Star Wars lightsaber colors decoded

Obi-Wan Kenobi is aware of his lightsaber is not as clumsy or random as a blaster.


Lightsabers are cinematic icons, having appeared in each Star Wars film since 1977’s A New Hope
, when Luke Skywalker first fired up the blue blade entrusted to him by Jedi grasp Obi-Wan Kenobi. That blue shade wasn’t arbitrary. There is a purpose behind all these hues, from the crimson blades wielded by Darth Vader and Kylo Ren to the unique black blade you could have seen in The Mandalorian. So let’s check out what the characters’ shade decisions say about them.  

Throughout the manufacturing of every film in George Lucas’ saga, the lightsabers’ blades have been truly white. Results wizards later gave them shade utilizing a method known as rotoscoping. And it was idea artist Ralph McQuarrie who determined to affiliate a blade’s shade with a personality’s ethical standing.

“I attempted to make the laser beam as vibrant as doable, and I modified the colours for the varied swords — a shade for the great guys and a shade for the dangerous guys,” he mentioned.

Within the a long time since, we have seen an entire rainbow of colours — although many have been consigned to the noncanon Legends continuity of novels, comedian books, video video games, spinoff films and TV collection that got here out earlier than April 2014, when Disney took over.


The crimson blade makes Darth Vader a grasp of evil.


In-universe, the colour of a lightsaber’s blade is decided by the kyber crystal utilized in its building. The Gathering, an episode from the fifth season of animated collection The Clone Wars, revealed that the search to amass these force-attuned crystals is a Jedi ceremony of passage — the crystals presenting themselves to worthy house owners.

We’ll take a look at all of the totally different shades of lightsaber, and the characters who wield them. Be warned that nice large Star Wars spoilers observe.



Blue is the colour of the very first lightsaber we see, and it is by far the commonest hue. Since Luke wields it, one may simply assume that blue corresponds with youthful Jedi. Nevertheless, Obi-Wan used a blue blade all through his profession, and Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber, which handed between the central characters of the saga (from Anakin to Luke to Rey, through Finn), was blue.


Rey wields Leia and Anakin’s blue lightsabers to deflect Palpatine’s Pressure Lightning in The Rise of Skywalker.

Lucasfilm/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

“I knew this lightsaber was the Excalibur of this movie,” set decorator Roger Christian informed Daniel Wallace for the upcoming Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection. “I knew it will be the long-lasting picture.”

This weapon’s kyber crystal may be seen as Rey examines the break up hilt on the finish of The Last Jedi. She repaired it between that film and The Rise of Skywalker, when she used it and Common Leia Organa’s blue-bladed saber to destroy Emperor Palpatine as soon as and for all. Then she retired the 2 lightsabers within the sands of Tatooine.


Leia’s lightsaber hilt was impressed by Luke’s second one, in line with The Lightsaber Assortment reference e-book.

Perception Editions

Different blue customers we have seen in canon additionally embody Ben Solo, Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, Cal Kestis, Shaak Ti, Agen Kolar, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Barriss Offee, Jocasta Nu, Aayla Secura, Plo Koon, Kai Justiss, Sora Bulq and Ferren Barr.


An skilled Luke Skywalker makes use of a inexperienced blade when he faces his father and the Emperor on the second Demise Star.



We first noticed a inexperienced lightsaber in Return of the Jedi, when Luke ignited his new blade on Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge.

This blade was blue within the preliminary edit (and early posters), but it surely was modified to inexperienced so it will stand out towards Tatooine’s blue sky within the closing lower. The Star Wars YouTube channel’s description for the film’s teaser trailer, during which the blue blade can be seen, confirms this. 

Luke may also be seen ending off the development of his new lightsaber in a deleted scene from the film. This lightsaber’s destiny is unknown — we see Luke utilizing it in flashbacks throughout The Final Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, but it surely seemingly stays hidden in his hut on Ahch-To.

The notion of inexperienced as the selection of more-experienced Jedi was bolstered by the prequels, during which inexperienced blades have been utilized by Qui-Gon Jinn (Obi-Wan’s grasp) and Yoda (the order’s grand grasp).

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On the other hand, Ahsoka Tano, Anakin’s Padawan, swung a green lightsaber at the beginning of her career — adding a second, shorter green blade as she became more experienced during the Clone Wars.

Wielders in canon also include Quinlan Vos, Depa Billaba, Bultar Swan, Stass Allie, Luminara Unduli, Kit Fisto, Eeth Koth and Kirak Infil’a.


Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber was added during reshoots for Attack of the Clones.



Only one person in canon wields a purple blade: the Jedi Council’s Mace Windu.

He uses it to decapitate the deadly bounty hunter Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones and to deflect Darth Sidious’ Force Lightning with it — disfiguring his face — in Revenge of the Sith. It later falls to the streets of Coruscant after Windu is betrayed by Anakin.

In reality, actor Samuel L. Jackson asked Lucas if his character could have a purple blade so he’d stand out during the climactic arena battle in Attack of the Clones. Since Windu is “the second baddest Jedi in the universe next to Yoda,” his wish was granted, Jackson revealed in an interview.


Darth Sidious uses a red blade, which requires that Dark Side users make kyber crystals “bleed.”

Keith Hamshere


The color of evil. Those who go down the dark path, mostly notably the Sith, can’t form the same relationship with kyber crystals as Jedi, so they must steal them or take them from slain followers of the light.

After obtaining a crystal, dark side Force users must make it “bleed” by channeling their pain and anger into it.


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Vader’s quest to obtain his crystal and the subsequent bleeding of fallen Jedi Master Kirak Infil’a’s green one, during which he experiences haunting visions, can be seen in Marvel’s 2017 Darth Vader series by Charles Soule.

Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is a little different because it uses a cracked kyber crystal, which he may’ve either broken or had to steal due to his wavering dedication to the dark side. Its origin remains unclear.

The cross-guard design is necessary because the cracked crystal produces excess heat, resulting in the red blade’s serrated appearance and unique sound, according to The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary.

Villains we’ve seen using red lightsabers include Vader, Sidious, Darth Maul, Count Dooku, Savage Opress, Asajj Ventress, the Imperial Inquisitors and Rey in a vision seen during The Rise of Skywalker.


Ahsoka Tano got her white lightsaber blades by purifying red crystals.



When Ahsoka makes her triumphant return in Rebels, she uses a pair of lightsabers with white blades.

In the Ahsoka novel, we learn she obtained her crystals when she defeated the Sixth Brother, an Imperial Inquisitor, and healed them of the bleeding effect.


Darth Maul used the Darksaber and a red lightsaber when he seized control of Mandalore during the Clone Wars.



The only black blade we’ve seen is that of the Darksaber, an ancient weapon constructed by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian to join the Jedi Order. After his death, it became a symbol of conflict and ultimately leadership among the clans of Mandalore.

We first saw the Darksaber in the possession of Pre Vizsla in The Clone Wars season 2 episode The Mandalore Plot, but it later falls into Maul’s hands when he seizes control of the planet in season 5.

In the third season of Rebels, Sabine Wren obtains the Darksaber and proves herself worthy of wielding it through combat. She ultimately gives the blade to Bo-Katan Kryze, a former lieutenant of Pre Vizsla, who uses it to unite the Mandalorians against the Empire.


Sabine Wren took the Darksaber back from Maul.


The Darksaber resurfaces years later, in The Mandalorian’s season 1 finale, when Moff Gideon uses it to escape his crashed TIE fighter. How he managed to get it from Bo-Katan is unknown, but he probably seized it during the Great Purge. 

Gideon was an Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) officer during this event, in which the Empire seemingly slaughtered Mandalorians and scattered the survivors across the galaxy, so he could’ve taken the Darksaber as a prize to assert dominance over a conquered culture.


Smug Imperial jerk Moff Gideon has the Darksaber in The Mandalorian.


Unusually, most of those we’ve seen wielding the blade (Pre Vizsla, Sabine, Bo-Katan and Gideon) aren’t Force users.


The Jedi Temple Guards seen in The Clone Wars wield lightsaber pikes with twin yellow blades. These anonymous masked Jedi Knights protected the temple on Coruscant, but we know at least one of their number fell to the Dark Side and became the Grand Inquisitor.


Rey ignites her yellow-bladed lightsaber in the closing moments of The Rise of Skywalker.

Lucasfilm/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

In the final moments of The Rise of Skywalker, Rey ignites her new lightsaber and reveals its yellow blade. We don’t know where she got that kyber crystal, but her color choice lines up with her being the new guardian of the Jedi traditions.

The lost colors of Legends

The Legends continuity might not be canon anymore, but we should acknowledge some of the lightsaber colors it gave us.

Mara Jade wielded a magenta blade during her time with the Empire.

Del Rey

The majority of the Legends colors are just shades of the canon ones, but there are some exceptions.

Mara Jade was one of the most popular Legends characters, having started out as the Emperor’s Hand, tasked with killing Luke and going on to marry her former target. As an Imperial, she used a magenta blade and would ultimately inherit Anakin’s blue lightsaber after becoming Luke’s ally.

Kyle Katarn wields an orange lightsaber in the game Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight, as do the Mandalorian Knights in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: War comic book miniseries.

Lowbacca, Chewbacca’s nephew who joined Luke’s academy, uses a lightsaber with a bronze blade.

If you want to go further down this rabbit hole, here’s a list of 174 characters’ personal lightsabers across canon and Legends.

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Sean Keane