“Star Wars” lightsaber battles could soon be making their way to the Olympics.
The French Fencing Federations now recognizes lightsaber dueling as an official sport. Although it is similar to fencing, lightsaber dueling differs in a few rules. Instead of glowing blue and red plasma sabers, opponents will duel with traditional fencing swords according to an article from The Verge.
“Duelers will be using blades that are made of “polycarbonate rather than the magnetically-contained plasma of the films,’” the article said.
A video posted by the Associated Press shows fighters using a variety of different colored swords, some that have different lighting patterns and some that even have sound effects.
I think that France is making the right move by recognizing Lightsaber dueling as an official sport based on the popularity of “Star Wars.” According to Statista,“40 percent of respondents stated that they had seen the 2015 movie ‘The Force Awakens.’”
This involves multiple groups of people. Gamers and movie lovers now have something that interests them in the sporting community, which goes against stereotypes that gamers and athletes are polar opposites. This new sport allows these communities to come together and celebrate something they have in common.
Hypothetically, if lightsaber dueling became part of the Olympics, fans of the “Star Wars” movies or games would take the time to tune into the Olympics. They would watch the games to see the dueling and would probably stay tuned to watch some of the other events like water polo, boxing, volleyball or any number of other sports. This could inspire them to become interested in a new sport.
Gaby Carranza, a junior social work major, was taken by the idea of lightsaber fighting in the Olympics.
“That will be quite the event if it were to potentially make it into the Olympics. It’s such an iconic entertainment event, and the fact it is coming to real life is very interesting,” Carranza said.
Although this may seem like a silly or light-hearted event, this is a step in the right direction, a direction that engages more people in sports.
“It is a sport,” said sophomore allied health major Ashtin Thomas. “Since it involves intense physical movement.”
The video shows athletes going head to head in what is essentially a sword fight. Sword fights include a high level of athletic ability, strength, strategy, skill and the ability to think on your toes. Adding the colorful swords doesn’t make it unathletic or a disgrace, it makes it a bit more fun and interesting.
Thomas Firestone, a sophomore film major, was intrigued when he heard the news.
“I think I’d say I’m pretty amused and impressed. I think it is cool,” Firestone said. “I am interested in seeing how this plays out, especially on the more professional setting.”
Firestone brings up a good point: what will the general public think about this? Will most people think it is a great evolution of fencing? Or will the general public think it is a huge waste of time?
Many of us grew up on the “Star Wars” series while others are just getting into it. Regardless of your relation to the “Star Wars” series, seeing something you grew up watching come into the real world is astonishing.
Although France is the only country thus far who has officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a sport and while we probably won’t see it come to the Olympics anytime soon, it’s amazing to see such a huge franchise make its way into the real world. I believe lightsaber dueling will be huge.