If you've been reading our site for any length of time, you'll know we've dug deep into Star Wars' lore to discuss the stories told in both the canon and ex-canon Legends timelines. Most of these stories heavily feature the iconic lightsaber - but what of the little stone that powers it?
Whilst recent franchises like The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian have aimed to tell alternative stories away from the Jedi and their mystical weapons, we can't help feel that all of our favourite tales involve lightsabers. Those glowing blades composed of coloured light, wielded so elegantly by their Jedi owners, are the stuff of storytelling gold to us.
Lightsabers are the iconic weapon that helped cement Star Wars as the coolest thing since sliced bread to millions of young fans around the world. It's no surprise that the extended stories from books, TV series and games all lean on lightsabers to draw us in - we just can't resist them!
However, while sabers themselves are flashy and eye catching, the core component that powers them is far more subtle. Some fans may watch all of the movies without ever learning about the small minerals used to power lightsabers. We've talked about them in the past in our 'what are lightsabers made out of' article, but these tiny crystals don't just power the blade - they also give it its colour.
We're talking, of course, about kyber crystals.
What are kyber crystals?
In both canon and Legends timelines, kyber crystals are responsible for powering a saber. Where the lore differs is in how kyber crystals work and what impact they have within their saber.
In the canonical storyline, kyber crystals are force -sensitive crystals that grow naturally across the galaxy. Jedi, as part of their training, are sent to the ice planet of Ilum to find their own crystal.
The crystals were said to have unique properties, which included the fact that they were incredibly dense like the inside of a star - making them robust enough to withstand the incredible power of lightsaber ignition. Interestingly, these crystals resisted fire and heat. They would warm only when in contact with organic matter such as a human hand.
The storyline explains this as the crystals having some form of sentience and responding only to life, as opposed to how a real mineral may heat from exposure to the sun or other heat source in our world.
The Jedi would visit the crystal cave on the planet of Ilum. There they would seek the crystal that called to them, which would emit a type of music and resonance. Once chosen, the crystal would be built into the Jedi's lightsaber. The kyber crystals then changed colour to suit the bearer's nature.
Some Jedi changed their crystal's natural attunement colours - Ashoka Tano, for example. Others used imperfect crystals, like Kylo Ren.
The Sith could not utilise kyber crystals in their natural state due to the crystal's resistance to the dark side. Instead, they had to bend the crystal to their will in a process called bleeding. This is what gives Sith their distinctive red lightsabers.
Kyber vs kaiburr: the old lore explored
In the old, ex-canon lore for Star Wars, kyber crystals were not as mystical as the modern versions. Instead of carrying their own strange semi-sentience, crystals were solely tools that the Jedi had to meditate over for days to imbue with power. In some stories, they were also called Kaiburr - but this was also used to refer to one specific powerful crystal that was different to standard kyber ones.
Crucially, the old lore didn't involve crystals taking on colours around a Jedi's nature - colour was solely based on the crystal itself. For example, a green crystal resulted in a green lightsaber.
Some Sith and Jedi used synthetic crystals, which they'd build themselves. These synthetic crystals created more powerful lightsabers that were more unstable but could occasionally overcome a natural crystal and shatter their opponent's saber.
Do you need a kyber crystal?
Whether you prefer the old lore or the new variant, these crystals are at the heart of lightsabers so we're glad we got to tell you about them. To understand lightsaber lore, you need to know about kyber crystals - but to enjoy a lightsaber replica, you don't need to worry about them at all.
Some lightsaber companies will aim to sell you on a crystal to enable a colour change. This, to us, is solely a greedy idea. All Saberzone lightsabers allow for colour changing at the touch of a button - so you can pretend your own kyber crystal is sitting inside your blade at whatever attunement you like.
Take a look at our lightsaber range to start living out your own Star Wars fantasies today.