Star Wars Force FX lightsabers are not duel worthy, have never been duel worthy, and may never be duel worthy in the future. Lightsaber enthusiasts sometimes do a Force FX conversion in order to make a Force FX lightsaber duel worthy, but that’s another topic for another article. Right out of the box without any modifications, however, Star Wars Force FX lightsabers are not duel worthy. That’s not just my own opinion, but rather the assessment of the lightsaber community at large.
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Why Force FX lightsabers are not duel worthy
Several SaberSourcing videos refer to Force FX lightsabers not being duel worthy. Usually, at least one viewer will comment something along the lines of, “Yes, Force FX lightsabers are duel worthy. I duel with my Force FX lightsaber all the time.” Some fans may have different concepts of what’s duel worthy and what’s not. To clarify, a duel worthy lightsaber is a lightsaber capable of heavy-hitting, full contact sparring. Full contact sparring is a rigorous, sport-level intensity of lightsaber dueling that stresses a lightsaber hilt and blade. Both the hilt and blade need to be sturdy enough to handle the rigors of ‘battle’.
Many lightsaber enthusiasts, and some Force FX lightsaber owners, participate in light dueling. Light dueling means that the blades from two lightsabers do make minor contact with each other, but neither combatant strikes full force.
Risks of dueling with a Force FX lightsaber
Whenever someone chooses to engage in light dueling or heavy dueling with Force FX lightsabers, the individual risks damaging the blade. Force FX lightsabers use a string blade, meaning the LEDs are contained within the blade itself. Most Force FX lightsaber blades are also permanently attached to the hilt. Dueling with a Force FX lightsaber could cause an unsightly dead spot or spots in the LED string. Dueling with a Force FX lightsaber could also cause the blade to snap off the entirely. Also, without proper face and body protection, a broken Force FX lightsaber could hurt one or both combatants.
Why Hasbro does not make duel worthy lightsabers
Why is it so easy to damage Force FX lightsabers? Why are none of the Force FX lightsabers sturdy enough to be considered duel worthy? The answer is simple: Hasbro does not have enough of a reason or incentive to manufacture and sell duel worthy lightsabers.
Niche popularity of sport-level lightsaber combat
Out of the entire Star Wars fan population, and, more specifically, out of the entire lightsaber enthusiast population, very few people currently participate in sport-level, full contact lightsaber sparring.
The Saber Legion, the world’s largest international saber combat organization requires protective gear like: a full face mask/helmet, chest protection, groin protection and protective gloves for all combatants. And those are just the requirements for ‘Medium Sparring’. ‘Heavy Sparring’ and ‘Tournament Sparring’ requires additional padding for the safety of participants.
Many people who purchase lightsaber may lightly spar with friends, but very few lightsaber enthusiasts purchase the fencing, hockey, and lacrosse protection required by The Saber Legion and other dueling organizations.
Force FX lightsabers are an ‘Adult Collectible’
Each Star Wars: The Black Series Force FX lightsaber box states that the lightsaber is an “Adult Collectible”. Hasbro is not in the business of creating a sport-caliber lightsaber or a duel worthy lightsaber. The company does not claim to make a duel worthy lightsaber and has not publicly expressed interest in making a duel worthy lightsaber.
Future popularity of lightsaber dueling
Maybe if lightsabers continue to gain popularity and groups like The Saber Legion, Ludo Sport and other dueling organizations continue to grow, Hasbro will start to notice and develop an interest for manufacturing duel worthy lightsabers. Until then, though, most of the duel worthy lightsabers will be converted Force FX lightsabers and custom lightsabers.
Possible problems with a duel worthy Force FX lightsaber
A duel worthy Force FX lightsaber would be held to a much higher standard than the current Force FX lightsabers. If Hasbro started making lightsabers that claimed to be duel worthy, the company would likely receive more customer complaints. Since the box currently says that the lightsaber is an ‘Adult Collectible’, whenever Hasbro receives a complain from a customer about a damaged lightsaber, then Hasbro can simply shrug and respond, “Hey, we never said you should duel with it. Force FX lightsabers are collectibles not toys.”
If Hasbro made duel worthy lightsabers, the company would need to over-hall all of its products in order ensure they are safe during dueling. The so-called ‘collectible’ Force FX lightsaber would transform into a riskier ‘sporting good’. The company would expose itself to more customer complaints or even recalls and lawsuits. Hasbro likely prefers making flashy, ‘Adult Collectible’ lightsabers to making a potentially problematic durable, sport-caliber lightsaber.
Impracticality of Star Wars canon lightsaber designs during dueling
Lightsabers portrayed in the Star Wars movies and media are intended to look cool. Many canon hilt features, however, are uncomfortable and impractical to use during real life dueling. All of the Force FX lightsabers are based on in-universe lightsaber hilt designs, so essentially none of the Force FX lightsabers are practical in design for dueling.
By contrast, some of the really nice duel worthy custom lightsabers are original designs that factor comfort and practicality into the design of the hilt. Some duel worthy custom lightsabers may be function and fashionable at the same time. Other duel worthy custom lightsabers take more of a bare-bones, no-frills design approach.
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