I know gratuitousness when I see it

What’s the first thing you notice about this image, from an upcoming game called Star Wars: The Force Unleashed?

The issue here is, of course, why sci-fi females seem to wear such impractical armor. And that’s a good question to ask. But I’d say that the most striking thing about this image is not the Star Wars equivalent of the chainmail bikini that our Jedi friend here is wearing. The real question was noted by this Metafilter commentor: are those some kind of nightstick lightsabers?

Allow me to quote liberally from his comment:

People, this needs to stop.

Back in Ye Olde Days, people did not sit around nailing swords to just about everything and calling them weapons. […]

Thus how it should be with lightsabers. Yeah, I know every saber is an expression of its user, but more and more these days that expression is “I am a dolt more impressed by flash than keeping to tried and true rules.” There are still a host of sword varieties out there that could be lightsaberified, from slightly curved katanas to monstrous zweihanders. Let’s see some more of those before we even hear the whirling whine of lightchucks, smell the ozone-laden tang of the lightmace, or shield our eyes from the horrible glare of the “I just duct-taped 40 lightsabers to my body” lightgrizzlybear encounter suit. A sword is fine. It’s all you really need. It’s a classic for a reason. Everything else is needless flash.

Well, except for the lightscythe that my alter-ego Darth Deathilicious has. That’s totally justified in her character history

How right you are, brother. (How do you use lightsaber nightsticks without chopping off your own arms?) In the original Star Wars trilogy, everybody seems quite content with the normal, longsword-style lightsaber. And that was really cool. But in the prequel trilogy, you can’t help but notice a weird sort of lightsaber arms race: first there’s Darth Maul’s dual-bladed lightsaber quarterstaff, then Anakin dual-wielding lightsabers, and Count Dooku dual-wielding stylish, curved-handled lightsabers. And then General Grievous wielding like forty million lightsabers at once. It’s all kinda cool… but there’s just something classier about those old-fashioned, ordinary lightsabers. This is where it’s at, my friends:

But I do like the mental image of Darth Deathilicious and her lightscythe. She sounds like a worthy companion to my own alter-ego, Darth Darkreaver Souldoom (fifty times more powerful than Mace Windu, and beloved by all the ladies; so awesome that he bucks the standard Darth naming scheme), who wields all of the lightsaber types mentioned above, but he also throws lightsaber shurikens.

I sure picked a bad day to stop writing Star Wars fanfiction.

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3 Comments

  1. Ed Heil says:

    NIGHTSTICKS? Please. Tonfa.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonfa
    Darth Deathilicious and Darth Darkreaver Souldoom clearly need to sit down and have an Imperial mineral-water with “Darth (CHHT HRRRKKHHHHH) Dudical!”
    They’re *cocky*, those Jedi… But Darth (KKKHHHHTT) Dudical is even cockier, and Darth (KKHHHHTT) Dudical can back it up, and Darth (KHHHTTT) Dudical BEHEADS —
    http://67.18.79.2/mp3/skits/mc%20chris%20-%20the%20imperial%20senate%20(skit).mp3

  2. Adam says:

    Old school, old school. You must drive a yellow school bus with gothic arch windows.

  3. Brit says:

    The issue here is, of course, why sci-fi females seem to wear such impractical armor.
    That’s why it’s called a *fantasy* role playing game. Speaking of which, I was laughing at this joystiq article the other day:
    http://www.joystiq.com/2007/06/18/soul-calibur-ivs-bountiful-bouncing-breasts-bulge-bigger/

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