Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Grape Lightsabers

Well! It's been a long time since I've blogged on the Helm site, but today is Mathew Blurdy's birthday and it's also Halloween, so that seems like it deserves some kind of special notice. Happy birthday Mathew! Good luck in your never ending battle against evil.

I should probably note that many people might mistake me for evil at the moment, but only because they are ignorant of how lightsabers work.

As I sit here at my desk, sipping a glass of cherry Crystal Light, I am a little warm in my hooded Jedi robe and I have finally realized why lightsabers have retractable blades. It's not just because you have to turn them on for the blade to appear, I think it's also because it's really hard to sit at a desk with your lightsaber attached to your belt when the blade is out. First, it's just awkward because most desk chairs were not designed with sword-wielders in mind. Second, if your lightsaber were real, it would probably cut right through your chair every time you adjusted your position. It could also cut off your leg, which would be bad. My lightsaber is just a plastic one with a non retractable blade (but it looks way better than those ones where the blades telescope out, has cool sound effects and is way cheaper than those ones where you can take the blade off) so I mostly have to deal with the awkward part. The other awkward thing about my lightsaber is that it only lights up red. I guess, in the Star Wars universe, that makes me look evil.

It's not that I didn't try to get one of the blue or green lightsabers (I really wanted a purple one, but I guess they don't make those), it's just that every place I checked only had red ones. It didn't even seem like they only had red ones left--it actually seemed like they only stocked the red ones, period. Maybe it's because I only checked Fred Meyers (three of them) and the people who make the purchasing decisions for their toy section are evil. Or maybe they're trying to imply that people who buy lightsabers are evil. Or maybe they're reacting to market research that shows that most people only really want the Darth Vader lightsaber.

Whatever the case, the impact is the same. I am wearing a Jedi robe but sporting a red lightsaber. This will make most people think of me as an evil Jedi. If that were the case, I would probably have to be Anakin Skywalker just as he finally switched over to being Darth Vader but before he got burned to a crisp. I can live with that, as long as I don't have to be the kid version of Anakin. That would blow.

Here's my question though. Do you think the color of your lightsaber is based on whether you're good or evil, or do you think it is it just a mechanical thing or a style choice?

Until yesterday, I labored under the misperception that it was based on your disposition. When I complained that my red lightsaber would make me look evil, Mathew gave me a scornful look and noted that Anakin's lightsaber didn't change color from blue to red when he switched to being Darth Vader, he actually got a different lightsaber. It has nothing to do with good or evil.

Lightsaber colors don't really have anything to do with the personalities of their weilders. A lightsaber's color is determined by the type of crystal used to power the blade. That's right, it's crystal light. Thousands of years before the Star Wars movies, the Jedi used to give people different colored blades to indicate their role in the Jedi order. Green blades were for peace keepers. Blue blades were for warriors. The sith and other bad guys used red lightsabers because they thought they looked scary and badass. If you were a Jedi or another Force manipulator, you could get a lightsaber in almost any color, including hot pink.

So, yes. I am wearing a Jedi robe and swinging a red lightsaber. That doesn't mean I'm evil. But I do kind of wonder if the color of a lightsaber does indicate one thing...its flavor. Mine is probably cherry. Mace Windu's was grape.

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