One of the many fun activities that bring Star Wars fans and lightsaber enthusiasts together is lightsaber duelling. The undeniable thrill and fun of re-enacting epic duels from the movies is something that has continued to gain a lot of popularity among Star Wars fans all over the world. Countries like France even recognise lightsaber duelling as an official sport.
As a fan looking to take part in the thrill of lightsaber duelling, one very important item you will need is a good duelling lightsaber. Unfortunately, not all lightsabers on the market are suitable for duelling. Some are, at best, only suitable for display and light sparring.
So what lightsaber is best for duelling? Keep reading to see some of the important features a replica lightsaber must have in order to be deemed duel-ready.
The nature and build of a lightsaber’s hilt are some of the factors that need to be considered when choosing a duelling lightsaber. This is because, in addition to being the part you grip, a saber’s hilt is what houses and protects its electronics, so a strong and sturdy hilt material is needed for handling the intense conditions of lightsaber duelling. A good recommendation would be to go for a replica that has at least three retention screws holding the lightsaber blade sturdy to its hilt.
In addition to durability, the appearance and feel of a lightsaber’s hilt are important. For example, if you plan on duelling like Darth Vader, getting yourself a duel-ready Darth Vader lightsaber replica would be an excellent way to do so. An added advantage is that you would be getting the best of both functionality and aesthetics, as Darth Vader’s lightsaber has one of the most unique designs out there with its prominent, sleek black hilt and distinctive ridged grip, which is excellent for handling.
Blade Quality and Material– As far as lightsaber duelling goes, the only type of blade you should be looking for is a thick-walled or heavy-grade polycarbonate blade. Anything less will scratch and even shatter when subjected to the intense strikes and swings involved in lightsaber duelling.
Blade Lights– Visual effects are very important for duelling lightsabers as they make duelling more animated and fun. There are several different lightsaber colours available, and what you want is a replica that features RGB colour-changing, which allows your saber blade to smoothly transition from one colour to another during battle.
You may also want to weigh your options between Neopixel and RGB blades. Neopixel sabers have several LED light strips placed with their blades, which gives them excellent clarity and brightness; however, these LED strips can easily get damaged during battle. RGB blades, on the other hand, are lit by LED strips that are placed within the hilt. They don’t easily get damaged during combat, but they are not as bright as neopixel lightsabers.
A duelling lightsaber also needs authentic sound effects to accompany the hum of the saber’s projector motor. Most models come with soundboards that contain pre-recorded sound effects, while for others, users may need to program the sound effects themselves.
For the saber electronics to work, a power source will be required. Most replica lightsabers make use of AA batteries, but there are more recent models that make use of rechargeable Li-ion batteries.
At the end of the day, the best lightsaber for duelling is one that features a strong and sturdy hilt, heavy-grade polycarbonate blade, blade lights, sound effects and good power-saving abilities. These features are what make lightsaber duelling very immersive, thrilling and realistic.