So About That New Lightsaber…
(Featured Photo: CinemaBlend)
The new ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer has been making waves across cyberspace over the last few days, and no topic has been as hotly debated as that of the new lightsaber. Whether you love it or hate it, the new design is certainly interesting and may serve more of a purpose than had initially been suggested.
If, in fact, you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days and haven’t seen the trailer, do yourself a favor and take 88 seconds out of your life to watch it IMMEDIATELY. The geek in me got so giddy the first time I saw it that I started acting like a stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking Nerfherder. And I mean that in the most Han-Soloy-way possible.
Okay, now that you’ve seen the trailer, you will no doubt have been intrigued, excited, confused or down right upset after having seen the newest addition to the Star Wars universe; the cross hilted Lightsaber. A cloaked and shadowy figure (presumably the rumored villain played by Girls’ Adam Driver) trudges through the snow in a moonlit forest as the dark and gravelly voice of Andy Serkis sends chills up your spine. Then, the familiar flash of Sith-powered crimson illuminates the screen, and– Wait. What’s this? Two smaller blades shoot out horizontally from the hilt before we’re taken on a Millennium Falcon roller coaster ride. What the hell was that? Don’t worry, there’s a fairly solid chance you’ll watch the trailer again. And again. And again. And queue the internet loosing their minds.
Before breaking this down even further, lets examine what purpose a crossbar can serve, whether it’s made from lasers or metal. Now, I’m no expert on weaponry of any kind, but it’s fairly simple to understand that a crossbar’s purpose is to protect from an enemy’s blade sliding down the hilt and severing off your hand. While this makes perfect sense with a metal handle, many have argued that one made from the blade of a lightsaber is going to hinder you more than it will protect you. While this may be true, the keyboard warriors around the globe simply cannot allow one scenario to dictate the debate, hence we have this.
Regardless of whether or not the design is practical is, of course, besides the point. Star Wars isn’t real, and as much as it pains the nerd in me to say it, neither are swords made out of light. What we can say for sure though, is that this new design is visually stimulating, it opens the doors to the possibility of new kinds of sabers (remember how excited we all were when Darth Maul busted out that dual bladed weapon fifteen years ago?) and it’s highly efficient in the sense that, while it leads to speculation, it really needs no explanation. Basically, it looked badass. Of course, that didn’t stop the internet from creating as many of their own versions as possible. I give you, the Multi-Saber!
(Photo: Brian Altano)
The Super Multi-Saber!
And the Swiss-Saber!
While there are many interesting (and mostly funny) fan made designs floating around that you can find with a few quick searches, these images above don’t even scratch the surface. And, while most of these are ridiculous, and almost certainly made by the unimpressed and critical, there are those few that have peaked my interest. For example, here is one fan’s idea as to how to counter those claims made that the new crossbar won’t work properly.
Even if this next representation seems completely impractical (you know, like a race of God-like warriors defending an entire galaxy with laser beams and telekinesis) it is without a doubt my favorite blueprint, seemingly bridging the gap between Star Wars and Game of Thrones.
While this is all well and good, chances are that no amount of internet badgering are going to change the mind of Mr. JJ Abrams; and that’s fine, because what is really significant isn’t how the hilt looks, but how the blade looks, not to mention how it sounds. The first thing you’ll notice (after the crossbar of course) is the fact that the iconic whir sound most lightsabers make has been replaced with what sounds like sparks jumping between wires that aren’t quite touching. This is mirrored by the visual; a blade that isn’t smooth like those sabers of the past, but broken, flame-like and sparking. The design of the hilt, coupled with the title of the film, and the look and sound of the blade, can lead us to speculate that this “Awakening” must be that of the Sith, who are supposed to have become extinct with the passing of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. It would seem that this “Awakened” Sith Lord (again, possibly Adam Driver) didn’t simply find this new lightsaber, but made it himself.
As we all know, Sith Lords, like Jedi Knights, are trained by a mentor over the course of decades. These masters teach them how to control the force, not to mention construct their blades. This new villain clearly has no master, no formal training of any kind, and, frighteningly enough, no sense of self control. That is a scary thought: a powerful and untrained maniacal Sith Lord with about as much ability to control his savagely violent nature as an infant rattlesnake knows how much venom to release in a single bite. If the lightsaber is a katana sword, crafted with the precision and expertise of a thousand light-smiths before it, than this new blade is a broadsword, a claymore with the shoddy technique of a barbarian wielded solely for the purpose of brutal and bloody violence. If the Jedi Knights of the world are elegant and fierce, showcasing swordsmanship that is as beautiful as any martial art, than the Sith are the brutal and violent, savagely tearing through the galaxy with the force of blitzkrieg, destroying everything in their path. This new saber, nay, this new villain, look to be continuing the trend of embodying the ultimate evil, and fighting its never ending battle with the forces of good. The Dark Side… and the Light!