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"Corrupt the kyber crystal. Teach it your pain. Teach it your anger. Hear it sing a hymn of darkness. Make it bleed."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[src]

Bleeding was the process that a dark side adept used by way of the Force to bend a kyber crystal to their will. Any kyber crystal could be bled by a Force user, including one's own (for example, if they were a former light side practitioner and kept their lightsaber). However, some Sith believed that the proper method was to take a kyber crystal from a Jedi's lightsaber and bleed it.[5]

The process was accomplished by the individual pouring rage, hate, fear and pain into the crystal via the Force until the crystal changed, resulting in the crimson-bladed lightsabers associated almost exclusively with dark side adepts. Since kyber crystals were inherently aligned with the light side of the Force, they usually attempted to resist the forced corruption; when Darth Vader first attempted to bleed the green crystal within Jedi Master Kirak Infil'a's lightsaber, he experienced intense light side Force visions which nearly drove him insane.[2] Vader later traveled to Galen Erso's Office on Coruscant, where he found a stash of kyber crystals left behind by Galen Walton Erso, and bled them.[6]

It was possible to "heal" the effects of bleeding on a kyber crystal by using the light side of the Force, thus changing the crystal's color again.[7] Ahsoka Tano performed this on the Sixth Brother's lightsaber during an encounter with him, and in this case turning the crystals white.[1]

HistoryEdit

Imperial EraEdit

VaderProfundity

In accordance with Sith tradition, Darth Vader bled his kyber crystal, causing his lightsaber to produce a crimson blade.

Shortly after the formation of the Galactic Empire, Dark Lord of the Sith and Galactic Emperor Darth Sidious explained the bleeding process to his Sith apprentice Darth Vader. Having lost his Jedi weapon on Mustafar, Vader was in need of a new lightsaber. Sidious tasked his apprentice with tracking down and killing a member of the Jedi Order, as Sith tradition dictated that the kyber crystal of a Sith lightsaber must be taken from a Jedi they killed.[8] Vader, having accepted his mission, was able to locate Jedi Master Kirak Infil'a on the river moon of Al'doleem. After killing Infil'a, Vader took his lightsaber with him when he departed.[2]

On his master's orders, Vader travelled to Mustafar, where he had recently suffered his greatest defeat. Sidious wanted the Sith Lord to bleed Master Infil'a's crystal on the surface of the planet. Upon reaching the planet's surface, Vader entered a cave that was strong with the dark side. He proceeded to dismantle Infil'a's lightsaber and place the master's kyber crystal on a rock.[2]

Using the Force, Vader began subjecting the crystal to the bleeding technique. However, the crystal resisted, subjecting Vader to Force visions of what his life could be if he chose to abandon the dark. In a vision, Vader returned to the light side of the Force and killed his Sith Master, before returning to his Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and begging for forgiveness.[2]

Vader, having been thrown against the wall of the cave by the living crystal, returned to his feet and refused to give in. Grasping the crystal with both hands, Vader unrelentingly subjected the crystal to his pain and regret. Lord Vader screamed as the cave erupted in a stream of Force energy. Eventually, the crystal's will was finally shattered by the dark lord, who subsequently returned to Coruscant and presented his efforts to his master.[2]

New Republic EraEdit

KyloBleedsHisCrystal

The power of the dark side flowed through the Skywalker heir, Ben Solo, as he bled his kyber crystal.

In 28 ABY,[9] proceeding a skirmish on the Minemoon of Mimban, the fallen Jedi and newly-minted Master of the Knights of Ren Ben Solo was travelling in realspace aboard the Night Buzzard. Having recently been seduced by the dark side of the Force, Solo removed his Jedi kyber crystal from his former Jedi weapon. Firmly grasping the crystal in his left hand, Ben began pouring all of his frustration and hatred towards his family legacy into the kyber.[4]

The Knights of Ren watched in awe as the Night Buzzard was engulfed in charges of dark energy. Remembering the faces of his former loved ones, Ben screamed as the crystal burst into a torrent of fiery energy. Although the crystal had been corrupted, turning a red-yellow hue, it had cracked in the process. Solo placed the crystal in his old lightsaber and activated it, however, due to the crack in the crystal the weapon was unstable and subsequently short-circuited. In order to counteract the instability of the crystal, Solo modified his lightsaber, making it into a crossguard lightsaber.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

Bleeding was first mentioned in the 2016 novel Ahsoka, written by E. K. Johnston.[1] Bleeding first appeared in Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 5, which was authored by Charles Soule, penciled by Giuseppe Camuncoli,[2] and released on September 6, 2017.[10]

In Star Wars Legends, Jaden Korr changed a red synthetic lightsaber crystal into a yellow one; the process was called cleansing.[11]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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