If there’s one thing you could point to within the Star Wars universe that is the most recognizable thing about the said universe, it would be lightsabers. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors; some colors are much rarer than others. There’s a meaning behind every lightsaber color. As an orange lightsaber is one of the rarest, what’s the meaning behind it?
Orange lightsabers appeared in Star Wars Canon just recently, so the actual meaning behind the color is quite ambiguous. Some theories suggest that orange lightsabers present diplomacy, pacifism, and purification, while other theories say that they present a balance between the light and dark sides of the Force.
There are only a handful of notable wielders of an orange lightsaber, especially in Canon. Cal Kestis, a protagonist in the Canon video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, wields one, and so does Jedi Master Yaddle in Star Wars Legends. We’ll go through what an orange lightsaber might mean and all the users of such blades, giving us a better understanding of such wielder’s nature.
How do you get an orange lightsaber?
For one to understand how to obtain an orange lightsaber, one must first understand how lightsabers work in the first place and how they get their color. The color of a lightsaber isn’t random – each color has a meaning and is aligned to the wielder’s personality, poise, and spiritual alignment when it comes to the Force.
To build a lightsaber, you need something called a kyber crystal. Those crystals are rare but can be found in places across the galaxy – some spots have more than others. Kyber crystals are almost sentient, aligned with the Force. If their natural state, however, kyber crystals are colorless.
Once a Jedi builds a lightsaber, they let the Force guide them to their crystal as they hear it ‘sing’ to them. Once they obtain the crystal and it bonds to the person, the kyber crystal changes color based on their spiritual alignment and character.
Kyber crystals naturally respond only to the Light side of the Force and will refuse a person inclined to use it along the Dark side. Once bonded with a Jedi, kyber crystals usually turn blue or green, each with a particular meaning we won’t get into.
The kyber crystal is used as the driving force behind a lightsaber, serving as its core. If a crystal is green, the lightsaber will emit a green color. But, if kyber crystals refuse the Dark side wielders, how do the Sith have sabers, you might ask?
Well, the Sith actually uses the Force to, well, force the crystal into submission. It makes the kyber crystal ‘bleed,’ almost like a living being, turning its color to red – hence, the usual red hue of the Sith lightsabers. It represents rage, hate, vengeance, and other ugly emotions one might associate with the Sith order.
There are other lightsaber colors that are rarer, and each has a unique meaning. For instance, Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber indicates a combination of blue and red, indicating he has a deep understanding of both sides of the Force, enabling him to use Vapaad (a somewhat controversial form) as his preferred lightsaber Form.
Now, we finally get to the question: How does one get an orange lightsaber?
Well, if a person wielded an orange lightsaber, it would suggest that the kyber crystal bonded to them, and used to build the lightsaber, would have to obtain an orange hue.
Seeing how rare an orange lightsaber is in Star wars lore, it would require a very specific individual to get such a blade – meaning, their spiritual alignment would also have to be very specific. Let’s examine the meaning behind orange lightsabers by examining their known wielders.
What does an orange lightsaber mean?
Orange lightsabers are among the rarest types of lightsabers in the entire Star Wars lore. So far, it was almost exclusively connected to Star Wars Legends until a certain video game – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order came out and featured an orange lightsaber, and the game is considered to be Star Wars Canon.
Due to the rarity of this particular type of blade, the meaning of an orange lightsaber is still a bit uncertain and ambiguous. There are several theories for us to explore based on who the wielder is and what their character is, so I’ll do my best to cover each wielder and theory as we go along.
The most prevalent theory about the meaning behind orange lightsabers might be that they represent the wielder’s inclination towards pacifism and diplomacy instead of combat. That theory comes from examining the most well-known orange lightsaber wielder – Jedi Master Yaddle.
Master Yaddle appeared in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, but we never saw her use an orange lightsaber. In Canon, it was green; hence, it’s hard to say she had an orange lightsaber in Canon. In Legends, however, we learn more about Master Yaddle’s background and see her wield the saber several times.
Master Yaddle was a Jedi Council member and a member of the same species as Master Yoda. The difference was Master Yaddle was younger. However, she was said to be even calmer, more composed, and more diplomatic than Yoda.
Master Yaddle was also known as The One Below due to being imprisoned underground for almost a century. However, after devastating earthquakes started shaking the planet, Yaddle found a way out of her prison.
And, instead of going into battle and fleeing the planet where she was held captive, Yaddle helped them recover from the earthquakes and rid them of the tyrannic rule they were under. Even when attacked, Yaddle always tried to resolve issues pacifistically. If, and only if, it was impossible, would she resort to combat and using her lightsaber.
The nature of Master Yaddle made many theorize that an orange lightsaber means the wielder is inclined towards pacifism, diplomacy, deep calmness, complete non-aggression, and avoidance of any kind of violence.
The only Star Wars Canon character we saw wielding an orange lightsaber was Cal Kestis, a playable character in the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order video game from 2019. The game is considered Canon, and while Master Yaddle does appear in The Phantom Menace, her lightsaber in Canon is green, not orange.
Another video game character wielding an orange lightsaber, Kyle Katarn, played in a Legends game called Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith. He got his orange lightsaber from a Dark Jedi called Yun.
Seeing that he got the blade from a Dark Jedi, perhaps it was only partially purified from a red lightsaber – hence, it was orange now. We saw the purification of red kyber crystals already with Ahsoka Tano, who purified red kyber crystals from a Sith lightsaber and turned white in the princess.
As for the orange lightsabers, it might suggest the purification was only partial, and instead of venturing closer to the Light side, it remained somewhere in between. Hence, an orange lightsaber could mean neutrality and walking a path between the Light and Dark sides – much like Ahsoka’s white lightsabers suggest for her.
The Gray Jedi
Lastly, I believe that the greatest sense of meaning for an orange lightsaber can come from the order of Gray Jedi. All members of that particular group wielded orange lightsabers, and their unique belief system explains it very particularly.
The Gray Jedi neither abandoned nor adopted any belief system to the fullest. That means that they haven’t adhered to Jedi rules and beliefs, but neither walked the path of the Sith order. They linger somewhere in between, using both the Light and Dark sides of the Force to create a unique path.
Now, that doesn’t mean they did what Ahsoka Tano did – she abandoned both ways and created her own individual path – hence the white lightsabers. Instead, the Gray Jedi struck a delicate balance between the Force’s Light and Dark side.
A wielder of an orange lightsaber must have deep knowledge, power, and wisdom to maintain that balance and not let the Dark side prevail. It’s an incredibly daunting task, which is why the Gray Jedi are so renowned and powerful.
One theory behind their orange lightsabers suggests that they obtained the orange hue by combining the properties of yellow and red kyber crystals.
A yellow kyber crystal is used by the Temple Guards of Jedi, and it is believed that a yellow lightsaber symbolizes the pure will to eradicate all evil, but using the Light side of the Force to achieve that.
Red kyber crystals, as we know, actually ‘bleed’ and represent hate, greed, anger, and rage and are the epitome of the Dark Side. If one combines the two and finds that incredibly delicate balance in between, one gets an orange lightsaber.
All orange lightsaber users
As I’ve mentioned, there was only one Star Wars Canon character that used an orange lightsaber – that being Cal Kestis. However, in Legends, there are numerous orange lightsaber users from different backgrounds and spiritual inclinations, so it’s hard to gauge if every one of these blades has the same meaning.
Here are all the orange lightsaber users I could think of alphabetically. I won’t mention Master Yaddle and Kyle Katarn again, as we have already discussed their orange lightsabers.
Dorjander Kace was a male human Jedi who Mandalorian Crusaders captured during the Great Sith War. Once captive, Kace struck a relationship with a Mandalorian warrior named Varda. He was released and taught the Mandalorian ways, and the happy couple was soon pregnant, eagerly awaiting their baby.
However, Varda was killed before the child was born, and Dorjander continued his Jedi training, even climbing to the rank of Jedi Master and becoming a member of the Jedi High Council. When the Mandalorian Wars began, Kace expressed neutrality, not wanting to attack the Mandalorians.
When the Jedi decided to attack anyway, Kace and three other Jedi Knights stepped down and actually joined the Mandalorians. They were later arrested, but Kace’s neutral stance certainly explains his orange lightsaber.
Jaska (far right on the image above) was a Jedi Knight who stepped down from the Jedi Order at the same time as Dorjander Kace, wielding an orange lightsaber upon becoming a Mandalorian Knight. She donned gray Mandalorian armor with a jetpack but also fought with a lightsaber, making her (as well as other Mandalorian Knights) a formidable combatant.
Lar Le’Ung was a New Jedi Order member at the start of the Yuuzhan Vong War. He was highly skilled, diplomatic, and somewhat of a pacifist. During the evacuation of Rychel, he fought Yuuzhan Vong and their war creatures with his orange lightsaber, but due to Yuuzhan Vong being invisible to the Force, a warrior was able to sneak up on Lar and kill him.
Polvin Kut was actually the Master of the aforementioned Yaddle. They were sent on a mission to Koba to save the colonies from the clutches of a war criminal named Tulak. Once there, Kut and Yaddle were ambushed after being betrayed by spies.
Tulak slaughtered Polvin Kut’s entire family decades before, and once on Koba, Kut let his hatred and rage towards Tulak take over, and he succumbed to the Dark side. It ultimately led to Polvin Kut’s death and Yaddle’s century-long imprisonment. Kut wielded an orange lightsaber due to him balancing on the fringes between the Light and the Dark side.
Soon Bayts was a Jedi Master during the last decades of the Republic Classic era, accompanying Mace Windu on a mission to escort Senator Bail Organa to the Outer Rim Territories. They crash-landed after being attacked on Boz Pity, where numerous droids attacked along General Grievous.
Soon lost his life before even engaging in battle, as Grievous crushed his skull in mere seconds. His blade was orange due to him acting out of emotion often, but near the end of his life, it changed its hue to blue.
Another Jedi Knight during the Clone Wars that wielded an orange lightsaber was named Torhaa Phaa. He was a male Togruta (the same species as Ahsoka Tano) and used to train and duel in the Jedi Temple.
Not much is known about Torhaa and why his lightsaber was orange, as he only appeared in a video game called Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures as a non-playable character.
Tulak Hord is the only Sith Lord ever to wield an orange lightsaber instead of a red one. He was a fearsome master of the Force’s Dark side, and an incredible sorcerer, mastering the art of telekinesis. Known as the Lord of Hate, Tulak Hord killed countless Jedi with his forces but was betrayed in the end by his own kin, which consumed his Force energy.
Yoshi Raph-Elan was a Jedi Knight who served before the Clone Wars. He made his own orange lightsaber, which probably obtained that hue due to his emotional nature. He was kind and eager to help everyone in need but lacked the focus vital for a Jedi. He fell in love with a Princess called Lourdes but stayed true to the Jedi Code and never acted upon his feelings.
Remember Kyle Katarn, the guy who took the lightsaber of a Dark Jedi? Well, that Dark Jedi was named Yun, and his lightsaber was actually yellow. However, after he used it to save Kyle Katarn’s life, he lost his own, and Katarn took it to a duel and killed several enemies.
Soon after, the lightsaber changed its hue to orange, as Katarn was on the fringes between Light and Dark. He eventually succumbed to the Dark side.
Was Rey Skywalkers’ lightsaber orange?
Lastly, I saw many fans wondering if Rey Skywalker’s lightsaber, in the end, was orange. As it turns out, it was yellow, symbolizing optimism, hope, and the fact that Rey was now the protector of the Jedi Order – much like the Temple Guards, known for their yellow dual-blade lightsabers.
Speaking to Insider, the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker visual effects team revealed they chose the ‘golden-yellow hue for several reasons:
“There was an optimistic kind of quality to that, but we also wanted [Rey] to have a very unique color. That specific color yellow, if you go too pale — this is getting really in the weeds here — if you go too pale and you make it too light, it’s going to look white a lot of times.
Colors on film, sometimes they bleed away depending on the exposure and the quality of the light in the scene. Making it that more golden yellow gives you that optimistic feeling, and it also allows you to make it supersaturated and still feel like it’s in the ‘Star Wars’ universe. We definitely went for things like golden and sun and optimism.”
So, there you have it – Rey’s lightsaber isn’t orange, but rather golden yellow!