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Mace Windu's Purple Lightsaber

May 19, 2021 6 min read

Mace Windu's Purple Lightsaber

At a time when we only know the blue and green lightsabers representing the Jedi and the red ones symbolizing the Sith, Master Windu's lightsaber makes its appearance. Indeed, in Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, we had the chance to discover the first purple blade. This is the one that will cause the death of Jango Fett.

It should also be remembered that Mace Windu has perfected his art to the point of creating (with the help of Sora Bulq) his own form of lightsaber combat: the Vaapad. It is a variant of form VII (Juyo) that is very complicated to master.

There is no doubt about it, in addition to having a purple lightsaber that is as unusual as it is classy, Mace Windu is a powerful fighter who has proven himself. For these reasons, we are going to take a look at this weapon and its history, which is still too little known.

Appearance of Mace Windu's Purple Lightsaber

Mace Windu's Lightsaber

Mace Windu's purple lightsaber offers a design that is out of the ordinary (once again) by offering a predominantly gold and silver handle. This is due to the incorporation of an electrum finish (a rare metal) in the design of his weapon. It was given to him when he was appointed to the Council of the Jedi Order.

He took advantage of having reached this high rank to be even more demanding with himself in order to build the ultimate lightsaber approaching a maximum of perfection. The plasma blade is amethyst colored, which is what makes Windu's saber so attractive.

Did Mace Windu have another Lightsaber before ?

Mace Windu did indeed first have a blue lightsaber before making his purple one. Later, he returned this first weapon to Eet Koth, who had entrusted it to him through the Concordance of Fealty. This is a Jedi custom in which one wielder lends his lightsaber to another for an indefinite period. This process is based on mutual trust and is seen as a sign of dedication and righteousness.

Mace Windu's Concordance of Fealty

Why is Mace Windu's Lightsaber Purple ?

The Will of Samuel L. Jackson

The main reason why Mace Windu has a purple lightsaber is because the actor playing the character, Samuel L. Jackson, requested it. Once he learned about the Battle of Geonosis, he already knew that he would not be properly identified on screen.
The presence of many other Jedi with blue or green swords would undoubtedly camouflage him in the scene. This bothered him and he argued that the character is powerful and very high in the hierarchy. By dint of insisting, the author of the saga George Lucas agreed, to the delight of Samuel L. Jackson...

Excerpt from an interview with Samuel L. Jackson in which we hear George raise the possibility of a purple lightsaber :

"There was this huge fight scene planned and I wanted to be able to be on screen. That's why I pitched George the idea of the purple lightsaber [...] Come on, give me a new color. I'm at the top of the Jedi hierarchy. I'm even friends with Yoda! Except for him, I'm the oldest of the bunch. That would make sense... I finally convinced him."

Samuel L. Jackson

Purple Crystals of Hurikane

Following the actor's whim, the Star Wars universe was going to have to find a way to justify this change of blade between episodes 1 and 2 in the prelogy. That's where Star Wars - Icons Volume 9 comes in, a collection of comics focused on one character, Mace Windu in this issue.
The work contains 7 short stories but the one we are interested in is called "The Stones". This last one offers us the Jedi concerned as a narrator who tells the story of the journey that allowed him to have, as he says himself: "the crystals that would make my lightsaber unique".

Early on, Windu had visions of this ideal sword materializing in his consciousness without being able to take the physical form he had hoped for. He was missing a certain something... At the age of 14, Master Yoda sent the apprentice to the planet Hurikane to remedy this problem. He discovered there inhabitants made of stones, in particular of certain purple fragments.

One of them tried to jump over a cliff just as the future Jedi Master had done. Unaware of the danger, the native fell to his death and broke into many pieces. Mace Windu rushed to his side and used the force to rebuild him. With the native back on his feet despite the terrible fall, the rock beings gave him amethyst-colored Hurikane crystals as a thank you.

Purple Crystals of Hurikane

The reward later allowed him to mount the purple lightsaber we all know. The comic book will give fans what they wanted: an explanation about the lightsaber color change (caused by the actor). Although the weapon is not wielded by Mace Windu in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, action figures are already available. As you might have guessed, they show Windu with his original (blue) lightsaber never seen in the movies...

What does the color Purple mean for a Lightsaber ?

The presence of a lightsaber with a purple blade symbolizes a fairly neutral wielder being able to get the best of both sides of the force: dark and light. Purple being a mixture of blue and red, it makes particular sense. Mace Windu may be a Jedi, but he is in constant moral uncertainty. This was especially felt when he killed Jango Fett without hesitating for a second or when he was going to do the same with Palpatine.

We can also make the connection between the meaning of purple for a lightsaber and the Vaapad fighting form invented by Mace Windu. The Vaapad draws some of its power from bad feelings like anger, which is similar to Sith techniques. Although Mace Windu was not supposed to have a purple lightsaber in the first place, the color chosen and the meaning it gives off fits the character perfectly.

Purple Lightsaber wielded by Mace Windu

Is Windu's Lightsaber the only one that is Purple in Star Wars ?

In the Star Wars movies, Mace Windu is the only one who wields a purple lightsaber. On the other hand, considering the extended universe, other characters like Revan or Darth Traya also have purple colored sabers. In either case, it is a very unusual color for unusual personalities.

Revan and Darth Traya

How did Mace Windu's Lightsaber disappear ?

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the purple lightsaber will leave its owner destined for a sad fate... Having understood the plot organized by Palpatine, who will turn out to be a Dark Lord of the Sith, Master Windu goes to the Supreme Chancellor's office. The formidable Jedi is accompanied by Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin and Kit Fisto, who are quickly killed in their duel with the one who will be named Darth Sidious.

Mace Windu will eventually overpower his opponent. The future of the latter would be changed by the arrival of Anakin Skywalker. Just as the purple lightsaber was about to finish off the traitor for good, Anakin was convinced by Darth Sidious' words to stop the fatal blow. He drew his weapon and the lightsaber of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker made the final assault. He drew his weapon and sliced through Mace Windu's hand, causing him to drop his lightsaber into the void, where he soon fell.

Mace Windu's Lightsaber falling into the void

We learn that a Duro native will pick up Mace Windu's lightsaber that fell from the broken window. He will then sell it to Sano Sauro who will keep it in his office. Moreover, he is the last known person to have had the mythical weapon in his hands. This is not the first time a character has recovered the lightsaber of a deceased great figure.

There is no doubt that Mace Windu had a lightsaber with an unprecedented path. He was the first to display a weapon that abandoned the color codes that George Lucas had imagined beforehand. We can assume that it was this trigger that allowed the Star Wars sequel to be enriched with a multitude of other blades in hues never seen before.

Whether it's through his purple lightsaber, his combat skills or his mastery of the Force, there are many reasons to appreciate Mace Windu. However, he's far from the only person in the galaxy with an incredible sword... You can read our other articles to see for yourself.

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