-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Sat, 08 May 1999 13:33:47 -0700

At 09:37 5/8/1999 -0700, you wrote:
>> BTW- How do they explain the lightsaber in star wars? (Or do they even
>I've never seen them explained.

They mostly don't explain it, just say that it's a blade made of
concentrated energy. This is a vast improvement over 20 years ago, when
damn near everyone was using "laser sword" as a synonym for lightsaber in
non-Star Wars productions. The notable exception was, ah, Gundam....

For what it's worth, the Sar Wars Weapons & Technology 1999 Calendar says:

"A typical lightsaber's 24 to 30 cm handgrip houses a very sophisticated
power cell, which channels energy through one or more multi-faceted
crystals. These crystals then focus the energy through a blade emitter on
one end, creating a blade of pure energy that can cut through almost any

Back in 1980, I wrote one of my first fan articles for a fanzine called
COMLINK, in which I took the then-prevalent "laser sword" analogy to task,
pointing out that a laser beam can't be constrained in length, any more
than a flashlight beam. My own theory was that the lightsaber projected a
force field a meter in length and a centimeter in diameter. This field
displaced matter and was thus capable of cutting anything material -- but
not another field, hence the ability to fence with lightsabers -- and,
while invisible itself, ionized the ambient air to produce the distinctive
light. I furhter hypothesized that the ionized air was either accelerated
or decelerated by interaction with the field, with a resulting blue or red

Little did I know that, over in Japan, someone had already beaten me to it
with the explanation for how a beam saber works....


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