What the purple lightsaber means

With every new generation of Star Wars films, the look and design of the iconic lightsabers becomes a fun aspect of the films for fans to really get into, from Luke's unique green saber in the original trilogy to Darth Maul's awesome double saber and Kylo Ren's unusual cross piece. But one saber has managed to stand out amongst them all simply due to its unique color—Mace Windu's purple lightsaber. How is it he was the only Jedi to wield one and what the heck did it mean, anyway?

Lightsabers Are Created By Their Wielders To Reflect Their Nature

It's not mentioned in the movies, but in the extended Star Wars Universe we learn that lightsabers are powered by crystals and most Jedi or Sith shape the crystals themselves to make their own weapon. The result is that the final weapon is really an extension of the wielder and responds to the way they use the Force.

Because Mace Windu is the second most badass Jedi in the galaxy after Yoda, it makes sense that his lightsaber should lean a little dark, mixing the traditional Jedi blue with a hint of the Dark Side's red.

Mace Windu Was Gifted The Crystal That Powers His

The violet crystal that powers Windu's lightsaber comes from the planet Hurikane, where it was gifted to the Jedi as a young man after he saved the life of one of the crystalline beings who inhabit the planet. The beings were actually chasing Windu down to attack him but one of them fell and was injured, prompting the Jedi to use the Force to reassemble the creature, thus gaining their trust and friendship.

The Ranking System Was Tossed Out The Window

At some point in Jedi history, the color of the lightsaber was meant to represent the Jedi's chosen class. Blue meant a Jedi Guardian, a Jedi who used the Force on a physical level. Green was for a Jedi Consular, a more meditative Jedi who fought the Dark Side at its heart. Yellow was for a Jedi Sentinel, who balanced combat and scholarly pursuits. Synthetic crystals used by the Sith become impregnated with their dark energies and thus become red.

The introduction of new colored crystals, such as Windu's purple crystal, made these various color meanings mostly obsolete.

A Merging Of Light And Dark

Though there are many different colored blades in the Extended Universe now including orange, silver, and more, the obvious meaning of purple and how the color is created by mixing red and blue says a lot about the Jedi wielding it. And as Luke Skywalker taught us in the original trilogy, a good guy could still feel anger and hate sometimes without fully giving over to the Dark Side. What better way to represent that duality than with a cool purple weapon?

Other Jedi Have Had Them

In Extended Universe writing, there is a Jedi named Revan who lost his memory, became a Sith, regained his memory, and returned to the Jedi order. Along the way, his lightsaber made the appropriate color change from blue to red. However, once he came back to the Light Side of things, the blade shifted to a violet color on its own, representing something of the way Revan used the Force.

Sam Jackson Just Wanted One

The most clear and definitive answer as to why the purple lightsaber exists at all comes from Sam Jackson himself. During a particularly hectic lightsaber battle scene, Jackson couldn't pick himself out of the crowd so he asked George Lucas if his lightsaber could be purple. That way, when there were so many Jedi on screen, he'd still be able to see where he was in all the action. And because Sam Jackson gets what he wants, George Lucas agreed, knowing full well the internet would go crazy trying to figure out why Mace Windu had a purple lightsaber.