lightsaber dueling

France is light years ahead of the rest of the world. The country has now recognized lightsaber dueling as an official sport, in an attempt to bring fencing to a younger generation raised on Star Wars. But France may get more applicants to lightsaber duels than they bargained for — young and old generations alike are probably eager to wield those special illuminated blades.

Soon you can re-enact that Rey and Kylo lightsaber duel from Star Wars: The Last Jedi in a setting outside of your living room. The French Fencing Federation has recognized lightsaber dueling as an official sport, according to the Associated Press. The “byoom” sounds we all subconsciously make with our mouths when wielding a lightsaber are still up for debate, though.

The French Fencing Federation has recognized lightsaber dueling, which uses “blades” made of polycarbonate rather than the magnetically-contained plasma of the films, in an effort to appeal to younger generations. The duels will follow the basic rules of fencing, with points awarded depending on where the blade makes contact (the head or body gets you 5 points, arms or legs 3 points, hands just 1 point). The first person to get 15 points wins, but if the match isn’t over after three minutes, the person with the highest score automatically wins.

Just the nature of lightsaber dueling is 100 times cooler. But the federation is also altering the sport to make it look as close to the big screen version as possible. For example, a new rule requires the point of the lightsaber to reach behind each fighter before they attempt a hit. That way the fights will consist of large sweeping motions rather than the quick jabs commonly used in fencing.

So yes, you have to learn some basic fencing first before you don your Obi-Wan cosplay and pick up your first “real” lightsaber. But maybe once enough people pack their bags for France and become full-time Jedi Masters (training in swamps not included), we can get lightsaber dueling recognized by the International Fencing Federation. Next stop: Olympics.

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