There are many iconic lightsabers in Star Wars, from Anakin Skywalker’s blue blade that was passed on through various generations to Darth Maul’s double-ended red lightsaber which blew the minds of Star Wars all around the globe upon the release of The Phantom Menace back in 1999.
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s blue lightsaber is another one on the long list of iconic lightsabers in Star Wars media. It is the second lightsaber we ever see on screen when he ignites it to fight Darth Vader on the Death Star during A New Hope.
The blue plasma blade is iconic, but is there any particular reason why Obi-Wan has a blue lightsaber? Let’s find out.
Why was Obi-Wan’s lightsaber blue?
There are three possible explanations for Obi-Wan Kenobi having a blue lightsaber. One is related to Star Wars canon, one is related to Star Wars Legends and the third is related to filmmaking. Let’s take a look at each explanation in greater detail:
#1 Obi-Wan’s energy was blue (canon)
When a youngling became a padawan learner they would participate in a rite of passage known as the “The Gathering”. This rite of passage involved younglings finding a kyber crystal that was attuned to their energy and force presence in a cave. These crystals are what gave lightsabers their colour and power
Once they had retrieved a kyber crystal, they would then begin the lightsaber-building process under the tutelage of a Jedi Master. According to Official Star Wars Lore and Canon, these crystals are actually colourless until they fully connect with a Jedi and their energy.
Once the crystal is aligned with a Jedi, it would then glow a certain colour depending on what was most suitable. Most of the time, the glow would be blue or green but on some occasions, other colours would appear – this is how Mace Windu ended up with a purple lightsaber.
Obi-Wan had three different lightsabers throughout his life. The first one was constructed when he was a padawan to Qui-Gon Jinn. The hilt of this lightsaber was very similar to that of his master, however, the blade was blue while Jinn’s was green.
After this lightsaber was destroyed by Darth Maul during the Battle of Naboo, Kenobi was forced to build a new one. Again, the blade was blue and the hilt resembled the one he had lost during the fight with Maul.
When he became a Jedi Master, Obi-Wan decided to construct a third lightsaber. This was the final lightsaber that he constructed and it also had a blue blade, but this time with a brand new-looking hilt. This would be the lightsaber that he used to fight Darth Vader on multiple occasions before ultimately dying with it in his hands on the Death Star.
The fact that Obi-Wan’s kyber crystals were repeatedly blue suggests that his energy matched up with the colour blue. Blue is typically seen as a colour which represents calmness and tranquillity, which reflects Kenobi’s laid-back personality relatively well.
#2 Obi-Wan was a Jedi Guardian (Legends)
In Star Wars Legends, there is a different explanation as to why Jedi Knights have different coloured blades to one another. The explanation in Legends is Jedi Guardians were assigned blue blades, Jedi Consulars were assigned green blades and Jedi Sentinals were assigned yellow blades.
Jedi Guardians were effectively the warriors within the Jedi Order. They excelled when it came to battle skills and were deployed by the Council to defend the public, while Jedi Consulars and Sentinals were more interested in meditation and the intricacies of the force.
Obi-Wan was always presented in Star Wars media as a Jedi Master who was both highly knowledgeable in the force and powerful on the battlefield. Anakin Skywalker even said himself that his master was “as wise as Master Yoda and as powerful as Master Windu”.
As a result, Obi-Wan could easily have ended up with a yellow or green blade if the Legends explanation is taken as gospel. However, the idea of him being a Jedi Guardian is also completely fair and matches up with what we see on-screen.
#3 All light side users were supposed to have a blue lightsaber (Filmmaking)
When George Lucas first started making Star Wars movies, he decided that all Dark Side users would have a red lightsaber and all Light Side users would have a blue lightsaber. There were no plans for a green, white, purple or yellow lightsaber, they were just going to be blue or red.
For the first two movies in the Original Trilogy, this wasn’t a problem. Obi-Wan and Luke used blue blades and Darth Vader had a red one. The issue of the blue blade came to a head during the filming of Return of the Jedi.
Lucas found that during editing, the blue blade didn’t come across well during the opening scenes on Tatooine. Tatooine, being a desert planet, didn’t have clouds and therefore the skyline blended in with the blue lightsaber.
As a resolution, Lucas changed Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber in the movie to green and his iconic green blade was born. If Return of the Jedi was being made today with the advances in technology then Luke may well have never had a green lightsaber and Lucas would have been able to stick to his plan of only having two possible colours for lightsabers.
Why didn’t Obi-Wan use a green lightsaber?
Using the three explanations that we’ve just examined, we can conclude that regardless of whether you refer to canon, legend or filmmaking, Obi-Wan Kenobi was simply never destined to use a green lightsaber!
From a canon perspective, the kyber crystals he used didn’t feel that Kenobi was a force energy related to green. From a Legends perspective, Kenobi was obviously deemed to be a warrior. And finally, from a filmmaking perspective, Obi-Wan first ignited his lightsaber indoors meaning lighting wasn’t an issue.
You can find out why Obi-Wan is called the Negotiator here.
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