The design of the new 'Star Wars' lightsaber is a huge improvement on the older models

When the first teaser trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” debuted online last November, fans were torn over the debut of a new three-pronged lightsaber which will appear in the film. 

Some thought it was cool even though the design might be problematic for your hands.

Others immediately thought it was a disaster claiming the two smaller blades were pointless because you could just chop them off with other lightsabers.

Certified master blade smith Kevin Cashen told the Washington Post the new design was terrible:

“The idea behind a crossguard on any blade is to protect the swordsman’s hand from another person’s blade,” said Cashen. “That would be very bad to have around your hand.”

The Verge’s T.C. Sottek was especially vocal in his displeasure with the new design

The lightsaber quickly started a meme.

Then self-proclaimed “Star Wars” fan Stephen Colbert chimed in to tell fans why the lightsaber was actually perfect.

His reasoning was simple. The lightsaber doesn’t consist of three beams, but one, making it the perfect tool to prevent others from hitting your hand.

After testing it out ourselves, we couldn’t agree more.

Last weekend, I had opportunity to check out Hasbro’s $US200 Black Series Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber and was impressed by one thing in general.

Kylo ren lightsaberDebi Stewart/Tech InsiderMyself and my younger brother, Sam. Sam’s holding the Kylo Ren lightsaber while I’m dueling with the blue Luke Skywalker lightsaber.

The moment another lightsaber comes in contact with it and tries to move down toward someone else’s hand, it isn’t going anywhere. 

Lightsaber kylo renKirsten Acuna/Tech InsiderNope. That lightsaber is going nowhere.

Of course, this is a toy, but I’m of the belief that this is all one beam connected, not three lightsabers mangled together. (Yes, I’m aware Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is a homemade device.)

What’s more is that it looks like you have less of a chance of hitting the lightsaber hilts on the side and more of a chance of having direct lightsaber to lightsaber contact.

Take another look at Ren’s lightsaber:

That’s a whole lot of lightsaber.

One of the main issues fans primarily had with Ren’s lightsaber was that you could easily hit the three-pronged lightsaber on its smaller hilts to take out the smaller lightsabers.

The colbert report lightsaberComedy Central/The Colbert ReportHere’s how an iO9 commenter illustrated a ‘design-flaw’ with the new lightsaber.

However, it’s clearly visible that the ratio of lightsaber to hilt falls in favour to the lightsaber, making it more difficult for the lightsaber to come in contact with the hilt.

Even if I did hit down on the new lightsaber hilt with force, I wouldn’t simply slice through it, I would disappointingly be repelled by the force of an opposing lightsaber. 

I’m not sure how the lightsaber would fare during the rest of combat. Could I impale myself with one of the two tiny lightsabers? Maybe. But I’m no Jedi Master and the $US200 one was pretty weighty, making it difficult for me to easily swing around. One YouTuber made a pretty convincing video a while back making the case that the crossguard’s design was great for its owner.

Either way, there’s no denying that this is a gamechanger.

 

 

I can’t believe the Jedi (or in this case the Sith) didn’t think of crossguard lightsabers sooner, especially since so many characters in the “Star Wars” universe have lost limbs. And, we’re not just talking about the Skywalkers.

I don’t know if a three-pronged, crossguard lightsaber would have saved everyone who has lost a limb, but it definitely would have made for a more compelling fight.

While I’m a fan of Ren’s lightsaber, some have said this would be a better design, which I can’t really argue with. It’s similar to a design that’s been used before in the “Star Wars” universe, and seems safer for your hands, though not as aesthetically pleasing. 

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