Orange lightsabers have long existed in Star Wars Legends, but this rare weapon was only recognized in canon very recently, thanks to the release of the official Jedi: Fallen Order game.
Now, one might make a compelling argument that finding meaning behind the different lightsabers and their colors has become an obsolete hobby, ever since Mace Windu got a purple lightsaber just because Samuel L. Jackson wanted one for himself.
Still, we’re inclined to give the creators of Star Wars a little more credit than dismissing the entire discussion entirely. After all, George Lucas has aptly justified most of his decisions so far, while other parts which used to be inexplicable have now have played brilliantly, like the existence of orange lightsabers.
Orange Lightsaber Meaning – Yaddle, the Consular Exemplar
An orange lightsaber symbolizes a Jedi Master with great knowledge and wisdom. Orange lightsabers are rare in the universe, as very few Jedi Masters even exist. If an orange lightsaber is used by a Sith Lord or apprentice, it represents great power and leadership abilities.
In the film Revenge of the Sith, Chancellor Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious) uses an orange lightsaber when he becomes a Sith Lord at the end of the movie. It shows that his power has outgrown his status as a mere politician and that he can now take on other roles in order to help him accomplish his evil goals. He is no longer simply an adviser to Anakin Skywalker but rather, controls all aspects of Anakin’s life–from who Anakin learns his dark traits.
Much of this discussion would revolve around Yaddle, the enigmatic Yoda-but-female member of the Jedi Council, being the most notable character who wields an orange lightsaber in the Star Wars universe.
First introduced in The Phantom Menace, Yaddle is observed to be the quietest Jedi Master, even more serene and calm than Yoda himself. Thus, she is regarded as the most patient character in all of Star Wars. This personality was reinforced in several comics and novels in Legends.
In one story, it was revealed that before she joined the Council, Yaddle was imprisoned by adversarial forces for a hundred years. Fortunately, a destructive earthquake struck the planet where her cell was, so Yaddle was able to escape.
Instead of punishing his captors though, Master Yaddle stayed behind and helped them rebuild their home from the ruins. She showed that she had long forgiven the long line of generations who had kept her imprisoned.
This begs the question: couldn’t she have done something with that orange lightsaber of hers to prevent any of this from happening in the first place?
Well, that’s what makes orange weapons strangely interesting in Star Wars. Despite having an exemplary affinity with the Force, bearers of orange lightsabers are not keen on using them at all. Sentinels who prefer stealth and ingenuity are not likely to draw their weapons at the first sign of conflict. They would negotiate, bargain, and think their way out of less-than-ideal situations before they even consider using violence.
This is the most likely Expanded Universe explanation for why we don’t see orange lightsabers that much: those who have them have a vow not to use violence unless absolutely necessary.
One of the rare times Yaddle did showcase her combative skills was in 33 BBY, when she led a mission to Asmeru with fellow Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was still a Padawan at the time. The Jedi Master used her lightsaber against the Nebula Front, and won the battle.
Master and Apprentice – An introduction
Speaking of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, the crystal that’s used to create orange lightsabers was extensively discussed in the 2019 Claudia Gray novel that followed the pair’s adventures around the galaxy far, far away: ‘Master and Apprentice.’ This is regarded to be the first canon novel set about six years before the events depicted in Phantom Menace took place.
In this novel, a massive cache of orange crystals was discovered on Pijal’s moon. It resembled the kyber crystals that were used in forging lightsabers, so much so that it prompted Pax Maripher to try and mine them for a huge profit.
It was soon revealed though that Pax didn’t have the acumen for identifying real kyber crystals. The orange crystals in Pijal’s moon were actually of an inferior caliber, although the resemblance is uncanny, earning it the nickname ‘fool’s kyber.’ Officially though, these were called kohlen crystals.
Nevertheless, Qui-Gon recognized that although they weren’t kyber, the crystals still had a certain level of sensitivity to the Force. In fact, they found an independent army that had been using these rare Pijal gems to create an energy shield that makes them impervious to lightsaber attacks.
This posed a serious and threatening proble, for the Republic, who might be neutralized once dark Siths discover such a powerful defense tool.
Fortunately, Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi discovered that Kohlen crystals can be repurposed to make lightsabers that emit a light orange hue, which could in turn cut through the Kohlen shields.
Frankly, we all thought orange lightsabers would play a more significant role in the Star Wars universe, after it was referenced (albeit vaguely) in an ancient Jedi prophecy that went like this: “When the kyber which is not kyber shines forth, the time of prophecy will be at hand.”
Furthermore, it didn’t seem like an accident that it was Jinn who discovered fool’s kyber for the Jedis when he’s also the one who is most fascinated with old prophecies like the one mentioned, while other Jedi Masters have long discredited the same.
Still, the fact that orange crystals were depicted as shields first before there were any lightsabers of the same color symbolized that weapons of this color are meant for defense more than they are meant for offensive tactics. It is thus rightly perceived as an indication of compassion, diplomacy, benevolence and preference for peace.
Well, what about Lowbacca?
You might be wondering why there hasn’t been any mention of Lowbacca in an article that discusses orange lightsabers. Well, that’s because Lowbacca doesn’t actually use an orange weapon, but a bronze one. It is important to make this distinction because the Wookie, adorable as he is, does not quite fit the typical personality of an orange saber-wielder.
It is generally thought that bronze lightsabers are donned by those whose brute physical force is as strong as their Force abilities. This is contrarian to the peace-loving profile of Yaddle and her rare orange weapon.
The canon Skywalker saga may have ended, but a lot of things are still in the works for the franchise over at Disney+. Hopefully, we’ll see more characters forging the fabled orange lightsaber (if you’re interested in getting your own orange lightsaber, check out my guide to the best lightsaber toys). After all, who doesn’t want some peace every now and then, even from a franchise that’s best known for its pew-pew scenes?