SW Light Sabers Colors: observations and questions

In watching AOTC, during the colisseum battle scene, I noticed that despite the large numbers of Jedi running amok, there are only three colors of sabers (in ALL the SW films):

blue, green, red

Hmmmm. Any significance to the colors?

I assume that blue is for “padawans” and mid-level Jedi, green is for Master Jedi, and red is always “the Dark Side.” correct?

But why are no sabers orange, yellow, purple, white, pink, etc?

They make it clear somewhere in eps IV, V, VI that Jedi are capable of constructing their own light sabers. So why can’t they customize the colors? I know if I was a Jedi I would want to pick my own damn color!! I think a blazing white like magnesium flares would be kick-ass cool. (Or maybe even do combo colors, like e.g. a purple saber with a white aura. Ooooooo)

Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson’s character) had a purple lightsaber. As for any significance, this is from the IMDb entry:

Well, Mace Windu had a purple one. That was due to Samuel L Jackson having talked George Lucas into letting him.

You might notice, however, that the Jedi aren’t too big on the whole “do your own thing” idea.

I don’t know how I missed that SLJ was wielding a purple saber, but I’ll definitely have to see AOTC again. I loved AOTC better than TPM.

Yoda kicks ass!

I could see there being a problem with white in that it could be too bright to fight with. As for the others…::shrugs:: It’s probably just so that we can easily identify the good and bad guys. Movies tend to not give us enough credit.

The blade’s color is dependent on the focusing crystal.
An absolutely flawless crystal must be used, lest the fantastic
energies explode and shatter the saber.

There is no replicators in the SW galaxy, so one must use the
Force to hunt for the proper crystal.

Ruby, Saphire, Emerald, dosen’t matter, as long as it’s perfect.

If SLJ can sweet-talk Lucas into getting a custom color, then Lucas obviously isn’t pushing too hard that all good guys have green and blue. In that case, I’d think that it’s just that the “official” Jedi colors are green/blue, in which case all the spare sabers that get made for war (such as from the Jedi who tossed a couple at Obi-Wan and Anakin in the heat of battle and ran off) would be those colors. I get the feeling that if one wanted to and had the proper crystal, they could make it whatever color they wanted. Jedi probably are encouraged not to go red, since that’s always been the color of the bad guys.

I’m partial to the idea of Corran Horn’s silver one, myself.

Is the color derived from the focusing crystal or from the flavor of the Force used to power it? I assumed that the evil guys having red sabers was a result of channeling the dark side of the force throught the saber. Perhaps the light side of the force is pure and doesn’t change the color given the blade by the focusing crystal, but when the dark side is channeled it corrupts the crystal or blade.

On preview, it occurs to me that I need something better to do at this time of night on a Thursday.:frowning:

Well, if we’re going from just the movies, we don’t have any info since nobody talks about it (yet).

In the books, there’s a couple passages that discuss it. If you’re of the “movies are the only canon, the rest is fanboy drivel” crowd you can stop reading now.

In Shadows of the Empire, Luke manufactures the crystal for his lightsaber in a specialized blast furnace in Ben Kenobi’s old residence on Tatooine, where he also finds plans for building the rest of a saber. Nothing is mentioned on whether the crystal affects the color or of the Force powering the saber, though there certainly is a power cell inside it. It gives the impression that building a lightsaber takes a great deal of time and technical skill; it takes Luke nearly a month to complete his simple single-crystal saber.

In I, Jedi, Corran discusses the process of building a lightsaber:

This book also makes it clear that the choice of crystal does indeed affect the final color of the blade. And in the books, Leia’s lightsaber is red - but Luke built it for her. Read into that what you will.

FWIW, I had trouble telling the difference between Mace Windu’s purple saber and all of the run-of-the-mill blue ones - this knowing that it was different. If I really looked closely, I could see a purplish tint to Windu’s. However, I couldn’t see the difference well enough to pick out Windu from the others in the wild melee.

I chalk it up to a slight color-vision deficiency that only shows up when I take those tests and fail them (in day-to-day existence it never makes itself known) - the purple one seems to have stuck out like a sore thumb to most viewers…

Jackson has said that he wanted his lightsabre to be a different color from the rest so that it would be easier to pick him out in a large fight scene.

I wonder if it has “bad moth********” written on it as well… :slight_smile:

I’d make a throwing star thingy with lightsaber technology and use the Force to hurl it around, kinda like the star from Krull. That’d be cool.

I read in an interview with Lucas somewhere (no cite though) that the lightsaber colors weren’t chosen for any good/evil association. Instead colors were chosen that showed well on-screen and provided enough contrast in a duel that the difference between the two lightsabers was visible.

I had also read somewhere that Yoda’s lightsaber was initially going to be yellow, but it didn’t show up very well.

I used to think that sabers were Force-powered, too, except that Han energizes Luke’s saber at one point in Empire (when he’s cutting open the tauntaun on Hoth), and Han’s about the furthest thing you’re likely to find from being a Jedi. Now, to use a saber truly effectively requires the Force, but then, Jedi are able to use a lot of things more effectively than the rest of us.

I want a black light saber.

The IMDB says Jackson did engrave “BMF” on his lightsaber.

Also, Mara Jade’s original lightsaber was yellow, I believe. Someone else had a silvery, sort of one.

In the attrocity that was The Crystal Star, there WAS a type of lightsaber that was only powered by the Force-but for the most part, they have on/off switches. Not to mention that some of them have adjustable blades.

I have been giving the lightsaber colors some thought today, as I just saw Attack of the Clones for the second time, and I think I can say with some confidence that the lightsaber colors do have some symbolism to them, and the symbolism goes farther than just those weapons.

To start, the Jedi (save Windu) use blue and green blades. The Sith use red. I think we can accept that, in general. Windu’s purple lightsaber is hella cool, so I won’t nitpick. I’m not a total drooling Star Wars fanboy who’s read all the novelizations of the movies, has multiple copies of the movies, all the original Star Wars figures, or read any of the books, especially the one where Admiral Thrawn comes back from the outer reaches of Imperial territory to threaten the security of the New Republic, and locates a rogue Jedi on a planet populated with ysalimiri who have the ability to… er, okay, maybe I am a drooling fanboy. But still.

Just look at this logic for a moment and tell me that the blue/green/red thing is a coincidence.

Endor: Green.
Naboo: Green and blue.
Alderaan, from orbit: Blue.
Yavin IV: Green.
Dagobah: Neutral gray, a bit greenish.
Camino: Neutral gray, a bit bluish.

Geonosis, inhabited by bad guys: Red, red sky.
Bespin, seized by the Empire: Red-orange.
Bespin guards, Lando’s costume: Blue.

And finally, Tattooine: Red lands, blue sky.
Bespin location of Vader and Luke’s duel: Red stage, blue smoke.

Now, not everything fits into this color scheme. There are villains (Greedo, Boba Fett) that do not fit the pattern. The lasers don’t seem to be particularly assigned to color (TIE fighters, Death Star green, AT-ATs red, X-wings red, Republic army troop carriers green). Don’t read too much into it, because it’s not 100% definitive. I did notice, however, some very interesting shots in Episodes 1 and 2 that make me wonder if Lucas is doing this on purpose.

Episode 1
Anakin is introduced to the Jedi Council. Sunset, red tones.

Episode 2
Yoda tells Windu, “The shroud of the Dark Side has fallen.” Sunset, red tones.
Anakin slaughters Tusken Raiders. Subsequent shot: pan down from blue sky to reddish sands.
Anakin on his mother’s grave. Perfectly divided between blue sky and reddish sands.
Last shot of the film: Sunset on Naboo. Left side of shot, blue waters and green islands and hills. Right side of shot: sunset tones.

Like I said, the system isn’t perfect. There is a significant body of counterevidence that quickly springs to mind, not the least of which is Lucas telling us that it’s all a big coincidence. Give it some thought and let me know if you come up with anything. I just noticed this today and I’ve been going over it in my head.


In Maxim he said that he wanted purple so he could see the lint on his clothes…doesn’t make sense to me either.

Think black lights.