Here’s the super simple reason Luke’s lightsaber is green in “Star Wars”
The colorful, glowing lightsaber is easily one of the most famous weapons in the Star Wars universe. Jedi and Sith Lords alike use the blades to battle it out with each other, and if you’ve ever wondered why a lightsaber is a specific color, we have an answer. We know why Luke had a green, not a blue, lightsaber in Return of the Jedi.
Thanks to an interview by Vanity Fair in honor of Star Wars’ 40th anniversary, the reasoning behind Luke’s green blade has been revealed. Forget some long, intricate story — the reasoning is way less complicated than anyone would have expected.
A brief history of our hero’s lightsabers: Luke first used a blue lightsaber that — unbeknownst to him, the saber and his parentage — belonged to papa Anakin, that is until he lost it (as well as his hand) while fighting Darth Vader (you know, Anakin’s evil alter ego) in the famous “I am your father” scene in The Empire Strikes Back.
Being crafty, Luke built himself another lightsaber in a deleted scene from Return of the Jedi. (GET THIS MAN AN ETSY SHOP!) That one was green instead of blue, simply so it would stand out more onscreen. It should also be noted that this new lightsaber was blue in the first ROTJ trailer and poster, but we’ll just overlook that…
According to Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo, a green lightsaber simply contrasted better with the blue sky and yellow sand backgrounds Luke would often be fighting in front of — and it’s as simple as that!
"As much as we like to mythologize why it's green and what that all signifies, sometimes there are very pragmatic filmmaking reasons behind these things," Hidalgo said.
That said, George Lucas had a clear vision of what colors he wanted lightsabers to be. Originally, bad guys were supposed to get red, and good guys blue.
Eventually, green was added as an option for the good guys. Then, Samuel L. Jackson came along and wanted a purple weapon so that people could keep track of his character during a particularly lightsaber-heavy scene. So now, good guys can also have purple lightsabers.
It appears lightsabers, much like the Star Wars universe itself, continue to evolve. We’ll be watching the change forever more, or at least until they stop making Star Wars movies (and let’s hope that never happens).