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If you’re clear on what lightsaber dueling is, exactly, Twitter user @ILLSonDJ offers this definition: “It’s like fencing, but with long, toy flashlights instead of foils.” France’s fencing federation was the first group to recognize the recreation as a sport.
https://t.co/xCwcWgRtM4 The Force is strong with France, where Lightsaber Dueling is now a recognized competitive sport– It's like fencing, but with long, toy flashlights instead of foils. pic.twitter.com/ExqRjg5OOy
— DJ ILLSon (@ILLSonDJ) February 18, 2019
Many fencing clubs have actually been using lightsabers to practice, as the concept is very similar to fencing. The stamina and athleticism required for a lightsaber battle were likely factors in the federation’s decision to legitimize the Star Wars dueling method.
“We wanted it to produce something visual that looks like the movies, because that is what people expect,” Michel Ortiz, the French tournament organizer, told the Associated Press.
It appears that people outside of France are jealous.
“If I never pass any of my teacher certification tests I’ll just move to France and take up competitive lightsaber dueling,” Twitter user @regeaykram wrote.
If I never pass any of my teacher certification tests I’ll just move to France and take up competitive lightsaber dueling
— Mark (@regeaykram) February 18, 2019
“Lightsaber dueling is now an official sport in France. Sorry fighting games, but my true commentary calling has arrived,” wrote @brokenfierce.
Lightsaber dueling is now an official sport in France. Sorry fighting games, but my true commentary calling has arrived.
— brokenfierce (@brokenfierce) February 18, 2019
It’s certainly another reason to appreciate France—and fencing.
“Lightsaber dueling is now an official sport, thanks to the same great nation that brought us croissants and spreadable duck. 🇫🇷 Vive la France 🇫🇷,” another wrote.
Lightsaber dueling is now an official sport, thanks to the same great nation that brought us croissants and spreadable duck. 🇫🇷 Vive la France 🇫🇷 https://t.co/x2FcNeglUh
— Scott Macaluso (@artformarket) February 18, 2019
“Young me would’ve loved this. Now me does too … but this is making fencing cool again!” Ian Landy wrote.
Young me would’ve loved this. Now me does too … but this is making fencing cool again!
— Ian Landy (@technolandy) February 18, 2019
In the newly official lightsaber duel tournaments, rounds are expected to last three minutes. According to Time, lightsabers will be made as “LED-lit, rigid polycarbonate replicas” of the iconic props. The sabers will even sound like the originals, making the token “buzz” noise.
The two combatants will fight in a circle. The Associated Press further explains: “Strikes to the head or body are worth 5 points; to the arms or legs, 3 points; on hands, 1 point. The first to 15 points wins or, if they don’t get there quickly, the high scorer after 3 minutes. If both fighters reach 10 points, the bout enters ‘sudden death, where the first to land a head- or body-blow wins, a rule to encourage enterprising fighters.”
May the force be with the duelers.
Eilish O'Sullivan is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism and government at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.