Star Wars Princess Leia (Blue Lightsaber)
Expanded Universe, 1998
In 1998, Kenner released a wave of toys that would go beyond what was seen in the theatrical movie releases. Vehicles and action figures were developed based on conceptual design art and memorable characters from Star Wars Dark Horse comics, Bantam novels, and LucasArts video games.
The "Expanded Universe" figure release included a Princess Leia action figure from the Dark Horse comic series "Dark Empire". The action figure was originally planned to include a blue lightsaber, in which is found with known first shot examples and made it as far along as engineering pilots in the pre-production process. However, the lightsaber color was changed to red prior to final production.
Leia's lightsaber sculpt was also used for Luke Skywalker and the Clone Emperor in this same series. Luke's lightsaber included a red blade and the Clone Emperor's lightsaber included a blue blade and both lightsabers included black painted hilts.
While it is unclear why Kenner made this last-minute lightsaber color change, Princess Leia only appeared with blue lightsabers throughout the Dark Empire comic series. One was destroyed by the Emperor himself.
Another point to mention is the while the Clone Emperor figure in this series included a blue lightsaber, he only wielded a red lightsaber in the comic series. So it can be speculated that Kenner changed Leia's lightsaber color to somewhat correct a mishap with the packaging of the Clone Emperor and allow consumers to properly exchange these lightsabers after opening.