Anybody who grew up with Star Wars has imagined themselves as a Jedi wielding a glowing lightsaber. Daisy Ridley has actually done it, and it turns out the reality is very different from the fantasy. The actress, who will reprise her role as Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, says that the actual props are more difficult to swing around than you'd expect. It sounds like it isn't quite as much fun as you'd think. According to Ridley...
They're really heavy. Three, four, five kilos? And the weight's very unevenly distributed.
For the American audience who's not familiar with a kilo outside of the latest drug smuggling movie, a kilogram is more than two pounds, so a four to five-kilogram item is running somewhere in the neighborhood of ten pounds, give or take. That's certainly heavier than most of us would have probably guessed. Add to that, the fact that the weight isn't even, mostly in the base we'd expect, and what you have sounds like the worst toy sword ever designed. Pretending to be a Jedi doesn't sound like nearly as much fun as it did when I was a kid.
Apparently, just picking up a lightsaber and swinging it around isn't as easy as all that. Daisy Ridley told Vogue that she went through specific physical conditioning in order to properly wield her lightsaber. It's not too surprising. Fight scenes usually require extensive choreography and many, many takes in order to get everything right from every angle the director needs. Doing all that while carrying even ten pounds in your hand is going to get tiring after a while. It would also take getting used to swinging something if the weight of the item is that uneven. Assuming it's mostly in the base, swinging the other, lighter, end wildly seems like something that could happen frequently.
The real difficulty, one would guess, is in making the lightsaber look like it isn't the unwieldy mess that it apparently is. Lightsabers are portrayed as weighing almost nothing. The blade literally does weigh nothing, since it's only light. Making swinging a lightsaber around look effortless, when it is, in fact, the opposite, may be some of the best acting actually taking place in the Star Wars movies.
We'll get a chance to see how well Daisy Ridley learned to swing a lightsaber when Star Wars: The Last Jedi finally hits screens. We're excited to see how her Jedi training has been going. Although, based on the trailer, it certainly appears that things don't necessarily go all that well. Still, while we're sure The Last Jedi is going to stomp on our hearts, hopefully, it will give us some great lightsaber fights along the way.