After I was a child, lightsabers weren’t simply the good fictional weapon within the galaxy, they had been additionally essentially the most feared. Amongst all the nice concepts George Lucas dreamed up when he created the unique Star Wars, a sword with a blade made out of pure power that would minimize by way of something (and that additionally is available in quite a lot of cool colours) was essentially the most good. Lightsabers had been superior — a sci-fi replace of the samurai swords Lucas was most likely obsessive about when he was a child. And identical to these razor-sharp samurai swords, a lightsaber wasn’t one thing you wished to fiddle with or end up on the receiving finish of. You speak smack to a dude packing a lightsaber at your native watering gap, and you are going to lose, at minimal, one in every of your arms. Easy as that. Like Ben Kenobi stated, lightsabers had been a chic weapon for a extra civilized age … however they’d additionally strike your ass down in a rush.
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Minimize to four-plus a long time later, and lightsabers have been neutered because the style’s weapon of selection when you have to settle issues with some sense of finality. It most likely began with Darth Maul. Really, it most likely began with Marvel’s Star Wars comedian books or another prolonged universe nonsense, however I am not about to rely that or hassle to do any analysis into it. What I can inform you is that, in The Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) makes use of a lightsaber to slice Palpatine’s closely tattooed apprentice clear in half. But, one way or the other Maul survived, bought himself some robotic legs, and lived to combat one other day, ultimately returning in each The Clone Wars and Rebels animated sequence and later, Solo. On the time, all of us simply let it go as a result of Maul was the one cool factor to return out of The Phantom Menace, and we knew that Lucas by no means ought to have killed him off within the first place. So we gave it a move. It was good to have Maul again. By no means thoughts that we noticed that man’s torso get separated from his decrease extremities.
Picture by way of Lucasfilm
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Right this moment, although, issues are fully uncontrolled on this entrance. In Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Pal) will get double-crossed by Reva, the Third Sister (Moses Ingram), and stabbed by way of the stomach by her neato double-bladed purple saber. It is mainly the identical killing blow Maul himself dealt to Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) in The Phantom Menace. However whereas Qui-Gon has been relegated to Drive ghost standing, the Grand Inquisitor survived to proceed looking Jedi all through the galaxy. Only a few episodes later, Darth Vader himself — the bloke who will use his thoughts to Drive-strangle Imperial officers who made the horrible mistake of mildly annoying him — additionally makes use of his lightsaber to stab Reva by way of her stomach. And also you’re by no means going to consider this, however she survives as nicely. Actually, Lucasfilm? Stabs within the intestine by a blade made out of deadly plasma, and so they each get to simply stroll away? How precisely does one name shenanigans in a galaxy far, far-off? As a result of one thing right here stinks worse than the within of a Tauntaun.
Truthfully, issues have been trending within the improper course so far as respecting lightsabers goes for some time now. Do you bear in mind how lightsaber coaching was carried out within the authentic trilogy? I am going to inform you how — by your self with a innocent coaching droid. In The Empire Strikes Again, you do not see Yoda whipping out his little inexperienced lightsaber to problem Luke to a apply spherical. And the rationale you do not is as a result of (a) Yoda is aware of that being a Jedi is about deeper shit than simply wielding a laser sword and (b) he additionally understands that training lightsaber methods in opposition to a dwelling opponent might be going to lead to any person unintentionally shedding a hand or, even worse, a head.
Picture by way of DIsney+
But, 39 years later, in The Rise of Skywalker, we’ve got a flashback to a interval shortly after Return of the Jedi the place Luke and Leia are out the woods simply whaling on one another with their sabers throughout coaching. Appears fairly ill-advised and harmful to me, however I simply wrote it off as one other instance of J.J. Abrams taking part in quick and free with the mythology. (Do not even get me began on light-speed skipping.) However now we’ve got Obi-Wan Kenobi providing an identical flashback, the place a youthful and fewer genocide-y Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) faces off in opposition to his grasp in a reasonably aggressive-looking apply duel. Once more, how is that this secure? Do lightsabers have some sort of non-lethal apply mode? Really, do not inform me. Some Star Wars e book written in 2004 most likely says that they do. However that does not rely, and I do not need to hear about it.
Lightsabers want to return to getting used for what they do finest — chopping off limbs and heads and completely ending the lives of anybody who takes one throughout the waist, by way of the intestine, or anyplace else that appears prefer it ought to be deadly. And do not attempt to win a Star Wars No-Prize by insisting that the blade cauterizes the wound, thus vastly rising the possibility of survival. Ask Qui-Gon’s Drive ghost if his wound bought cauterized. When Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) exhibits up at outdated Ben’s hovel in A New Hope, Ben offers him Anakin’s lightsaber and tells him plainly, “Your father wished you to have this whenever you had been sufficiently old, however your uncle would not permit it.” There is a good motive for that, and it is not simply because Uncle Owen did not need Luke getting caught up in a bunch of loopy Jedi adventures. He additionally knew lightsabers weren’t a baby’s toy. These issues are friggin’ harmful. They’re designed to disintegrate battle droids, mow by way of Stormtroopers, and minimize off the heads of despicable Sith Lords. They don’t seem to be designed to softly wound an adversary or to spar along with your Jedi buddy throughout some pleasant coaching. It is time for Lucasfilm to show lightsabers again into the precision devices of demise they had been at all times designed to be.