A lightsaber is one of, if not the most recognizable fantasy weapons in modern pop culture. And while we say modern, we mean any time after the release of A New Hope back in 1977.
From the first time that Luke was given his father’s lightsaber by Obi-Wan Kenobi and was told that it was a more elegant weapon from a more civilized time, movie-goers wanted one for themselves. The vibrant blue blade humming with energy instantly became a fan favorite.
Near the end of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and three years later in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, we saw the terrifying red-bladed variation of the lightsaber, wielded by none other than Darth Vader.
After another three years, in 1983, Luke Skywalker ignited his iconic green lightsaber for the first time on screen. All over the world, fans lost their mind at the concept that lightsabers could come in colors other than the iconic blue and red that they had previously seen.
Almost 20 years later, with the release of Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of The Clones, we were introduced to Mace Windu and his uniquely purple lightsaber. The Star Wars fandom erupted over how we had been introduced to a new lightsaber color almost two decades later.
But that was not all, throughout so many forms of media and content, we have seen numerous lightsaber colors. Ranging from black to white, and yellow and orange. Lightsabers now come in almost any color imaginable.
But after having seen so many lightsabers in so many different colors, one very major question has remained unanswered.
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Can you change the color of a Lightsaber?
The color of a lightsaber is one of its marks of identification. A lightsaber’s color is decided in two very different ways according to the Legends Canon and the New Canon. But before deciding whether that color can be changed, let us see how it is chosen.
In the Legends Canon, from the time of the Old Republic and the Sith Empire, lightsaber lore was very different. Lightsabers were made by Jedi and Sith alike in mostly the same way as they are in the New Canon, but with one major difference.
Lightsaber colors were not chosen by the Jedi that made them. The Kyber Crystal that the Jedi would use in their lightsaber would form a bond with the user. The crystal would then choose its color according to the bond that it formed with the Jedi.
This usually ended up symbolizing what that specific Jedi would be good at. Blue became the color of warriors and Jedi who were skilled with the lightsaber and in combat. Green, on the other hand, became the color of those Jedi who would be better suited to explore the intricacies of the Force.
This information also answers one part of our question as to whether a lightsaber can change colors or not. While talking specifically about that time, it is impossible to change the color of a lightsaber because the Kyber Crystal chooses its color according to the user.
On the flip side, the New Canon and the lightsaber lore that it presents to us is an entirely different story. The lightsabers in the main Star Wars movies and its other surrounding media use a set of two Kyber Crystals per lightsaber.
The first of these Kyber Crystals act as a focusing crystal; this focuses the energy the lightsaber is emitting and forms a blade. The second crystal, also known as a coloring crystal, is used to give the blade its unique color for every user.
But, knowing that there are two separate crystals, we can safely assume that it is possible to change the color of a lightsaber whenever the user feels it appropriate. The best example that we have seen of this is in the seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The example in question is seen just before the departure of Ahsoka to Mandalore when she is saying goodbye to Anakin. Anakin gives her back her lightsabers, and as Ahsoka ignites them, we see that the blades are now blue instead of their original green.
This means that Anakin changed out the coloring crystals of the lightsabers to have Ahsoka’s lightsabers match his own. This, in turn, shows that lightsabers can change color in the New Canon.
But then the next question that comes to mind is.
How to change the color of a Lightsaber?
Now that we have determined that lightsabers can change color, we will learn how to. We will be working off the example that we have seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, what little knowledge we have because of the other forms of Star Wars media, and our assumptions.
Our first major piece of information comes from two key video games in the Star Wars Universe known as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The first and second installments, memorable as they are, served as the first instance where we saw that lightsabers could change colors.
Players played as a hero called Starkiller and could find different colored Kyber Crystals to change the color of their lightsabers. A similar concept was applied almost fifteen years later in another videogame, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
The main character in this game, Cal Kestis, can select the color of his lightsaber by positioning the Kyber Crystal at different angles. But this contradicts both methodologies discussed above. So, we assume that there are two Kyber Crystals in any lightsaber.
This falls in line with Jedi: Fallen Order because we can assume that Cal was adjusting his color crystal instead of the focusing crystal. This would also explain how Anakin was able to change the color of the blades of Ahsoka’s lightsabers.
So, lightsaber colors can be changed by adjusting the coloring crystal installed in a lightsaber. The lightsaber will then produce a blade according to the position or type of crystal used as a coloring crystal.
But this leads us to another loophole.
Can a Kyber Crystal change color?
The simple answer to this is both yes and no. The Kyber Crystal, or more accurately, the focusing crystal of a lightsaber, cannot change color. The color crystal, which can also be a Kyber Crystal, can change colors depending on its composition and position.
The Focusing Crystal is, and always remains blue. The Crystal is clear with a bluish tinge, matching the Crystal Caves located on the planet Ilum. The Focusing Crystal’s only job is to focus the lightsabers energy to form the blade, hence, its ability to change color does not matter.
The Coloring Crystal, on the other hand, has a very major role to play in deciding the color of the blade. But this crystal does not necessarily have to be a Kyber Crystal, it could be any crystal that possesses the ability to let a great amount of energy pass through it.
These crystals can be found in different colors if their composition only allows them to reflect one color instead of two or more.
In the occasional scenario where a lightsaber is built with a crystal that can reflect more than one color, the crystal itself can change color depending on how it is positioned inside the lightsaber. In this case, the position will decide the color of both the crystal and the lightsaber’s blade.
That almost concludes our dive into the intricacies of lightsaber colors and how they can be changed. But before we go, we will look at how this debate came into being.
Can Rey Skywalker’s lightsaber change colors?
After the release of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, the fandom erupted into a fountain of questions and theories. One of these theories was focused heavily on the ending scene of the movie, where Rey ignites her new lightsaber.
The controversy started in the way that Rey ignited her lightsaber, and then eventually led to the color of the blade itself.
The lightsaber Rey built for herself was different from the traditional designs that we had seen throughout the movies so far. The lightsaber featured a rotating ignition mechanism, instead of the traditional button or switch mechanism that we were used to.
That was not the problem, the confusion arose when fans paid close attention to when the lightsaber was turning. A quick look showed the lightsaber flashing blue, green, and red just before the blade sprung out in its iconic yellow-orange color.
Fans started jumping to the conclusion that Rey had built a lightsaber that could change color depending on where she positioned the ignition mechanism while turning it on. And while the theory could be true, there has been no official confirmation from the writers themselves.
But, given what we discussed above, the theory may hold. Rey could have discovered a coloring crystal that reflected different colors while in different positions. And the rotating mechanism could serve as a positioning mechanism for the crystal as well as the power switch for the lightsaber.
So, while Rey’s lightsaber may be able to change color, we cannot say for sure. Especially given that this is the first time we have seen a lightsaber ignited from this angle, so what we see might just be the sparks from the ignition and nothing more.
So, what we can draw from all of this is the fact that lightsabers are able to change colors. But the fact that a lightsaber could change the color of its blade at the whim of the wielder seems more unlikely than not.
But Rey’s lightsaber might prove otherwise if the ignition sparks we see in the movie are more than what meets the eye. Do you think Rey’s lightsaber can change color? Let us know below.