The question Can lightsabers be ochre? has a very comprehensive answer covering all possible lightsaber colours in both canon and Legends. For this reason, other lightsaber-colour questions such as Can lightsabers be periwinkle? and Has there ever been a black lightsaber? have been closed as duplicates of it, even though the questions themselves are all quite different from each other.

This has led to understandable confusion from some users:

  • Periwinkle is a different color than Ochre, incidentally. Periwinkle= sRGBB-204, 204, 255. Ochre= sRGBB-204, 119, 34. For anyone with enough time on their hands to identify (non) duplicate questions on a science fiction and fantasy website, I'd think that research would have been done.

    -- "periwinkle" OP

  • Nominating for re-opening because the linked question is not the same, although the accepted answer on it does answer this.

    -- FuzzyBoots, comment on "black" question

I can see why it makes sense to have the other questions closed as duplicates of one with a complete list, but it also looks weird to have "Can lightsabers be periwinkle?" marked as a duplicate of "Can lightsabers be ochre?" I propose the following solution.

Should we edit the dupe-target to ask "What colour can lightsabers be?"?

Pros: we get a nice 'canonical' lightsaber-colour question to match the canonical lightsaber-colour answer; and the duplication would become more clearly correct.

Cons: we'd be changing the question without permission from the OP (who hasn't been seen on the site for 3 years) - although of course their original question would still be there and be answered.

  • 2
    Sure, why not - I don't see that con as gamebreaking (the only other option I would see would be to deliberately create a separate question to serve as a reference and duplicate all the info - meh)
    – Radhil
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:26
  • 1
    Standard comment on how "once you post the content is the site's/community's". go ahead and edit it
    – Skooba
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:41
  • I think we should leave is as it is. The duplicate target addresses all possible colours (as you claim). It's essentially the same logic by which we close story-IDs as duplicates. Jul 14, 2017 at 20:35
  • @Gallifreyan We have a very clear policy on closing story-IDs as dupes; our policy for this kind of situation is less clear. And like I said, policy or no, it's definitely confusing to see "periwinkle" closed as a dupe of "ochre".
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:37
  • @Valorum Using American spelling? I'm disappointed in you :-)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Jul 15, 2017 at 18:44
  • 3
    @Randal'Thor - As much as it pains me, that's the correct spelling (for this item).
    – Valorum
    Jul 15, 2017 at 18:47
  • 2
    @Randal'Thor Since it was an American work... I think American spelling is appropriate.
    – Skooba
    Jul 15, 2017 at 18:52
  • @Randal'Thor - You fixed it wrong :-P
    – Valorum
    Jul 15, 2017 at 18:53

3 Answers 3


Edit it.

The pros of having a sensible question and answer that already is and may likely be in the future the target for Duplicate Votes to Close far out weigh the "cons".

You say that we will be editing the post without OP permission, but this happens all the time (if not most of the time when you think about it). It is well establish network wide policy that once something is posted, the content becomes the property of the site. If the community feels that the post is made better by edits, the edits stay.

  • Edits have been made, and the title is now changed. Not sure whether it's worth editing the body of the question as well.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Aug 6, 2017 at 22:24

Assuming the answer to the "ochre" question is indeed as broad as you claim it is, I see no harm in leaving its question as it is now.

I was under the impression that the people who use this site are supposed to read past the title of the question. While this is sadly not the case sometimes, it doesn't mean we should suit people who cannot be bothered to read a post in its entirety, including the body of the question and the answer.

If a question gets closed as a duplicate, it's the responsibility of the asker to go and read the answers on the duplicate target. In this case when they've done so, they shouldn't be any confusion or disagreement about the closure.

  • It's an overly narrow question with an overly broad answer. Normally that's not any kind of bad thing, but there can be exceptions. I get that readers have to have their reading comprehension in order, but this is a pretty understandable source of confusion, somewhat simple to correct (regardless of which method is picked), and we also have some responsibility to moderate and keep the site going smooth.
    – Radhil
    Jul 14, 2017 at 23:21
  • Why don't you just say we should edit it? it makes no difference.
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 14, 2017 at 23:35


Both question and answer are from 2012 (and the 2016 edit is now incorrect). We should establish a new Q&A to be the dup-target so that we don't have to edit both question and answer to bring it up to date with current star wars canon. We can then mark this question as a dup of the new one.

  • Why would we create duplicate content?
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:45
  • 2
    Because the old one is out of date and editing 5 year old content seems less productive than starting over with a correct answer.
    – amflare
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:47
  • Thats not how we've ever done things?
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:53
  • I've seen it done on SO when content gets out of date. I don't think it would be such a bad idea for SFF.
    – amflare
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:55
  • It is a bad idea. We should not be replicating info. We should be updating old content.
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 14, 2017 at 19:56
  • 1
    It's not replication if it's different. If someone posts an incorrect answer we do not edit it for them, we write a new answer with the correct information. There is nothing sacrosanct about an old post.
    – amflare
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:00
  • 2
    For the record, if we did create a new canonical question, I or another mod could merge the existing answer across to there rather than someone having to copy-paste it, so we wouldn't strictly be duplicating content.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:06
  • What is going to be different, some slightly updated content?
    – Edlothiad
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:17
  • The whole concept of lightsaber colors has been overhauled by Disney. It has nothing to do with the kyber crystal anymore.
    – amflare
    Jul 14, 2017 at 20:18
  • If the existing answer is out of date, the proper course of action is to write a new answer, or update the existing one, not open an entirely new question.
    – phantom42
    Jul 15, 2017 at 19:54
  • SO works differently: This question is conceptual or factual; most SO questions are contingent on problems arising from dealing with temporally–situated permutations of codebases. Jul 17, 2017 at 2:13
  • Editing to add something is fine. Removing information that is still correct, or was at one point, unto its own canonicity (i.e., Legends, which will always be correct IMO) is a determent to posterity. A STEM site should toss anything that was ever wrong, but being the new owner of a copyright on a work of fiction doesn't let you pervert my childhood memories. I shouldn't have to use TWBM to find what I think (still) is the correct answer.
    – Mazura
    Jul 23, 2017 at 2:55

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