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Disney-fication of ‘Star Wars’ ruins historic weapon


The newest Star Wars shows and movies have continued the trend of smothering lightsabers’ power from being deadly and elegant weapons into glowing clubs that appear unthreatening. 

Everyone knows what a lightsaber is, from the iconic glowing look to the instantly recognizable thrum of the ignition. It has always been a potent and versatile weapon in the Star Wars universe, but it seems to have lost much of its past deadliness in recent Star Wars productions, slowly shifting from being blades of pure energy to mere glowing swords. 

The newest shows in the franchise, such as Ahsoka and Obi-Wan Kenobi, have begun to perpetuate a trend set by the three latest movies also known as the sequel trilogy—minimizing lightsabers’ display of power. 

For instance, in Ahsoka, Sabine Wren is impaled by a lightsaber following a battle at the end of the first episode. While this could have been a perfect way to set the tone for a darker series, the character miraculously survives with little scarring. 

While it was obvious that Wren would survive due to her appearance in other shows further down the timeline, it was unnecessary to have her stabbed by a lightsaber. It doesn’t serve as a backstory—it only serves to make lightsabers seem powerless. 

Other characters such as the Grand Inquisitor in Obi-Wan Kenobi and Kylo Ren in The Rise of Skywalker have also been miraculously saved or revived in plot-convenient methods after being stabbed by lightsabers. 

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, one of the most powerful Jedi to ever live, died instantly after being stabbed in the same manner in The Phantom Menace, the first chronological Star Wars movie. 

Throughout the entire sequel trilogy, the number of significant characters that have died from wounds inflicted by a lightsaber can be counted on a single hand. This number pales in comparison to that of the original and prequel trilogies (the first six chronological movies). 

One of the biggest changes between then and now is Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars

It isn’t too absurd to believe that Disney would try to make Star Wars more “family-friendly” to accommodate larger audiences. This has happened before to other franchises acquired by Disney such as Marvel, in which the atmosphere has changed drastically, from having dark and gritty scenes to constantly cracking corny jokes to keep the mood light.  

While the desire to make a franchise of interest to a larger audience is understandable, the degeneration of one of the most important features in the Star Wars universe is not. 

The route that Disney took to captivate a larger and newer demographic is one that simultaneously humiliated long-time fans and stomped on the legacy of one of the most iconic weapons in cinematic history. 

This isn’t to say that Ahsoka is an uninteresting show, as its well-developed characters and relationships paired with a healthy dose of fan service definitely make it one of the more intriguing Star Wars shows. However, it seems that the directors of the newer shows and movies have forgotten that lightsabers are still weapons at the end of the day. 

While lightsabers can serve as a phenomenal world-building tool, they are more than just fancy swords and ultimately shouldn’t be treated as such.

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Eric Lam
Eric Lam, Arts Editor
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