Star Wars™: What are Kyber Crystals?
The series introduced fans to the philosophical and spiritual exploration of “the Force” and all of its many mysteries. It took us back a long time ago, to galaxy far far away, where space ships and laser beams rocketed past planets of green and blue. But perhaps Star Wars’ most memorable and long-standing contribution to pop culture is the lightsaber.
Fans have been replicating, collecting, and obsessing over lightsabers for generations, some without really knowing the lore and true power behind them. They might not realize the importance of the lightsaber’s power source: a kyber crystal. So let’s boost into an exploration of the kyber crystal, its different colors, and the significance behind this precious resource.
The kyber crystals are sentient, able to communicate with each other, and extremely strong in the Force. They are passive in nature, simply growing as crystal deposits in caves across the galaxy. Since they are more passive, they align more closely with the Jedi and the Light Side. Whereas dark side users are more likely to impose their will on others around them, light side Force users only believe in using their powers for defense. The kyber crystals align well with Jedi more frequently, but when the Sith see an opportunity to gain more power, they take it by force.
Kyber crystals were explored a bit more thoroughly in the film Rogue One. Jyn Erso‘s father, Galen Erso, was particularly well-versed in the scientific properties of the kyber crystals, and was taken by The Empire specifically for his knowledge. They forced him to create a prototype Death Star, with the intent of utilizing the crystal’s full power. Even a non-Force user could use the crystals if they were simply attached to a machine. It’s this pattern of manipulation, with people and with kyber crystals, that truly make the Sith so evil.
Undoubtedly, you’ve looked at all the different lightsabers in Star Wars and wondered why there are different colors. The Jedi have green, blue, sometimes white, orange, or even purple! Only the Sith have red.
It is actually the kyber crystal that decides the color of the lightsaber! But what decides the color of the kyber crystal? It’s more complicated than you might think.
All kyber crystals are naturally clear. They hide within the darkness of caves, and reflect and shine no particular form of light. And then, when they are found by Jedi, they form a bond. They communicate with the Jedi—not with words, but with the Force. Slowly but surely, over time, the color of the Kyber Crystal changes to match the personality and philosophy of the individual Jedi.
The crystals will turn green if their wielder is particularly connected with the Force. They tend to be more powerful force users, like Yoda and Luke Skywalker. However, they aren’t necessarily talented at fighting or strategy. Those who are more attuned to their lightsaber (and less attuned to the Force) will ultimately influence their kyber crystal to turn blue. There are outliers, like Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber, and orange lightsabers, whose color origin hasn’t been revealed in the films or series yet.
And then there are the red lightsabers of the Sith. It might seem strange that all Sith wield red lightsabers, but it all makes perfect sense when you remember that kyber crystals are sentient. They have a will of their own, and their will is not evil. When they are forced into serving evil, it is said that the kyber crystals “bleed” with their suffering. That red changes the color of the lightsabers.
Finally, there are white lightsabers. These are kyber crystals that have been cleansed from the red blood of dark side use. White lightsabers are extremely rare, because they must be taken from Sith and then cleansed, which is an arduous process of its own. And yet, Ahsoka Tano™ has two.
What’s your favorite lightsaber color, and what kyber crystal would you most want to use? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!