Lightsabers. One of the coolest things to come out of a galaxy far, far away, and arguably the most iconic weapon in movie history. But why are different lightsabers different colors? How come Mace Windu gets a rad purple one and Luke Skywalker gets stuck with green?
In the movies, lightsabers are powered by the Force and gems called kyber crystals, though the Sith couldn’t use the lightside leaning crystals without bending them to their will–so either used synthetic crystals–or corrupted the Kyber causing a red hue, hence the color of their blades. Generally a lightsaber’s hue will grow to reflect the personality and spirit of its owner. Throughout history and an ever-changing canon, the colors have represented everything from a Jedi’s ranking to their family ties. But cosmic canon doesn’t really matter when Samuel L. Jackson just wanted a purple lightsaber.
In an interview with Pablo Hidalgo from Vanity Fair‘s recent commemorative issue celebrating 40 years of Star Wars, the member of Geor]ge Lucas‘ story team reveals the history behind the colors. Lucas’ original vision for the now iconic laser swords that his space wizards would wield was a simple one: red for the evil Sith and blue for the good guy Jedi.
“The intent was the lightsaber was going to be blue,” Hidalgo told Vanity Fair, describing the thought process. But as we know, we ended up with different colors, most notably Luke’s. The decision to make Luke’s lightsaber green was a pragmatic one. They needed something that stood out against the scenery. It’s as simple as that.
Over the decades, fans have dedicated much of their time and energy to the significance of lightsaber colors in Star Wars. But again, as Hidalgo revealed, “as much as we like to mythologize why it’s green and what that all signifies, sometimes there are very pragmatic filmmaking reasons behind these things.”
Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber, for example, was a request of Jackson’s to help him pick out his character during the lightsaber-laden battles in the prequels.
But now that practicality, with the proliferation and perfection of computer graphics, isn’t as much of a consideration, fans can now legitimately theorize about the color of Rey’s next lightsaber. Will its hue again be a bright blue reminiscent of Obi Wan’s lightsaber (that he took from his student Anakin Skywalker and later gave to Luke)?
Excited to see whether Rey’s lightsaber is a key story point? Or just wishing you had a lightsaber of your own? Jump into the comments and let us know.