You can thank Samuel Jackson (Mace Windu) for the plethora of Star Wars lightsaber color selections. There used to be only three but he asked for a purple one, and eventually, the rigidity of Star Wars canon opened up like floodgates to welcome other lightsaber colors (and other possibilities).
While some colors are instantly recognizable, like the iconic blue, red, and green lightsabers, others are shrouded in mystery, waiting to be explained. Because, like Samuel Jackson’s purple lightsaber, every uncommon lightsaber color in Star Wars now has a lore.
Blue Lightsabers: Strength
The soothing azure glow of a blue lightsaber is synonymous with Jedi Guardians, individuals who excel in both lightsaber combat and their connection to the Force. Characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker wielded blue lightsabers during their time as Jedi Knights.
This color signifies not only their strength in combat but also their readiness to protect and defend the galaxy.
Blue lightsabers are often associated with Jedi who are skilled in harnessing the Force to manipulate objects, intercept projectiles, and outmaneuver their adversaries. They are the frontline defenders, embodying the Jedi’s commitment to justice and peace.
Green Lightsabers: Wisdom
In contrast to the Guardians, Jedi Consulars opt for the verdant hue of a green lightsaber. These wise and philosophical individuals focus on understanding the deeper mysteries of the Force.
Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Luke Skywalker all wielded green lightsabers, signifying their harmonious connection with the spiritual side of the Force.
Green lightsabers are often associated with Jedi who prioritize mental aspects over combat prowess. They are the scholars, the seekers of knowledge, and those who strive to maintain balance and cooperation within the galaxy.
Yellow Lightsabers: Protection
The radiant yellow glow of a lightsaber is associated with Jedi Sentinels, individuals who blend the skills of Jedi Guardians and Jedi Consulars. These Sentinels often rely on their mastery of the Force and other talents to serve those in need.
Rey Skywalker, Jedi Temple Guards, and Asajj Ventress have all wielded yellow lightsabers.
Jedi Sentinels, who often guard Jedi Temples, use yellow double-bladed lightsabers to symbolize their unique role in protecting the Jedi’s ideals and maintaining order in the galaxy. Often, they do not engage in active combat so they’re rarely seen on the battlefield.
Red Lightsabers: Corruption
The menacing crimson glow of a red lightsaber is an unmistakable symbol of the Sith, individuals who have succumbed to the seductive allure of the dark side of the Force.
Sith Lords like Darth Vader, Darth Sidious, and Kylo Ren wield red lightsabers, a stark contrast to the Jedi’s noble blue and green blades.
The Sith are unable to forge a connection with Kyber crystals like the Jedi, resorting to stealing or corrupting them to create red lightsabers. This act of “bleeding” the crystals represents their embrace of hate, fear, and the dark side. The red lightsaber is a constant reminder of their destructive intentions and lust for power.
Purple Lightsabers: Balance
The enigmatic purple lightsaber, famously wielded by Jedi Master Mace Windu, holds a unique place in the lightsaber spectrum.
Samuel L. Jackson, a Star Wars enthusiast, “requested” this distinctive color to stand out, and it has since been embraced by fans. In the Expanded Universe, it represents a perfect balance between the blue and red lightsabers, signifying the user’s understanding of both the light and dark sides of the Force. This lore has since been adopted into the canon.
Mace Windu’s mastery over the Force allowed him to resist the temptations of the Dark Side while continuing to explore the light. The purple lightsaber represents a rare harmony within a Jedi, making it a symbol of honor and moral ambiguity.
To further explain why purple lightsabers are rare, its users have a tendency to tap into the dark side for power and advantage while keeping its temptations at bay. So while purple lightsaber users tend to be more powerful compared to other Jedi (just as Mace Windu is the better fighter than Yoda), they also regularly put themselves in danger of becoming Sith.
Hence, it’s not unreasonable to assume that some of them might have succumbed.
Orange Lightsabers: Conflict
Orange lightsabers, though less commonly seen, have recently gained attention in the Star Wars universe. You can spot these neon-hued blades in the Ahsoka series, wielded by seemingly villainous characters who are neither Jedi nor Sith. That isn’t to say all orange lightsaber wielders are villainous.
While the exact meaning of orange lightsabers remains a mystery, they could signify individuals who find themselves caught between the opposing sides of the Force.
Notable users of orange lightsabers include Yaddle, Freedon Nadd, Baylon Skoll, and Shin Hati.
White Lightsabers: Purity
White lightsabers, a symbol of purity and independence, were primarily used by Ahsoka Tano. She crafted these special lightsabers by purifying the Kyber crystals she obtained from defeated Imperial Inquisitors. The transformation from red to white represented her detachment from the Jedi Order and her commitment to her own path.
Ahsoka’s white lightsabers are a testament to her strength and resilience, as she embraced the light side of the Force while remaining free from any allegiance to the Jedi or the dark side.
Black Lightsaber: Authority
The Darksaber, with its ominous black blade, stands as a singular exception in the lightsaber spectrum. Created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian Jedi, the Darksaber has been passed down through generations of Mandalorian rulers. Its flat, black blade and unique design (which is an actual saber) set it apart from other lightsabers.
The wielder of the Darksaber commands the respect of all Mandalorians, regardless of their Force sensitivity.
Characters like Din Djarin, Bo-Katan Kryze, and Moff Gideon have all held this legendary weapon, emphasizing its significance in Mandalorian culture.
It is worth noting that there is only one Darksaber, possibly making it the rarest lightsaber in existence since it’s exceedingly rare for Mandalorians to be force-sensitive, much less recruited as Jedi. Only such individuals are capable of attuning to a black kyber crystal which gives the lightsaber its distinctive color.