Star Wars: George Lucas explains the meaning of colors in the saga

How to interpret the different colors displayed by the characters of the “Star Wars” saga? In the audio commentary for “Return of the Jedi”, George Lucas sheds light on this.

A red lightsaber for Darth Vader. A green blade for Luke Skywalker. Pale skin and a black cloak for Emperor Palpatine. Green and brown uniforms for the soldiers of the Rebel Alliance …

In the distant galaxy, very distant from George Lucas, no detail seems to have been left to chance, and the visual universe built over the episodes by the father of the Star Wars saga is particularly rich in symbols.

Indeed, as the filmmaker explains in detail in the audio commentary of Return of the Jedi, the colors displayed by the different characters in the films are far from trivial. They allow you to explore their inner journey, their psychology, and especially to determine the camp to which they belong.

“Color plays an extremely important role in all of these films”, explains Lucas. “You know, red means evil – red blood, red devil. Red is the color that emphasizes bad guys. Bad guys mostly exist in a black and white world. Good people live in an organic world. which is either in the chestnuts – light browns, fawns – or in the greens, with the blue sky, etc. “

Star wars: george lucas explains the meaning of colors in the saga

Lucasfilm Ltd.

The contrast of which George Lucas speaks here is obviously confirmed in the colors of the lightsabers wielded by the characters (red for the Sith, green or blue for the Jedi), but not only.

Indeed, when we dwell a little on the question, we easily find this opposition between color and the absence of color everywhere in the saga, even in the clothing of the characters, and even the places in which they evolve.

“The good guys are green and brown, the bad guys are black and white. This is mostly related to this philosophical feeling of a world of absolutes.”, confirms Lucas. “A mechanical world where things are rigid and absolute. They are black and white, in opposition to an organic world, where everything is more natural.”

Star wars: george lucas explains the meaning of colors in the saga

Lucasfilm Ltd.

By evoking this dichotomy between black and white and organic colors, George lucas sketches in reality one of the main themes of his famous saga: a fight between good and evil, which often takes the form of a fight between nature and industry.

Indeed, in Star Wars, it is common (not to say systematic) to witness great battles between rather rustic or primitive peoples (Ewoks, Wookies or Gungans) and armies of droids or clones dressed of white armor.

From the original trilogy, we can see that the Rebels find refuge in wild or green environments such as the jungles of Yavin IV or the forest of Endor, while the troops of the Empire lodge in the dark bowels of a star. artificial.

Star wars: george lucas explains the meaning of colors in the saga

Lucasfilm Ltd.

To put it another way, George Lucas seems to see the good as something plural, alive, colorful. As for evil, he perceives it rather as a binary entity, black and white, mechanical, and radical.

“If you are not with me then you are against me”, Anakin thus declares to Obi-Wan, when he goes to the Dark Side in episode III of the prelogy. And his former master to answer him immediately: “Only the Sith are so absolute.”

(Re) discover our special Luke Skywalker video …

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