Like many things regarding the Sith and the Jedi, it’s not a question of can’t.
There’s nothing in the laws that forbid it, but due to how they’re made and, of course, the fact that most Sith uses a red lightsaber.
This makes a Jedi using a red lightsaber seem in poor taste, and perhaps suspicious. I’ll explain more down below.
Table of Contents
How Is a Red Kyber Crystal Made?
There are two ways to get a red kyber crystal. The most common is for a Sith to take a crystal, (either from their own lightsaber or somewhere else if they don’t already have one), and pour all of their negative emotions into it.
This process is known as bleeding. The crystal will attempt to resist and shove the feelings back into the Sith (this seems to be the case in both Canon and Legends.)
This harms the Sith and causes a loop of more pain and rage until the crystal turns red.
It’s been said that every Sith bears scars from this, but we’ve yet to see if that’s the case.
Can Only Sith Have Red Lightsabers?
Big nope, but, given what you’d have to do to make one, most Jedi would refuse.
That said, in battle, there’s nothing stopping either a Jedi or Sith from grabbing another lightsaber if they have to.
We see this most often in the Clone Wars (2008–2020) animated shows. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker (in Legends), have all either had to use a red lightsaber or, in Luke’s case, make one.
Unlike their Jedi counterparts, the Sith hate variety when it comes to their lightsabers. But some have used orange and various other shades that are close to red.
For a Sith, bleeding a crystal is the same as finding a crystal on Ilum. Both are treated as a rite of passage for their respective sides, as you’re not considered a full member without one.
Though in some Sith, like Palpatine, we rarely see their lightsabers, as our infamous Emperor believed that the Sith had more than enough powers without the need of a lightsaber.
But the practice continued in every Sith’s training regardless, and Palpatine believed they would continue to use their lightsabers to mock and humble the Jedi.
Which Jedi Knights Used Red Lightsabers?
There’s only been one Jedi who not only used but made a red lightsaber in canon. Adi Gallia, a Tholothian Jedi Master and a member of the Jedi High Council.
She proved to be both a great fighter and a chief negotiator. Her first lightsaber was red, and she used it until it was destroyed on a mission with the Trade Federation Investigation.
Her second lightsaber was blue, but it’s unknown if this is because of her feelings, or because of pressure from the Council.
Barriss Offee was a talented lightsaber duelist, Jedi Knight, and — in no small way — helped Palpatine in turning Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader. She was Ahsoka Tano’s best friend, and she set her up on murder charges and a bombing on the Jedi Temple.
Barriss Offee tracked down and defeated Ventress, who was trying to find her way after being abandoned and tossed aside by Count Dooku. Stole her lightsabers and mask, and fought Ahsoka at a warehouse.
Eventually, the truth was discovered and Ahsoka was cleared of all charges.
Anakin Skywalker even invited her back into the Order, but she refused. The ordeal had left her feeling betrayed and fed up with the Council.
This would prove to be one more nail in the Jedi’s coffin, as Anakin lost one of the people he trusted most. (Do we thank Barriss for her help in giving us an awesome villain?)
Even Piell is another member of the Jedi High Council. The Lennik Jedi mastered all seven lightsaber forms.
He used a red lightsaber until the emergence of the Sith and switched to a green one. He was also a great duelist.
Depa Bilaba was trained by Mace Windu and mastered Vaapad, a difficult variant of Form Seven, made by the first owner of a purple lightsaber. She used a red lightsaber to defend herself against an akk dog, but we don’t know if she kept it or where it came from.
Sadly, this amazing woman fell to the dark side and went insane.
Mace Windu tried to save her, but she attacked, and the battle ended with her being comatose.
Sharad Hett had many lightsabers in different colors. After the death and destruction of his family, Sharad Hett exiled himself to Tatooine.
There he became a warlord of the Tusken Raiders, used a red lightsaber until he died, and passed it on to his son, A’sharad Hett. He went on to wield it during the Clone Wars and fell to the dark side.
It’s unclear if he’s still using his father’s red lightsaber.
Other Points of Interest
There have been mentions of synthetic kyber crystals, and most agree that the Sith would use these because the normal kyber crystals are attuned to the light side of the Force.
Some of the Jedi above have been said to use them, but this only happens in Legends.
Darth Maul asked Ahsoka to give him one of her lightsabers during the chaos of Order 66.
She refused, and he proved he didn’t need one as he managed to steal a ship, leaving Ahsoka and Captain Rex to fend for themselves — I would have done the same thing.
Red is the color of passion, grief, pain, rage, and fear. All things that Jedi strive not to feel, especially in battle.
The Sith seem to hate purple lightsabers the most. There have been several powerful Sith Lords to use both red and purple lightsabers.
Because purple represents both enlightenment and weakness to many in the Sith Order. Palpatine hated purple lightsabers so much, he forbade any of his underlings from using one.
Jedi walk a narrow path when it comes to their lightsabers. And the lightsaber color debate will continue to grow as more shades are added.
None have been punished for using a red lightsaber, though constant use is frowned upon. Some of the more famous Jedi have used a red lightsaber to protect themselves, and have formed uneasy alliances with the Sith to ensure their survival.
A synthetic kyber crystal is said to be stronger than a natural one.
Thank you for reading.