Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives. He also has a martial arts background.
All I cared about when I was young is when it looks cool, it is good enough for me; who cares if it’s functional or not. Being accustomed to animes and cartoons, I don’t really care if the heroes swing ridiculous and oversized contraptions they call as weapons. That’s why I held my tongue when I first saw Lightsabers in Star Wars series. I mean look at those blades, they are the coolest thing I ever seen! They blaze in luminous green, blue, purple, red, you name it. Now I know why these movie props are iconic. Seeing people duel with those hand held lights is never been so beautiful.
But I grew up.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Star Wars series. But getting old means the way I look at it had changed a lot. Aesthetics still matters but I want solid and memorable stories, not something from a morning cartoon. And then I learned to handle real life tools, played with pocket knives and even do weapons based martial arts. More than once I got injured by my own stuffs. And then it hits me; I wonder if Jedis and Siths do hurt themselves sometimes? And if they do, what damage it does to them? More importantly are Lightsabers dangerous to use? Some articles in the internet claim they are, but how sure are they? Turns out I knew the answer all along.
Lightsabers Must Not Be Taken Lightly
As a weapon, Lightsabers are frightening indeed. As Obi Wan once said; it’s an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. Yet there is no denying that Lightsabers are efficient cutting and stabbing tools. In the real world you need a certain blacksmithing skills to come up with light and strong swords. To maximize cutting, a skilled swordsman must observe proper form, not to mention proper body conditioning. In the case of a Lightsabers, no needs to mess with heavy blades that will go dull and corrode. A beam of light is all you need to carve your enemy to pieces. And without the mass of blades slowing you down, you got a light weapon that could go fast. We might also mention how these things are concealable, as switching it off meant you are left with a handle. But as any experienced swordsman will tell you, you must be cautious when handling sharp blades. And the fact that Lightsabers cut well, and lacks certain safety features meant that it could endanger the user as well as the enemy.
Lightsabers Lack Hand Protections.
I realized this when I first handled knives, weld metals and watched my folks use blow torches. To protect the user, folding knives need to have an ergonomic handle, jimpings and finger guards. Fixed blade knives even had a full guard. I also notice how welding tools are designed to keep the white hot rod as far away from the hand. The same can be said to a blowtorch. I mentioned this because Lightsabers neither have a hand guard nor a long handle. The hands are too near to the blazing blades and what would happen if your grip slips and went straight to the beam blades? There are no guards protecting your hands, and a guard could be handy when your opponent went to your wrist. No wonder why hand lost was common among Lightsaber users. And Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber is not helping either. Yes it got a cross guard that don’t guard at all. A simple twitch and you got a puncture wound. Lastly real life welders wear safety gloves. Yes I saw some Jedis and Siths sporting gloves, but Luke Skywalker was caught not wearing one.
It Has Edges Everywhere
Sword fighting moves are made to keep the deadly edge from the user, and real life swords only have one or two edges. The problem with Lightsabers is that it had too many live edges. Virtually every surface is a cutting edge, which increases the chance of you getting mutilated in a slightest mistake. Now try swinging a live chainsaw or a heated machete. Scared? Then you should not use a Lightsaber.
Lacks a Trigger/Switch Safety
Gun owners everywhere you know what I mean. A trigger safety switch is what keeps your gun from shooting your groin as you keep it tucked to your pants. Well the safe way to keep a firearm is in a holster, but a manual trigger safety always comes in handy to keep it from accidental discharge. Right now I’m yet to see a Lightsaber with such feature. Jedis and Siths keep their weapons in their belts and who knows what will happen if it went unexpectedly. And yes, I saw General Grievous tuck his Lightsabers in his cloack, but then again he is a cyborg so who cares.
Did I mention how people working with blowtorches need to protect their eyes? I once handled welding machines during college. It was my first and last time but welding mask is mandatory. Some of our experienced folks described the irritation they got from welding without dark glasses. They came home feeling like there was sand in their eyes, and their peepers look red and tired. That’s because blowtorches and welding rods emit lights way above what our eyes can handle. In the case of Lightsabers, any beam that intense could surely hurt the user’s eyes. And it gets more intense when the beams clashes. Now to make it simple try shining a 100 lumen tactical lights to your eyes so you will get what I mean.
As a Conclusion
I don’t have any qualms about Lightsabers. As a favourite movie weapon it deserves more praise, as long as it remains a movie weapon. It is meant to impress and was never been practical in real life. But who knows? The Jedis and Siths must have an undefined technology that made those stuffs safe to use. Or the Force has a way of protecting them. Actually that’s the only plausible reasons I could come up on why they are yet to dismember themselves. But whether Lighsabers are practical or not, who cares! Deep inside I still want one in real life.
Mamerto Adan (author) from Cabuyao on February 04, 2018:
Same here. They could be unwieldy but I still want one :)
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 04, 2018:
I'd love a lightsaber in real life. There's a few people I would love to zap.