Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver may not know what emo is, but Kylo Ren definitely does. The space edgelord is bound to go full emo if he sees the results of a new study ranking theoretical lightsaber strengths by color. He may even throw a tantrum and start punching himself just to feel something (wake me up, WAKE ME UP INSIDE).
University of Leicester student Luke Willcocks calculated the relative strength of different colors of lightsabers, based on the assumptions that the lightsabers produce pure photonic energy and are the same size. He also assumed the fictional material “Doonium” used to make spacecraft doors is similar to the metal we use on the space shuttle. Why is that important? Because Willcocks established a baseline strength for green lightsabers using the scene of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) melting a hole in a blast door with his green lightsaber in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.
Luke factored in the initial temperature, melting point, final temperature and mass of the metal door, concluding that the power output of Qui-Gon’s standard green lightsaber would be 6.96MW (megawatts) in order to get through it in the time shown in the film [11 seconds] — only two orders of magnitude smaller than the power output of small nuclear power generators. (Via)
From there, he extrapolated how long it would take for other colors to do the same task, with shorter wavelengths resulting in more power:
- Red — 14.00 seconds
- Yellow — 12.00 seconds
- Green — 11.00 seconds
- Blue — 9.60 seconds
- Purple — 8.20 seconds
This isn’t part of official Star Wars canon, but it would make sense. Kyber crystals (which power lightsabers and the Death Star) will only reveal themselves to members of the light side, at which point they go from colorless to colored (usually blue or green but never red). A member of the dark side can only get a lightsaber by stealing a crystal and forcing it to “bleed,” which always results in a red lightsaber. (Not included in Luke’s calculations were white lightsabers. If a bleeding kyber crystal is stolen back and purified, it becomes white, like Ahsoka Tano’s dual white lightsabers.) Kylo Ren’s goofy-looking lightsaber is made from a cracked crystal with cross-guards to act as vents so the hilt doesn’t explode. It’s as unstable as he is.
And yes, these calculations also peg the red lightsabers of the Sith as being slightly more than half as powerful as Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber. No wonder Samuel L. Jackson had the hilt engraved with “Bad Motherf*cker.”
The full paper is available at the Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics.