Since damn near the very first moment that Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer dropped just after Thanksgiving, there has been an endless back and forth among fans about that new, broadsword-style lightsaber lugged around by Kylo Ren. There have been all kinds of theories about how functional it would be with those small blades that come out at the hilt, and if it would really protect your hands or be a hindrance and liability in actual combat. Now I know nothing about swordplay aside from what I’ve seen in the movies, but luckily for all of us, there’s this dude on YouTube who put these this newfangled weapon through it’s paces to see if it’s practical or not.
And here is the most geektastic thing you will see all day (and yes, I hate myself a little for using that term, but nothing else seems to capture the precise nerdiness of this photograph). Just in case you forgot what huge dorks both Joss Whedon and Nathan Fillion actually are, here’s a photograph of the two of them fighting with lightsabers, just for the hell of it.
As the father of a pair of young kids, I’m often grateful that technology has advanced to the point where I can easily take pictures and videos of my boys using nothing more than my phone. There was a time when “home movies” required an actual device built solely for that purpose, and sharing those videos meant either dropping them in the mail to relatives or else shanghaiing everybody over to your house for a screening. But as much as I love all the silly little videos I’ve made with my kids, my home movies are decidedly lacking in functional lightsabers, blasters, and rocket ships.
If you live in the States, there’s a good chance you’ve spent a lot of time with your family over the past couple of days. In some cases you’ll have spent so much time with your family that you’re now considering how much of a guilt trip your mom would hit you with if you found an excuse to skip Christmas. But even when they drive you nuts, family is still family. Family is there for you. Family loves you when the rest of the world is dumping on you. And, every once in a while, family makes funny poses with geeky props so you can practice your portrait photography.
Handheld lasers are pretty exciting things, but only when being handled by professionals, as I’m not inclined to patch holes on my couch and armchair all day long. I’m thinking the handler should be a Jedi, or at least someone who can lie convincingly about being a Jedi.
And if we’re being quite honest, lying about being one with the Force isn’t necessary if you’ve got something that resembles a working lightsaber, like YouTube’s DIY Laser Guy. His homemade, handheld device uses a 9mm 450 nm laser diode set into a light saber handle, outputting an impressive three watts of power. It won’t be chopping off anybody’s hands in the near future, but I’m guessing it still packs a healthy burn if you put it on your skin. There’s probably another way to get rid of that The Cape tattoo you gave yourself.
While the first-person-shooter genre gives video gamers an immersive approach to traversing game environments and battling enemies, there’s still an undeniable understanding that what you’re doing is playing a game, no matter how good the graphics are. The found-footage genre similarly gives film fans unparalleled points of view on a story’s narrative, but most of the films in said genre lack the budget or story variations to give the perspective the respect it deserves. (See: Most of Doom.)
In just a minute’s time, the high-octane choreography-based Stunt Team out of California have repurposed one of the most famous fights in cinema’s history, and its scene blocking makes it almost as exciting as most of Chronicle. Have you ever wanted to be Darth Vader in a lightsaber battle, Force-choking a Jedi like the big-belted bitch he is? Or are you more virtuous, choosing instead to use the Force to try and knock the black off Vader’s mask? Get a taste of both worlds in the video below, and be wary of the gigantic groan factor when the video fades out.