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Turkey dinner and big doorbuster deals were not the only anticipated things this Black Friday Weekend. Star Wars fans have gotten an early Christmas present as the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens made its debut this Thanksgiving. The new “teaser” trailer lived true to its name as fans caught a short glimpse of what was going to be in the actual movie: a new soccer ball-shaped droid, next-gen stormtroopers (look closely in the trailer and you can see the new sleek helmet design.) But what really captured the most buzz from fans was the new crossguard lightsaber design.

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In the trailer, a dark hooded figure walks into a snowy forest at night. After turning on a red lightsaber, two smaller lightsabers instantly protrude from the sides of the hilt, forming a crossguard and what resembles like a medieval sword. This “improvement” has been the subject of debate among fans due to its perceived impracticality. The purpose of a crossguard is to protect the wielder’s hands by stopping an opponent’s sword from sliding down the (wielder’s) blade, hitting their fingers. This kind of protection would make sense as “Star Wars” is really int chopping off hands.

Critics have argued that because the hilt of the new lightsaber is T-shaped. any lightsaber can still cut-through the metal lips of the guard and hit the wielder’s hands. While valid, this apparent “flaw” ignores the crossguards second purpose. In addition to stopping and opponent’s sword from sliding down towards the hilt, the crossguard also prevents the user’s hand from slipping forward during a thrusting motion, which would be dangerous with a guard made out of lasers. The metal lips protects the hands from accidental slippage.

So… Why make the new crossguard out of lightsabers?

Although there are are a number of materials in the Star Wars universe that can withstand a lightsaber which would be better suited for making a crossguard. From a cinematic standpoint, it would be much less distinctive in the film, while also requiring a thorough in-script explanation of Star Wars metallurgy (As if hearing about midichlorians in the The Phantom Menace was bad enough.)

In conclusion, the new crossguard lightsaber is a perfect design. Not only does it catch the viewer’s eye, it also reveals the story of the person wielding it. The new Star Wars movie takes place 30 years after the fall of the Sith empire, so the new Sith character in the trailer might be trying rebuild the order from scratch. Without any proper training or a Sith master to guide him, this person would rely solely on brute stregnth to cut-through his enemies. If  a normal lightsaber resembles a katana, a weapon utilizing speed and finesse, this new lightsaber is a claymore, a brutal weapon for a vicious blood-thirsty berserker. Episode VII is set to release in December 2015, and for those are still not pleased with the new Star Wars weapon, until the actual film is released, they can only hope “that the force is strong with this one.”

For more information, see these links:

http://www.mtv.com/news/2012502/star-wars-force-awakens-lightsaber/?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_333298&xrs=mtvnewszergnetext

http://www.fastcodesign.com/3039210/in-defense-of-the-new-star-wars-lightsaber

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