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It has recently been revealed that the act of a sith building a lightsaber will turn the crystal red. A Jedi turning Sith will not in itself turn the blade red. This is why the Skywalker saber is still blue(see answer here)

Another Jedi turned sith is count Dooku. Yet he has a red saber. Is it customary for sith to turn their blades red just because it looks evil? Getting a crystal and making a lightsaber are not simple jobs. Is there any canon answer to this?

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    Did Dooku not leave the Jedi Order? Would a jedi hand in their lightsaber when they leave like a cop handing in his gun and badge? If so he'd have had to create a new one to replace the one handed in Mar 7, 2017 at 14:37
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    Cannon = Big metal shooty thing. Canon = a body of works
    – Valorum
    Mar 7, 2017 at 14:38
  • Although I don't have any source, he had to build a new lightsaber at some point. His former Jedi lightsaber couldn't be red.
    – Neow
    Mar 7, 2017 at 14:41
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    @Valorum, lightsabers are metal shooty things too, from a certain point of view. Mar 7, 2017 at 15:39
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    Um... where was it revealed that the Sith acts turn the color of the lightsaber? I feel like I missed a movie or something
    – Paul
    Mar 7, 2017 at 17:53

2 Answers 2

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It is possible he handed his old lightsaber back when he left

The Jedi Order is shown to accept the lightsabers of those members that leave.

Ahsoka Tano left the Jedi Order at the end of the season 5 of the Clone Wars and gave up her lightsabers - Anakin returned these to her before The Battle of Mandalore.

Dooku had a bust in the hall commemorating those lost 20 Jedi that have left, so he left on good terms meaning he would have followed any rules like this.

When he became a Sith and needed a lightsaber it was easier to build a new one than to ask for / take his old one back, this would obviously have had a red crystal as per Sith lightsabers.


There is also evidence of this happening in Legends with the New Jedi Order

In the New Jedi Order when a Jedi leaves they surrender their lightsaber:

Tenel Ka did this when she left the order to focus on being queen of her homeworld.

"She held out her lightsaber to Luke. “It is with great regret that I must surrender this. I simply cannot fulfill the duties of a Knight in the Jedi order.

Although Luke gave it back to her

I understand.” Luke accepted Tenel Ka’s lightsaber, then pushed it back into her hand. “But please keep your lightsaber. You earned the right to carry it, and that can never be taken away.”

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    Ahsoka surrendered her lightsabers when she left the Order Mar 7, 2017 at 14:46
  • @JasonBaker - thank you can I pop this into my answer? Mar 7, 2017 at 14:47
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    Of course, that's why I left it as a comment. Though it occurs to me that it's not clear whether she gave them up voluntarily or not Mar 7, 2017 at 14:48
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    The comment about Ahsoka makes the answer valid in Disney canon. Tenel Ka is not only Legends but is also from the New Jedi Order and the rules are a bit different from the Old Jedi Order.
    – Neow
    Mar 7, 2017 at 14:57
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New canon pretty much messed up things with lightsaber crystals. Now we have this : Both Jedi and Sith are using Kyber crystals . Artificial synthetic crystals (usually red, usually used by Sith or other Dark side users) are now part of legends.

In new canon, while constructing his lightsaber, Force user will "attune" crystal to his personal energy "signature". Therefore, Jedi crystal would usually be green or blue, sometimes yellow or violet. Sith would twist and subdue crystal with their will, crystal would "bleed" and become red . Crystal would not change color if later Force user switches sides of the Force. Primary example would be Vader/Anakin, his lightsaber remained blue even when he killed younglings with it .

What we know about Dooku is that while still in Jedi Oreder he become a master of Makashi style, and constructed his lightsaber accordingly, with characteristic curved hilt. Of course, at that time his kyber crystal would not be red. What happened to his original lightsaber(s) is unknown, maybe he did turned them over when he left Order, maybe he kept it and switched crystal. In any case, his lightsaber could get red blade only after he was no longer a Jedi, because red blade and red crystal in new canon signify Dark Side .

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    From the new canon Darth Vader comics, it's shown that a ritual needs to be conducted to make the crystal bleed and it will fight any user's attempt to do so, Sidious alslo implies the crystal needs to be stolen from a Jedi. Vader was shown a vision of him killing Sidious, returning to the light and finding Obi-Wan to make amends. His rejection of this chance of redemption the crystal offered him caused it to bleed and his new saber's blade to turn red. I imagine Dooku conducted the same ritual on a stolen crystal.
    – Dom Vasta
    Nov 20, 2017 at 11:45

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