Lightsabers!

Thanks to the most recent trailer for the Last Jedi (and the film itself, which as of this writing I am two days away from seeing), I’ve started playing SWTOR again. I last gave the game up around the time of the release of the final chapter of the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion. I was rather angry about how that expac ended (which is to say, it didn’t, it just left a cliffhanger for the next one) and decided to walk away.

Since I’ve been gone, there’s been quite a few changes (another expac being the main one) that make playing under their Free-to-Play model slightly less onerous to me. One of the things I did during my last time playing the game was make a number of low-level alts to re-experience the game’s class stories (which have the Legion ones beat all hollow), and I decided my focus for SWTOR would be those same characters again. Outside of game, I’ve been thinking about their backstories, personalities, and how they integrate in the wider story I developed for my original 8 higher-level characters.

One of the main elements of that development, at least for the Jedi and Sith characters, involves their choice of Lightsaber color. SWTOR has a veritable TON of lightsaber colors available, which I absolutely love, because I consider that as much of a choice about that character as race or hairstyle or anything else you do at character creation, and more choices in that regard are always better.

To that end, I’m going to go through all 8 of my Jedi and Sith characters I’ve made in SWTOR and talk about their current Lightsaber colors, and offer both an in-universe and out-of-universe explanation for those choices.

We’ll begin with the Jedi.

Jedi Sentinal saber color graphic

Jedi SentinelBlack-Green

In-Universe: My Sentinel is one of the Jedi Order’s foremost experts on Lightsaber construction, including the creation of the crystals needed to power and generate the blades. One day, while helping clear a Rakghoul infestation on Tatooine, he came across an unusual geode, consisting of a mineral he’d never seen before. After sending a sample to a Republic geologist to analyze, he cut and polished two gemstones from the material and tested them in his own lightsabers, resulting in the distinctive Black-Green color seen above. He continues to use them, testing their effectiveness in combat. While they possess no unusual properties, their distinctive colors have come to be associated with him and his formidable combat prowress.

In real life: The Black-Green color crystal can only be obtained by players in one of two ways, as a special reward from ordering a SWTOR-themed Razer peripheral, or during the Rakghoul resurgence event in game. That event becomes active periodically, with Rakghouls invading one of a few planets. Players can collect rakghoul samples and turn them into a specific vendor, who rewards them with items, among which includes the Black-Green color crystals. At one point, I spent time gaining two of them for my own Sentinel’s sabers when the event was active on Tatooine.

Jedi Guardian saber color graphic

Jedi GuardianRed

In-Universe: My Jedi Guardian was, before the Jedi Order found her, a slave to a particularly Imperial-friendly Hutt. If the debasements she suffered at his hands weren’t bad enough, she was forced to watch many Sith Lords come to her master’s home on business, and more than one of her friends killed by them. Their horrible red blades cutting them down was permanently seared in her brain. Luckily, the Jedi came along, took the Hutt into custody, and freed the slaves. She was taken in by the Order when it was discovered she was Force-sensitive as well. As a result of this trauma, she has sworn to take every skill she learns and kill every slaver she comes across, and since the Empire is the galaxy’s biggest owner of slaves, well, practically every Imperial and Sith is on that list. When the time came to forge her own lightsaber, she took the image from her nightmares and made it her own. Every Sith she comes across will see the same horrible red blade ending them as the ones who ended her friends.

In Real Life: So if you’re familiar with how the game works, you know that my Guardian is pretty heavy on the Darkside points. If you’re not, lets put it this way: the game allows you to accumulate light or dark “points” based on your actions in dialogue choices, so you can play a very light sided Sith, who is still an Imperial, still a Sith Lord, but makes very good-aligned choices, or in this case, a Jedi who makes incredibly Dark ones. I wanted to experience the Jedi Knight story line from that Dark Side perspective, so I made a character who bears a heavy resemblance to Darth Talon (with a toned down version of her infamous skimpy outfits) and a red blade to go with it. As time went on and I developed her story, I wanted to give her a bit more nuance. Because of their moralistic stances against killing, she’s generally opposed to her Jedi teachers, but tends to side heavily with the Republic military and intelligence, as they tend to be far more pragmatic when it comes to war matters.

Jedi Shadow saber color graphic

Jedi ShadowBlack-Blue

In-Universe: My Shadow will tell you, he believes in the Jedi Order, he really does, but sometimes they have their own heads up their butts with all their archaic rules and traditions that have very little to do with actually helping the people of the Republic, or furthering the will of the Force. He’s not above calling them out on it, or bucking traditions because it makes them uncomfortable. And more than one of his fellow Jedi Council members has commented that it does not give a good appearance to have one of the Order’s leaders bearing a non-traditional blade color, especially one with a black core. It “could give the appearance of an approval of dark side actions” they say. As you can imagine, this has the opposite effect they want.

In Real Life: Honestly, my Shadow is a troll. He messes with people, he’s incredibly sarcastic, and he does not hesitate to call someone out on their stupidity, regardless of who they are. He’s been incredibly fun to play that way, but I never could figure out a lightsaber color that matched that personality until I found a Black-Blue crystal on the in-game auction house for cheap. I concocted the above mentioned story, and it just seemed to fit his personality

Screenshot_2017-12-18_23_06_16_312541

Jedi SageFire-Red

In-Universe: A Sage isn’t a master of Lightsaber combat, they spend their time studying the mysteries of the Force and mastering how to use it to defend others, be it to heal or to repel. Still they do wield them, for appearance if nothing else. Sure my Sage might get a bit hot-headed from time to time, pick an action in the heat of the agressive moment on occasion, that doesn’t make her a bad Jedi. Sure, that crystal that was warningly described to her as “Fire-Red” might have had a bit of a strange call to her, but she swears it’s just a really fiery-looking Orange and she chose it because it reminds her of the orange shade of her fur. Nothing bad, she promises. Right?

In Real Life: Honestly, my sage is still a work in progress. I’m still fleshing out and evolving her story, the above is all I’ve come up with for why she has that Lightsaber color. In reality, I made this character to play with my friend Levi, who had just started the game, and I was purchasing a few different crystals for him to use when I came across this lovely color for fairly cheap. I assumed it was from the In-game cash shop, and so once I purchased it and locked it to myself, I could create a copy to use on another character. However, I didn’t pay close enough attention. This crystal is actually crafted in game using the Artifice crew skill, so unless I learned the recipe and picked up the materials, this would be the only one I had. I added it to my Sage’s lightsaber anyway, to give her a distinctive look.

Let’s move on to my Sith characters and their myriad blades. And no, you Star Wars traditionalists, no red blades to be found here! Well, mostly none.

Sith Sorcerer saber color graphic

Sith Sorcerer – Purple Outline

In-Universe: Red? Feh, every Sith has a Red lightsaber, it seems. My Sorcerer, he’s better than that. No, he’s seen a small number of Sith Lords wielding purple blades, and those Lords always carried themselves with an air of superiority, of elite status. THAT is what he craved more than anything. To not only be considered among the most powerful of the Sith Lords, but to carry a blade that would inspire that belief in other, lesser, Sith as well. One day he obtained a crystal that gave him the striking purple blade he so craved, and now it inspires terror in others, a reminder that very similarly colored Force Lightning is likely directed their way very soon.

In Real Life: I love Purple lightsabers. I’ve always thought they looked awesome. They’ve been associated with powerful Jedi and Sith throughout the old Expanded Universe, so it only seemed natural that my power-hungry darkside Sith Sorcerer would seek one out. While regular purple crystals do exist in the game, they are somewhat rare and thus challenging to obtain. The Purple Outline crystal can be found comparatively more easily on the auction house, and being that it comes from the cash shop, it can be copied to other characters on your account. I actually prefer the Purple Outline blade to that of the regular Purple crystal, the Outline effect makes the saber more vibrant and richly colored.

Sith juggernaut saber color graphic

Sith Juggernaut Light Blue, aka Cyan

In-Universe: The Sith are notoriously rascist towards nonhumans, and Sith Purebloods (Humans who have traits of the old Sith species) are even worse. Aliens are treated with an open disdain, but the Sith order needs all the bodies it can get to fight the war, so their standards are relaxed. A Chiss, however, was different. The Chiss are important allies to the Sith Empire, but they don’t have a high regard for Force Users. So when the Sith discovered a particularly strong exile, they allowed him entrance to the academy, rushing him through the early process, hoping to turn it into a political win with their new allies. Both sides of the experiment have had…mixed success. The Chiss do not seem to care about the exile’s turn of fortune, but it hasn’t become a negative issue either. As for the exile, he’s no doubt proven himself a truly potent warrior for the Empire, but he seems to ignore “proper” Sith traditions. Showing far too much mercy, being honorable and inspiring to those who serve under him, even wielding a blade that seems so…so Jedi. Many Sith have seen this as a weakness and tried to kill him. None have succeeded. The exile is far too strong, and most now avoid his wrath, for fear of becoming next.

In Real Life: I play my Sith Juggernaut as a pure lightsider, and man it is seriously up there as one of my favorite stories. His backstory as an exile accepted into the Sith Order is a carefully crafted ruse by the Chiss who seek to learn more about their new allies by provoking all of their precious traditions. He knew, as a Force Sensitive, it would likely be the only way to serve his home and people. Only his strength both in the Force and physically has allowed him to survive as long as he has, and he hopes for the day that his service will be recognized, the Chiss will break free of the self-destructive Empire, and he can go home. He chose the Cyan blade because it resembles the icy homeworld he longs to go back to.

Sith assassin saber color graphic

Sith AssassinDesert Green

In-Universe – The average Sith is arrogant almost to the extreme, quick to lash out at the slightest provocation, and quite predictable. The ones you truly need to watch out for are the crazy ones. And my assassin, she’s outright ludicrously insane most of the time. She’s merciful to foes, kind to her allies, and doesn’t seem to care much at all when she’s provoked. And the crazy nonsense she spews only makes it worse.  One day, she unveiled her new lightsaber’s green blades to her Dashade (think tall, muscular terrifying monster that feeds on Force users) companion and asked him “Don’t you think this new color matches my eyes better?” And while the Dashade walked away in disgust at this strange idiot he was bound to serve, an unbidden thought arose in the back of his mind, eventually forcing its way to the front: “….But her eyes are blue?” Honestly, if she wasn’t so terrifyingly adept with that double-bladed saber, the Sith Order would likely have killed her, but so far she has proven resilient enough to stick around and continue to confuse everyone in her general vicinity

In Real Life – The Desert Green crystal is meant to mimic the shade of Luke’s green blade during the desert scenes of Return of the Jedi, being a bit darker than the standard green crystal in SWTOR. I acquired one of the crystals for a decent enough price and for the time being have given it to my Assassin to add to her own background of being incredibly kooky but kindhearted (in otherwords a light-sider).

Sith marauder saber color graphic

Sith MarauderBlack-Red Striated

In-Universe – My marauder is a blunt instrument. He doesn’t much care for political machinations, strategy, or odds. There a problem? Hit it with his lightsabers until it’s dead or in pieces. And he’s terrifyingly effective at it. He might have given it a thought, once, when he ignited to new lightsabers his master gave him and their cores were black instead of white like the ones he had before. But they kill and destroy just the same, so he never thought about it again. Maybe he will one day, when his sabers are recognized and feared as much as he was. But that day hasn’t come yet. So for now, he kills and destroys as his master commands and relishing in the power the Dark Side grants him.

In Real Life – SWTOR’s cash shop only in special circumstances allows you to purchase specific items directly, most of the time you purchase a randomized loot box and accept whatever is inside it. You can either use it or sell it in the game’s auction house. This color crystal is one of the few I have that came from a random box. And what was worse, at the time, it gave a bonus to a stat that only mattered in PvP. I don’t PvP, I have no desire to, so the crystal was useless for me. However, at some point between the last time I quit and now, they removed that stat from the game entirely, replacing it with a bonus to your main PvE stat. Suddenly, it’s incredibly useful to me, and now my new low-lever Marauder has both a functional and cool-looking pair of lightsabers!

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