Watch Stephen Colbert slice through the Star Wars lightsaber controversy

watch stephen colbert slice star wars lightsaber controversy force awakens teaser  7
At this point, it’s inevitable that the first footage from any beloved sci-fi or genre franchise is going to spark heated debate among longtime fans, and the arrival of the first teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was no exception. The “controversy” this time around centers on a new style of lightsaber that appears in the teaser, with fans bitterly feuding over the practicality of such a weapon. Now, The Colbert Report host (and self-described “first Star Wars fan”) Stephen Colbert has decided to wade into the geeky depths of the fray.

In a special segment (posted on Hulu) devoted to the teaser for The Force Awakens, Colbert explained why he truly believes he is one of the first Star Wars fans (having attended an early screening of the original 1977 film), then explains why a lightsaber with laser-blades coming out of its crossguard is not only practical for defense, but a legitimate use of the established lightsaber “science” in the Star Wars universe.

“People think it’s actually three different plasma streams, but it’s all one,” explains Colbert. “The long one comes out … and the two smaller beams are attached to it. They don’t start where the metal hilt ends. The metal hilts are casings around the little beams to protect your hand.”

“So even if someone slices through the metal, they’re going to hit the metal beams,” he continues. “Any padawan knows that. That’s science.”

And just to hammer the point home, Colbert explains that all a lightsaber like this would require is “three focusing crystal activators to split the plasma into perpendicular blade energy channels.”

And just like that, Colbert earns a big boost in geek cred and quite likely levels up in the estimation of Star Wars fans everywhere…

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