Lightsaber colors in Star Wars have always been a confusing subject for fans. Blue and green were the colors of heroic Force-users, while only Sith wielded red blades. Then the prequels came along, and Samuel L. Jackson wanted Mace Windu to have a purple lightsaber, so Mace Windu had a purple lightsaber. In-universe explanations for such a rare color arose, followed by other colors appearing. Orange. White. Yellow, a particularly uncommon color used by only a select few throughout the Skywalker Saga. What do yellow lightsabers actually mean in Star Wars?
Yellow Lightsaber Meaning
Though the lore has become a bit fuzzy since the switch between Canon and Legends, yellow lightsabers have still appeared on-screen since. The explanation that makes the most sense overall is that a yellow kyber crystal, though rarer than a green or blue crystal, represents the philosophy of a Jedi Sentinel.
These Jedi — take the Temple Guards seen in several animated Star Wars shows over the past decade, for example — are not simply guardians of knowledge or defenders of the innocent; they are both. In their training and further study, Sentinels seek to strike an even balance between knowledge and combat. They specialize not in just one area, but instead refine their skills in both mind and body, serving as Jedi tasked with preserving the Jedi way and, when necessary, defending it.
Rey’s Yellow Lightsaber
In the context of Rey Skywalker, this actually makes a lot of sense. At the end of The Rise of Skywalker, Rey finds herself responsible both for protecting those across the galaxy in need as well as passing on the knowledge of the Jedi to other Force-sensitive beings who might need training.
Rey is “all the Jedi” — in the sense that she carries generations’ worth of knowledge and skill within her. There are no living Jedi left who contain such multitudes. In one of the final shots of the film, Rey igniting her yellow lightsaber signifies her dedication to restoring and preserving the ancient ways of the Jedi, who have always existed to keep peace among the various systems they oversee.
Asajj Ventress (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) also had a yellow lightsaber after the end of her apprenticeship with Count Dooku, described in Christie Golden’s Dark Disciple novel. At this time, Ventress was a bounty hunter, affiliated with neither Jedi nor Sith. In a way, she, too, may have been playing a role in protecting and defending against a certain type of knowledge. She knew everything Dooku had taught her; perhaps she made a point to hold onto the secrets of the Sitih, even if she never again used them to harm others for the sake of maintaining dark side-fueled power.
In Star Wars, the yellow lightsaber seems to belong solely to those who wish to dedicate their lives to a very specific set of skills and objectives. Naturally, if everyone who wanted a yellow kyber crystal got to have one, they wouldn’t be nearly as special, would they?
So when you see a Star Wars character wielding a yellow lightsaber, know you’re witnessing a particularly disciplined Force-user determined to masterfully wield a balance between knowing and applying what they’ve learned to rise above every opponent they may encounter across the galaxy.