Lightsabers: the kaleidoscopic swords of the Jedi and the Sith. What started out as a limited palette of laser weapons has over time evolved into a myriad of colors and sci-fi styles in the Star Wars universe that live up to the descriptor, “An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”
If the supercut above proves anything, it’s that lightsabers are indisputably awesome, even if the colors we’ve seen them take on the silver screen are rather limited. There are the classics, of course ⏤ blue, green, and red ⏤ as well as some of the newer additions, including purple, yellow, black, and white.
Each lightsaber color has a distinct symbolic significance for the Force user wielding it, and some are more obvious than others. Without further ado, let’s combine Star Wars canon with Legends and take a look at a few lightsaber colors to decipher what they really mean. First we’ll look at the lightsabers within the Star Wars canon.
Here it is, old faithful. Blue is the first lightsaber blade to ignite the silver screen ⏤ a moment, and color, that changed our lives forever. Blue is generally is associated with calm, trust, and stability, as is the Jedi who uses the Force and saber technique on a physical level. Notable blue lightsaber owners are Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Rey Skywalker. Check out this video of actor Ewan McGregor choosing Obi-Wan’s lightsaber.
Next in line is green. When Luke makes his entrance in Return of the Jedi, he shows off his new green lightsaber and blows our collective minds. Green sabers find themselves in the hands of Jedi who are a little more philosophical and diplomatic ⏤ Jedi like Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn, or Luke Skywalker. Green lightsaber wielders reflect on the depths of their own struggles, both the good and the bad.
Red equals evil, which everyone likely knows by now. Unlike the Jedi, Sith lightsabers seem to run on a more one-size-fits-all model. Red is the color of passion, hate, power, and anger. Basically all the emotions you might feel while stuck in traffic, among other unenjoyable situations. The most recognizable red lightsaber owners are Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Kylo Ren, and Asajj Ventress. If you don’t know who the latter is, get to know her in the video below.
Out with the old and in with the new! Purple was the first delineation in saber colors seen within the Star Wars universe. Purple is a color of royalty, respect, and calm under pressure. It’s no surprise, then, that the only Jedi (in the current canon, anyway) to wield a purple lightsaber is Mace Windu. Windu was a Jedi in tune with both his light and dark sides.
The more literal explanation for Windu’s purple saber comes by way of actor Samuel L. Jackson. Basically, he wanted to stand out and asked George Lucas for a purple lightsaber. This interaction proves it, and the interview below sheds a little more light on a Jedi who may have the most swagger the galaxy far, far away has ever seen.
Out of truly unknown waters comes the yellow lightsaber. Recently, we saw Rey Skywalker ignite her yellow blade at the end of The Rise Of Skywalker, but there have been a few more Force users to rock the ambiguous color. Yellow is the color of harmony, and the Jedi who used them most were the Temple Guards, signaling complete detachment and a monk-like lifestyle.
White is one of the rarest lightsaber colors in existence and is used by Force users who have given up the path of the Jedi. Forging their own trails, white lightsaber holders choose to neither become Jedi nor Sith and instead create a style unique to themselves.
The only white lightsaber wielder we know of is Anakin Skywalker’s old apprentice, Ahsoka Tano. Cast out of the Jedi order for a crime she didn’t commit, Ahsoka became disillusioned with the Jedi way and set out on her own. White represents purity, neutrality, and positivity.
Last but not least are the black sabers ⏤ more specifically, the Darksaber. Created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian Jedi, the Darksaber was passed down generation to generation by Vizsla’s progeny. It holds massive cultural significance in that whoever possesses the Darksaber can lay claim to the throne of Mandalore and lead its people. Black represents mystery, absence, and instability. It’s hardcore.
Now let’s go beyond what’s accepted and look at some of the more eccentric lightsaber colors seen in Star Wars Legends.
Indigo’s tough. It’s somewhere between blue and purple and can be difficult to distinguish, but it certainly looks cool. The only known indigo lightsaber wielder is rogue Jedi Knight Cal Kestis. Indigo represents wisdom and spirituality, and Cal has both in spades.
There’s a bronze lightsaber? Yes, and it’s fantastic. Owned by none other than Lowabacca, the Force-sensitive nephew of Chewbacca, bronze is the color of earth, nature, and life. Aside from brown (yes, those exist too), bronze may be the rarest lightsaber color of all.
Lighter than red, more pink than purple, magenta lightsabers are hard to come by. Magenta represents charm, compassion, and femininity. These traits bode well for the only known magenta lightsaber user, Mara Jade, the woman who served as Emperor Palpatine’s assassin and who would later fall in love with Luke Skywalker, becoming a Jedi herself.
Their love story is Shakespearean in scope, so take a look at the video below for a romantic Mara-Luke crash course.
There you have it, the spectrum of colors that makes up one of the most recognizable weapons in science fiction history. For a more in-depth analysis of lightsabers and their colors, watch the video essay below to educate yourself in the ways of the Jedi.
Don’t forget the types of lightsabers, either. (You thought this presentation was over? Oh, young Padawan.) There’s the standard, double-bladed, curved, hilted ⏤ the list goes on and on. No really, here’s a list of lightsaber types. Lightsabers aren’t just for the battleground, they’re for the runway. Or at least, with this many options, they should be.
If you’d like to discover which lightsaber color might reflect your inner Jedi (or Sith), here’s a quiz you can take. Padawans used to have to go all the way to the planet Ilum to figure this kind of thing out, but now, do it from the comfort of your laptop, you can.