When we're coming up with ideas for the blog, we tend to look at the questions people ask online about Star Wars and lightsabers. It seems that loads of people search for Sith Lightsabers as though they're a unique thing and not just a red bladed equivalent of Jedi weapons.
The idea got us thinking. Are Sith Lightsabers their own thing? Here on our site, you can buy lightsabers with lots of different designs, but none of them are particularly Sith or Jedi, really. You can change the blade colour at will, so picking red is easy - but does that make enough of a difference to call it a Sith Lightsaber?
Are all Sith Lightsabers Red?
The lore behind Star Wars is somewhat complicated due to the now ex-canon Legends series and the more recent Disney timeline. In the Legends series, Sith used synthetic kyber crystals to power their lightsabers. These crystals were full of negative energy and subsequently turned red, aiding the Sith's offensive abilities.
In the newer timeline, all lightsaber crystals from from the same source and their colour is a result of the Jedi's attunement. If a dark side user wields a lightsaber, the crystal resists the dark side until it is 'bled' by the Sith, forcing it to turn red.
In the Disney canon, that means that yes, all Sith lightsabers are red. The innate energy of the dark side of the Force bleeds the colour into the lightsaber, making it impossible for a Sith to wield any other colour. In Legends, the rules are not as strict and famous Sith could deviate from red. Exar Kun, for example, had blue lightsabers!
Are Sith Lightsabers Stronger?
Again, the answer varies between the Legends and Disney canon. In Legends, the Sith's red synthetic crystals were more powerful than natural ones. In some cases they could even shatter natural lightsabers in combat - giving the Sith an offensive edge. The downside of this added power was that red synthetic crystals tended to be more unstable and less manoeuvrable than natural ones.
In Disney's canon, there's no innate power increase when a crystal is bled. The process was also reversible, though the secret to this healing process was kept hidden. In the franchise, we see an example of it when Ahsoka Tano 'heals' Sixth Brother's lightsaber crystals after defeating him - turning them white instead of red.
Why are Sith Lightsabers different?
In both the canon and Legends series, Sith lightsabers are different not just due to the colour, but also to the eccentricities of the design. Unlike Jedi, who adhere to a strict code of honour, Sith are individualistic. They design lightsabers solely around their own desires and as such often create totally unique models.
Take, for example, Kylo Ren. His lightsaber has a crossguard hilt that helps channel his cracked, unstable crystal's energy. This style, along with his decision to name his group the 'knights of Ren', positions Kylo as a sort of medieval claymore wielder, swinging his lightsaber around as though it was a heavier weapon, intent on destruction.
Other unique sith lightsabers include Count Dooku's curved hilt, all of the Inquisitor's spinning variants, Asajj Ventress' dual-paired lightsabers and of course, Darth Maul's double bladed lightsaber.
So what makes Sith Lightsabers unique?
After exploring all the lore, it seems I've got a fairly straightforward answer to finish off this article. The only thing that makes Sith Lightsabers unique in the new Disney timeline is that the crystal has been 'bled', giving it a red colour. Sith Lightsabers are not actually 'different' in terms of functionality or power - it's more of a design quirk.
But honestly, seeing the likes of Darth Maul with his tattoos, Palpatine with his iconic hooded robes or Darth Vader with the coolest bad guy outfit in history, it's not hard to imagine that the real thing that makes Sith lightsabers unique is that they look cool. It seems the dark side takes its appearance very seriously.
If you want to rock out with a Sith Lightsaber of your own, you'll be pleased to know all of our sabers allow you to change colour at the touch of a button. Visit our lightsabers page to choose yours.