A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away is my happy place. The duels, the space battles, and the mythology. I love all of it. But the one thing that really gets on my nerves about Star Wars— the one thing that is absolutely unforgivable in my opinion— is the overabundance of the blue lightsaber.
I know I’m petty, but I just can’t let this go.
I don’t know if anything else in a fictional story has captivated me as much as the lightsaber has. It exists at the intersection of science and faith, and each one is as unique to its user as a fingerprint would be for you and I.
But to me, there’s just way too many blue lightsabers. And every time I see a new character with one, or even worse, a familiar character making the switch to blue, the awe and wonder that lit up in me the first time I laid eyes on a lightsaber dims ever so slightly.
To truly understand why I have so much disdain for the blue saber, we need to take a deep dive into the kyber crystal and it’s ever-changing, often murky canon. But by the end of this, I hope I will have made a convincing argument as to why, at least within the logic of the universe, there shouldn’t be so many blue lightsabers.
A long time ago…
At the heart of every lightsaber is the Kyber crystal. What makes this crystal so important is that it is attuned to the force. It is a living part of the galaxy that Force users seek out to truly bring their sabers to life.
In the pre-Disney canon now dubbed Legends, constructing a lightsaber was a bit different. A Jedi would incorporate a few different crystals into their saber with varying purposes. There could be crystals for power, protection, and focus. And the color of the hilt was determined by a color crystal. Across the many crystal caves in the galaxy, you could find green, blue, and yellow crystals. These were the most abundant. Other colors existed, they were just a lot rarer.
In Legends, a Jedi would fall into one of three classes that determined what kind of Jedi they were. There was the Jedi Guardian, who used the Force on a more physical level, the Jedi Consular, who used the force much more internally, and the Jedi Sentinel, whose physical skills and scholarly knowledge were balanced. Depending on your class, that’s what determined the color of your lightsaber. Guardian’s were blue, Consular’s were green, and Sentinel’s were yellow.
This almost makes sense as to why there are a lot of blue lightsabers. The Guardians are the frontline. And we see them the most because of that. But that was only really the canon in regards to a few video games. This was never the case in any movie or television show.
In the new canon, things are a lot more compartmentalized.
Kyber crystals are still attuned with the force. And there is a pilgrimage that Jedi must go on as a rite of passage when it’s time for them to construct their lightsabers. Star Wars.com gives us one of the most recent and definitive rules behind how the Kyber crystals currently work:
“At the heart of every Jedi lightsaber is a kyber crystal found on several planets, most notably the icebound caves of Ilum. This crystal is attuned to the Force and connected to a Jedi Knight on a deeply personal level. In this way, a lightsaber is an extension of a Jedi’s Force awareness. Because Jedi let the Force guide their selection of the crystal, the vibration that the crystal creates in the lightsaber blade helps Jedi center themselves and find balance in the Force. In this way, a Jedi can center his or her attention beyond the distractions of combat. A lightsaber crystal is colorless until first attuned and connected to a Jedi — at which times it glows either blue or green, or in some rare instances, another shade. From that point on, it retains that hue.”
The new process can be seen in the “The Gathering” arc on the Clone Wars and in the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order game. It makes a lot of sense to simplify the whole thing, and I really like how spiritual the process is. It should also be noted that in this canon, red kyber crystals are a result of a dark side user bending the force to their will to “bleed” the crystal, resulting in the color becoming red. And white crystals are a result of purifying a corrupted crystal.
My only gripe with the new canon is, if all of this is the case, you’re telling me that the thousands of Jedi in the galaxy only have two varying degrees of Force attunement resulting in a green or blue crystal? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. There should not only be an entire spectrum of colors, but there should be variations of those colors as well. There are limitless possibilities but all we get are green and an ocean of blue? Do you see why I’m frustrated??
The real reason that we see so much blue probably has more to do with aesthetics than it does with the rules of the universe. Hell, George Lucas is on record saying that the only reason Luke even had a green lightsaber in Return of the Jedi was because a lot of that movie is on Tattooine and the green lightsaber contrasted the blue sky a lot better than a blue one would have. So we really only got the color green for technical reasons.
Color theory is a thing that exists, and while yes, it is a fact that blue contrasts well with red, and they are both primary colors, we don’t have to convince ourselves that the only way to visually represent good versus bad is to show us those two colors clashing over and over and over. I’m sick of it, fam.
Et Tu, Ahsoka?
If you know me, you know that this is something I’ve had a problem with for years. But my disdain turned into pure rage when it was revealed that Ahsoka would have blue lightsabers during the final season of the Clone Wars. It hurt my heart. I felt like Yoda when he felt the deaths of thousands of Jedi at the hands of the Clones during Order 66. My knees buckled, and I still haven’t recovered. Ahsoka had two dope green lightsabers that were slightly different shades of green. But the reason why they were changed to blue doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
In season 7 Episode 9 of The Clone Wars, we find out that when Ahsoka left the Jedi order, she also left her lightsabers behind, and Anakin took care of them for her. How sweet. There’s an exchange between the two of them where Anakin tells her that they’re “good as new” which prompts her to ignite her sabers. But instead of the green of old, they’re now blue. Anakin then replies with “Maybe a little better.” You’ve gotta be kidding me, man.
My issue with this is that it seems like a huge breach of trust to tinker with someone else’s lightsaber like this when it’s established that it’s not just a weapon, it’s an extension of the user. I understand that the notion of this scene was meant to convey that Anakin cares deeply about Ahsoka and even when he is well-meaning, he crosses the line sometimes. But did you have to do that by sacrificing some beautiful green lightsabers? If it was so important for these lightsabers to be blue for this final showdown between Ahsoka and Maul (I don’t think was), I would have preferred Anakin gift Ahsoka a new pair of lightsabers instead of messing with hers.
anakin’s first war crime as a sith was changing ahsoka’s lightsabers from green to blue
— gay little rebels (@doomtony) April 22, 2020
Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni gave some insight into why the change happened on an episode of Clone Wars Download
“Anakin knows enough about lightsabers to be able to alter the angle or frequency of the saber blade or crystal to make it more like his own. As far as the story goes, I wanted to show a clear connection between the master and apprentice relationship of Anakin and Ahsoka. So I decided to shift her lightsabers to blue, like Anakin’s. Him tinkering with her lightsabers while she was gone shows that he was always thinking of her. And the lightsabers are then a representation of her and the story and his thoughtfulness regarding her. His changing the color can also be seen as him exerting control or being too protective, which is very Anakin. He means well but often takes things too far when trying to express how he feels. Changing the sabers, modifying them, shows his care, but also his ego. Something that Ahsoka’s familiar with. So a simple adjustment of the lightsaber colors serves as many aspects of the relationship between the two characters.”
I’m not mad at that explanation. And I agree with a lot of the thought that was put behind it. I just wish those things could have been conveyed in a way that didn’t have to mess with Ahsoka’s green sabers. But part of me understands. This final arc leaned heavily into visual aesthetics and motifs that represent ideas. Ahsoka had an army of clone troopers that painted her likeness on their helmets. And Darth Maul had his faction of Mandalorians that did the same on their uniforms. So, I get it from that standpoint, but I don’t think it was all that necessary either.
Ahsoka’s blue lightsabers kind of lessen the impact of the final scene of the finale for me as well. When Anakin, now Darth Vader, visits the wreckage of Ahsoka’s ship, he finds her lightsaber and ignites it. It’s supposed to convey the loss and burden Vader now carries, but that lightsaber being blue doesn’t allow it to hit as hard for me as I think that it’s intended to. Sweet gesture or not, we’d only spent four episodes with Ahsoka wielding the blue blades. And because of that, that moment reminds me more of Anakin than it does Anakin and Ahsoka’s relationship.
The Future is Bright
Though the abundance of blue lightsabers keeps me up at night asking “Why?”, I’m grounded by the fact that the Darksaber exists, and that Mace Windu has a purple lightsaber, Rey now has a yellow lightsaber, and Ahsoka eventually wields dual white blades.
But what really gets me excited and hopeful about the potential colorful future of the franchise is Lucasfilms’ new era titled the High Republic, which is a collection of new stories taking place across numerous books and comics. This era takes place about 200 years before the beginning of the Skywalker Saga and it is supposed to show the Jedi at the height of their power and hubris. Any new Star Wars news gets me hype, but when they released some concept art along with the announcement, I couldn’t help but smile.
There are lightsabers with so many different colors. Blue and green which are fine, but variations of those colors. And purple, and yellow and teal and the list goes on. I’m so happy about this. I hope these stories go into some more detail about the bonding with a crystal that will result in these different colors and maybe even in a roundabout way set something up that could explain why in just a few hundred years, the large variety of colors have been mainly reduced to two. Either way, I’m excited to read these stories and learn some new things about this galaxy I know and love so much.
And I’m happy that at least for now, a thousand blue lightsabers won’t be leading the way.