I don’t intend to comment here on every cool trailer that comes out (or maybe I will, I dunno), but this one felt noteworthy, if for no other reason than… DUDE. STAR WARS.
So, yeah. That’s awesome. Brief… but awesome.
There are several snippets in this teaser that get me really excited for the new movie. I love the shots showing us a more intimate perspective of storm trooper life (if they’re still called storm troopers), and I’m sure we’ll get even more in the full movie, since one of the protagonists happens to be one.
But the big one for me? The thing that really got me excited?
Come on. You know what it is.
I know, I know.
A new lightsaber is about the silliest, most superficial thing to get excited over in a new Star Wars trailer. Especially if you consider what came with the last one…
I know, I KNOW!
But if you look past the gimmick, I think this new lightsaber could potentially be telling us a LOT about the character wielding it. Even moreso than Maul’s did.
Consider the following:
Lightsabers don’t usually come with hand guards, presumably for three reasons.
1) The jedi/sith fighting styles value precision and dexterity. Some are balletic hit and run fighters who deliver quick attacks before dancing away. Others are fencers who stand their ground, searching for holes in the enemy’s defenses and making swift, decisive strikes.
2) Their intuitive connection with the force keeps them from making rookie mistakes with the saber itself.
3) Lightsabers have been shown throughout the saga to be deflective in nature (which is why they make such effective shields against laser blasts). When blades meet, they push off of one another, and whenever we’ve seen someone maintain that contact, they show the signs of physical exertion. To lock blades with an opponent means fighting against the strength of the blade as well as your enemy.
Now, imagine what it must mean to have a character whose lightsaber is the size of a bastard sword and uses a crossguard made up of smaller lightsaber blades.
It means, where other fighters match blades and withdraw, this dude meets them head on, maintains contact, and pushes through. He expects to get in close and even slide along the enemy’s blade, so he’s built in hand guards. His blade has a longer reach than most other lightsabers, which makes him hell to close in on, but the blades in his crossguard act as hazards to any enemy who does. He’s a brute fighter whose technique values physical strength and proximity damage over speed and precision.
We have never seen a lightsaber wielder like this before. And that excites me.
(And before anyone starts complaining about the crossguard not being effective because the smaller blades don’t cover its full length, remember that there ARE certain rare materials in the Star Wars universe that can stand up to a lightsaber blade. This Washington Post (Washington. Freaking. Post) article goes into more detail.)
(And, no, it wouldn’t have been better to construct the entire crossguard out of that material, because it would interfere with the easy portability and concealability of the saber handle. Plus, a bladeless crossguard isn’t nearly as dangerous against enemies.)
(…or as cool looking.)
(WHAT? This is Star Wars! Cool still has currency!)
Of course, when the movie comes out, I could be proven completely wrong… but for right now, while all we have to go on is speculation, that dude just became the most interesting character in the movie for me.