes, the blades were white rods colored in post-production.

Ahsoka Tano on the animated series Star Wars Rebels was the first to have a white saber. When she first appeared as Anakin Skywalker's apprentice (Padawan) she used a green lightsaber. When she showed up again many years later she carried a lightsaber with a white blade. 

Technically white is a combination of all colors and it signifies something. White lightsabers mean the person is neither a Sith nor Jedi. They're independent. 

After Ahsoka Tano left the Jedi Order she found a red lightsaber and purified the Kyber crystal leaving it white. After the Clone Wars, she decided to free herself of the bureaucracy of the Jedi and the evil path of the Sith.

Black Lightsaber 

Notable Users: Pre Vizsla, Moff Gideon

Lightsabers come in a bunch of colors and styles. One of the most unique is the black-bladed lightsaber nicknamed the "Darksaber". Imagined as the opposite of the Lightsaber it used dark energy to forge the blade. It was first seen on the television animated series Star Wars Rebels. The idea of the weapon came to from creator George Lucas. "George wrote that little speech [about the Darksaber] for Pre Vizsla," Dave Filoni said in a Star Wars Rebels behind-the-scenes featurette. "What I added to that was this idea that the Darksaber was Mandalorian-made. That it was something that the Mandalorians felt was part of their heritage would make it way more valuable."

In Star Wars lore the Darksaber was created by an ancient Mandalorian named Tarre Vizsla. He was the first of his people inducted into the Jedi Order.  The weapon was stored in the Jedi Temple until it was stolen by the Mandalorian descendants of House Vizsla. After that, it became a symbol of leadership. It was most recently seen on the Disney+ series The Mandalorian when antagonist Moff Gideon, played by Giancarlo Esposito, cuts himself free of a crashed Tie Fighter.

About the Author
Maurice Mitchell has been a passionate science-fiction fan of movies, television, books, and comics since age five. He and his twin brother Nigel created the site "The Geek Twins" to share that passion. Maurice has written and created infographics for sites like The Geek Twins and About.com. His work has been featured on sites like Business Insider, io9 Slashfilm and more.
Read more of his posts | Follow him on Twitter @Mauricem1972 

Which lightsaber color is your favorite? Who's lightsaber is the best? Let us know in the comments below!
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