Did you know that during each movie production in Lucas Saga initially all the lightsabers were given white color?
It was later that Ralph McQuarrie decided to color the blades according to the possessor’s moral standing. The lightsabers were then colored using the rotoscoping technique.
So everything is not blue and red now. Is it? There are purples, greens and blacks involved.
Just like that, the white lightsaber came into the picture. Hence, each hue is a representation of a person standing with force. So what does a white lightsaber mean?
The white lightsaber is a clear mark of Ashoka's neutrality against the side of force according to Dave Filoni. He created Ashoka Tano back in 2008 during ‘Star Wars: Rebels’.
It is established that white is the ‘middle ground’ and has its own path. Not quite the side of ‘light’ or ‘dark’ but what the owner sees fit.
Read on to find out more about the white lightsaber and its journey!
Untraditional way of acquiring
Unlike the traditional way of acquiring your Kyber Crystal from the icebound caves of Ilium. Ashoka’s white lightsaber story is quite unusual. After abandoning her previous green lightsaber at the grave that she and Rex had dug to deceive the imperials, after the siege of Mandalore. Ashoka was left without any weapon.
In the Ahsoka book by EK Johnston, the former Jedi was hiding out as a result of Order 66 until recognizing she had to take action to oppose the Empire. Fortunately, some years later she came across the Sixth Brother she fought and killed accidentally. Ashoka took his lightsaber and did the purification herself. The calling from the red Kyber Crystal was so strong that Ashoka couldn’t leave the lightsaber behind.
The impurities from the crystal were bled out and it graced Ashoka with white silvery light. The crystal matched Ashoka’s spirit and did not choose the natural green radiation for a Jedi that it would normally have.
Ashoka’s look for the lightsaber
While Ashoka took the Kyber crystal from the imposter’s double bladed lightsaber. The two non-uniform white lightsabers were then attached to the hilt. The hilt was mostly scrap metal that Ashoka has collected over the years after the fall of the Republic. That is why the initial hilt was rough being assembled in the hurry of the battle. Another special thing is that Ashoka’s lightsaber has curved hilts.
However, later she used refined materials for the hilt and upgraded it. Ashoka believed that the Kyber Crystal was stolen from the Jedi Temple during the fall and thus belonged in the rightful hands.
Things Ashoka Tano did
White lightsaber first appeared in the Star Wars series associated with Ahsoka Tano.
Ahsoka Tano was the only Jedi apprentice or Padawan who had the privilege of direct training under Anakin Skywalker. She entered as a teenager and had grown as part of the Jedi Order before and during The Clone Wars.
During her first mission and appearance in the series, she supported Anakin Skywalker leading the Republic clone army against the Christophsis opposing droid army. That is also the time when she rescued the kidnapped Rotta, Jabba the Hutt’s son. However, Ashoka was falsely accused by her former friend Barriss Offee of bombing at the Jedi Temple. She was almost led to her near execution. Ashoka was very disappointed and disheartened by the system and the Order’s faith in her.
At this time she had two green lightsabers. One shorter than the other. These lightsabers had helped her in many duels and during the Clone Wars. Later the Order issued an apology and promised to make her a full member Jedi Knight. However, Ashoka had lost her faith and realized that not all Jedi are noble.
In order to leave the order and to save herself from the arising Galactic Empire Ashoka faked her death by leaving her lightsabers at the site after the siege of Mandalore. She then hid on planet Thabeska for the next year.
A few years later Ashoka fled the planet and ended up on the moon Raada under the name ‘Ashla’. There she worked as a mechanic. Ashoka also went far to make friends there. However, it wasn’t long before the Galactic Empire reached Raada and threatened her friends. Up until then, Ashoka had scraped by rocks and mechanical pieces to fight. Now she was in need of a real weapon. Luckily, she came across an inquisitor also known as the Sixth Brother, and attacked him.
The inquisitor’s double bladed crystal called to Ashoka even if it was a red Kyber Crystal. In desperate need of a weapon, Ashoka yielded to the crystal. She later did the purification of the crystal with the force. After reversing the ‘bleeding’. The crystal eventually turned white. Ashoka converted it into two sabers and added a temporary hilt with the components she had collected all along
. This marked an important event in the history of Star Wars with the introduction of a new color. Instead of giving in to the red ‘dark side’ color. Ashoka has remained unaffected and chosen a separate path. That is why the white lightsaber is also a representation of the ‘Midway’. A neutral color that does not mix lines with the light or the dark side.
Conquests of Ashoka and white lightsaber
Ashoka knew that the Galactic Empire was rising and the Order was in peril. She used her white lightsaber and assisted in the war on Raada thus successfully rescuing her captured friends. She then took up the position of the Folcrum and concentrated on advancing the hilt of her lightsaber. Fast forward fourteen years Ashoka met the Specters and trained alongside them with her new weapon. With the white lightsaber, Ashoka fought against the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister in Hammertown.
She then made the difficult choice and took her new weapon back to her master. Yet when she arrived at the Lothal Jedi Temple what awaited her could never have prepared her.
While she was at the temple the imposters attacked in search of Maul. Tano then teamed up with Jarrus to fight against the three inquisitors.
Here the iconic encounter between the master, Anakin Skywalker, and his former trainee occurred. Ashoka fought against Darth Vader where she was knocked off the temple and forced into a timeless realm. From there on onwards, Ashoka continued to not be affiliated and labeled as part of the light or dark side.
Later she continued to train the rebels against Darth Vader yielding the white lightsaber.
Emergence of the unusual white
The million dollar question is why Ashoka’s lightsaber turned a unique and unusual color. The force, she used to purify the crystal led to the crystal deciding her path. Ashoka was never the one to be ruled by her emotions. Given the betrayal by the Order, she could have easily turned to the dark side but she resisted it.
At the same time, she could have opted for revenge especially when the shock of Darth Vader’s identity hit her. But no. She was determined to lead her way away from both sides of the force.
Not only that, the return of Ashoka in ‘The Rebels’ marked the character as an important representation. Fans took a particular liking to her and wanted to see more of her. The phrase "Ahsoka Lives" became the fans' rallying cry every time she disappeared. It saw them through the cancellation of Clone Wars, her ostensibly climactic meeting with Darth Vader on Rebels, and her reappearance in the final episode of that show.
Moreover, we will get to see more of Ashoka and her white lightsaber journey, whether in search of Ezra or for the training on Grogu, in the upcoming live action TV series ‘The Mandalorian Season 3’!
To think Ashoka isn’t the only one!
If you have stuck with the series till the end you must have been waiting for the next lines to appear in the article.
Ashoka isn’t the only one that used the white lightsaber. Despite being the only one popular for it!
The white knights
At the time of the Fel Empire, there was a whole army of White Knights that swore by the white lightsaber. They were as vicious if not more trained than the Jedi. Also, like Ashoka, they had chosen to stick to their philosophy instead of ruling with the sides of the force. They would go far as practicing mental discipline to resist the calling of the dark side.
The combination of white bladed lightsaber and the red armor is the next iconic look of the imperial knights that sets them apart. They were trained in ways of force but did not side with the dark force. So much so that if their emperor was to fall to the dark side he would be exonerated immediately or brought back to light.
Their weapons were created in a similar manner to the force. However, they used a synthetic crystal source rather than a natural lightsaber ore. Another thing to add is that unlike Jedi the Imperial Knights used their lightsabers for friendly banter or duel. Additionally, also for deflecting blaster bolts from the enemy. When not in use they were sheathed to their belts and forearms.
Let's go way back
During the golden era of ‘High Republic’ 200 years back from the Skywalker Saga, there were two Jedi Knights before Ashoka Tano. Jora Malli and Orla Jareni both used a white lightsaber distinctive from each other.
How? Let’s See.
A new Jedi revealed in ‘Star Wars: The High Republic Show’ and introduced in ‘Star Wars: Into the Dark’ Novel by Caludia Grey (2021) is none other than the caustic and sharp Orla Jareni! Orla Jareni was a padawan under Jedi Master Laret Soveral. She learned the ways of force under Laret’s guidance. Not only that like most Jedi Orla also grew up under the guidance of the Jedi Order.
Moreover, Orla quickly gained popularity and trust among the Jedi ranks. So much so that she was dispatched with another Jedi to the outer realms to solve the Eiram E’ronoch Crisis. This is where you must remember spotting Orla Jareni with her white lightsaber in a white robe!
Another thing to note is that Orla Jareni’s white lightsaber is a league of its own in terms of design. While the white color is similar to the other few white lightsabers the design is unique. Orla declared herself a ‘Wayseeker’ like Ashoka Tano when she claimed the ranks of the Jedi and became a Jedi Knight. Proving right to the white color theory Orla operated independently of the Jedi council during her journey to Beacon Space in Outer Realms.
Now white is the only thing common. Why? She used a unique double bladed white lightsaber that had a special hinge. Meaning the innovative hinge in her lightsaber’s hilt allowed her to bend her lightsaber to form two parallel blades.
Jedi Knighthood in Star Wars is not over yet!
We have another name of the canon who, like Orla Jareni and Ashoka Tano did not agree with the philosophies of The Order. Though sadly Jora Malli was killed at Kur Nebula too early in the series to leave a special mark. She made true of the white lightsaber theory.
Also, Jora Malli shares many similarities and differences with Ashoka Tano. As most fans like to point out. While Jora was a Jedi Master and a member of the High Council she was impulsive and liked to push the problems till the answers appeared. She shared many ‘Non-Jedi traits’ according to supreme Chancellor Lina Soh.
She was a Togratu Female who, like Ashoka believed that there was no ‘Light Side’ to the force. However, she also thought that what the Jedi did was automatically the will of the force. Ultimately, Malli stepped away from The Order.
Both Ashoka and Malli were of the same race, gender and shared a white lightsaber. Malli, like Ashoka, had gotten her lightsaber from a sith lightspear and purified it herself to reveal a white Kyber Crystal. Though it was done out of curiosity she later became attached to it and ended up mounting the crystal in her primary weapon.
Her white lightsaber had a golden cylindrical hilt with curved platinum handguards. Also, the curved look gave the hilt a winged look characteristic of her personality.
Appearance of white lightsaber
Asoka’s white lightsaber first appeared in Season 1 of ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Episode 15. The final episode of ‘Fire across the Galaxy’ in 2015.
Other appearances of Ashoka include,
- Forces of Destiny: "A Disarming Lesson" from Star Wars
- Battle strategies from Darth Vader for Star Wars Rebels
- "The Lost Commanders" from Star Wars Rebels
- "Relics of the Old Republic" from Star Wars Rebels
- "The Future of the Force" from Star Wars Rebels
- “Shadow of Darkness” from Star Wars Rebels
- "The Mystery of Chopper Base" from Star Wars Rebels
- "Twilight of the Apprentice" from Star Wars Rebels
- Junior Novel for Star Wars in The Mandalorian Season 2
- The Path of the Force in The Mandalorian
- Chapter 13 ‘The Jedi’ in The Mandalorian
- The High Republic: Into the Dark
- The High Republic: Light of the Jedi
- The High Republic: The Fallen Star
If you are curious to know whether you will get to see more of the white lightsaber then rest assured Ahsoka should continue to use two lightsabers the next time she appears. You all must be really excited to see that in action as hardcore fans!
That is unless she neglected to retrieve one of the white lightsabers from the sea after her battle with the Magistrate in ‘The Mandalorian’. Let’s hold our breath and anticipate the next season that is due most probably in 2023 to find out more about her and the white lightsaber journey. Till then feed your imagination by using the white lightsabers you have at your homes!
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Are white lightsabers rare?
Although there are pretty rare colors like green and purple. Yet, white beats them all. White lightsaber is quite rare and appears to only be associated with the character Ashoka Tano and White knights. Giving you much anticipated glimpses of the white lightsaber’s power in all the Star Wars Series.
Who uses a white lightsaber?
Ashka Tano is the iconic character associated with the white lightsaber after she healed the ‘bleeding’ on the Kyber Crystal. Additionally, she remains the sole possessor of the white lightsaber.
What kind of Jedi have white lightsabers?
As a teenage canon or padawan, Ashoka Tano entered the order and trained alongside all Jedi at the time of the Clone Wars. Like all Jedi, she possessed her own lightsaber. That was later abandoned and then she used the white lightsabers she had acquired in a duel.
Is the color of the lightsaber important?
If the color of the lightsaber was not important there wouldn’t be many colors in the first place. Each color indicates the moralistic side of the character. Some colors like blue and red are common and obvious in meaning. Meanwhile black, white, and yellow lightsabers represent their respective stances against force.
Where do the lightsabers come from?
Lightsabers are made of Kyber Crystal that comes from the unknown location of the planet Ilium. The icy caves hold the crystal that is presented to you after you overcome the obstacle. All Jedi go through the ‘Gathering’ ritual where they are sent to Ilium to collect their crystals. Then the hilt is added to make a complete and functional lightsaber.
How many lightsabers did Ashoka Tano have?
Ashoka Tano used two purified white Kyber Crystal lightsabers acquired from the Sixth Brother Dual lightsaber sword.