The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, June 03, 2002

Star Wars Geeking

Major geekage.

Rob and I got into a conversation about the Force and light sabers. I don't remember exactly how we ended up on a Star Wars conversation, but we did.

What can I say? We're both geeks.

I remarked that in all the films so far, we haven't really seen light sabers used to their full potential. Almost in The Phantom Menace, with Darth Maul's double-ended light saber, but I felt he didn't use them to full effect; what he should have done was light only one end to fight Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and when the opportunity presented itself, snap on the other end and sweep across in a surprise attack. Rob said that doing such a maneouver would be very dangerous and very hard to do if the power switch wasn't right there for Maul to ignite the blade. Or even if the switch was turned on at the wrong moment (“Ooops … impaled myself … darn it all!”).

Point conceeded, but hey, we're talking about Force-using warriors here—ones who can use telekinesis to move objects. Who's to say that without the proper training that a light saber can't be turned on using the Force?

Even then, we don't really have an evidence that a Jedi (or Sith Lord) can both wield a light saber in battle and use telekinesis at the same time. In every instance in the various movies, the use of telekinesis is exclusive with direct engagement with the light saber.

But even more creative uses of the light saber have yet to present themselves (in the movies that is). Why not strap the light saber to the arm, and have the on-button in the palm of the hand? As you (the Jedi knight or Sith Lord, take your pick) punch your opponate, hit the switch and instant impalement. Rob said that such a use has been described in the various Star Wars books that take place after Return of the Jedi, but I would like to see more creative use of light sabers in the movies.

The conversation then turned to actual fighting styles. In the book for Attack of the Clones, it mentioned that Count Dooku used a fencing style, where as the rest of the Jedi use a Kendo slashing style sword play. The Kendo style makes sense in the presence of lasers—the sweeping motions are used to deflect the beams but in Jedi-to-Jedi combat (and even in real life, Rob assured me) that unless the skill levels are way out of wack, a fencer will slice to ribbons a person using Kendo; the fencer has tighter control over the weapon and can take advantage of openings that a slashing style presents. And Rob should know, he plays with swords quite often.

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