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Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace - Light Saber Shadows?
There is a scene (reproduced in some books) where Darth Maul and Qui-Gon battle with light sabers, however, the sabers have shadows on the desert ground. If they are light sabers then they are giving off light brighter than any surrounding light and would not have a shadow.
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Contributed By: daking on 10-08-1999 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
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Tharlen writes:
Well, according to Shadows of the Empire, the book, not the game, there is a section where Luke is actually building his Green Saber. During this process, it talks about the construction of the hilt, which involves a Black hole generator. This generator keeps the beam from extending too far, and keeps it at a steady distant before it sucks it back in. If you think about this, this actually DOUBLES the amount of laser power the blade has, because it's not just one laser, it's two, giving it double the mass as well. We all know light has mass. Back on track, though, this black hole is not just sucking light in from a certain distance, but from all around, so it would ABSORB the sun's rays that hit it, simulating a solid object. "Why," you ask, "then is the blade not black from the lack of light?" Well, you see, the generator can only absorb a certain amount of light. Plus, the beam is actually Cylindrical, with a hollow center. The black hole sucks in the light from the inside, so there is enough light flowing around the outside of the field to reveal the blades color. This double back blade theory also helps for us to understand why such a small power cell can produce such a powerful weapon for such an extended period of time. In all my readings and watchings, I have yet to see any Jedi re-charge his weapon. E-Mail me if you have questions.
26 of 32 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
WeX Majors writes:
I hate to inform you all, but it's a completely legit for the sabres to do this. read: and he'll tell you all you need to know quick summary for the lazier readers: Lightsabres are not JUST LIGHT. It's unknown exactly what they are but whatever they are, they would be solid(light and lasers pass through each other. sabres don't) and since they're solid, they would cast a shadow.
11 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
lefti writes:
Interestingly enough, at one point in ROTJ, during the final duel between Luke and Vader, shortly after Luke chopped off Vader's right hand, you can see Luke's saber is on AND THERE IS NO SHADOW!!! Maybe THAT'S a slip-up!
7 of 7 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
MIQUEAS writes:
They seem to have made the same slip-up in ROTJ. I submitted it about when Vader and Luke are battling on the Death Star. It seems like someone would have fixed it by now.65
5 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
matto writes:
What the hell are you guys talking about. There is no such thing as a light saber, just as there is no such thing as sound in space i.e. gunfire,rocket engines etc. but the movie has that as well.IT'S JUST A MOVIE! You people need to find something more interesting to do with yourselves.
41 of 78 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Red 5, standing by writes:
I have to agree with WADE. This is not a slip up, as far as I am concerned. Think about this: if you take a lamp outside in the daytime (using an extension cord or something) and turn it on, it produces light. Now look at the shadow that the lamp makes from the sun's light. There is still a shadow, although, depending on how close to the ground the lamp is, the shadow is not as dark as other shadows.
4 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
KIAed writes:
This originates from the original Star Wars - A New Hope. They didn't have the technology to get rid of shadows, so they left it in. In later movies where they could have changed that, they didn't, wanting to keep the lightsabres (sabers?) shadows in. It is now a tradition to have shadows on lightsabers, even though in some books they are used as a light sorce!
3 of 4 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
WebDog writes:
The shadows were caused by the props
3 of 4 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Macrend writes:
Anyway: Is it possible to cross two swords made of light? If you know a little of the behavior of the photons (the things light is made of) they can't be at the same time at the same point. So they can't reflect the light from the sun and can't be useful for fight because they pass thru each to other.
4 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Alabaska J writes:
Pyro, the shadow was caused by the metal props. Unfortunately, lightsabers don't exist. I think that aince there are lightsaber shadows in a lot of different places, GL means for them to have shadows, even if he didn't mean it when he wrote the books. Because a lightsaber's shadow appears in many movies, it is not a slip-up even if it seems impossible to us. We aren't quite sure how a lightsaber works. As for when Luke's hand is cut off, aren't they inside in a dark place?
2 of 2 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Reid writes:
This is directly from Lightsabers have changed little in the thousands of years of their employ by the Jedi Knights. Those who believe the Jedi order began on the ancient world of Ossus point to the abundance of Adegan crystals in the system as proof. These crystals are ideal for the creation of lightsabers, as they focus the energy released from a saber's power cell into the tight, blade-like beam. Early lightsabers did not have self-contained power cells, and were instead connected by a conducting cable to a belt-worn power pack. Once unleashed, the power channels through a positively charged continuous energy lens at the center of the handle. The beam then arcs circumferentially back to a negatively charged high energy flux aperture. A superconductor transfers the power from the flux aperture to the power cell. As a result, a lightsaber only expends power when its blade cuts through something. So efficient is the blade, that it does not radiate heat unless it comes into contact with something. The blade's color depends on the nature of the jewel it springs from, and while its length is fixed in the case of a single-jewel lightsaber, lightsabers equipped with multiple crystals can have their length varied by rotating a knob that allows the focusing crystal activator to subtly modify the refraction pattern between the gems. So, the blade is simply light when it's just being held like in this slip-up, so there should be no shadow. But, when the blade comes into contact with something, then it becomes a laser. And in Star Wars, lasers are solid. Think about it; when a stormtrooper gets hit with a blaster shot, which is really just intensified light, he shouldn't get knocked back. When the lightsaber hits something, then there should be a shadow. But, I'd have to say, this is a sli-up.
2 of 2 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Sam writes:
It is easy to see this slip-up on the giant 20 month Episode 1 calander. If you turn to april 2000 you can see a light saber shadow near Darth Maul's foot and another one sticking up from Qui-Gon's shadow.
2 of 3 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Gravy writes:
I feel compelled to add my support to the "Light-sabres CAN cast shadows" argument. It stands to reason, If you can't see through them, then light isn't getting through them, therefore the sun wont get through them, therefore they'll cast a shadow
2 of 4 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Pyro writes:
No, WebDog, the shadows were caused by the light sabers. And, lefti, the light sabers are NOT supposed to cause shadows!
2 of 4 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
haggis writes:
The reason there was a shadow is because in filming, they use metal rods to imitate the Light Sabers and so these would leave a shadow.
3 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
WADE writes:
A real slip up or not. Depends on how you look at the situation. The light sabre is not as bright as the sun -so it will block out he suns rays- so it will cast a shadow. Although it shouldn't be as dark as the other shadows around it (say, fron the characters for instance). Or on another theory, will the light from the sabre actually merge with the light from the sun to be much brighter underneath. Something to think about.
4 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
J3X007 writes:
Actually, this is possible. The lightsabres are pure energy and they have molocules moving very fast. Anyway the light from the sun (or any othe point of light) would be reflected off of the energy's just being there.
4 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Sammo writes:
The lightsabres are red and green, right. The shadow should be filled in with either a red or green glow as the lightsabre is blocking the sunlight and is filling in the shadow with it's own light. (or it should be anyway)
2 of 5 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Dragon-winged Lion writes:
Since this is a science-fiction movie, we won't ever know whether it was a slip-up or not until and if we ever invent a REAL light-saber. Until then it is just an interesting but pointless debate. May the Force be with you.
1 of 3 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
AveryJ writes:
GUYS! Listen up, the shadows you see are the shadows of the poles that are attached to the hilts. Or I could be completely wrong. Are these colored shadows?
0 of 1 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
tom_m525 writes:
The lightsabre fight between Obi Wan, Qui Gon and Maul was indoors, so the sun theory is obviously wrong. They probably simply weren't as observant as some of us when editing the scene
1 of 4 found this helpful. Did you? Yes

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