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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Star Wars: Why Mace Windu’s Lightsaber Is Purple

Second to only Yoda during Star Wars’ prequel trilogy, Mace Windu was one of the greatest Jedi of all time. His lightsaber skills were unparalleled, and as such, his lightsaber was unique. Windu's saber was covered in a rare metal called electrum and had a distinct purple hue that made it stand out against green and blue lightsabers.

In reality, it's been well documented that Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Windu in the films, wanted to be able to see himself in the crowded Geonosian arena in Attack of the Clones, so he asked George Lucas to give him a purple lightsaber – Jackson’s favorite color. Lucas agreed, and thus, Windu’s purple lightsaber was made. But now, we're taking a closer look at the official reason why Windu's lightsaber is purple within the canons of the Star Wars Universe.

In Star Wars Legends, lightsaber colors were directly correlated with Force users’ connection to the Force. However, it wasn’t a personal choice; the Force called Jedi to a particular color of kyber crystal which coincided with their role as a Jedi. Accordingly, Jedi Guardians used blue lightsabers, and Consulars used green blades, while Sentinels used yellow. Purple lightsabers, on the other hand, were a symbol of their owners’ having an affinity with both the dark and light sides of the Force, a visual combination of the Jedi’s blue and the Sith’s red.

Master Windu, with his Vapaad fighting style, is one of the few Jedi to flirt with the edges of the dark side without succumbing to it. The story of how he acquired his kyber crystal and built his lightsaber is told in 2002's Star Wars Tales #13, in the story "Stones" by Haden Blackman, Michael Zulli, Giulia Brusco and Steve Dutro. In the comic, Windu recounts building his saber while instructing a group of younglings on how to do the same.

Windu told them that when he was 14 years old, he still hadn’t built his lightsaber, and the Jedi Council was beginning to worry. It wasn’t that he was afraid or unable. He had simply had a vision of what it was supposed to look like, and he hadn’t found the right parts yet. So, the Council sent him to the planet of Hurikane. There, Windu was confronted by the native people who were made out of stones. When they attacked, he defended himself and accidentally shattered one of them. Using the Force, Windu healed the native, and out of gratitude, he gave Windu a purple kyber crystal as a gift. At that point, Windu had all of the necessary parts to construct the iconic blade from his vision.

In canon, the story is quite a bit different. Disney’s new version holds that there aren’t, blue, green or purple kyber crystals. Rather, all crystals start as clear and change once a Force-wielder bonds with them. In fact, it’s still kind of vague what colors mean exactly what, if anything. However, most fans still rationalize his purple blade as representing his walk between the light and dark sides of the Force.

The canon version of Windu’s lightsaber construction is told in Marvel's Age of Republic Special #1 in a story by Ethan Sacks, Paolo Villaneilli, Erick Arciniega and Travis Lanham. Windu was captured, while on a mission, and had his lightsaber taken away and disassembled. Then, while he was secretly, telekinetically reassembling his lightsaber, he told his captor about the experience of building his lightsaber for the first time. Describing it as his first lesson as a real Jedi, he explained how he had trouble building it until he was reminded that he had to trust the Force to guide him in the process.

In both canonical versions of the story, Windu's lightsaber color is intrinsically tied with the story of its construction, tying the sword's color to Windu's personal touch.

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