Sunday, April 7, 2013

Green Saber, Red Saber, Blue Saber, Shoot


Over the course of several hundred viewings of the Star Wars films I’ve noticed an interesting trend in the outcome of lightsaber fights. Regardless of the circumstances it seems that someone wielding a green lightsaber will always beat someone wielding a red lightsaber, and someone wielding a red lightsaber will always beat someone wielding a blue lightsaber. Though it’s never been depicted in any of the six Star Wars films, if we follow the pattern we must conclude that someone wielding a blue lightsaber will always beat someone wielding a green lightsaber establishing a rock paper scissor effect, or so it would seem, on the outcome of a lightsaber duel.

Now I recognize of course that you’re already thinking of examples where this is not the case, but let’s go through each lightsaber battle starting with the classic films from whence the theory was derived and see if this effect doesn’t just play out as I’ve described.

A New Hope: Obi-Wan and Darth Vader on the Death Star
Being the only lightsaber fight in the whole movie it’s fairly easy to analyze. Obi-Wan wielding a blue lightsaber faces off against Darth Vader and his red blade. Likely because he knew he’d lose anyway, Obi-Wan lets Vader cut him down. Red beats blue, case closed.

Empire Strikes Back: Luke and Darth Vader on Cloud City
There is again only the one fight to analyze and it’s fairly straightforward. Luke comes at Vader with a blue lightsaber. Vader defends with his red lightsaber and cuts off Luke’s hand. Red beats blue once more.

Return of the Jedi: Luke and Darth Vader on the second Death Star
Once more there is but one lightsaber fight in the film. It’s a rematch between Luke and Vader. This time, Luke came prepared with a custom built green lightsaber. Vader falls back on his trusty red lightsaber. Luke beats down Vader’s blade and perpetrates some poetic justice cutting off his hand. Green beats red and so the theory is established.

The Phantom Menace: Qui-Gon and Darth Maul on Tatooine
Darth Maul attacks Qui-Gon with a red lightsaber. Qui-Gon defends with a green lightsaber and is able to parry each blow and make his escape unharmed. Green triumphs over red.

The Phantom Menace: Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Darth Maul on Naboo
Now here is where it gets a little messy, but follow me if you will. Qui-Gon using a green blade and Obi-Wan with a blue blade are beating back Darth Maul who’s wielding a red blade. Qui-Gon and Darth Maul get separated from Obi-Wan for a few moments. Qui-Gon is doing fine until he lets go of his lightsaber while holding it above his head and then is stabbed not a second later. Seriously, he lets go of the lightsaber before being stabbed, watch it frame by frame. This critical mistake is his downfall. Then Obi-Wan comes in, is pissed, but still using a blue lightsaber. He’s defeated and falls barely catching himself on a light fixture. He summons the will to jump out grabbing Qui-Gon’s green lightsaber at the same time and chops Maul like his lightsaber in half and watches him plummet to his supposed death. Green beats red, red beats blue and the theory stands.

Attack of the Clones: Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Darth Tyranus on Geonosis
Anakin with a green lightsaber and Obi-Wan with a blue lightsaber initially attack Tyranus who is using a red lightsaber together. They are doing well and so Tyranus using Force lightning and not his lightsaber dispatches Anakin and wisely removes the green saber from the equation. Tyranus then defeats Obi-Wan and his blue saber and is just about to kill him when he’s stopped by Anakin with his green saber. Obi-Wan tosses his blue saber to Anakin and he goes at Tyranus with both. Tyranus, clearly wise to this theory, cuts the green saber in half leaving Anakin with just the blue saber. He is ultimately and unsurprisingly defeated. Then enters Yoda with a green lightsaber and sends Tyranus and his red lightsaber packing. Green once more triumphs over red, and red ultimately beats blue leaving the theory very much intact.

Revenge of the Sith: Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Darth Tyranus on the Invisible Hand
Anakin with a blue lightsaber and Obi-Wan with a blue lightsaber foolishly take on Darth Tyranus and his red lightsaber. Tyranus defeats Obi-Wan and is left with just Anakin. Anakin cuts off Tyranus hands thus disarming him and allowing the red lightsaber to change hands coming into Anakin’s possession and ultimately allowing him to triumph over Tyranus. Red beats blue.

Revenge of the Sith: Mace Windu and Palpatine in the Chancellor’s Office
It’s only included because it’s a lightsaber fight. Mace’s Purple blade beats Palpatine’s red blade. Now I know you’re thinking what about the three Jedi that came in with Windu? Two of them had green lightsabers. I have two responses to that. First Windu on team green as it were won so technically so did they. Second and more importantly the lightsabers must actually touch to qualify them as being participants in the fight which neither of theirs did. Purple beats red, irrelevant to the theory, it stands.

Revenge of the Sith: Palpatine and Yoda in the Senate
Yoda takes on Palpatine using a green lightsaber; Palpatine defends with his red lightsaber. Yoda is doing quite well until his lightsaber is knocked from his grasp by Force lightning allowing Palpatine to win the day. Force lightning beats green, any color (red in this case) beats nothing.

Revenge of the Sith: Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar
Anakin has his trusty blue lightsaber and Obi-Wan his equally trusty blue lightsaber. Obi-Wan ultimately triumphs and let’s face it, it was really a toss-up. Blue beats blue, the theory is valid

So there you have it, it does in fact prove true that a green lightsaber will triumph over a red lightsaber and a red lightsaber over a blue lightsaber every time in the 6 Star Wars films. Will Disney’s recent takeover of Lucas Arts change all that? We’ll have to wait and see, right here at the N3rd C0rn3r.