Star Wars Featurette: The Birth of the Lightsaber

Star Wars Featurette: The Birth of the Lightsaber

George Lucas, Mark Hamill and Ben Burtt discuss the history of the lightsaber from the early days of its creation to the blindingly-fast battles of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons may be no match for a good blaster at your side, but when it comes to iconic Star Wars weaponry, nothing - nothing - matches the lightsaber. Like much of Star Wars, the famed laser sword has its roots in earlier films, particularly the swashbuckling pirate flicks of the 1940s, and although working a melee weapon into a film that's ostensibly about great, futuristic armies clashing across the galaxy was a bit of a stretch, Lucas, Hamill and sound designer Burtt do a good job of not just explaining the rationale, but making sense of it, too. Even the evolution of lightsaber fights, from the lumbering throw-down between Obi-Wan and Vader to the acrobatics of Yoda and Dooku, is covered in a way that's close enough to plausible to be satisfactory.

The video touches on just about everything you could imagine - did you know that the famous lightsaber sound has its roots in the hum of an old film projector? - but the best parts are the behind-the-scenes clips, of which there are many, primarily from the original trilogy. If you're a Star Wars fan (and come on, who isn't?), you won't find a better way to blow 16 minutes today than this.

Source: YouTube

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That was worth the watch just for the Christmas unboxing at the end.

I've often wondered why people complain about the emphasis or rather increase in lightsaber dueling/fighting in the prequels, in the scope of the star wars universe it makes perfect sense.

The originals took place after the Jedi had been mostly destroyed, there was little lightsaber dueling because only a select few still had the training and even fewer were being newly trained and the ones that were (luke) were not being trained with any sort of structure.

The prequels take place before everything goes to hell for the Jedi, there are many, many Jedi, there are younglings which shows how young they actually start training.

Of course there are going to be more lightsaber fights and it stands to reason they would also be more aggressive and far superior technique-wise, there are far more people being trained in the art, there are far more people to utilize the art and there are far more people perfecting the art; And that goes for the Sith as well, for the Sith that aren't simply Jedi who have turned, they have access to a wealth of experience from their master whom they spend almost their entire lives learning from and training with (and most Sith lords have a much more brutal way of discipline than any Jedi training).

The further you go back into the star wars universe, the more aggressive the lightsaber duels - Just like when we look into our past to notice how barbaric we used to be.

Very cool, watching the prequels here really made me sad that they werent up to the task as the overall story is great. I think most faults that make them hard to watch is because of the time they were made (yeah, even with great tech they couldnt be entirely saved, even the Ewoks messed up the last movie of the original trilogy but it would have made them much more bearable, even just the characters walking around a set is painfull to watch).

The lightsaber is what turned Luke Skywalker from hero to legend in the parthenon of movie characters. Empire Strikes back man, so many good moments. That was a fun watch. ^.^

Whatislove:
I've often wondered why people complain about the emphasis or rather increase in lightsaber dueling/fighting in the prequels...

Is it not obvious: It's because Star Wars fans are the worst thing ever. It's because in the core of the black hole of shittieness, the star wars fan base is the core.

Also, this was interesting to watch.

I always loved the lightsaber. It's why I always liked Luke better than Han. Yes, Han was a badass, but you just had to love the lightsaber. Easily one of the coolest weapons in fictional history. And it made Luke something much more than a smuggler or a rebel pilot. It made him a living legend.

And I enjoyed the fights in the prequels, too. Say what you will about the movies, but the fights were always fun to watch. Honestly, my biggest problem in the prequels was Anakin being rather whiney, especially in Episode 3.

Okay, where is that kid that got the lightsaber as a gift? Because I'm going to go steal it.

Goliath100:

Whatislove:
I've often wondered why people complain about the emphasis or rather increase in lightsaber dueling/fighting in the prequels...

Is it not obvious: It's because Star Wars fans are the worst thing ever. It's because in the core of the black hole of shittieness, the star wars fan base is the core.

Also, this was interesting to watch.

...You've never met the Sonic Fandom have you?

Don't get me wrong, not saying Star Wars fans are great or anything (No fanbase is perfect...except berserk fans, those guys are all pretty chill). But, to call them the core of the black hole of shittiness? That's a bit far. Don't get me wrong, they're in the black hole of which you speak, but to call them the core? No...there are things outside of a galaxy far far away that make them look tame by comparison.

Say what you want about the prequels but I thought a lot of battles in general were pretty awesome in the prequels, lightsaber or otherwise.

I've always fantasized about owning my own lightsaber. The prequels get a lot of flack but I can enjoy them for the saber duels alone. I just hope the new trilogy strikes the right kind of balance between swordplay and blasters considering how its going to be a new time frame and all.

Whatislove:
I've often wondered why people complain about the emphasis or rather increase in lightsaber dueling/fighting in the prequels, in the scope of the star wars universe it makes perfect sense.

The originals took place after the Jedi had been mostly destroyed, there was little lightsaber dueling because only a select few still had the training and even fewer were being newly trained and the ones that were (luke) were not being trained with any sort of structure.

The prequels take place before everything goes to hell for the Jedi, there are many, many Jedi, there are younglings which shows how young they actually start training.

Of course there are going to be more lightsaber fights and it stands to reason they would also be more aggressive and far superior technique-wise, there are far more people being trained in the art, there are far more people to utilize the art and there are far more people perfecting the art; And that goes for the Sith as well, for the Sith that aren't simply Jedi who have turned, they have access to a wealth of experience from their master whom they spend almost their entire lives learning from and training with (and most Sith lords have a much more brutal way of discipline than any Jedi training).

The further you go back into the star wars universe, the more aggressive the lightsaber duels - Just like when we look into our past to notice how barbaric we used to be.

That's a nice sounding way to reconcile the fact that Lucas just hired choreographers for the prequel trilogy.

Even so, I still prefer the "cruder" fights in the original trilogy if only because, ironically, the scenes were shot way better. (it makes a big difference to have an actual set for lighting and camerawork, rather than just wanking all over a blue screen or shooting so close that the action is incomprehensible)

 

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