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She's lost it again. [Aug. 17th, 2008|02:37 pm]
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Think of Star Wars, even if you haven't seen it. What's the first thing you think about? Is it a lightsabre? I reckon that if it's not the first thing you think about Star Wars, it's probably in the top 5 things. For those of you who really don't know what a lightsabre is, it's a cool glowing sword of light that cuts through pretty much anything, and makes a cool "Whwvimmmm-Whvoooom" noise when you swing it around. It caught the imagination of nerdy-wells all over the planet when it first came out.

To be honest, I don't know how close scientists are to finally making one, but I kinda dread to see the day when we do; I believe the generation we make a light-sabre will be the last generation to enjoy Star Wars.

Think about it for a second, we're talking about the ability to make a device that will produce a high-energy beam capable of cutting through most materials. Where will that be used? Who will be using it? I reckon it'd be ideal for quarry-work or for maybe construction. Imagine large chunks of ore being cut through, or a large piece of construction material being crudely shaped (before people doing the fine work up close), all with the help of a lightsabre. Or if we're getting into space mining, it would be extremely useful there.

Now we know what industries would benefit, who would wield it? Looking at footage, it's roughly as long as someone's head and torso, while the handle is shorter than a bottle of Coke. That's not going to be handled by any human, it'd be handled by machines. Even if it was something that human could handle, I have two words, and if you know them, say 'em along with me: Safe Pass. Yes, any construction worker has to have a safe pass and know how to handle their equipment responsibly, and that does not involve running around making "Whvwoooom-whvwimmmm" noises.

So, imagine sitting down to watch a rerun of Star Wars and your relative in the construction industry pipes up and says, "That's such a bad example to set kids, running around with a high-energy personal beam and no safety equipment as required by Health and Safety regulation blah blah blah yakkedy schmakedy", or worse, saying that it's even being held by a human at all (if it's only safe to attach to machines). Now, imagine the generation after the lightsabre is invented, these are going to be kids who grow up with the idea of a high energy beam as being around for every-day use and won't be quite as impressed with what captivated audiences when it came out. On the upside, unless we have personal interplanetary fighter vehicles, and have met aliens and uncovered the mysteries of the force, it's still got a lot of interesting properties as a film... but that air of mystery surrounding the lightsabre would be gone.

On the upside, think of how one of these would apply to modern-day society. It would make gang-wars a whole lot more pretty to look at!

[User Picture]From: fnordius
2008-08-17 04:00 pm (UTC)
The light sabre is actually the most fantastic part of the Star Wars setting. Energy cannot be limited in that form, and so many aspects of the light sabre are illogical. Why can the blades not pass through each other? Why do the beams simply stop at the set length? Why do we never see a light knife?

Apparently the "blade" has physical mass, and isn't mere energy as Lucas keeps claiming. Perhaps some superheated plasma condensed by a gravitic field, with a set conic "event horizon"? If that were the case, then why can't two sabre blades meld instead of parry? You see, even the basic concept is hard to pin down.

But that's not really the point of the light sabre.

Remember, the thing about the sabre is that it was supposed to be an antique weapon. One that was to the blaster like the sword to the revolver. A symbol of when deadly force belonged only to a trained elite. Sabre duels were like watching samurai duelling at the end of the 19th century: the last remnant of the old order. It was only later that all the kickass stuff was added for the kids.
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