The Birth of the Lightsaber, a mini-documentary


Sigh… this just served to remind me of how much better the original three films where than the prequels. Hopefully the Mouse can save the franchise.

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Romannic? What does that even mean?

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the bit about how the lightsabers were initially thought to have this heavy weight, like a broadsword, is really interesting. it’s something that i realize i noticed all along, but never really thought about. i did notice the whole concept of luke becoming more proficient, of course, but now in watching the shots from the first movie it’s clear how HEAVY they were supposed to be.

also nice little alternate take there with ben kenobi’s bottom half falling away. that didn’t make the final cut!


Interesting-ish. The clip at 15:01: brilliant!

When I was a teenager I was aware of these knives from this 1975 Dan O’Bannon / Moebius comic, The Long Tomorrow before I ever heard of Star Wars.

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If my memory of Wookieepedia serves, they retconned in that the lightsabers, in addition to being powered by magic crystals, also have an intense gyroscopic effect associated with them. Apparently the plasma of the blade rotates around the long axis at a high velocity, which makes it very difficult to change the angle and direction of the lightsaber once you get it moving. That’s why they seem heavy.

I’m not sure I buy that, but special pleading with the force is always available.


This was surprisingly interesting. I’ve just started watching the Clone Wars animated series on Netflix, and thinking about reading some of the pre-movie EU books (I’ve read all the post-movie ones), so more Star Wars is always good.

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I would contend, like a mean spirited curmudgeon, that the prequels undermine this assertion.

Actually, I really enjoyed each of the prequels on first watching in the theatres (hell, I even saw Phantom Menace in theatres TWICE). It was only afterwards, with deeper reflection, that I really thought about how terrible they are (see also: Prometheus). But that doesn’t take away from the actual enjoyment I got out of them at the time.

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Except that they seem flat like blades now, even though I remembered them originally as feeling like they had a circular cross section.

For Prometheus, I was disappointed within the first 10 minutes or so and then it went rapidly down hill :smile:

I’ve not watch Clone Wars, but since George’s input on them was limited and they are an entirely different kettle of Ewoks to the live action films, I may give them a go.

What I did find interesting watching the prequels was they way that the production team eased in to the CGI. In Phantom Menace they seemed unsure of how far they could push it. In the Attack of the Clones they seemed to be totally intoxicated with their new technology and just threw everything at it. Finally, in Revenge of the Sith, they seemed to have realised the special effects are supposed to advance the story rather than overwhelm it. Its a shame the central romantic tragedy featured two young actors with the on screen Chemistry of xenon and lead.

actually, the ben kenobi arc and ewan mcgregor’s acting make all three completely worth my time.

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