The meaning of lightsaber colors
In the Star Wars movies, series, and all the other places we can experience Star Wars, lightsabers appear in multiple colors. These colors are blue, green, purple, red, and a few leftovers. These are not random colors. From the accessibility of blue to the dangerous red, all lightsaber colors have meaning.
In this article, we'll look at the colors of lightsabers, who wields them, and what that means from a color theory perspective. The fun thing is that every lightsaber has only one color. There's no gradient lightsaber. We're in luck because it makes things easier for us. Let's start with blue.
Blue is a very common color for lightsabers in the Star Wars universe. Well-known characters like Luke and Anakin Skywalker both used a blue lightsaber. In recent movies, Rey also used a blue lightsaber.
But what does it mean if you have a blue lightsaber? It's the most common Jedi lightsaber color, which makes perfect sense from a color theory standpoint. Here's why.
In color theory, blue is a very accessible color. That's because it doesn't have any relevant negative color associations attached to it. However, when something's in view often, you better make sure it has a popular color. Blue is one of the most popular colors and, therefore, well suited for this role.
The most famous wielders of green lightsabers are Yoda and Luke Skywalker (his second lightsaber). In general, people with green lightsabers have strong force-related abilities.
The force is associated with nature in Star Wars, and what is a better color to choose than green? If you apply color theory, green is the perfect color for these Jedi.
If you're a Star Wars fan, you'll know it is time to run if you see someone with a red lightsaber heading your way. That's because Star Wars' bad guys wield red lightsabers.
In color theory, red is a challenging color to pin down. It has both negative and positive color associations. However, it is most commonly associated with danger. For example, you have red stop signs, red means stop, and horror shows often have a lot of red in them. Red lightsabers in Star Wars are no different. They mean danger.
The meaning of the purple lightsaber is a little bit different. Unlike blue and green, the actor using the purple lightsaber played a huge role in getting that color into the Star Wars movies. Let's look at an explanation by someone who used a purple lightsaber in the video below.
As it turns out, Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Mace Windu in the Star Wars movies, took part in a big fighting scene where he couldn't spot himself when he watched it later. He then asked the director to give him a lightsaber in a different color. That way, he could stand out.
This is a cool story, but still, there's some color theory to be found behind the meaning of this lightsaber. Mace Windu got a purple lightsaber, while he could have gotten any other available color. So why did he get a purple one?
If you mix blue and red, the result is purple. In Star Wars, blue is good, and red is bad. If you mix those colors, you get something that's in between, or in other words, purple.
You can see this in the movies, where Mace Windu was somewhat of a debatable character. Yes, he was a good Jedi, but he also had questionable moments. For his character, the purple color of his lightsaber makes a lot of sense from a color theory perspective, as it is right between good and bad.
Blue, green, red, and purple are the most well-known lightsaber colors. Yet, there are a few more. However, these are relatively new, with little screen time or not officially part of Star Wars canon yet. Therefore, it is impossible to figure out the meaning of these lightsaber colors. Nevertheless, here's a short overview.
The yellow lightsabers as used by the Jedi Sentinels.
Orange lightsabers used by Cal Kestis in the Jedi: Fallen Order game.
Ahsoka Tano uses white lightsabers.
The black lightsaber, which is also known as the Darksaber, from The Mandalorian.
There's a lot of meaning behind the colors of Star Wars lightsabers. Blue, for example, is a very accessible color in real life. It makes it a perfect choice for the most common lightsaber color. The opposite of that is red, which is associated with danger, just like red lightsabers.
Jedi mostly use the green lightsaber when they have a strong connection to the force, which makes green's association with nature very fitting. And finally, purple is the perfect color for the characters who fall between the light and the dark because it is a mix of red and blue.