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In Star Wars, a lightsaber is the ultimate weapon. Despite this, the rules behind the laser swords, their science, and their meaning, are not always consistent.

Many stories in the non-cinema canon that Disney nullified when it took over spoke of heroes going on journeys to find specific crystals that fulfilled their greatest needs. However, there seems to be some hierarchical, if not fully symbolic meaning behind some colors. Despite this, the story behind Luke Skywalker’s iconic green lightsaber remains a mystery. 

Lightsabers in the ‘Star Wars’ universe

From the symbolic red sabers that are often used as a force of the dark side to the blue lightsabers most commonly seen by young Jedi-in-training, every lightsaber has a unique story. Fans of the prequel may remember that Samuel L. Jackson’s purple lightsaber stood out in the crowd. This was not symbolic but a request from the actor for a very specific reason. 

“We had this big arena, this fight scene with all these Jedi and they’re fightin’ or whatever. And I was like, well s—, I wanna be able to find myself in this big ol’ scene. So I said to George, “You think maybe I can get a purple lightsaber?” the actor said in a quote collected by ScreenCrush

Green lightsabers, on the other hand, have often been used to connote Jedi Masters. While Luke Skywalker eventually became a master, he started with a blue lightsaber his dad once carried and switched to a green one between the movies. This story has boggled fans’ minds for many years. However, some have credible ideas about why Luke got to yield a saber typically held by Jedi Masters. 

Seeing green 

While the meanings behind the lightsabers may often get lost in translation, the way they get their colors do not. Lightsabers within the Star Wars universe are powered by crystals that many warriors go out and seek for themselves. This could explain why blue crystals are more common while green ones take some effort.  Speaking about it on Reddit, u/Antideck wondered if the green saber was a callback to a character who was not yet introduced on-screen when the original trilogy debuted. 

“I always imagined that Luke used the kyber crystal from Qui-gon Jinn’s lightsaber (which we know Kenobi kept), making his new lightsaber green unlike his father’s blue. I don’t think that was ever made canon tho. I always thought it would be cool to see Luke building his new lightsaber on Tatooine by extracting the crystal from Qui-gon’s old and unfunctioning saber,” they wrote on the site. 

U/sati-lotus had a different take, stating that the lightsaber colors often reflect the Jedi’s style., writing that, “In Legends, the colours reflected the Jedi. Blue mean the Force was used on a more physical level, green meant that the Jedi fought the Dark side and was more scholarly, and reflective of the mysteries of the Force, and gold meant the Jedi was more scholarly.”

The old canon offers many hints, from Luke constructing a green saber himself to him acquiring the crystals that make it in a journey. However, while many things in the Star Wars universe are settled, the answer remains unknown. Perhaps, it’s perfect fodder for Disney to go back to and discuss. 

Will we find out? 

Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill | Rich Fury/Getty Images

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Skywalker passed away in the eighth episode of the saga, but with his younger self’s grand reentry via a cameo, fans are talking about the prospects of a new Skywalker story. In fact, everyone from Mark Hamill to Sebastian Stan have spoken on the subject, as a piece in Entertainment Weekly recently noted. However, nothing is set in stone for Luke, Rey, and the lightsaber they both wielded. 

Still, sometimes the best answers are the ones that make sense to viewers. As such, while we might never know the story behind Luke’s change from blue to green, the discussions behind this are what makes Star Wars a unique entry in the pop cultural lexicon.