Jung's Lightsabres

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by TheOzhaggis, May 12, 2003.

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  1. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    I've come across something interesting in the works of Carl Jung. The significance of this is in the fact that Jung's theories are the foundations for Campbell's theories, and Lucas admits that he is not only a disciple of Campbell but psychology in general - so I'm thinking it's not a big stretch to think this may have influenced him ...

    In very simple terms, Jung discusses how an individual shifts between instincts and spirituality. But instead of there being just two mutually exclusive states (instincts OR spirituality) there is a continuum with instincts at one pole and spirituality at the other.

    And then the interesting part: he compares this continuum to the spectrum of colours, with red at one end and blue at the other. He explains that red represents instincts, and blue represents spirituality. Violet, being the combination of red and blue, is the union of spirituality and instincts.

    Which makes the lightsabre colours in Star Wars that little bit more interesting, IMHO.

    Red = instincts = Sith
    Blue = spirituality = Jedi
    Violet = instinct + spirituality = Mace (there's a reference somewhere, possibly EU *gasp*, about Mace using fighting techniques that border on the darkside...)


    Anyway, just a little something that might interest some people.
  2. DarthAttorney Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2000
    star 6
    Very interesting....

    But where does the ever-popular green come into it? [face_mischief] ;)
  3. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5
    I thought the same thing myself. Where does green fit into this?

    Well ... he doesn't go too far with the analogy, and I hate to stretch the analogy myself, but since it is smack bang in the middle of the spectrum, I guess that could make it smack bang in the middle of instinct and spirit ...

    Balance between instinct and spirit, perhaps?

    Obviously Lucas free to expand or modify on it as he saw fit ...
  4. PaplooTheory Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2001
    star 5
    That is actually a pretty cool idea. However,m I have to agree that the lack of green kinda messes everything up. Stupid ROTJ... they should have all been blue!
  5. PalpatineAntikristos Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2002
    star 3
    "Violet = instinct + spirituality" = Luke or perhaps Anakin/Vader as he was dying.
  6. merlin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]I heard a Theory on the ROYGBIV spectrum and lightsabres.....

    [/color]RED[color=663300] Is the weakest of the spectrum. And the Evil Sith can only muster enough Force Knowledge to make a red one work. (Anakin forgets how to make a blue one)

    [/color]GREEN[color=663300] Is much stronger but not as strong as Blue or Violet. The older Jedi use Green becuase the technology and the wisdom to make blue and violet weren't around when they made theirs. So they are just being nostalgic.

    [/color]BLUE[color=663300] Is stonger and harder to make than the Green ones. So only the younger Jedi make Blue these days.

    [/color]VIOLET[color=663300] Is the strongest and requires the most amount of the Force to make it. Very hard but worth the effort. Apparently that is why MACE is the man. ;)

    So there's my theory, well, one I read about LONG LONG ago.




    EDIT-- Works with the wavelength of the color too. Red is a weaker light and can't be seen as easily from longer distances than the other colors. Violet being the strongest of the wavelenths. [/color]
  7. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    Which is exactly what Jung said, even longer ago* ... and Lucas read Jung, and lo and behold, the colours of the lightsabres.


    * except he never used the words Sith / Jedi, but we all know how Lucas likes to use other people's ideas and swap nouns...
  8. merlin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 1999
    star 4
    [color=663300]The problem is, in your post earlier, you quoted Jung about the specturm "with red at one end and blue at the other." and "Violet, being the combination of red and blue"

    Well, blue is not at the end of the visible Spectrum. Violet is. Violet is on the opposite end of Red. It's not a mixture of Red and Blue, it is it's own wavelength seperate from the two. You may get "magneta" if you mix red and blue, but not violet.

    The "spiritual" aspect of it sounds appealing. BTW, do you have a link to any of Jung's stuff online?[/color]
  9. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5
    To clarify why he starts the spectrum at blue and not violet, I'll post a quote from Jung himself:

    "If we remember our colour symbolism then, as I have said, red is not such a bad match for instinct. But for spirit, blue would be a much better match than violet. Violet is the 'mystic' colour ... Violet is a compound of blue and red, although in the spectrum it is a colour in its own right ... Although it can admittedly be no more than an analogy, I nevertheless feel tempted to recommend this violet image to my reader as an illustrative hint of the archetype's affinity with its own opposite. The creative fantasy of the alchemists sought to express this abtruse secret of nature by means of another, no less concrete, symbol: Uroboros, or tail-eating serpent."

    So you have to imagine the spectrum of visible colours as a coiled snake - violet is the point where the visible spectrum becomes Uroboros and eats its own tail ... ie, blue (tail) inside red (mouth) = violet.


    Jung is strange at the best of times. But always interesting. And of course a single quote doesn't do him justice, or explain the concepts well.
  10. Scott3eyez Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2001
    star 4
    Bear in mind that there's two ways to mix colours- mixing dyes/pigments (where you're mixing materials that absorb light) and mixing the actual light. Two dyes mixed together will gixe a different colour than the same two colour lights mixed together.
  11. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    Also bear in mind that he is simply making an analogy to illustrate a point - don't take it too literally.

  12. mrslush50 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 4
    Physics lesson (sorry if it's boring):

    Ask an artist what the three primary colors are, and he'll tell you, "blue, red, and yellow" yet if you get up really close to a TV you'll notice that the three colors used to create all others are blue, red, and green. These are the primary colors of light. When combined together you get cyan, yellow, and magenta. Which are the actual primary colors of pigment. (Not blue, red and yellow) just check your printer cartridges. You?ll see what I?m talking about.


    Couldn?t the three lightsaber colors simple be the three primary colors of light? This always made sense to me.
    />
  13. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    And the point of that is?

    Lucas likes symbolism, and he likes colour symbolism - look at his use of colour in the OT and PT (especially the PT).

    He had to get the symbolism for the lightsabres somewhere, and I doubt he just said, "Oh, what the heck, just make them primary colours..."

    Given Lucas's liberal attitude towards physics in the SW universe, and his devotion to mythology and psychology, I think a Jungian explanation is more plausible than a Panasonic one.
  14. mrslush50 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 4
    so it was some sort of symbolism that made luke's saber in ROTJ green? cause i thought it was just because blue didn't stand out very well against the blue sky background. yeah that sure is some deep symbolism.


    why does it have to be symbolic? cant it be scientific? maybe the only colors easily made are the primaries. maybe any other color requires some sort of extra internal components or extra care and skill to manufacture.




    aaannnndd.... if we stick with the whole symbolic thing, then we basically end up with, all good guys (except mace) have green or blue and all bad guys have red. yet X-Wing (Luke Skywalker, good guy) lasers are red and TIE Fighter (Darth Vader, bad guy) lasers are green. hmmm... why do george's symbols contradict each other?
  15. Scott3eyez Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2001
    star 4
    >>>so it was some sort of symbolism that made luke's saber in ROTJ green? cause i thought it was just because blue didn't stand out very well against the blue sky background. yeah that sure is some deep symbolism.

    Well, the symbolic meaning of a green lightsaber for me simply wasn't there until Qui Gon Jinn appeared with one in TPM.

    >>>yet X-Wing (Luke Skywalker, good guy) lasers are red and TIE Fighter (Darth Vader, bad guy) lasers are green. hmmm... why do george's symbols contradict each other?

    Because they're different "symbols." You could just as well argue that Luke's "Red five" call sign doesn't fit into the theme.
  16. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    Well, let's see ... Tie-Fighters and X-Wings are Imperial and Rebel ships, not Jedi and Sith ships. There's no reason for them to be symbolic of the Jedi and Sith.

    There is no reason for Lucas to extend the colour symbolism beyond lightsabres.


    But your insistence on 'scientific' explanations is ironic in light the fact that one of Lucas's main themes in SW is people's dependence on science and technology ...


    Let go, Luke.

    Use the Force.
  17. J-Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 1999
    star 4
    Interesting theory, but of course we know from AOTC making off that it was Sam Jackson who asked Lucas for a purple lightsaber. Lucas's explanation was simply "bad guys have red sabers, good guys have green or blue ones".

    As for Jackson's reasons, I thing there might be some racial thing there? Can anyone confirm that? (and please, I mean no prejudice or disrespect. It's just a theory of mine)
  18. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    I realise that SLJ wanted the purple sabre, but Lucas still had the final say. Would Lucas have said yes if SLJ wanted a yellow one?

    Jung might argue that it was synchronicity that SLJ asked for purple.

    It's also possible that Lucas discussed the colour symbolism with SLJ* and that's why SLJ wanted a purple one.



    * SLJ is a confessed SW fanatic - it's reasonable to think that when it came time to choose his lightsabre, he discussed the colours and their significance with Lucas.
  19. mrslush50 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 4
    "SLJ is a confessed SW fanatic - it's reasonable to think that when it came time to choose his lightsabre, he discussed the colours and their significance with Lucas."


    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] funniest statment ever. that's not reasonable at all. it'd be more like this:

    SLJ: Hey Lucas, make my motha' ****in' saber purple!

    GL: Yes sir mister Jackson! Just please don't hurt me.
  20. J-Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 1999
    star 4
    Hehehehe.... :)

    But I think it happened just the way we've seen in the behind the scenes of AOTC.
  21. mrslush50 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 4
    yeah sure but it wasn't like Sam Jackson and George Lucas were discusing the sybolism behind lightsaber colors. They just thought it would be cool to give the badest mo' fo' in the galaxy a unique lightsaber color.
  22. lorn_zahl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2002
    star 4
    I wish there was a white lightsaber in the mix. That would be even cooler.


    Blue, Green, Purple and White

    all good with me!
  23. TheOzhaggis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5

    Why wouldn't they discuss the reasons for the lightsaber colours?

    We're discussing it with each other.
    If you had a chance, wouldn't you discuss it with Lucas? SLJ is as much of a fan, if not more, than any of us.

    It's not reasonable to think that at some point SLJ asked, "So why only Green, blue and red?"

    (And no, maybe not in those exact words...)
  24. spring_warm Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2003
    star 2
    I thought green was like The Living Force, and blue was the passive force
  25. mrslush50 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2003
    star 4
    "We're discussing it with each other."

    Yeah but see that's my point. It?s not really worth discussing. George has said, "Bad guys have red, good guys have green and blue." And Mace has purple because he and Sam Jackson thought that since Mace was the best swordsman of all the Jedi he should have something unique. That's it. No more. There's nothing else to discuss. There's no deep meaning behind the colors. Except where our own, preconditioning comes into play. George didn't make Darth Vader's suit black because Darth Vader would want a black suit. He did it because, being the above average story teller that he is, he understands that a black suit would make him more of a threat, more scary, and instantly recognizable as the "bad guy" to us, the viewers. The same goes for the lightsaber colors. Red is associated with evil. Whether for biological reasons (blood) political reasons (communism) or something else that has been programmed into us. It has nothing to do with the thinking of the Jedi (who, as we all must be reminded sometimes) are fictional characters, and everything to do with us (real, movie going people), and how we perceive colors.
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