The Star Wars franchise is ever-growing, and over the years, lightsaber designs have evolved beyond the standard laser swords that first hit our screens four decades ago. The Star Wars universe now has a variety of lightsaber colours aside from the highly recognisable blue, green and red, and like most objects from the galaxy far far away, these different lightsaber colours are imbued with different meanings and symbolisms.
However, with Disney taking over the franchise and releasing the sequel trilogy, many of these lightsaber colours were removed from Star Wars canon and relegated to Legends. There are, however, some lightsaber colours that still remain canon and some almost forgotten ones being integrated back into the official Star Wars Canon.
In this article, we shall be taking a look at the lightsaber colours and meanings that are canon in the Star Wars universe.
The red-bladed lightsaber of Sith Lord Darth Vader was the second lightsaber colour to debut in the first Star Wars film (the first colour being blue). This is the lightsaber colour mainly associated with the Sith and according to Star Wars canon, red lightsabers don’t get their colour from red kyber crystals but rather through a Sith ritual known as bleeding. During the ritual, a dark side practitioner bleeds an existing kyber crystal (most likely taken from a Jedi) by pouring all negative emotions like hate, anger and fear into it. This bleeding is what turns a kyber crystal and a saber’s blade red. In both canon and legends, a red lightsaber colour symbolises greed, anger, hate, and passion.
Green is another highly recognised lightsaber colour made popular by fan favourite characters like Luke Skywalker, Qui-Gon Jinn and Yoda. It is a colour that is highly associated with the Jedi, and in canon, green symbolises harmony, goodwill, cooperation and concord. It was also a colour that was reserved for wise and powerful Force wielders.
Unlike many of the other colours in the Star Wars canon, white lightsabers were very rare, with Ahsoka Tano being the only character to notably wield one. This type of lightsaber colour is only gotten from reversing the process of bleeding and healing of a kyber crystal, as can be seen with ahsoka tano lightsabers in Star Wars Rebels. The healing process frees the crystal of the dark side and changes its colour to white. A white lightsaber colour symbolises neutrality to the Force. It also represents forging a unique path that isn’t affiliated with either the Jedi or Sith.
This is the most common lightsaber colour, and it is also the colour mostly associated with the Jedi (especially on-screen). Famously wielded by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, this saber colour canonically represents bravery, justice and righteousness. It also represents harmony and cooperation. However, in Star Wars Legends, it is the colour used by Jedi Guardians.
This is one of the rarest lightsaber colours that has so far only been associated with Mace Windu (who was introduced in Attack of the Clones). Although there is not much canonical information about the meaning of this lightsaber colour, the Star Wars expanded universe does give us a back story which indicates that the colour purple represents moral ambiguity and uncertainty since it is a mixture of red and blue. The colour of Windu’s lightsaber is also a reflection of his fighting style, Vapad (form VII), which requires one to tap into the dark side.
This is the newest lightsaber colour of the Star Wars canon, and it is exceedingly rare. Much like the purple lightsaber, there isn’t much canonical information on the meaning behind the orange lightsaber colour. There are, however, speculations that this colour also symbolises moral ambiguity, like the purple lightsaber colour. In the Star Wars legends, orange lightsabers symbolise peaceful resolutions and balance.
Are Lightsaber Colour Meanings Canon?
Outside of a few exceptions, there aren’t really broad definitions for the meanings behind lightsaber colours in today’s Star Wars canon universe. This is mostly due to the fact that kyber crystals are typically colourless until a Force user attunes and bonds with them. It also means that a user’s personality and their specific connection with the Force will be what determines the colour (and symbolism) of their lightsaber blade.
For example, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a skilled fighter who actively stands for justice and always does what’s right, so it makes sense that his lightsaber colour is blue. Green represents wisdom, serenity and a strong connection with the Force, so as expected, wise Masters like Yoda and Qui-Gon Jinn wielded green lightsabers.
As far as lightsaber colours go, the Star Wars universe has many different colours, and the meanings behind each saber colour may sometimes vary depending on the wielder’s relationship with the Force. However, there are some lightsaber colours whose meanings are deemed canon, and they include blue, red, green, white, purple and orange lightsabers. Other lightsaber colours that exist but are within the Star Wars legends include magenta, cyan, silver and gold.