Friday, February 10, 2006

Seize Your Density

So I got this brochure in the mail the other day, about becoming a Jedi and after reading it and successfully drawing the turtle, I was like "hell yes". I headed out to their Secret Jedi Training Facility and I've got two words for you: let down. I was mainly interested in it for the lightsaber and the mind tricks. It'd be cool to roll up to the drive-through window and they'd be all like "That's 4.78 sir" and I'm all like "I already paid for these sausage biscuits" and they're all like "You already paid for these sausage biscuits" and BAM, free sausage biscuits. If it didn't work, I'd bust out the saber and then see if they can collect money when I lop their hand off. I thought it'd be all high style living and prestige and shit. I could live with the robes, because they seem comfortable enough and I pretty much live in my bathrobe anyway so there's no big stretch there.

Man was I wrong. First of all, I get there and meet this Skywalker dude and he's all going on about serving the universe and serving the Force and not being angry and blah, blah, blah. I drifted off a couple of times but was awake long enough to learn that being a Jedi ain't got nothing to do with stealing sausage biscuits. I tried to hide those thoughts from him but he's a snoopy motherfucker and I'm sure he caught some thoughts he wasn't too pleased with because after a while he looked at me like he caught me whacking off to pictures of goats or something. Second of all, they don't get paid! Can you believe that? They're all flying around, policing the galaxy, getting their arms lopped off fighting whatever threat just rolled up in the galaxy and they don't get paid. Fuck. That. I'm all about gettin' mine and I ain't about to put myself in a situation where I can lose a thumb and not have some Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance or at least a Long Term Disability plan. Hell to the no. How the hell they expect me to keep putting gas in the X-Wing without a salary is anyone's guess.

Thankfully it wasn't a total bust. Usually making a lightsaber is this big contemplative act where you meditate on the Force and go into a trance for like 6 days or some shit and when you're done you have a completed lightsaber, but sometimes that shit ain't practical. When you're being hunted by Trandoshan bounty hunters they're not going to take a week off just so that you can remake your lightsaber. Trust me, I've asked. For those times, when you really need something quickly, the Jedi make these Build Your Own Lightsaber kits. When I was being escorted out of the training facility, I saw a bunch of the kits in a supply closet. I used a Jedi "mind trick" to brain my guide with a coat stand and grabbed one on my way out. Ossus is a hell of a long ways away to leave completely empty handed.

So, here's the kit and as you can see, you've got a lot of options to play with. They give you instructions on how to make sabers that look like Anakin Skywalker's, Darth Vader's, Luke Skywalker's and Obi-Wan Kenobi's. Not sure about the idea behind that. I mean, they're recognizeable names but Anakin? Dead. Darth? Dead. Obi-Wan? Dead. They're like 1 - 4 on living Jedi, so excuse me if I choose a style that won't leave me all twisted by the dark side and some shit. In typical Jedi fashion, it doesn't come with batteries which is oh-so helpful when you're trying to create your saber in the heat of battle. Oh excuse me Vong warrior, but can you put down your amphistaff long enough so that I can rustle up some C-cells? No? Oh, ok.

Here you see the saber in the initial stages of construction. Note the green crystal. Each saber uses different crystals to regulate the length of the blade, power, color, etc. I meditated on the Force while watching Veronica Mars to figure out what color crystal to pick and the Force was all like "Green, green, green". I was cool with that. Green is all about life and the Force can't exist without life so that's cool. Plus, green is all about cash money and you know I'm down wit gettin' paid. Holla! Each crystal also has a distinct resonance too, which helps to distinguish your saber. Funny story. Every one used to make fun of Windu because he had that prissy purple blade, but he tweaked his crystal so that when his saber was on, instead of humming, it kept saying "Piiiiimmmmmp. Piiiiimmmmmp." That dude was hilarious. Anyways, I put the green crystal in and fired up the saber to do some preliminary testing and it sounded like someone was operating a chainsaw in a metal garbage can. Nice job, Force. I can't be steppin to some Storm Troopers sounding like I'm wielding a weed-whacker. Fuck that noise. After that, I switched to blue.

Here you can see the basic design. The emitter was a little bigger than I had hoped for, but it's not like this is something I can conceal anyways, and besides, I'd rather people see it and think I'm a Jedi so that they just do what I want them to do out of fear. The kit comes with extra emitters and crystals if you want to go double-bladed, but don't even bother. Oh, sure it looks cool and shit, but what you need to remember is that these blades don't have any weight to them, so you have to be able to see the blade to know where it's going. It's hard to see two blades at once. Everyone who makes their first saber wants to be all badass and go the double bladed route, but after their first practice session they're all in bacta tanks waiting for the medical droids to grow them some new feet. Not this playa. Besides, those double-bladed sabers eat up batteries like crazy and that's a discussion we've already had.

The almost finished product. All that's left is some power level tweaking and rust protection. As you can see, I have two power switches, because I thought it'd give me an advantage when dueling to be able to power down the saber from different grips when doing things like feints and parrys. It really throws someone off when they expect to clash blades but your blade isn't there. Just make sure that your arm isn't there instead. That red switch at the base of the hilt is a little something extra I cooked up for those dueling moments when you're all locked in combat, staring into the eyes of your hated enemy, his face inches from your's. I bought this huge batch of Corellian hot peppers, boiled them down and built a small atomizer into the hilt. If I thumb the red button it sends out a blast of pepper spray. Unfortunately I didn't take into account the spray direction when I first tested it and managed to get a blast right in the ol' peepers. They swelled up something awful. I was going to go to the hospital but if I had told them I got hit with pepper spray, they would think I was a rapist, and if I told them that it was when I was building my lightsaber, they would think I was a mental patient. I stayed in that weekend. I had originally planned on making it an electro-shock thing that would send a charge down the blade to my opponent's hilt, but surprisingly enough, those energy blades don't conduct electricity all that well. After I came to, I came up with the pepper spray idea.

Here's the final assembly. It turned out pretty much how I wanted it to, but again, the hilt is a bit bigger than I had hoped. I figure when people see it, they'll just think that I'm a tricked out thug who ain't afraid to bust out the big blade. When people see you coming with a lightsaber, they pretty much make up their minds on the spot, so I don't think that having a bigger hilt is going to make much of a difference. The plastic blade you see is a test harnass they give you so that when you're building the blade, you don't mess up and send out a 20 ft energy blade and cut a hole through your parent's basement in the process. The blade itself doesn't photograph well, but trust me, it's there in all of its blue, blazing glory. I haven't had much of a chance to use it since building it, as things are pretty calm around here, although I did chase some kids off of my lawn with it. They were all throwing their ball on my grass and shit, but once they heard the snap-hiss of the blade coming out, and saw me slice that ball in two, they hightailed it on out of there. I called the police to register my services as a Jedi (it's not like they're going to check my membership card or anything) but they didn't seem too interested in knowing I was around. The saber does a pretty good job trimming hedges, so at least it's not a total waste. Next time I'm out, I'm going to see if I can buy one of those Build Your Own Force Pike Kits. Those Crimson Guard dudes are the shit.


Bones said...

I knew this guy looked familiar!

suburbanjoe said...

You're just jealous because you can't clear out a traffic jam with some well placed proton torpedos.

MQ said...

Oh my goodness. I needed that. Too funny.

And I have to commend you on your observation skills - I didn't realize that Lucas and co. were promoting so many dead Jedis! Gabe got this for Christmas but so far it's only made he and his brother fight more over the best light saber (yes, my two year old does know a good one when he sees it) and has added to the random pieces of crap that I find around my house. Usually it's just dismembered action figures but gray rings and colored round things...ugh. They need a bigger toy box and my husband needs to start pushing a new hobby on them...And we wonder why our kids are picked on. LOL

suburbanjoe said...

Your sons shouldn't be picked on at school if they have a fully functional lightsaber at home. Perhaps you need to buy them another kit so that they can both be armed. Next time I'm in DC (I still have friends and family there), I'll stop by and teach them some Jedi tricks. Force Choke can be a particularly effective playground tool.