Let me explain!
Is it a rule that can’t be broken, or were Sith able to use other kyber crystals?
Let’s get to the bottom of this debate and see why Sith mostly use red blades.
Do the Sith only use red lightsabers?
As I have mentioned in the introduction, lightsabers are the signature weapons of people who can use Force. There are many reasons behind this. Primarily, lightsabers are created with the help of kyber crystals. I will get to this point later, yet the specific crystals are also connected to the Force.
Such a connection allows the Force users to wield the lightsaber as if it is a part of their own body.
If you were wondering why the Sith also use lightsabers, the answer here is pretty simple as well. The Sith were once peacekeepers themselves. The Sith were originally a group of Dark Jedi who broke away from the Jedi Order during the First Great Schism on Tython.
In other words, many traditions can be dated back to the Jedi, including the art of lightsaber combat!
However, the Sith had several ways to create red crystals and stand out from the Jedi.
As I’ve mentioned before, Kyber Crystals are the core and the most important element of any lightsaber. They are very rare in the Star Wars universe. Crystals were practically impossible to find after the Empire wasted them on their Death Star.
There are several reasons why the lightsaber could only be built around Kyber crystals. First and foremost, they are incredibly powerful sources of energy. However, this particular energy was also connected to the living Force. It allowed people who wielded the lightsabers to be connected with their weapons.
Their weapons became their lives! At least according to Obi-Wan Kenobi….
Jedi have to undergo a series of challenges to build a lightsaber.
As a part of Jedi training, young Padawans were sent to Ilum (an ice planet) to find the crystals. It is a tedious and highly dangerous process since the mines have a mind of their own.
The Sith, however, have found another way — artificial or synthetic crystals. Not to mention that this way was arguably even more dangerous than the mines.
The Sith use “raw elements cooked in a brood of furnace” to get a synthetic crystal, hence the red colour. This also allows them to insert an essence of their will and the Dark side directly into the crystal.
Sith Lords believed that losing a lightsaber should feel as if one’s limb was severed!
Their connection with the lightsaber was just as strong as the Jedi one, if not tighter. Naturally, the Jedi wholly committed to the Light Side couldn’t use red sabres forged and bled with Darkness.
Bleeding of Kyber Crystals
However, not all Sith used synthetic sources of energy. Let me remind you that the Sith originated from the Jedi. They could also use natural crystals.
This is where the “bleeding” comes to mind.
“A red saber is no different than any other except… it has been made to bleed.“―Darth Sidious from Darth Vader (2017) 1
The bleeding is not something that was confirmed in canon. At least it wasn’t mentioned in the movies. However, comic books have a lot to say about the Dark Side technique.
This act actually turns the crystals into the signature red of the Sith.
The bleeding of a crystal is a very painful and lengthy procedure. Only the most powerful Force users can survive. That’s why I also believe that bleeding is much more dangerous than in the mines.
“Dark crystals were made, too, but not in that holy place. They were plundered from their rightful bearers and corrupted by the hands that stole them. Even rock could be changed by the power of the Force, bleeding alterations until their colour was the deepest red. The balance was finely staged between the two, light and dark, and it took very little to upset it.”―Credit to Star Wars Ahsoka, Novel by E. K. Johnston
Fun fact: You don’t have to be a Sith to bleed a crystal. Even Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren, managed to do it, and he was hardly a Sith.
There’s also a question of strength connected with red blades!
Some believe that red lightsabers are better and stronger, yet this fact is up for debate. The Legends even say that a red blade was able to break the Jedi weapons of blue, green, and purple. This was done by overloading the energy matrix.
This fact was never confirmed in canon!
Can Sith use any other lightsabers that aren’t red?
Once again, canon doesn’t give us much about the history of the Sith. However, we have legends to confirm that not all Sith use red lightsabers.
Exar Kun is an excellent example. Being a Sith, he still carried a double-bladed blue lightsaber.
The only proper example that we have from the movies is Anakin Skywalker. He was given the title of Darth Vader when he still had a blue blade. However, I doubt that he had time to bleed it.
It had to do the trick!
Maybe the red blade would have been the high ground for him….
Finally, during the Jedi Civil War began, the differences between colours had to be made. At the end of the battle, it was essential not to confuse your allies with enemies.
In short, here’re answers to your questions:
Why do the Sith use red lightsabers? Their crystals are usually synthetic. Alternatively, red crystals went through the bleeding with Dark power.
Can they use other colours? Yes, yet the cases are very rare.
Can the Jedi use red lightsabers? Yes, but not for long. You can find out more about this here!
In other words, a Sith with a proper connection and commitment to the Dark side will most likely carry red blades. It is the only weapon that they will carry as if it’s a part of their body.
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