San Francisco's competitive lightsaber academy opens this week


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My Hero:


Looks like me when I try to swat a fly.


He could read the tea leaves and has decades of experience on fledgling lightsaber combateers.


I always felt bad for that kid. If he hadn’t been such a socially awkward introvert he could have rode that video into geek celebrity status instead of letting it destroy his life. The “Star Wars Kid” would be treated like a king at Sci-Fi conventions around the world! He’d make Ken Bone look like a C-lister.

But I suppose if the kid hadn’t been such a socially awkward introvert he probably wouldn’t have secretly recorded that video in the first place.


I’d sign up, but I’ve already got a getting hurt in comically sad ways.


Clearly, the next step is to combine it with Quiddich.


I’m not surprised one bit, it’s just obvious.


They’ve had to close that department in my university… it’s just not a growth field and the candidates kept falling down man holes and dying.


I think he is fine and IIRC he ran for public office of some sort. I have no idea about his politics, if he is pro-Sith or what – but I don’t think this destroyed his life.

I am sure it was painful and agonizing as a kid to endure.


He filed a $250K lawsuit against the classmates who uploaded the video claiming he was a victim of “cyberbullying” and that emotional trauma from its release caused him to seek years of psychological counseling. The case was dropped and the families settled out of court. He spent most of the subsequent decade trying to disassociate himself from the video, only publicly identifying himself with it in the last few years in the context of public awareness campaigns about bullying.

So while I hope he eventually found peace with the video it certainly doesn’t seem like he felt it ever did him any favors.


Cyber-bullying is real and has come such an ugly long way since its early days. I do not mean to demean his experience however this feels more “I like Turtles” or Bub-Rub and Lil’ Sis to me, however every situation is unique and personal.

**Next up “I Like Turtles” kid sued the network and won $16M, Bub-Rub took the $50MM settlement he got and bought a banana republic where everyone has whistle tips?


I hope they use proper safety procedures (cortosis padding, etc.) or they are going to end up with a lot of grisly injuries. Not a lot of bleeding out, due to the quick cauterization, but they may lack for repeat customers (except for people hopping around like the Black Knight).


There are certainly more disturbing examples of cyber-bullying and as I said a kid born with a different personality might have spun the incident into geek celebrity status, but all available evidence suggests this individual kid felt humiliated and psychologically scarred by the release of the video and the unwanted “fame” it brought him.

That’s why I always felt bad for him.


Well, there will be swelling ranks of cyborgs among the also-rans.

I always felt that General Grievous simply came in second in a long, long, long list of duels.


Are they actually trying to hit each other or just their opponents ‘saber’?


it’s really too bad that he didn’t come to light just a short time later – geek culture would’ve been ascendent, and he would’ve been the beloved figure you picture. i have always felt sorry for him, because i know that i for one have done the same sort of thing, just not on camera.

more on point with the topic, in my head i’m ben kenobi, but after watching the people in that video, i realize i’m just a bambino padawan.


Video indicates they try to hit each other in any area excluding the extremities. Those look like plastic “lightsabers”, so I doubt anyone is going to cracks bones with them, probably safer than a bokken or even a shinai, and certainly safer than a fencing saber. Maybe a few bruises. If it’s anything like other forms of competitive fencing, matches will either be non-contact (following through on a strike carries penalties) or they’ll wear protective gear. Fencing gear can get quite expensive, but with these plastic swords, I’d be more worried about them falling apart than hurting someone, and I’d think that foam helmets and maybe pads should suffice for protection.

Wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but tt’s good people are having fun and getting exercise.


As a longsword student, I’d be willing to bet all the money I have access to that all the combat in that video is entirely choreographed. Pretty decently choreographed, to its credit, but way too much spinning and smooth motions to be credible as actual fighting. Also the lack of, at absolute minimum, eye protection, is telling.