Mace Windu is one of the most iconic Jedi Masters in the Star Wars universe. Played by Samuel L. Jackson in the prequel trilogy, Mace had a unique purple lightsaber that made him stand out among the Jedi. But what was the story behind Mace’s purple blade? When did he first get it and what did the color purple signify for a Jedi? Let’s take a closer look at the history of Mace Windu’s lightsaber.
Mace Windu’s Jedi Career
To understand the meaning behind Mace’s purple lightsaber, we first need to know a bit about his history and personality as a Jedi. Some key facts:
- Mace was a senior member of the Jedi Council before and during the Clone Wars.
- He was known for his grim attitude, stern demeanor, and minimalist lifestyle.
- Mace developed a unique fighting style called Vaapad that channeled his inner darkness into batttle.
- He did not agree with all of the Jedi Council’s decisions and often clashed with them.
So Mace tended to skirt the dark side more than most Jedi, even channeling it into his fighting style. The color of his lightsaber would come to reflect this inner conflict.
History of Lightsaber Colors
First, a quick history lesson on lightsaber colors. The first lightsabers, as seen in the original Star Wars films, all had blue or green blades. This was because they used kyber crystals in their construction. Kyber crystals came in either blue or green naturally.
However, in the prequel films we saw some Jedi with other lightsaber colors:
- Mace Windu – Purple
- Count Dooku – Red
- Qui-Gon Jinn – Green
This is because they used synthetic crystals, not natural kybers, to create new colors. The meaning behind each color was:
- Blue – Jedi Guardian, focused on combat
- Green – Jedi Consular, focused on the Force and diplomacy
- Purple – Someone who walked the line between Jedi and Sith
- Red – A Sith Lord
So the purple lightsaber marked Mace Windu as a Jedi who tread dangerously close to the dark side.
Mace’s First Purple Lightsaber
During his younger days, Mace Windu trained with a blue lightsaber just like most Jedi. He constructed his first purple-bladed lightsaber when he was promoted to Jedi Master.
As Mace himself said, the purple color represented his fighting style of Vaapad. By channeling his inner darkness into combat instead of suppressing it, Mace’s blade took on a shade closer to the red of the Sith than the blue or green of traditional Jedi.
This lightsaber first appeared in Episode I: The Phantom Menace in the year 32 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin). Mace dueled viciously with this purple blade against battle droids on the streets of Theed during the invasion of Naboo.
Other Wielders of the Purple Lightsaber
During the Clone Wars, Mace lost his first purple lightsaber when he was briefly held captive by the Separatists. After building a new one, Mace’s first purple blade eventually ended up in the hands of the pirate Hondo Ohnaka.
Years later, at the request of Ahsoka Tano, Hondo gave Mace’s old lightsaber to the rebellion so they could study its kyber crystal and learn from the Jedi. This let other characters like Kanan Jarrus examine Mace’s iconic purple blade.
So while Mace Windu was the first and most famous owner of the distinct purple lightsaber, its legacy did continue even after his death in the hands of other Jedi.
Meaning Behind the Color Purple
Why did Mace choose a purple blade when he became a Jedi Master? Here are some of the symbolic meanings behind the purple lightsaber color:
- Royalty – Purple was associated with royalty and high station in the Jedi Order.
- Wisdom – It marked Mace’s wisdom and experience as a senior Jedi Council member.
- Uniqueness – The purple stood out from the normal blue and green blades.
- Spirituality – It showed Mace’s deep connection to the spiritual side of the Force.
- Independence – The color reflected Mace’s maverick personality and willingness to clash with the Council.
So while the purple did indicate Mace’s brushes with the dark side, it had other connotations as well that suited this wise and storied Jedi Master.
The Purple Lightsaber’s Construction
Mace Windu’s purple-bladed lightsaber utilized an unusual crystal and design. Some key construction details:
- The blade relied on a rare artificially-created crystal rather than a natural kyber crystal.
- The handgrip was made from electrum metal, which was solid gold blended with silver.
- The emitter shroud and other parts had a bronze appearance.
- It emitted a shorter than average plasma blade length of about 3 feet.
- The lightsaber had no belt ring or clip since Mace always kept it in his hand.
These unique traits set Mace’s lightsaber apart from other Jedi weapons. The electrum and bronze gave it an almost regal appearance fitting a Jedi Council leader.
Battles with the Purple Lightsaber
Mace Windu wielded his purple-bladed lightsaber in many famous battles across the Star Wars saga. Some of the key fights included:
- Duel on Geonosis – Mace fought against Jango Fett and an army of battle droids.
- Rescue on Tatooine – He defeated the assassin Cad Bane who was holding Anakin’s Padawan Ahsoka hostage.
- Defense of Coruscant – The purple blade dueled Asajj Ventress and General Grievous during the invasion of Coruscant.
- Duel with Sidious – Mace lost his life dueling Darth Sidious, getting his hand cut off by the Sith Lord.
In all of these battles and more, the purple lightsaber carved through legions of droids and struck down many villains of the Republic.
Legacy of the Purple Lightsaber
Though Mace Windu fell to Darth Sidious and his purple lightsaber was passed around, its legacy lived on thanks to its one-of-a-kind color and reputation. The purple blade came to represent:
- Mace’s unique Jedi path of controlled darkness
- The uneasy balance between light and dark in the Force
- The stern discipline and wisdom of the Jedi Council
- A warning against reckless flirtation with the dark side
While controversial among some Jedi, Mace charted his own course that deeply impacted the galaxy and philosophy of the Force. His purple lightsaber will always be an icon of this struggle between darkness and light within Mace.
Mace Windu’s purple-bladed lightsaber was an integral part of his character and legacy. The purple color represented Mace’s walk along the edge of the dark side while still remaining loyal to the Jedi. This lightsaber first appeared in Episode I and was used in many famous battles until Mace’s death in Episode III at the hands of Darth Sidious.
Even after Mace was gone, his purple lightsaber lived on as a symbol of the eternal battle between dark and light. Its unique color and backstory will ensure that Mace Windu and his famous purple blade continue to fascinate Star Wars fans for generations to come.
|Lightsaber Color||First Appearance||Meaning|
|Purple||Episode I – The Phantom Menace||Walks the line between light and dark|
|Blue||Episode IV – A New Hope||Jedi Guardian, focused on combat|
|Green||Episode VI – Return of the Jedi||Jedi Consular, focused on the Force|
|Red||Episode I – The Phantom Menace||A Sith Lord|