How Samuel L. Jackson Made George Lucas Break Star Wars Rules

By April Ryder | Published

Why would the “second-baddest dude in the universe” carry a lightsaber that is the same color as everyone else? The answer is that he wouldn’t. That’s why Samuel L. Jackson’s Star Wars character, Jedi Master Mace Windu has a purple lightsaber. 

George Lucas Had Strict Rules For Lightsaber Colors

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Even though George Lucas had an unwritten rule that the good guys in Star Wars carry blue or green lightsabers and the bad guys carry red lightsabers, Samuel L. Jackson felt like his Star Wars appearance should have something a little extra special added to the mix. 

The Simple Reason Why Jackson Got His Way

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A brief video of Samuel L. Jackson and George Lucas on the set of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones lit the internet aflame when it went viral. The video showed exactly what led up to the introduction of Jackson’s purple lightsaber. 

George Lucas Explained The Rules To Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson wondered who he had to talk to about his lightsaber color (even though he was directing his question to the man in charge of it all, George Lucas). That’s when Lucas clearly stated that the good guys have always had either blue or green sabers and the bad guys have always been red. “That’s just the way it works,” he said. 

There’s No Purple?

However, Jackson didn’t have to push too hard to plant the seed of a purple lightsaber in Lucas’s mind. He simply said, “There’s no purple lightsaber?” To which George Lucas replied, “You might get purple.” 

A New Lightsaber Color Was Revolutionary

Now, to loyal fans of the Star Wars franchise, adding a different color lightsaber shook things up. Fans are used to the continuity between the films, and just like Trekkies, Star Wars fans are loyal to the brand and every element therein. Shifting the reality of the universe George Lucas created so many years ago is just short of blasphemy to some. 

More Colors, More Lightsaber Variety, More Merchandise

The good news is that the whole thing went over quite well in the end. The social media buzz and fuss about the newly introduced lightsaber color faded rather quickly, and now purple just fits. The color shift turned out to be a good thing in many ways. 

Mace Windu Stands Out

The introduction of a new purple lightsaber proved helpful for Samuel L. Jackson when he was trying to find himself during the Battle of Geonosis in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. It was easy to spot Windu during the battle because his lightsaber stood out from the rest. 

Lightsabers Now Come In All Colors

The purple lightsaber was likely a stepping stone for the introduction of the Gray Jedi. Gray Jedi have white lightsabers, and they are neither on the dark nor the light side of the Force. Samuel L. Jackson’s addition of purple lightsabers to Star Wars also paved the road for Star Wars: Visions to introduce lightsabers that change color based on the allegiance of the person wielding them. 

It’s true. Samuel L. Jackson may have broken the Star Wars rules, but rules are made to be broken. Little kids might not have had the chance to wield lightsabers of varying colors at home had Jackson just stood by idly accepting the status quo.