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What does the black lightsaber blade mean?

What does the black lightsaber blade mean?

The color of a lightsaber blade holds great meaning and symbolism for both Jedi and Sith in the Star Wars universe. While Jedi wield lightsabers with blue, green, purple, or yellow blades, Sith lightsabers almost always have red blades. However, there is one rare exception – the black lightsaber blade. Only a handful of black lightsabers have appeared in Star Wars stories, making them unique and mysterious weapons. So what does a black lightsaber blade signify?

History of Black Lightsabers

The first appearance of a black lightsaber was in the 1994 Star Wars comic series titled Dark Empire. In the story, Luke Skywalker constructs and wields a black lightsaber when he briefly falls to the dark side under the influence of Emperor Palpatine. This demonstrated that a black blade was associated with succumbing to evil and the dark side of the Force.

The next major black lightsaber debuted in the Star Wars expanded universe with the character Jacen Solo, Han and Leia’s son, who takes on the Sith name Darth Caedus. His new black lightsaber represented his descent into becoming a Sith Lord who betrayed his family and friends.

In the canon Star Wars Rebels animated series, the Inquisitors under Darth Vader wield double-bladed spinning lightsabers with black blades. As dark side agents of the Galactic Empire, the black color connects them to evil.

Finally, in the current canon comics, Jedi Master Mace Windu briefly constructed a black lightsaber during the Clone Wars when he struggled with balancing the light and dark sides of the Force. However, he felt the black blade pulled him too much towards the dark side and soon switched back to his traditional purple lightsaber.

Meaning of the Black Blade

Based on its appearances in Star Wars stories, a black lightsaber blade clearly symbolizes a strong connection to the dark side of the Force. However, the meaning goes deeper than just being an evil color.

Specifically, black represents a moral greyness and internal conflict. All the characters who wielded black lightsabers – Luke Skywalker, Jacen Solo, the Inquisitors, and Mace Windu – were struggling between the light and dark sides of the Force. Their black blades reflected their inner turmoil.

While red lightsabers represent Sith who have fully embraced the dark side, black lightsabers signify characters who walk the line between good and evil. This moral ambiguity makes black an ideal color for Force users who have been tempted by darkness but have not completely fallen.

The Dark Side Origins

Besides its symbolic meaning, a black lightsaber blade also arises from certain dark side origins. Constructing a black lightsaber requires using certain rare Force techniques and Kyber crystals with unique properties.

In the Expanded Universe, Luke Skywalker learned to make his black lightsaber using a “synthetic” crystal that he forged himself using the Force. Jacen Solo murdered his apprentice to steal her “Vex” crystal and corrupt it to the dark side to make his black blade. These origins reflect the black lightsaber’s connections to evil acts.

In current canon, the Inquisitor lightsabers use Kyber crystals bled by the dark side to make them red, but when spun fast enough appear black. Mace Windu’s black blade came from a natural Kyber crystal that he purified and balanced between light and dark. The construction methods reinforce the black blade’s symbolism of moral ambiguity.

Unique Abilities

Along with its symbolic dark side meanings, a black lightsaber blade seems to possess some unique abilities compared to other lightsaber colors. However, these capabilities likely arise from the wielders’ strong Force powers rather than the blade itself.

Luke Skywalker’s black lightsaber was said to enhance his telekinetic abilities with the Force. Darth Caedus’ black blade potentially allowed him to channel his Force senses, making him an even more formidable opponent. These examples suggest that black lightsabers amplify Force powers related to movement and perception.

The black Inquisitor blades have also demonstrated the ability to spin rapidly without losing stability. When stationary, they appear black, but when spinning they take on a white appearance and can fly and attack with great precision. However, it is unclear if this is an inherent power of black Kyber crystals.

Overall, black lightsaber blades seem closely intertwined with the dark side’s manipulation of the Force. But it is likely the wielders’ own Force abilities fueling these effects rather than the blade itself.


Based on known examples, constructing a black lightsaber blade involves using the Force to corrupt Kyber crystals and bend them to one’s will.

As mentioned, in the Expanded Universe Luke Skywalker created his black blade synthetic crystal through the Force. Jacen Solo murdered his apprentice to take her crystal and bleed it red using the dark side before further corrupting it to black.

Canonically, the Inquisitor spinning lightsabers use corrupted, bleeding Kyber crystals to produce the red color that appears black when spun rapidly. It is assumed they also use the Force to manipulate the blades’ spinning capability.

For Mace Windu’s black lightsaber, he found a rare natural Kyber crystal that already channeled both the light and dark sides in balance. With his unique Vaapad fighting style, he could harness the crystal’s power. But it was unstable, eventually causing him to abandon the black blade.

Examples in Canon

While most known black lightsabers come from the Expanded Universe, there are a few canonical appearances that make them official in Star Wars continuity:

– The Inquisitors’ double-bladed spinning lightsabers in Star Wars Rebels have black blades when not spinning. The Seventh Sister and Eighth Brother are both seen wielding these weapons.

– Darth Vader #25 comic shows Jedi Master Mace Windu constructing a black lightsaber during the Clone Wars era. However, he deemed it too dangerous and returned to his purple lightsaber.

– Darth Vader Marvel comic series issues 1-6 feature a Jedi named Kirak Infil’a who wields a black lightsaber in flashback scenes to the Clone Wars. Little is known about his blade’s origins.

So while black lightsabers are rare, they do officially exist in canon thanks to their appearances in Star Wars television shows and comics set before and during the original trilogy era.

Examples in Legends

The majority of black lightsabers come from the now non-canon Expanded Universe legends. These include:

– Luke Skywalker’s hand-constructed black lightsaber in the Dark Empire comic series, after falling briefly to the dark side.

– Jacen Solo stealing his apprentice’s crystal to create his black lightsaber when he becomes Darth Caedus in the Legacy of the Force novels.

– Dark Jedi Jedgar wielding a black lightsaber during the New Sith Wars in the Jedi vs. Sith comic series.

– Various video games featuring black lightsaber options for players, such as Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

– A clone of Darth Maul using black lightsabers in Star Wars: Clone Wars micro-series episode “Chapter 23.”

Though no longer canon, these legendary black lightsabers still provide important backstory and meaning for newer official appearances in current Star Wars stories.

Latest Appearances

Recently, black lightsabers have made some notable appearances in Star Wars media:

– Jedi: Fallen Order video game features an Inquisitor Second Sister who wields a double-bladed black spinning lightsaber against the protagonist Cal Kestis.

– Star Wars: The High Republic novel The Fallen Star mentions Jedi porter Ty Yorrick who mysteriously wields a black lightsaber, hinting at his balance of light and dark.

– Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi animated series shows a black lightsaber used by Nihil mercenary Indeera Stokes to fight young Ahsoka Tano.

With their presence across video games, novels, and television, it is clear black lightsabers are becoming more prominent in the current Star Wars landscape. They represent the temptation of the dark side as the franchise continues exploring moral greyness.


In summary, a black lightsaber blade symbolizes a struggle between the light and dark sides of the Force. It demonstrates its wielder is conflicted morally and emotionally, tempted by the darkness but not consumed fully by evil. The black color represents a balance of light and shadow. Constructing a black blade requires harnessing the dark side through corrupted Kyber crystals. While black lightsabers are still rare, they are becoming more visible in the Star Wars franchise, highlighting the moral complexities facing fans and characters alike. So the meaning of the black lightsaber continues evolving, but will likely always represent the tension between good and evil in the galaxy far, far away.