Too Many Lightsabers?

One of the more laughable criticisms leveled at George Lucas in the Red Letter Media reviews of the prequels is the alleged over-abundance of lightsabers in the films.  Plinkett clearly spawned this argument from the notion that Lucas ruined the mythical aspects of the original trilogy.  Neither claim holds water.

The prequels had a job to do in providing the Skywalker backstory.  The less-is-more approach to the original films had more to do with technical limitations and storytelling context than any magic Star Wars formula.  The idea that the prequels suffered from too many lightsabers is a canard designed to repackage disappointment with Lucas’ vision.

Though Palpatine and Yoda do not wield lightsabers in the original trilogy, the weapon clearly holds importance to Force users.  Obi-Wan describes it as such in A New Hope, and if the prequels showcased the Jedi at the tail-end of their peak it stands to reason that lightsabers would feature prominently.  Arguing against their prevalence is simply finding another way to say ‘I don’t like Lucas’ vision for the prequels.’

That’s like saying there were too many robes or cloaks in the prequels (though Plinkett takes issue with the Jedi wardrobe choices, but that’s another issue entirely).  Ultimately, the underlying disappointment is with a storyline that features hordes of Jedi where before there were but a handful.  This is letting nostalgia cloud judgment.

The original trilogy didn’t establish precedent of the Jedi as few in number.  There’s clearly a genetic component to Force sensitivity.  Because the original films don’t describe the Skywalker family as having a near-exclusive relationship with the Force, it’s safe to assume that there are more attuned beings across the galaxy.  But since the Jedi had been eradicated, the number of trained Force users is sparse.  However, if the prequels show the Jedi before their fall, it stands to reason that they would number heavily.

So, if the Jedi favor lightsabers and the backstory features numerous Jedi, it stands to reason that there would be no shortage of the weapon.  If you think Lucas totally bungled the backstory to the original trilogy, at least come out and say it.  But finding new ways to regurgitate the same complaint does not enhance your argument.


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