New ‘Star Wars’ Novel Reveals Why Dark Side Lightsabers Are Red

Every time a new in-canon Star Wars novel releases, we find out cool new details related to characters we already know. There was backstory about characters in Rogue One covered in the novel Catalyst, releasing next month. And Aftermath: Life Debt revealed new information about General Hux’s background, Leia’s force sensitivity, and the new, in-canon reason Chewbacca owes Han Solo a life debt.

Now we’re learning more about lightsabers, Obi-Wan’s exile, and Ahsoka Tano (Anakin Skywalker’s padawan from The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels) in new novel Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston, which released last week. Screen Rant compiled a list of fifteen things revealed by the novel.

The story reveals how lightsabers get their color. It comes from the kyber crystal, which is used not only in lightsabers but also by the Death Star. These crystals can only be found by a Force user the crystal chooses to make itself visible to, meaning no dark side members can come by the crystals honestly. They have to steal them. When used by somebody on the dark side, the crystals “bleed” — as the novel words it — and can only be seen as the color red. Those not on the dark side can have lightsabers of many other colors, usually green or blue, although we’ve now also seen white (Ahsoka’s dual lightsabers) and purple (because Samuel L. Jackson asked for a purple one with “bad motherf*cker” engraved on it).

Kyber crystals can be found in several places, including Jedha, which was seen in the most recent trailer for Rogue One, and the crystals are the likely reason The Empire invaded Jedha.

The book also drops a couple of details about the eighteen years Obi-Wan Kenobi was in exile on Tatooine. The timing for more Kenobi details is perfect, amid rumors of an Obi-Wan spinoff starring Ewan McGregor and McGregor himself saying earlier this month that he’d like to do two Obi-Wan movies. In Ahsoka, Obi-Wan is seen using the force to briefly make contact with his deceased master, Qui-Gon Jinn, and he also visits the grave of Anakin Skywalker’s mother, Shmi, and apologizes to her for being unable to keep Anakin from the dark side. Well, that’s a bummer. Kinda makes me want to go home and rethink my life.

Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston is on sale now, and you can read about more of the details revealed by the novel over at Screen Rant.