Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained

Star Wars: what do Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Rey all have in common? They all use lightsabers, but what do the different coloured blades mean?

Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained: Like Skywalker with a green lightsaber

What do the different lightsaber colours mean? Lightsabers, you know them, you love them. They’re the weapons of the Jedi Knights, not as clumsy or random as a blaster; instead, they’re elegant weapons for a more civilised age. We’ve seen countless lightsabers across the myriad of Star Wars movies and Star Wars series, and these weapons come in a variety of different colours.

From ruby red to vibrant violet, lightsabers can be almost any colour in the rainbow (except orange), and the colour of the blade can often tell us a little about the personality of its owner. So what do the lightsaber colours mean? Well, we’ve gone digging through the Jedi archives to answer that very question. (Editor’s note: for the record, we’ve only included lightsabers included in the movies and TV series, we know there are a lot of other colours in the Star Wars games).

Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained: Finn with a Blue Lightsaber

Blue lightsabers

The first lightsaber we see in the Star Wars movies is a blue one, and this colour is the one most associated with the Jedi. Blue is traditionally seen as a soothing colour that represents good.

In Legend’s canon, the blue blades were associated with righteousness and bravery and were predominantly used by Jedi Guardians. The Guardians were a group within the Jedi order who prioritised martial skill with a lightsaber over the spiritual side of the Force.

Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained: Yoda with a green lightsaber

Green lightsabers

Green is the second most common colour of lightsaber. Green is associated with the natural world and growth; it’s arguably the colour of life. Whether by coincidence or design, the green lightsaber is also the colour used by the most powerful onscreen Jedi.

Both Luke Skywalker and Yoda use green sabers and yes, we know Anakin was the chosen one and used blue, but he turned to the Dark Side before realising his potential. In Legends, canon Jedi Consulars, those who sought to master the Force instead of the blade, used green lightsabers.

Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained: Darth Vader with a red lightsaber

Red lightsabers

Red Lightsabers, like blue, were introduced in the first Star Wars movie and are exclusively used by the Sith and Dark Side users like Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Red as a colour is associated with anger, hate, passion, and violence, the things that supposedly drive the Sith.

In legends canon, the red colouration came from the fact that the Sith used artificial crystals in their lightsabers. These crystals were stronger than their naturally occurring counterparts but also more unstable, the perfect metaphor for the Sith.

Since then, however, the canon has changed. Instead, the red colour comes from the Sith, forcing a lightsaber crystal to “bleed”. Basically, a Sith apprentice is tasked with killing a Jedi, stealing their lightsaber crystal and then pouring their hate into the rock. This infects the force-attuned crystal with Dark Side energy, corrupting it in the process and turning it red.

Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained: Mace Winddu with a purple lightsaber

Purple lightsabers

There’s only been one canon example of a purple lightsaber, and it belonged to Mace Windu. In our world, purple is associated with pride, wealth, and mystery. However, in a galaxy far, far away, this unique lightsaber colouration is meant to symbolise that the user walks the path between light and dark (red + blue = purple) and represents moral ambiguity.

Of course, it’s worth noting that this is just the in-universe hand-waving. In reality, Windu uses a purple lightsaber because Samuel L Jackson requested it so that he could see himself in the big battle at the end of Attack of the Clones.

Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained: Rey with a yellow lightsaber

Yellow lightsabers

Yellow lightsabers are used by Jedi Temple guards and Rey Skywalker. This is probably the colour we know the least about; however, yellow as a colour is associated with happiness, optimism, and loyalty.

In Legends canon and the videogames, yellow-bladed lightsabers belong to those who seek to marry the teachings of Jedi Consulars and Jedi Guardians. Basically, they belong to Jedi who are working towards mastering both the combative and spiritual side of the Force.

Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained: Ahsoka Tano white lightsabers explained

White lightsabers

White lightsabers are exceedingly rare and most notably used by Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice Ahsoka Tano. Devoid of any colour, these lightsabers seemingly represent how the user doesn’t follow the path of the Jedi or the Sith and instead walks their own path.

Curiously, in the case of Ahsoka’s lightsabers, the crystal at the heart of this weapon wasn’t always white; it used to be red. When Ahsoka defeated its old master, however, she purified the weapon turning the blades white.

Star Wars: lightsaber colour meanings explained: The Darksaber (black lightsaber) in The Mandalorian

Black lightsabers

There’s only one known black lightsaber in existence, the Darksaber. Introduced in the animated series Clone Wars, the Darksaber has a storied history and several unique properties beyond its black blade.

The weapon is heavier than a standard lightsaber, it produces a blade shaped more like a katana than a standard longsword, and finally, its wielder is technically the rightful ruler of the Mandalorian people. The black colouration of the blade is likely to represent the dark history of the weapon, and its weight is symbolic of the responsibility that comes with being a leader. Heavy is the hand that wields the saber, I guess?

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