Star Wars Force Awakens Kylo Ren

The debate over Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber in Star Wars: The Force Awakens rages on. The latest to weigh in with his opinion is none other than Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, Ewan McGregor — who says a real Jedi or Sith wouldn’t need a crossguard. Read the Ewan McGregor crossguard lightsaber comments after the jump. 

McGregor discussed Star Wars: The Force Awakens and that controversial lightsaber at the Edinburgh International Film Festival premiere of his new movie Last Days in the Desert. “I’m excited about it as much as anyone else,” he said. “I saw the trailer and it looks like [J.J. Abrams] absolutely nailed it and it feels right.” He continued, “But I’m not sure about the [crossguard] lightsaber. If you fight with a lightsaber properly you don’t need one.”

That echoes statements McGregor made to MTV earlier this year about the same matter. “You don’t need hilts,” he scoffed at the Sundance Film Festival. “If you know how to handle a lightsaber, you don’t need a silly hilt. We managed very well, the Jedi order managed very well without hilts for hundreds of millions of years.”

Fans have been going back and forth about the crossguard lightsaber since we first glimpsed it in the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer. Some argue it’s unnecessary, because an opponent’s lightsaber would easily slice through the metal emitters that shoot out the quillons (that is, those little side bits). Others go further and claim it’s downright dangerous. Make one wrong move, and the user is in danger of lopping their own hand off.

On the flipside, there are fans (like Stephen Colbert) who’ve theorized that all three blades are actually a single pieces, so there’s no danger of slicing through the quillons. And at least one has demonstrated how the sides could be used to chop off the opponent’s hands. Then, of course, there are more practical, real world concerns. Disney needs to sell more lightsaber toys, and they can’t move nearly as much product if Kylo Ren’s lightsaber looks essentially identical to Darth Vader’s.

In the end, McGregor is right that properly trained Jedi and Sith don’t need the crossguard. We’ve seen film after film of them making do without. But there seem to be some compelling arguments as to why a Jedi or Sith might want one. If the crossguards are actually a useful development, “we’ve never used them before” isn’t a great argument against them.

As for whether McGregor himself might return for more Star Wars, he said at Edinburgh: “I’ll say it publicly, here, now. I’d be happy to do the story between Episode III, that I finished in, and Episode IV that Alec Guinness started in. I think that would be good. Disney should definitely do that.”

There have been rumors that Disney is thinking of doing just that, but as of now there’s no confirmation from anyone. If one ever does happen, though, it sounds like we can count on Obi-Wan to stick with classic lightsabers instead of experimenting with crazy newfangled crossguards and whatnot.

 

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