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View Full Version : Lightsaber grips - ergonomic?


Bifford
10-17-2003, 08:50 PM
I've been looking closely at the designs of various lightsaber grips used in both the movies and in Jedi Academy, and with a few exceptions they don't look at all ergonomic. Would a warrior find such grips comfortable and practical? Some of them are very thick, and have various bits and bobs jutting out. When you look at medieval swords, their grips are much thinner and very smooth; whether or not the technology of lightsabers forces such awkward designs is beside the point. Did the actors in the films ever comment on how easy it was to wield their props?

JediNyt
10-17-2003, 09:24 PM
I agree. You look at some of these and your like "How the hell could anyone get a grip on that?" Same thing in the movies too. Like Anakins and Lukes. They look so uncomfortable to hold. Lots of junk and sharp edges on them. In real life it would be very difficult to fight with one of those grips. Thats one reason I chose the Arbiter since it has a good grip and a clean look. My Star Wars club is going to make our own working sabers in the near future. I plan to not clutter it up with pointless junk and doodads. Itll be simple and good looking.

SpaceButler13
10-17-2003, 11:48 PM
Working sabers? wha????

Neverhoodian
10-18-2003, 12:12 AM
Lol, don't think he means an actual working LIGHTSABER, SpaceButler. :p

Keep in mind that since lightsaber blades are pure energy, there's no air resistance to the blades, creating no pressure on the handle. With swords, on the other hand, the blades have to deal with air resistance, dictating smooth, easy-on-the-hand handles. However, I do see the point of the bumpy, uncomfortable-looking handles. With a galactic civilization so advanced, you'd think they'd come up with easy grip lightsabers.

JediLurker
10-18-2003, 12:23 AM
True, but in a saber lock or just repeatedly banging up against another saber, your hand would absolutely die with some of the designs out there.

rujoking99
10-18-2003, 12:32 AM
One main reason for the very comfortable grips on medieval (European and Japanese) weapons is the weight. Your standard sword weighs a few pounds, a little more if it's a European two-hander, a little less if it's a Japanese two-hander. Because of the length of a sword (@30 inches all the way up to 5 feet) you have to move more mass over more distance during a swing. The mass has more inertia, so you'd need more hand and arm strength to stop the motion. Hence, the nice cushy grip.

The lightsaber, on the other hand, appears to have 1) less mass to begin with, and 2) much more mass in the grip than the blade. Thus, you need less hand strength to get the sword moving, less to stop it, and less to control it during the swing. Thus, the grip doesn't need to be as comfortable.

Basically, it's like swinging a 6 foot-long 2x4 made of balsa wood, versus a 12-inch piece of lead-filled pipe. The former weighs less, but the latter is faster to rotate and swing, because of the more concentrated mass.

(Though if we look at the movie examples, thrown and dropped sabers spin around a point less than half-way up the 'blade,' so the blade really does have mass. But if the blade is made of pure energy (with no matter inside) it shouldn't have much mass at all. And unlike medieval swords, we can't really examine the original examples used in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.)

GRENDIZER
10-18-2003, 12:38 AM
Originally posted by Bifford
Did the actors in the films ever comment on how easy it was to wield their props?

They used more comfortable props without the "bits" when fighting. Only closeup shots need the "real" props.

Bifford
10-18-2003, 08:17 AM
Even if the blade is weightless, you would still need to grip strongly when slashing through a tough target, or parrying another lightsaber; that's when the grip will let you down.

Luc Solar
10-18-2003, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by rujoking99
The lightsaber, on the other hand, appears to have 1) less mass to begin with, and 2) much more mass in the grip than the blade. Thus, you need less hand strength to get the sword moving, less to stop it, and less to control it during the swing. Thus, the grip doesn't need to be as comfortable.

In other words: when a Jedi is skilled enough to create the most powerful and elegant weapon in the galaxy, he deliberately makes the grip very uncomfortable because a lousy grip does not matter that much with weightless blades.

That's like: "I'll paint my car as ugly as possible, because I drive mostly during the night when no-one can see it anyways.."

:rolleyes:

ManaMana
10-18-2003, 12:38 PM
Hey! Don't forget that the Jedi controls the energy rings of the saber!

Astrotoy7
10-18-2003, 01:48 PM
Man, what a weird post !! But interesting sorta !!

In some EU sources, some mention was made to this when it was describing the budding jedi making their sabers(ie. the jedi academy novels, I Jedi, and the 'Young Jedi Knights' series') It described the user picking a shaft that was comfortable to wield, light etc. If I remember correctly, Corran Horn chose a speederbike handlebar to form the body of his saber...but I could be remembering wrong :P

MTFWBYA

Pedro The Hutt
10-18-2003, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by rujoking99

(Though if we look at the movie examples, thrown and dropped sabers spin around a point less than half-way up the 'blade,' so the blade really does have mass. But if the blade is made of pure energy (with no matter inside) it shouldn't have much mass at all. And unlike medieval swords, we can't really examine the original examples used in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.)

That ofcourse could be blamed on the prop blade having some mass.

MrDomin0
10-18-2003, 05:14 PM
I think the answer is obvious: blisters build character.

Seriously though, much like everything else in the SW universe, it's really just a question of whether it looks cool or not. Tricked out saberhandles look flashy, so they're in. There's so many scientific and logical inconsistencies in the movies that it's not worth even thinking about them because it a fantasy universe that isn't real and therefore doesn't have to play by our rules.

Bifford
10-18-2003, 05:57 PM
But it's difficult to suspend disbelief for something the audience can so easily judge. Hyperdrives and droids are one thing, but people know a gun when they see one. Many of the blasters in the movies are real-life firearms that have been fitted with a few futuristic bits; audiences can understand the difference between a stormtrooper rifle and Han's sidearm. A lightsaber hilt, when looked at close-up, ought to immediately evoke power, elegance and finesse. Dooku's lightsaber is probably the only one that does this (I love it, BTW); most others look too clumsy even for flashlights.

Daxel1
10-18-2003, 07:16 PM
i have a toy lightsabre i muck around with and its alrite to hold after a while but doing special katana moves is a bit difficult because of the width of it but its ok to hold also i think that the jedi handle are supposed to look cool so they might lose comfort for coolness.(i have obi-wans lightsbre from episode 2)

Bifford
10-18-2003, 10:01 PM
That's cool, Daxel. Does anyone happen to have a toy replica of Dooku's lightsaber? How does that weapon handle?

Damar Stiehl
10-18-2003, 10:20 PM
Pistol grip swords are fun to wield... Strange but fun... They are generally designed for lunges/stabs/pokes (so that you don't have to twist your wrist so much while pointing the blade straight ahead).

Which makes Dooku's weapon choice fairly strange, because he wielded it like you'd wield a regular slashing blade, and didn't do all that much poking.

Mike Windu
10-19-2003, 01:48 AM
here's the rundown
Anakin saber-bad handle because of this bulb that juts out, bad grip
obi wan-easy to handle, slightly heavy because of spiked half ball at end
plo koon/council/qui-gon saber- perfectly made easy grip flawless handling
dooku-seems easy but the toy handle is gigantic... it sucks tbh
maul- ahh... here is a fine saber... easy handle.. no odd bumps except for the buttons... all in all a very solid saber

yes i do have lightsaber toys... my friend and I duel using them :p'
I currently have obi wan, anakin,and maul. I'm looking for Mace Windu's, or Plo Koon.

My friend has Dooku, Plo Koon, Obi-Wan, Quigon, quigon(busted due to fighting) maul(busted) and luke(busted)

my other friend has maul, whose is cut almost evenly in 2 pieces by me :P when we were fighting outside... i cut it with my saber didnt get the cords tho just split the shaft since there was a crack :P

King Jezuz Pie
10-19-2003, 08:55 AM
http://jedifather.tripod.com/PloKoonTutorial.html

Here you can find a tutorial to build Plo Koons Saber handle... :D