Mace Windu was one of the most powerful Jedi Masters of his time and was somewhere up there with Yoda regarding his skills as a duelist and his power in the Force. Aside from his power, Windu stood out because he had a unique lightsaber color that has only been seen in a few canon characters in Star Wars. So, why does Mace Windu have a lightsaber with a purple-colored blade?
The real-world explanation why Mace Windu has a purple lightsaber is that Samuel L. Jackson wanted one from George Lucas. Meanwhile, in the Star Wars universe, Windu has a purple lightsaber because that was what the color of his Kyber crystal produced after attuning to it.
In the world of Star Wars, the color of the Jedi’s lightsaber is entirely random, especially after the Jedi attune with their Kyber crystal. We know that the saber’s color can be altered, as that was what we’ve seen in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ and in the ‘Star Wars Jedi’ video games. But the fact is that Windu has a purple lightsaber because he simply wanted one.
The real-world reason
There are a lot of different lightsaber colors in the storyline of Star Wars, and the original colors have always been blue, red, and green. The first two colors were seen in the first two Star Wars movies released. Meanwhile, the color green was added as Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber color during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.’
When Samuel L. Jackson was added to the Star Wars storyline when he debuted as Jedi Master Mace Windu in ‘Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,’ he didn’t get a chance to fight. It was only during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ that Windu’s lightsaber was revealed.
And it surprised some fans because he had a purple lightsaber instead of the usual blue or green that the Jedi often have.
Of course, there was a good reason why Mace Windu had a purple lightsaber. There is an in-universe explanation for this, but we’ll get to that later. But the real-world reason is that Samuel L. Jackson wanted a purple lightsaber because he was always fond of purple. In fact, many of his characters often have something purple on them because he favored this color over other colors.
Jackson even requested Lucas to have his own unique lightsaber.
“I said to George, ‘You think maybe I can get a purple lightsaber?'” Jackson said in an interview. “He’s like, ‘Lightsabers are green, or lightsabers are red.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I want a purple one. I’m like the second-baddest Jedi in the universe next to Yoda.’ He’s like, ‘Let me think about it.'”
So, when a bad MF like Samuel L. Jackson wants a purple lightsaber, you give him a purple lightsaber. And George Lucas knew that he had to give him this purple lightsaber because he wanted to and because he wanted Windu to stand out during the events of the First Battle of Geonosis, where there were a lot of lightsabers involved.
The in-universe explanation
Of course, the world of Star Wars incorporated an in-universe explanation regarding the color of Mace Windu’s lightsaber. The Legends story tells it differently, but we won’t dwell too much on that because that isn’t even canon. In the Legends storyline, Windu got his purple lightsaber because he was given a purple Kyber crystal as a reward for saving the natives of a certain planet.
The in-universe explanation, however, is quite simple. When a Jedi goes out to seek their Kyber crystal so that they can forge their own lightsabers, they are asked to attune with the Kyber crystal using the Force. After attuning to it, the crystal changes its color. And this color of the crystal depends on the Force and the way the owner attains to it.
Of course, we’ve seen in several canon storylines that the color of a lightsaber changed when someone tinkered with it. For example, in season 7 of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars,’ Anakin modified Ahsoka Tano’s lightsabers to turn their blades blue. Then, in the ‘Star Wars Jedi’ video games, Cal Kestis can tinker with his lightsaber to change its color into anything he wants.
So, essentially, the canon explanation of a lightsaber’s color is an “it depends” kind of thing. That means that Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber got its color because it simply is purple. We assume that the crystal turned purple after Windu was attuned to it. But we are not dismissing the possibility that he tinkered with his lightsaber to turn the blade’s color purple.
Who else has a purple lightsaber?
In the past, the purple lightsaber color was unique to Mace Windu. However, several more canon characters with purple lightsaber colors have been introduced. And that means that the purple lightsaber color is no longer unique to Windu but is still one of the rarest colors.
Vernestra Rwoh, a Jedi that lived during the High Republic era, had a purple lightsaber. That means that chronologically speaking, she had her purple lightsaber centuries before Windu was even born.
Another Jedi from the High Republic, Ty Yorrick, also wielded a purple lightsaber centuries before Mace Windu had his own purple saber. Sav Malagan is the final Jedi from the High Republic era with a purple lightsaber. And although she was just a youngling, Lys Solay wielded a lightsaber during the events of ‘Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures.’
Kelleran Beq, who lived during the same era as Mace Windu but was able to survive Order 66, was said to have wielded a purple lightsaber as well. His purple lightsaber was said to be a tribute to Mace Windu because there weren’t many black Jedi in Star Wars. Huulik, who had a lot of different lightsabers, was said to have a purple one as well.
Although his status as a canon character remains questioned, Revan wielded a purple lightsaber during the days of the Old Republic. Of course, while he has been mentioned several times in some of the different canon Star Wars projects, we can’t really say that he is now canon.
The point is that as rare as it is, the purple lightsaber color isn’t unique to Mace Windu. But he was the first character to ever feature in a film and an animated show. And that’s simply because Samuel L. Jackson wanted a purple lightsaber.
Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!