A Synthetic lightsaber crystal, commonly referred to as a Synth-crystal, is a type of lightsaber crystal that is artificially created, rather than naturally formed by geological processes. Due to the methods used in their creation, they often formed with a red coloration, though they could be made with any color through special manipulations of either the creation process or the crystal itself, often through the Force, such as the green synth-crystal.
Though synthetic crystals were ordinarily unsuitable for use in lightsabers, the Sith discovered that they could create synth-crystals that are energized, magnetized, and modified with the power of the dark side of the Force in special furnaces, causing the crystal to glow in harmonic vibration. As a result of their artificial origins, synthetic crystals created more powerful lightsaber blades and could be more easily augmented. Also, their common usage by Sith and other Darksiders after this discovery caused synthetic crystals to become something of a staple among such groups, and their use among Jedi was strongly discouraged. Most synthetic crystals are red, a result of the forging process, and oftentimes the initiate's intentional manipulations, as most individuals who utilized synthetic crystals were Darksiders. The red-hued lightsaber blades generated by such crystals were often nicknamed "bloodshine blades". The crystal's ability to change to reflect the intentions of the creator could be said to foster a stronger bond between the resulting lightsaber and the wielder. However, synth-crystals could be made in any color, requiring only slight adjustments of the creation process and special manipulations through the Force during the forging.
Synthetic lightsaber crystals are manufactured within a machine known as a geological compressor. The original purpose of the compressor is to replicate geological conditions on distant worlds in a laboratory setting, and it is easily adapted for creating synth-crystals; simply replicating the geological processes that create crystals. The raw materials that the crystal is fashioned from are easily accessible, simply being minerals with a high carbon concentration. The raw minerals would be placed within the machine and essentially left to bake for a period ranging from twenty-four hours to four days, during which time, the initiate creating the crystal would meditate on it with the Force, guiding the formation and increasing the potency. This level of control over the formation process allowed initiates to create crystals that best suited their needs.
In addition to the numerous colors synthetic crystals could be fabricated in, there were also variations in the crystals themselves that affected how they focused lightsabers blades.
A standard synthetic crystal is created through the successful replication of the geological structure of natural crystals. Standard crystals set the baseline for synthetic crystals in general; they generated a more powerful lightsaber blade than natural crystals, and often demonstrated a red coloration, though that is easily controlled. In fact, synth-crystal blades are so powerful that they have the rare potential to "break the blade" of standard lightsabers by overloading the energy matrix and instantly burning out the other lightsaber. Though this happened extremely rarely, it is a known and frightening possibility in combat. However, synth-crystal generated lightsaber blades are in general less maneuverable than the blades generated by natural crystals, and are generally more unstable.
Compressed synth-crystals are a result of a failure to accurately replicate the natural geological process that formed crystals. The result is a crystal that is far more compressed than natural crystals, causing the blade generated to be considerably thinner than standard blades. However, a byproduct of this thinner blade is that it allowed for greater precision and control. In addition to a thinner blade, the other visual indicators for a blade generated by a compressed synth-crystal are oscillations of energy that rapidly ran along the length of the blade at regular intervals.
Like compressed crystals, unstable crystals are the result of the initiate failing to accurately replicate the natural formation processes of crystals. The blades generated by unstable crystals are obviously more unstable than the norm, causing the blades generated to crackle with energy at erratic intervals, sometimes causing sparks to fly or streaks of electrical energy to run along the length. Due to the energy sparking from the blade, unstable synth-crystals caused more damage than normal when they hit enemies. However, they are much more prone to shorting out, causing the lightsaber to deactivate for a time.