George Lucas always intended for lightsabers to be similar in weight to something like medieval broadswords. So, even though they are “laser swords,” a lightsaber’s blade isn’t weightless. And, it turns out the same thing is true of real life lightsabers, too.
On Wednesday, Vogue published its latest cover story, a profile of Daisy Ridley. And right at the top of the interview, she mentions that the lightsaber props themselves are very heavy. “Three, four, five kilos,” Ridley says. “And the weight’s very unevenly distributed.”
For Americans, five kilos is roughly 11 pounds, meaning a lightsaber is much heavier than it looks. In the Vogue piece, Ridley called this her “lightsaber workout,” but the heft of the lightsaber also nicely parallels the weightiness of the “real” lightsabers in that galaxy far, far away. In the original trilogy, the swordsman responsible for choreographing all the lightsaber fights was named Bob Anderson. Because of his background in traditional swordsmanship, Anderson crafted all the original duels to resemble the kinds of sword fights that would occur with tactile, metal blades. This is why in the original three films, no one handles a lightsaber one-handed, save for Darth Vader on very rare occasions.
In the prequel trilogy, lightsabers seemed to lose their heft, as Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi and others spun the blades around with relative ease. And though these more energetic and athletic lightsaber duels were popular with fans, the most recent lightsaber duel in The Force Awakens, was more similar to the slower, heavier fights of the classic trilogy.
Who knows? Maybe that Skywalker lightsaber just has a heavier blade than all the other lightsabers in the galaxy.
The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15.
This is the toy lightsaber you’ve been looking for. Check out this video to find out more.