A country far, far away called France just made lightsaber dueling, which of course originated in a galaxy far, far away in the "Star Wars" movies, an official sport that is recognized by a sanctioning body.
The Associated Press reports that France's fencing federation has recognized lightsaber dueling from "Star Wars" as an offical sport, which grants "the iconic weapon from George Lucas’ saga the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics."
The classic fights between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader are extremely similar to classic fencing, so it makes sense that fans of the movies would want to duel like a Jedi.
Under the new federation's guidelines, lightsaber duels last three minutes and take place inside of a taped circle on the floor. What kind of moves you make and what striking points you hit will determine how many points you get at the end of the round. Oh, and the lightsabers make the classic whoooschh-whooosch sound that the lightsabers do in the movies. How cool is that? You can watch the video below to see all the rules.
Lightsaber dueling: Some basic rules. pic.twitter.com/GNEKH5jPJg— John Leicester (@johnleicester) February 18, 2019
The French Fencing Federation is now equipping fencing clubs with lightsabers and soon-to-be lightsaber dueling trainers, aka real-life Jedis, so younger kids can get involved with the sport.
“With young people today, it’s a real public health issue,” federation Secretary General Serge Aubailly explained to the AP. “It’s becoming difficult to [persuade them to] do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural.”
While it would be every "Star Wars" fan's dream to see lightsaber dueling in the Olympics, reports say there's zero chance the sport will show up in the 2024 Olympics in France. Perhaps in a year that is far, far away? As Yoda once said, "Patience you must have, my young Padawan."