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Why Did Luke’s Lightsaber Change From Blue To Green In ‘Return Of The Jedi’?

Why Did Luke’s Lightsaber Change From Blue To Green In ‘Return Of The Jedi’?

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Star Wars fans will not have missed the fact that in both A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, lightsabers were exclusively only red or blue. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi has a blue lightsaber, which was connected with the Jedi, and the one he gave to Luke Skywalker was also blue. 

Darth Vader, of course, had his classic red blade. This was then forever associated with The Sith. 

But this all changed in the Return Of The Jedi when Luke built himself his new green lightsaber. 

Why Does The Color Matter? 

First of all, the green lightsaber is not the most interesting and confusing thing about this story. That is, in fact, that all of the promotional material for the Return Of The Jedi film had shown Luke with his classic blue lightsaber. 

I’m talking about the posters, the press photos, and even the trailer showing him battling with a blue lightsaber. 

Not to mention that Luke had been walking around with a blue lightsaber for two full movies before this! Why would he give away the lightsaber that Obi-Wan Kenobi gave him? 

Obi-wan Training Luke

So, as you can imagine, we were all pretty confused when we saw him waving his green blade about when the film actually came out. 

So, Why The Change In Color? 

Bearing in mind that until this point, lightsabers had always been red and blue, the change in color needed some explanation. It also opened the doors for some pretty extensive conversations about the meaning behind the colors.

However, the reason why Luke’s lightsaber changes color from blue to the green might be a little disappointing to some viewers. 

The real reason behind it was down to the practicality of the filmmaking, rather than anything to do with the actual story. While filming the Return Of The Jedi, the blue lightsaber was difficult to see against bright backdrops.

Remember the scene where they’re battling on Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge? The sky was bright blue while filming and the blue blade blended in perfectly.

This meant that the filmmakers could not see the lightsaber at all, taking away from the battle. 

A quick brainstorm on set saw the decision to change the color of the lightsaber to green, and Star Wars fans all over the globe were set to have their eyes opened to a new world.

One where lightsabers were more than just red and blue. 

Bonus Content Explains Change In The Movie

Once the decision to change the color of Luke’s lightsaber was made, a new scene where Luke builds his green lightsaber was filmed.

This never made it into the movie, but it was released as bonus content and sold with the Blu-ray set. 

It makes a lot of sense that this was removed from the movie to keep the later sequences in the film a surprise. 

Still, we’re happy that it was released later with other bonus content. It gives you a sense of closure and a better understanding of those events.

He also needed a new one to replace the blue blade which was lost thanks to the hands of Darth Vader in Cloud City.

Luke Losing Hand
Luke Losing Hand/saber to Vader Strike

How Luke’s Green Lightsaber Changed Star Wars Forever

Now that there was another color of lightsaber added to the mix, the Star Wars team was free to explore different colors in their later projects. 

The trilogy sequel showed green, blue, red, and purple lightsabers, with red being a constant color to depict the Sith. 

Yellow lightsabers were also introduced in The Clone Wars animated series, and Rey’s final lightsaber that she built at the end of The Rise Of Skywalker was also yellow. 

Other interesting lightsaber colors are black for the Darksaber, Ahsoka Tano had a white blade, and the video game Jedi: Fallen Order saw an introduction of the orange lightsaber


So, there we have it. Hopefully this article has helped clear up some important questions that you may have had about the changing color of Luke’s lightsaber in the Return Of The Jedi

Rather than it being some big piece of lore that you missed, the real reasoning behind it is simply for the production of the film.

The blue lightsaber blended into the sky while filming, so it was replaced with green to make a bigger impression. 

There’s a deleted scene to explain the changed color and everything! 

Since this revelation, the green lightsaber has been a gateway for many other colors to emerge, such as purple, yellow, black, and orange. 

Red will be forever with the Sith, in my eyes. That’s one thing they cannot take away from us! 

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