Everything You Need to Know About Kyber Crystals

Summary

  • Kyber crystals are Force-attuned, focus a lightsaber’s energy, and may be sentient.
  • Kyber crystals grow in beds of kyberite, an opposing material that channels the Force away, adding to the duality of the Force.
  • A red kyber crystal is created by pouring anger and hatred into it, reflecting the Sith’s desire to control the Force.


Through decades of new Star Wars stories and reference guides, kyber crystals have received more revealing facts and exciting trivia. The first kyber crystal appeared in 1978’s Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster, which was written to be adapted as a low-budget movie depending on how the first Star Wars film performed. The story presented the kyber crystal as a unique artifact with a powerful connection to the Force, pitting Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa against Darth Vader.

Over time, kyber crystals were changed to be more common and revealed as a crucial component of Jedi lightsabers. The new Star Wars canon under Disney has revealed even more information about the nature of kyber crystals and how they can be influenced for good or evil. Understanding what kyber crystals are and how they operate provides insight into how they may be used or explored further in upcoming Star Wars movies, TV shows, etc.

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Kyber Crystals Are Force-Attuned Crystals That May Be Sentient

Star Wars: Ezra Bridger Kyber Crystal

Beyond their ability to power lightsabers and other machines, kyber crystals have a unique relationship with the Force, allowing the Jedi to connect to them. Jedi younglings of the Old Republic would receive their kyber crystals in a ritual called “the Gathering,” where they would travel to the crystal caves on the planet Ilum. The younglings would split up and allow their kyber crystals to call to them through the Force, with the cave creating trials to help each youngling overcome the distinct flaws holding them back. This trial would prove that a youngling was ready to construct a lightsaber and subsequently prepared to become a Jedi Padawan.

The kyber crystals being Force-attuned and connecting with Jedi hints at a level of sentience. Qui-Gon Jinn told Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace that the Jedi has a symbiotic relationship with midi-chlorians, Force-attuned organisms in all living cells that communicate the will of the Force. It’s possible that the kyber crystals also embody the Jedi Order’s connection with all living things and their trust in the Force, and it would explain the visions experienced by younglings during their trials on Ilum. Kyber crystal sentience has never been officially confirmed but is plausible within the Star Wars universe.

Kyber Crystals Grow In Beds Of Kyberite

Funnily enough, Star Wars has revealed that kyber crystals grow in an opposing material called kyberite. In Star Wars: Darth Vader #35 by Greg Pak, Raffaele Ienco, Joe Caramagna, and Federico Blee, Doctor Aphra tells Darth Vader that kyber and kyberite are like two sides of a magnet and that kyber grows in opposition to kyberite. This doesn’t mean that kyberite negates the Force, but whereas kyber can concentrate the Force’s energy, kyberite instead channels the Force away. The Separatists had hoped to use kyberite against the Jedi during the Clone Wars, but the Jedi found a way to make this idea backfire.

The Force has always been about duality: a balance between light and dark, a Jedi finding balance within themselves, symbiotic relationships between the Force and living beings, etc.

Kyberite is a fascinating new concept that also aligns with the nature of the Force in every Star Wars project. The Force has always been about duality: a balance between light and dark, a Jedi finding balance within themselves, symbiotic relationships between the Force and living beings, etc. The relationship between kyber and kyberite is another extension of duality in the Force, respecting how it has always been presented while adding new details to the mythology. It also reflects real-world science, that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

How Jedi Use Kyber Crystals In Their Lightsabers

Kyber crystal cocnept art

A common misconception in Star Wars is that kyber crystals power Jedi lightsabers, which is not the case. Kyber crystals focus a lightsaber’s energy, similar to how real-world crystals can focus a beam of light. In this manner, a lightsaber can be viewed as a physical embodiment of the Force, an extension of a Jedi’s connection with the mystical energy field. This is also why it is more challenging for non-Force sensitives to wield a blade that essentially focuses the power of the Force. However, the Sith take a more sinister approach to their kyber crystals than the Jedi Order.

How Sith “Bleed” Kyber Crystals Red

Darth Vader bleeding a Kyber crystal in Marvel's Darth Vader comics.

Kyber crystals come in natural shades of blue, green, purple, and yellow, but red crystals are created artificially. In Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 by Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli, Emperor Palpatine explains to Vader that the Sith take kyber crystals from Jedi and pour their anger and hatred into them, causing the crystal to “bleed” and turn a shade of crimson. This reflects the difference between the Jedi and the Sith, as the Jedi seek to follow the will of the Force and maintain balance, while the Sith seek to control the Force and twist it for their selfish desires.

Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston also revealed that a red kyber crystal can be purified by someone who follows the light. Ahsoka Tano created her white lightsabers from the blade of an Imperial Inquisitor she defeated, and her Force energy changed the kyber crystal’s color to reflect her status as neither a Jedi nor a Sith. The shades of all lightsabers may change slightly to reflect the individual Force wielder, particularly for rare colors like purple and yellow. Either way, the ability to change a kyber crystal demonstrates its connection to the Force and its being very much alive.

Kylo Ren’s kyber crystal was cracked while he was “bleeding” it, causing the lightsaber blade to be distorted and require a crossguard.

Kyber Crystals Are Used In The Death Star And Other Superweapons

Emperor Palpatine and the Death Star.

The Sith didn’t just corrupt kyber crystals for their lightsabers but also used them in creating superweapons. The Death Star’s primary weapon operated similarly to a lightsaber, with a giant kyber crystal focusing an energy beam that could destroy an entire planet. This explains how targeting a shaft leading to the reactor would destroy the station, as pouring too much energy into a kyber crystal would make it unstable and create an enormous explosion. This would prove every subsequent superweapon’s weakness, including the second Death Star, Starkiller Base, and the Final Order fleet.

The kyber crystals being used to create superweapons also reflects their Force-attuned nature. Like the light and dark sides of the Force, kyber crystals can be used to help others and maintain balance, or they can be turned into a weapon that brings destruction and throws the Force out of balance. Kyber crystals have evolved from being viewed as a simple power source to embodying the core aspects of the Star Wars franchise.

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