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"Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough..."
on 22 September 2011
When reflecting of the Star Wars franchise, age is something that will rarely hold a fan back from making a purchase of the official goods. Heck, when I got my first 'X-Wing Fighter' at the age of 8, my dad played with it more than me, although I recently re-discovered the toy and it now takes pride of place on MY shelf. So it should be a delight that Mr Lucas (or his team of money makers) one day decided to make a 'torch' from the widely recognised Lightsaber weapon that Jedi's use in the Star Wars universe. Although if you believe in the contradictions of the prequel films, then any Joe Bloggs can just pick up a lightsaber and have an endless fight!
It is what it is - an oversized torch that, as far as we can tell, resembles a Lightsaber 'hilt' from Star Wars: Revenge of The Sith. Comparing it to Anakin's actual weapon in the film, this product is a touch longer which, I'm guessing, is to accommodate all hand sizes and to make the product nice and easy to pick up for younger fans (particularly as the construction is fairly basic). I can't give an accurate measurement because my Jedi measuring tape is broken, and Yoda won't give me another one.
Aside from some simple detailing on various sections of the product, the only other authentic feature is that the LED's glow in a blue colour, which was of course the colour of Anakin's own lightsaber before he became a Sith. According to the films, this lightsaber was then passed down to Luke by Obi Wan (in Episode 4), who gives the young man the weapon and allows him to practically destroy his poor little home from waving it about carelessly.
Four tiny LED's are present on the top of the product and offer only, shall we say, 'reasonable' amount of lighting in the dark, which is a bit disappointing given that it requires 3 x AAA batteries to operate (and you know how it is when you can't find any AAA batteries in the house. Even all the TV remotes use AA's!). Part of this powers the sound effects though, which are basically the iconic 'Wooosh' sound when the torch is switched on - as if the lightsaber was powering up - and then a 'shooop' sound as its turned off, for the powering down. I'm surprised the product doesn't make a noise when you sway it side-to-side as this would have been the icing on the cake. Alas it's not present - George Lucas will probably edit this concept in the future.
Struggling to find a use for my 'torch' (since it does not emit the suitable amounts of light that you would expect from... drum roll... a torch...), I placed it beside my bed and just hoped that I would need the lavatory in hours to come - thus I could, "use the force" to find the water system. The only problem was that the 'Woooosh' sound effect was so loud that it woke nearly everyone up in the house, and is therefore rendered useless at night time unless Boba Fett has hunted you down.
To be honest, i'm not quite sure what the bloody hell I was expecting. Part of me got carried away and said "Tom - its a lightsaber! Just get it", but like a fallen Jedi, my own downfall was that I gave into temptation and expected an enormous amount of power that never really existed. Its just a very cheaply made 'toy' with four LED's and tinny lightsaber sound effects. I don't think it would be possible to make a 'real' lightsaber, since their would likely be an epidemic of self-inflicted wounds, such as severed arms and the occasional cut. That's a point - whose idea was it to give those 'younglings' REAL lightsabers to train with in Episode II? The PTA will surely complain.
In short, the product is ideal for imaginative and naive children, but saddos like myself will not be able to cause havoc for the neighbours afterall. Pity...
(Note: Buy from an online store, as my trip to Argos was less then fruitful. After contemplating which box to give me, the 'dude' behind the counter gave me the lightsaber with its battery-tab removed, meaning that someone had killed the batteries from the ridiculous "TRY ME!" label. My search for 3 x AAA's went on for hours because, being a man, I didn't have the sense to go out and actually buy some whilst I was at Argos)