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Ever since George Lucas introduced us to a new way of lightsaber fighting with the prequels, nerds from all over the world have been practicing their skills with these flashy sci-fi swords. Some people actually take lightsaber fighting pretty seriously, and apparently, it’s now an officially recognized competitive sport in France.
Talking to the Associated Press, the secretary general of the Fencing Federation of France Serge Aubailly explained that they approved lightsaber fighting as a way to get more young people engaged in the sport. Aubailly said:
“With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs… 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.”
The organization is said to get a lot of inspiration from ‘cape and sword’ movies, so it was only natural they that would draw influence from one of the biggest swordfighting franchises of all time: Star Wars. Since the sport is still kind of niche, we should expect lightsaber fighting to end up in the next Olympics though.
We don’t know what the future holds for lightsaber fighting in the future, but I’m sure a lot of die hard fans who love the art of it are happy they’re getting officially recognized.
Catch Star Wars Episode IX in theaters Dec. 20.