The color system of lightsabers in the Star Wars universe has created a complex mythology for fans to dig into. Though Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron is much more Han Solo than Luke Skywalker, the Star Wars actor still has a few thoughts on what color his lightsaber would be — even if it’s one we’re not likely to see anytime soon. Following in the footsteps of Samuel L. Jackson, Isaac believes in making up new rules to keep Star Wars fans on their toes.
The Jedi lightsaber has come a long way since ‘A New Hope’
It was simple in the beginning. Though Luke started with a blue lightsaber in A New Hope and had a fan-favorite green one in other parts of the original trilogy, things have changed dramatically since then.
But even from the beginning, the colors had meaning beyond looking cool. As Screen Rant points out, a lightsaber’s color reflects the level of a Jedi’s training and hints at an overarching mission.
For the original blue, the color represents a highly trained Jedi Knight ready to throw down with the Sith in the name of protecting the innocent.
As for green, it’s more of a transformational color symbolizing a Jedi’s desire to plumb the depths of the Force and master it at the highest level (Yoda’s color is green).
Roughly speaking, the blue and green color scheme provides the guideposts of the Jedi Order.
A red lightsaber, meanwhile, can only mean a master of evil.
But Isaac’s hotshot Resistance fighter pilot appears after the fall of the original Jedi Order in the Star Wars universe, ripped apart by the plot of Darth Sidious. Poe’s nobility and bravery in protecting the New Republic reflect some core Jedi-like virtues, but he’s more of a blaster-and-starfighter guy than a student of the Force.
Oscar Isaac chose a progressive color for his lightsaber
Isaac’s early interviews showcase exactly why he was picked to play Poe. In a Collider interview during the promo campaign for A Force Awakens, he made it clear he would take shortcuts around questions he doesn’t like. Isaac seemed to bemoan queries about the genders of bots in the Star Wars universe, playfully jabbing back at the interviewer and making it clear it was time to move on.
When the talk soon shifted to the Jedi Order, Isaac flashed some Inside Llewyn Davis-style sarcasm and picked a color well off the beaten path. “Uh, I think I’m gonna stick with rainbow — rainbow-colored,” he said mockingly in an apparent reference to the previous questions.
But even though Isaac seemed to be having fun with the questions, the rainbow choice wasn’t completely flippant either. The actor has long been a supporter of LGBTQ rights and recently skewered Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. In an interview with The New York Times to promote the Disney+ series Moon Knight, Isaac stood with Disney in its opposition to the law.
“Disney was forced to take a stand, and I’m glad that they took the right stand there,” Isaac said. “Sometimes silence or neutrality is just not going to work.”
How Samuel L. Jackson ended up with a purple lightsaber
Of course, Oscar Isaac’s choice of lightsaber would have been much more outlandish in the Star Wars universe before Samuel L. Jackson’s lightsaber changed everything. For the Episodes 1-3 prequel series, Jackson starred as Mace Windu, one of the top members of the Jedi Council. But Jackson didn’t really want a green or blue lightsaber and instead went to creator George Lucas with an unexpected request, Insider reported.
When Lucas laid out the typical color choices for a Jedi, Jackson recalled saying to him: “Yeah, but I want a purple one. I’m like the second-baddest Jedi in the universe next to Yoda.”
After agreeing to think on it, Lucas presented Jackson with a custom-made purple lightsaber and admitted it was already creating a “sh*tstorm” online. Jackson’s bold move made it easy to spot him in Episode II: Attack of the Clones battle scenes and created a trend for lightsabers. By Screen Rant’s count, there are now 12 colors for lightsabers in the extended Star Wars universe, including the ones considered by many fans to be non-canon.
If you need further proof Jackson’s purple lightsaber is one of the coolest ever, the personalized engraving from the crew — given to him without request — seals the deal. On the handle, “BMF” is engraved, a reference to his breakout role in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. In the film, Jackson’s hitman character Jules has a wallet that says “Bad Mother F***er,” a moniker that still fits Jackson well almost three decades later. His purple lightsaber remains the only one of its kind.
As for whether we could see Oscar Isaac wield a rainbow lightsaber in a future Star Wars adventure, the odds are not great. The actor told Collider he has no interest in playing Poe again. Per IMDb, Isaac also has a packed upcoming shooting schedule, as he’s set to star in the action flick Metal Gear Solid and Francis and the Godfather, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of classic The Godfather.