Star Wars Ahsoka Confirms the Truth About Those Orange Lightsabers

Baylan Skoll and Shin Hati's lightsabers in the Star Wars: Ahsoka trailer are orange, not the stark red of the Sith. Could this mean they aren't all bad?

Ray Stevenson as Baylan Skoll in Star Wars: Ahsoka
Photo: Lucasfilm

Ever since the premiere of the Ahsoka trailer at Star Wars Celebration Europe last weekend, there’s been plenty of debate concerning one specific element of the video: the color the lightsabers wielded by new villain characters Baylan Skoll (Ray Stevenson) and Shin Hati (Ivanna Sakhno). Are their lightsabers red like rest of the bad guys in Star Wars or are they orange? The discourse got so heated online, we even had to run a fan poll to settle the argument (most of you said orange).

Even if the blades are orange instead of the customary red, is this a trick of the show’s lighting? Or is there a deeper meaning to Baylan and Shin’s chosen weapons? We finally have some answers.

Thanks to an interview with ScreenRant, series creator Dave Filoni has hopefully prevented Baylan and Shin’s lightsabers from turning into a full rehashing of the infamous dress that broke the internet in 2015. According to Filoni, Baylan and Shin’s lightsabers are indeed orange, but only “a little bit more.” Filoni goes on to say that the color choice for these lightsabers “was very intentional. I didn’t make them just a stark red. I remember as a kid that Vader’s lightsaber kind of fluctuated from visual effects to being a little bit more orange. I didn’t want to go straight up orange, but it’s identifying a little bit of something to kids that they might not straight up be what you think they are in the beginning. It’s good you caught that. Nothing is accidental.”

Even though Baylan and Shin seem to be villains in the trailer, the orange color of their lightsabers could indicate a more complex arc for these characters in Ahsoka, baddies who are not quite Sith but not Jedi, either. They’ve clearly not bled their kyber crystals to turn red, a ritual common among the Sith, but the orange is almost a darker shade of amber instead of the more conventional light orange we associate with the Jedi.

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Ahsoka Tano wields unconventionally colored lightsabers too, with their white color symbolizing her disconnect from the Jedi. During the Clone Wars, Ahsoka was banished for a crime she didn’t commit and chose to follow the Force on her own even after she was cleared of charges and invited back into the Order. After the rise of the Empire, Ahsoka defeated Imperial Inquisitors, using the Kyber crystals from their lightsabers to create her own by purifying them with the Force.

As Filoni says, the color of Baylan and Shin’s lightsabers isn’t accidental. Like Ahsoka, they may have a different method or reason for connecting to the Force than the Sith or Jedi do. They’re clearly not neutral, but they may not be purely evil either. By giving them orange lightsabers instead of the pure red we’re used to, it seems like Ahsoka may show us more of the gray areas of the Force outside the strict teachings of the Jedi and Sith. Ahsoka’s story thus far has only begun to scratch the surface of possibilities for Force users outside of the factions, and it will be interesting to see how her solo series weaves this story into Baylan and Shin’s.

Star Wars: Ahsoka is out in August on Disney+.