It is our destiny to love lightsabers.
We love lightsabers. Yes, I’m talking about you, me, and all of our friends put together. That’s just a fact.
I mean, how else would you explain all the articles theorizing about whether or not lightsabers could actually exist? Or how about the booming business of custom lightsabers that are painstaking crafted by talented artisans? Lightsabers are so beloved that you don’t even have to like Star Wars to see why these things are so cool.
But the truth is, we don’t just love lightsabers because they look cool. Rather, there’s a lot of reasons why they’re just so appealing for kids and adults alike. Here are five of them:
They’re the perfect blend of fantasy and sci-fi.
It’s no secret that George Lucas was inspired by classic Samurai movies when creating Star Wars. That said, in a sci-fi setting with advanced weaponry and technology, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for our heroes to be using metal swords along with futuristic blaster guns. Hence we get the lightsaber – a weapon that looks futuristic, yet gives us duels that do homage to the Samurai movies that Lucas loved so much.
It’s such a good blend of classic and sci-fi sensibilities that we see “beam swords” pop up in all kinds of futuristic pop-culture settings. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Because we also love Star Wars.
I mean, this one’s obvious, but it’s worth saying anyway. Star Wars is one of the highest-grossing franchises in the world, and lightsabers are practically the face of it. Sure, Darth Vader and Han Solo are iconic characters, but you don’t necessarily see them pop up in the franchise’s extended universe. Lightsabers though? Almost every Star Wars property has those.
Therefore, lightsabers are the glue that bind all Star Wars fans together. Whether you’re a fan of prequel memes or sequel memes, you can find common ground with others by using your sweet collections.
Each lightsaber is thematic.
Lightsabers aren’t just cool, they’re symbolic. Lightsabers come in all sorts of shapes and colors, and all of them represent the characters using them in some way. There are approximately 11 different lightsaber colors between the core movies and the expanded universe, and each of them represent different methodologies of how their respective characters use them in combat.
In other words, we can literally identify with certain lightsabers. Whether you see yourself as a peace-loving user of green sabers, or you favor the ambiguity of purple sabers, the lightsabers we like best all say something about yourselves. And there’s nothing better than getting personal affirmation from your sci-fi weapon of choice.
Lightsabers make for great toys.
C’mon, we all had lightsaber toys as a kid. Or if you didn’t, you at least picked up any stick of comparable size and went “vvvoooooommmm… voooooom” as you swung it around.
While even toy swords have some edges that are less comfortable than others, the perfectly conal shape of lightsabers means they’re easy to flail around without causing too much damage. For the adults, let’s not forget those awesome custom lightsabers either.
I just really want one, okay?
They are cornerstones of pop culture.
When we think of pop culture, we think of what’s on TV, what’s on the radio, and so on. But pop culture isn’t just what media conglomerates saturate us with – it’s what we, as fans, choose to enjoy and love together. And for all the reasons listed above, there’s no better illustration of lightsabers than pop culture.
Whether lightsabers represent Star Wars in silly parodies, or other works borrow them because they’re just so cool, pop culture wouldn’t be the same without them. And when people across fanbases can come together and love something, you know there’s something special about them. For all the things Star Wars has given us, lightsabers could be one of the greatest it has produced. And no amount of failed Christmas specials will ever take that away from us.