Wednesday, April 06, 2005

You can't do that with a lightsaber, dude

When I was a youngster I had one of those incredibly geeky arguments that people of my ilk are prone to do with my friend Geoff. You know, one of those “Who would win? A Star Destroyer or the Enterprise-D?” type of arguments. To this day, Geoff still thinks he’s right, even though he’s clearly not.

Here it is: In the Star Wars films, Jedi Knights have telekinetic powers, right? They move shit with their minds. If my friend Geoff were a Jedi, during a lightsaber duel with a Sith Lord or something he would use his mental powers to turn off his opponent’s lightsaber. The bad guy would move to parry one of Geoff’s blows, and all of a sudden his lightsaber blade would just turn off, allowing Geoff to chop the bad guy’s head off.

“That’s bullshit,” Young Dave said, eating some Cheetos.

“How is that bullshit?” Geoff asked. “You just turn on a lightsaber with a button. How hard would it be to use your Jedi powers to turn a button off?”

“I’m not saying a Jedi wouldn’t be able to hit a button in an elevator with his mind, but I don’t think it would work in a combat situation…”

“Why not?” Geoff said. “Because the button is moving around on a lightsaber? That’s stupid, you’d have to be a pretty lame Jedi not to be able to do that.”

“Well, but the lightsaber is being held by another Jedi, or Force Practicioner or whatever. I think they’d be able to detect what you were doing and do some sort of Force counter-measure,” Young Dave said.

“Now who’s talking bullshit?” Geoff said, grabbing some of my Cheetos. “The Sith Lord would put up some sort of telepathic trigger lock on his lightsaber? That’s dumb; it’d be over before he could even react. I’d turn off his lightsaber and chop his fucking head off.”

“Then why haven’t they done that in the movies if it’s such a good idea?” I asked, cracking open a Dr. Pepper.

“They just haven’t thought of it,” said Geoff.

“No, they haven’t done it because it’s stupid, and nobody wants to see Darth Vader go out like that.”

“I do.”

“Well, you’re dumb.”

“No, you’re dumb,” Geoff said.

“Whatever,” I said. “Hand me the Skull Bong.”


Anonymous said...

I think I agree with Young Dave -- it's the same principle that's in operation when The Shadow battles his similarly-powered foe Shiwan Khan: Lamont Cranston can make himself invisible to a mere henchman, but face-to-face with Khan a sort of psychic stalemate ensues.

Hate Filled Poster said...

But can't the dark side guy do the same thing? You both would end up falling flat on your ass. THAT would be a kick ass star wars scene.

Anonymous said...

Lightsabers have a contact pad on the side. You can turn a lightsaber on, but the only way to turn it off is to first pull your hand away from one of the contact pads, and then push the button.

They did this for a reason. They lost about 20 good Jedi to one Sith lord that liked to cut off peoples heads.

David Campbell said...

You people are awesome

Anonymous said...

Here's an EVEN BETTER question- why not just carry around a spare saber, and when you get to the dramatic crossed-saber struggling part of the fight, pick it up with the force, ram it into your opponent's gut, and turn the sucker on?

And if your opponent tries to block it with the Force, you just kick him in the nuts while he's distracted.

Alternatively, you could just stow a smaller Yoda-sized saber in your sleeve on some kind of spring-loaded holster. Then you could pop it out at an opportune moment, point it at your foe's head, and turn it on.

... and now that I think of it, why the hell didn't Vader try to Force-choke Luke? Wouldn't crushing somebody's windpipe be a fairly effective combat technique?

J'onn J'onzz, Martian Manhunter said...

You youngsters were pretty foul mouthed! How old were you?

Anonymous said...

I think the message is clear: Star Wars is stupid. It's all about looking cool, but not about making sense.

It's like the Da Vinci Code or the electoral process.

JG said...

And by the way, the Enterprise-D would take a star destroyer down ASAP because Starfleet can target specific systems on a ship whereas the Empire just shoots in your general direction.

Anonymous said...

Also,a light saber is made by the user in a special ceremony and may not be attuned to others mental commands

Anonymous said...

Quoted - And by the way, the Enterprise-D would take a star destroyer down ASAP because Starfleet can target specific systems on a ship whereas the Empire just shoots in your general direction.

Right? No, wrong! :p How do you explain that an X-Wing can shoot a missile with high presicion into the deathstars core, targeting just that, the core? Star Wars spacecraft can target specific systems too, the Star Destroyers can do so too.

By the way, about the lightsaber tactic, if it was possible, they would have used it. I've heard this lightsaber button thing before, straight out the mouth of George himself infact.

He responded with a question and I quote; "Why didn't some jedi use their mindpowers to stun their opponents? There were plenty of times that power would come in handy too. Short answer? They aren't powerful enough to do so, it takes skill, if you lack that, you can forget about it. Same goes for deactivating someone's lightsaber."

Xelophonic Extrumnian Bethral

Anonymous said...

dave's right. in the book "darth bane:path of destruction" we're shown the basic lightsaber techniques used by jedi and sith. one of the very first things either a jedi or sith learns is one of the most important features of lightsaber combat, and that is how to put a "force bubble" around themselves. the force bubble protects from little things like some jackass simply turning your switch off. seriously what kind of jedi gets their lightsaber turned of? why stop there anyway? if you didn't have a force barrier you could mess with someone's heart or close their wind pipe in the middle of fighting.

you can break through another force user's bubble but you have to be incredibly strong in the force to do so.

Xaivior13 said...

I say that they can do such a thing as turn off the Lightsaber - however, that just wouldn't be too intense now would it? Besides, all the times that there were Lightsaber fights - they either did NOT want kill the guy, or it was between two talented Jedi - both of who did not want to take a hand off of their Lightsaber - even for a second. Besides, they are able to turn the Lightsabers "On" from a distance - so why not someone else's "Off".

Anonymous said...

"Also,a light saber is made by the user in a special ceremony and may not be attuned to others mental commands"

My man General Grievous can wield four lightsabers that belonged to his Jedi victims.

Obi-Wan tossed his saber to Anakin for some dual-wielding fun against Count Dooku.

Obi-Wan used Qui-Gon's saber to defeat Darth Maul.

The only true defense against someone turning off your lightsaber is to wrap it in bacon.

Anonymous said...

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