A new Star Wars movie is coming out, and lots of people are getting really excited for it. And if past experience has taught us anything, they won't be disappointed in any way.
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"So now the midichlorians shot first?"
It also means many more people will be flailing around their garages in imaginary lightsaber battles. There's something very deep in the human psyche that is desperately attracted to the concept of laser swords, and the Internet is full of examples of people staging epic pretend fights with their neighbor Kenny.
But what if they didn't have to pretend? What if, by simply wishing it so god damned much, we could make lightsabers actually exist in our world? I decided to find out. Using the six existing films, a painted broomstick, and my childlike imagination as references, I analyzed all the ways the world would change if we suddenly all had lightsabers.
It gets pretty grim, actually.
#5. Massive And Immediate Casualties
The first few seconds of mass lightsaber ownership will go fine. But eventually, people will notice the large bulges in their front pockets, and wonder who they're specifically happy to see, and discover that they have lightsabers, and try to figure out how to turn them on. When this happens, depending on how well-labeled these things are (is there an "Aim Away From Face" sticker?), we're going to lose a sizable percent of the human population more or less immediately.
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You're not going to want to be on an airplane when this goes down.
For most of the world, this will result in tears, chaos, and many people taking a half day at work. Not everyone will fare that badly, though. People isolated from each other should do better, and anyone at a rave will find the dance floor getting really exciting for a few seconds.
"Put your hands up in the air, put your hands up in the air!"
Once the initial carnage settles down and we take the lightsabers away from the children, the survivors will have to take a long look at the power they've just been given.
#4. Improved Productivity
Lightsabers are incredible pieces of technology, portrayed as being able to cut through almost anything. The implications this has for industry are significant. Workers in a variety of sectors would be instantly more efficient. Construction alone would become a lot easier, to say nothing of demolition. Entire buildings could be knocked down by a single guy.
Maybe give him a helmet, though.
Lightsaber wounds cauterize instantly, which could be potentially useful in some types of surgical procedures (hand amputations come to mind). One can imagine that every hospital will soon have a team of specially-trained lightsaber surgeons to work on these particular cases; elite practitioners who will speak softly and take to wearing robes in their free time.
Even for household activities, lightsabers would be a blessing. Perfectly sliced tomatoes, ultra close shaves, and finally, something capable of opening those stupid plastic clamshell packages.
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But rapid increases in productivity aren't always good news, as this increased efficiency can make workers redundant and put them out of a job. Within months, the world would see a mass increase in unemployment, which would lead to a new problem ...
The thin concrete and wooden walls that keep thieves away from us and our cool things obviously won't slow down lightsabers very much at all. This will of course be a problem as soon as lightsabers arrive in our world, but once the wave of displaced workers arrives, it will get a lot worse -- just hordes upon hordes of unemployed lumberjacks roaming the suburbs, looking for easy money. There honestly wouldn't be much point in locking your door at night once this happens, so likely is the chance of a burglar-shaped hole appearing in the wall beside it.
"What's this shit? An irregular oval? Care a little, man!"
This will inevitably lead to a lot of confrontations between lightsaber-armed homeowners and lumberjacks, and some seriously clumsy fucking sword fights. Around this point, the government will consider its dwindling supply of body bags and street sweepers clogged with limbs, and decide it's seen enough. Martial law will be more or less inevitable, and we can expect to see massive sweeps of the population to collect lightsabers.
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You'll also be able to exchange them at your local high school -- no questions asked -- for a Jar-Jar Binks KFC cup.
But many, many lightsabers will fall through the cracks, from criminals stealing them to people hiding them to countries where the government sweeps just aren't that effective. For someone who genuinely wants one, a lightsaber will still be pretty easy to come by.