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Are black lightsabers rare?

Black lightsabers are indeed rare and unique weapons in the Star Wars universe. They have a distinctive black blade that is powered by a corrupted kyber crystal, giving them an ominous and intimidating appearance. Only a handful of characters throughout Star Wars history have wielded a black lightsaber, making them highly coveted and sought-after by collectors and fans. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what makes black lightsabers so unusual, their origins, and which iconic characters have carried these rare dark side weapons.

What Makes Black Lightsabers Unique?

Most lightsabers in Star Wars have blades that glow blue or green, which indicates the wielder draws upon the light side of the Force. The Jedi traditionally carry blue or green lightsabers. Sith lightsabers are usually red because they corrupt the kyber crystals by channeling the power of the dark side.

Black lightsabers are extremely uncommon because they require a damaged or corrupted kyber crystal to produce the signature black blade. These crystals are unstable and difficult to control, even for experienced Force users on the dark side. The black blade emanates from the crystal’s pain and rage. Those who manage to construct a black lightsaber demonstrate an exceptional command of the dark side.

Properties of Black Lightsaber Blades

The black blade contains chaotic energy from the cracked kyber crystal. This makes the blade more jagged and erratic than a normal lightsaber. The blades may flicker, spit out sparks, or make crackling noises. While unstable, the chaotic energy also allows the black blade to be extremely destructive, able to cut through almost anything. However, the volatility requires constant focus and Force ability to contain it in a lightsaber hilt.


Kyber crystals are inherently attuned to the light side of the Force. They power Jedi lightsabers through a bonding process in the Gathering ritual. To make a black lightsaber, a Force user must make a kyber crystal “bleed” by pouring pain and hatred into it until the crystal corrupts and turns red. Further corruption and damage turns the blade black.

Few have the knowledge and dark side mastery necessary to corrupt a kyber crystal to this degree. Jedi avoid any teachings about this process, meaning only the Sith or other powerful dark side Force wielders can accomplish it. Additionally, the process risks destroying an unstable crystal unless done carefully. These factors combine to make black lightsabers extremely hard to create.

History and Origins of Black Lightsabers

The first black lightsabers emerged from damaged crystals on the ancient Sith world of Malachor. Powerful Sith sorcery caused the kyber crystals on Malachor to “scream” and become fractured, resulting in unstable black blades. These weapons were used during the Great Scourge of Malachor, a devastating Sith-Jedi war. After the war, the Sith took the secrets of forging black lightsabers to their temple on Korriban.

Ancient Sith Origins

The knowledge of how to create black lightsabers was closely guarded among the Ancient Sith. Sith Masters would pass down the ritual to corrupt and crack kyber crystals to Apprentices deemed worthy. Sith lightsaber construction was just as much a test of dark side mastery as combat training with the blade.

Occasionally, a Jedi Knight would fall to the dark side and flee to the Sith, bringing a blue or green lightsaber with them. The Sith would force the former Jedi to corrupt their own kyber crystal using Sith teachings, turning the blade red. Further torture and corruption would produce the black blades the Sith Masters preferred.

Rediscovery by Dark Jedi

Over time, the secrets of black lightsaber construction were lost, even to the Sith. They did not resurface until they were rediscovered by the Dark Jedi during the Hundred Year Darkness. This was a period when rogue Jedi tapped deeply into the dark side and had to flee Republic space. The Dark Jedi stumbled upon ancient Sith ruins and teachings about corrupting kyber crystals through pain and emotion. Their experiments produced the first black lightsabers in millennia.

Notable Black Lightsaber Wielders

Only the most powerful and experienced dark side users can construct and master black lightsabers. Their instability and violent energy make them too difficult for ordinary Sith or Dark Jedi to control. Across Star Wars history, very few characters have managed to make use of these rare weapons.

Exar Kun

One of the earliest known black lightsaber users was the Sith Lord Exar Kun, who rose to power during the Great Sith War in the Old Republic. As a Jedi Padawan, Exar Kun explored ancient Sith teachings and turned to the dark side. He found and awakened the spirit of Freedon Nadd, who taught him ancient dark side secrets. Using this knowledge, Exar Kun corrupted his blue lightsaber crystal into a black blade using Sith alchemy.

Darth Atrius

Thousands of years later, in the era of the New Sith Wars, the Sith Lord Darth Atrius constructed a black lightsaber. Already a master of Sith sorcery and alchemy, Lady Darth Atrius further experimented with corrupting and enhancing kyber crystals. She became adept at creating Sith amulets and talismans using the corrupted crystals. Her black lightsaber was an extension of this dark side experimentation.

Asajj Ventress

Asajj Ventress wielded twin red lightsabers when she was apprenticed to Count Dooku. After abandoning the Sith and going rogue, Ventress returned to the planet Dathomir and reconnected with her Nightsister roots. The Nightsisters used natural red blades channeling the power of their planet. Ventress combined her Jedi training with Nightsister magic to create two new black lightsabers using corrupted kyber crystals.

Darth Vader (Legends)

In the Legends expanded universe stories, Darth Vader constructed at least one black lightsaber during his service to Emperor Palpatine. It was created using a synthetic lightsaber crystal rather than a natural kyber crystal. Vader augmented the crystal with the dark side until it manifested the black blade. However, Vader felt the synthetic crystal inferior and eventually returned to using red or blue kyber crystals in his lightsabers.

Character Era Description
Exar Kun Old Republic Used ancient Sith teachings to corrupt his kyber crystal and make a black blade
Darth Atrius New Sith Wars Master of Sith alchemy used black lightsaber alongside Sith amulets and talismans
Asajj Ventress Clone Wars Made two black lightsabers combining Nightsister magic and Jedi training
Darth Vader (Legends) Galactic Civil War Briefly used a black lightsaber with a synthetic crystal


Black lightsabers stand out as extremely unique even among the weapons of the Sith and the dark side. The corrupted kyber crystals that power them require ancient Sith knowledge and mastery of the dark side to create. Only a few exceptional Force users like Exar Kun, Darth Atrius, or Asajj Ventress have succeeded in making black lightsabers throughout Star Wars history.

Their unstable black blades reflect the intense pain, chaos, and hatred channeled into them by Sith alchemy. This makes black lightsabers both rare and exceptionally deadly. Those who have the opportunity to examine one would be wise to proceed with caution. The black crystal contains great danger and darkness within a sinister weapon of the Sith.