Lightsaber Fighting Is Officially a Sport, Finally
Photo: NBC / Contributor (Getty Images)
If you’re at all into Star Wars, at one point in your life you engaged in a lightsaber duel with your friends. You imagined yourself harnessing the light or dark side of the Force and struck your foe down just as you’ve seen in the films. It’s about time someone made this wonderfully nerdy event as a real sport.
The French Fencing Federation has recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport and, hell yeah, where can we sign up?! The organization recently told the Associated Press of their decision, bringing as much new hope to our galaxy as Star Wars: Episode IV did.
The efforts by the FFF regarding lightsaber duels stem from France’s desire to get you off the couch, literally. They hope that by propping the duels as a sport, it will encourage those stuck on video games to take up a lightsaber hilt and engage in physical combat. Drop your controllers, Fortnite players, there are Sith to destroy.
“With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs,” said the federation’s secretary general, Serge Aubailly, according to the AP. “It’s becoming difficult to (persuade them to) do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”
While you might already consider yourself a pro when swinging a lightsaber, there are certain rules you need to abide by.
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You Get What You Pay For
First of all, you'll need an LED-lit, polycarbonate lightsaber replica in order to compete. Unfortunately, you can't just scoop one up in the toy section at Walmart. The LED versions can run you about $400 so maybe start saving now.
Trick It Out
Some of the LED lightsabers even have a notable buzz to them, just like you hear in the movies. You can get them in various colors and hilt designs. We like the red ones because we know the true power the dark side.
Time Is Limited
The bouts are three minutes long or end whenever someone scores 15 points. Strikes to various parts of the body score differently, so your attacks need to be well-planned and timed.
Aim For The Head
If you strike your opponent's head, you score five points. Slashes to the arms or legs net you three points each. If you hit your opponent's hands, all you get is one point. Head strikes are the money shots, folks.
Fight To The (Sudden) Death
If both duelists score 10 points, the match goes to sudden death. At that point, the first head or body strike wins. Don't worry, you won't get the Count Dooku treatment and get decapitated.
Before you tell yourself you can just quickly stab your opponent and get an easy win, know that it's not that simple. First of all, a strike only counts if you bring the tip of the lightsaber behind you first. No quick jabs, young Padawans, because they don't count.
Stay In The Zone
You also have to stay within a taped-off area. There's literally an out-of-bounds zone so don't go stepping in it. Just think of it as the lava on Mustafar and you'll stay well within the boundaries.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you can manage to remember all these rules, you'll be well on your way to Jedi knighthood. If you break the rules, you'll probably still be good at dueling but land more on the Sith side of things. Either way, it's all pretty badass.
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We’re excited about this new development and are figuring out ways to get to France now. If anyone has a place we can crash, we’d appreciate it. We can pay you in either Republic credits or Sith bucks, whichever you prefer.