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Swinging a lightsaber


Warplane

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A brown cloaked man and a black robed man stare at each other across the room, a brilliant ray of light materializes in their hands, they charge at each other. Mighty sweeps and slashes as they heft the immense and crushing weight of the- oh yeah...

 

As cool as it looks, the light saber dueling in star wars doesn't really make sense. The thing probably weighs as much as a cell phone, and any contact at all with the glowey bit would critically wound you. Weight and force (As in physics, not the jedi kind.) would be non-issues in a fight, the only thing you would have to worry about is landing a hit, so all the swinging and swiping that would be helpful for a real sword -one with mass to it- is just wasted on a lightsaber.

 

I imagine a real duel would look something like fencing, thoughts?

Edited by Warplane
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In directing ANH, Lucas apparently told the actors they should act like the sword was heavy. Whether that was because the handle is made of some super-dense materials that make it weighty, or he imagined the activated beam would create some sort of downward thrust, or whatever, the seeming weight of the thing is pretty consistent across all depictions of the weapon.

 

There is also clearly some benefit to the impact. For one, swinging would increase the force against another 'blade', making a strike less likely to be parried, or a parry more likely to deflect a blow. For another, the blade clearly has some sort of resistance to passing through objects, and additional kinetic force would be required to turn a surface burn into a more severe strike. Luke's glancing blows to Vader's armored shoulders clearly depict the ineffectual nature of a glancing blow... sizzle, but no cut.

Edited by Lodril
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Hello,

It's always been my belief that the reasons that the Lightsabers were supposed to look 'heavy' when being used is because the original description of the 'sabers was that the blade was spinning along it's long axis, and the gyroscopic (sp?) effect of this made them hard to handle-the blade was always on the edge of being spun out of the weilders hands.

 

I'm not 100% sure where I read/heard that, tbh, but it always stuck in my mind as being a bit suspect. *Shrug*

 

:)

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Something to note with swords is that velocity is a very important property of a strike. It would be necessary to have enough of a swing to allow velocity to build up.

 

However, with a lightsaber even this would be unnecessary since it's emitting a beam of some sort, thus velocity would make no difference.

Edited by ZoeTuah
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However, with a lightsaber even this would be unnecessary since it's emitting a beam of some sort, thus velocity would make no difference.

 

Except for all the times velocity and kinetic pressure has been clearly shown to matter. For example:

1) Sabers clashing against each other. If they can impact each other, and the defender doesn't swing as hard as the attacked, he'll end up cutting himself with his own blade.

2) Glancing blows that burn but do not cut through (Vader's shoulders, the walls in Naboo and Mustafar, among many other examples). If the beam cut through without kinetic pressure, Vader would have lost his arm at the shoulder before he could cut off Luke's hand.

3) The blast door in the opening action of Phantom Menace, where to cut through the saber must be pushed slowly through the door, then, and apparently with great effort, manually pushed around to penetrate and cut through the thick metal. If pressure did not matter, Qui-Gon would just be standing there whistling Dixie while he waited, rather than leaning in towards the saber and appearing to put so much effort into cutting through the door.

 

By most impressions from the films, it's like a hot knife... it will cut through many things much more easily, and burn as it does, but it does not simply snicker-snack and let the Jedi go galumphing back.

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