Star Wars: Study Shows Red Lightsabers The Weakest Of All

The events of the Star Wars saga unfold in a galaxy far, far away, but that hasn't stopped audiences from trying to apply real-world logic to the science seen in the films. A new study deduced that, based on what we know about the wavelengths of the color spectrum, red lightsabers would be the weakest while purple would be the strongest.

lightsaber strength real world
(Photo: University of Leicester)

Luke Willcocks, from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science at the University of Leicester, started with a scene from The Phantom Menace in which Qui-Gon Jinn uses his lightsaber to melt through a metal door to make his calculations about the weapon.

The type of metal is undefined, but Willcocks attempted to determine its melting point and amount of time it would have taken to melt to come to the conclusion of the saber's power, determining the base power of the saber. A green blade was approximated to have the power of 6.96 megawatts, which is only slightly less powerful than a nuclear power generator.

The student then compared the wavelength of the green blade to that of the other saber colors seen in the saga, approximating that a purple saber would melt through the door more quickly and that Sith blades would be the weakest.

Given that the physics of Star Wars is much different from the world we know, it might seem like a fruitless endeavor to make these calculations, but Lucasfilm themselves applied these theoretical concepts to the real world earlier this year when they built a functional "lightsaber."

The science doesn't yet exist to create an actual beam of light that is as strong as what we see from lightsabers, causing Lucasfilm to create a thermic lance made of carbon steel tubing, steel wool, and a tank of oxygen. The creation of the weapon was depicted in an episode of Science and Star Wars, which then used the lance to melt through a door much like the scene from Phantom Menace.

In the latest installment of the saga, The Last Jedi, the big question around lightsabers is whether or not Luke will accept his former saber from Rey when she arrives on Ahch-To or if he will try to leave his past behind.


Fans will find out when The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15.

[H/T University of Leicester]