What do orange lightsabers mean in ‘Star Wars’ and who wields them?

Image via Disney/Lucasfilm

The laser swords of the Jedi and Sith need no real introduction, but it’s true that there are countless types of lightsabers in that galaxy far, far away. Coming in all colors, shapes, and sizes, the lightsaber is as versatile of a Star Wars weapon as it is a personal one.

Serving different purposes and reflecting different personalities, the colors of each individual lightsaber directly relate to the mind of the Force-user wielding it. Beyond the traditional shades of blue, red, and green, there exists a plethora of colors that many fans might not be familiar with. If you’d like a crash course on what all the different lightsaber colors mean, take a look at this article.

One color in particular has been the basis of an entire Jedi mindset and remained a mystery for decades: the orange lightsaber. Belonging to what are considered “Gray Jedi,” orange lightsabers serve an incredibly specific purpose. An orange lightsaber indicates that a delicate balance has been struck between the light and dark sides of the Force. A Jedi in possession of one has not completely turned their back on either belief system, but rather exists somewhere in the middle. 

Becoming a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, and power, orange lightsabers ⏤ which are incredibly rare ⏤ signify a break from traditional values into a much more radical belief system. The most recent orange lightsaber wielder in Star Wars canon is none other than Rey Skywalker, as seen in The Rise of Skywalker.

The orange-yellow blade in the movie is a reminder that the Force is an ever-changing thing. To be able to have balance, a Gray Jedi must use both the light and the dark, not one or the other. That means stepping away from the Jedi way and also forsaking the path of the Sith, which tends to mean that those who use orange lightsabers are contemplative loners and create an entirely unique path. 

Here’s a look at the unofficial Gray Jedi code:

“There must be both dark and light. I will do what I must to keep the balance, as the balance is what holds all life. There is no good without evil, but evil must not be allowed to flourish. There is passion, yet peace; serenity, yet emotion; chaos, yet order. I am a wielder of the flame; a champion of balance. I am a guardian of life. I am a Gray Jedi.”

Coming from the Star Wars Legends, Gray Jedi have never explicitly been mentioned in any canonical material that Lucasfilm has released over the last 44 years. That hasn’t stopped this particular section of Force users to become fan favorites, though, and many are clamoring for Star Wars to officially introduce the term in the main canon.

Until then, all we can do is appreciate the beauty and power of orange lightsabers, recognizing that they mean so much more than just a simple color option.