Jedi… Or Samurai… Why not Both?

I came across an old favorite of mine not too long ago… A fusion of old and new. Actually of Old and really, really old, but I think you’ll understand once you see what I’m talking about:

Samurai 3000 Katana

Samurai 3000 Katana
[view full size]

Now If you look closely, you might see why I’m calling this a new old design. On the one hand, you have an acceptable facsimile of a Japanese Katana blade (I say “acceptable” facsimile because it has been violated in a couple of ways I’ll mention here in a bit), and on the other hand we have what looks, for all intents and purposes, like the handle of a light saber… Futuristic? Or retro-futuristic… I can’t decide…

Now this particular variant caught my eye because of the black treatment that the blade received, and because of the interesting aesthetic of the blade. As you can see, unlike the traditional sharp, straight, angled point that a traditional Katana possesses, this has a much smother, curving transition to the point. This design would make for easier thrusting, however this design would also make the point weaker than the traditional sharp chisel like profile of the traditional Katana. But from an aesthetic standpoint, I like it. It looks pretty sweet!

Moving down, we see two additional blade modifications. First, the bottom quarter of the blade is serrated. I suppose it could be a useful change, given that that particular section of a sword is rarely used for much other than deliberate cutting strokes. Serrations might make it more effective… Maybe… Meh…

However right next to that we have the dreaded faux fuller, or blood grooves, in this case a set of three or elongated slots cut out of the blade. *shiver* I can understand the aesthetic sales value of this particular kind if blade defacement. It supposed to make it look cooler, and more futuristic. But all I see when I look at those things are unnecessary structural weakness… *sigh*

Anyway getting past the ugliness, we have a very interesting hilt design, consisting of a melding of Star Wars light saber style motifs with some other traditional touches mixed in. a very interesting combination. The guard is perhaps my favorite part of the hilt. The rest, while cool, I could do without. Or perhaps with some major simplification.

Now obviously this is not intended to be a battle worthy sword, as the hilt is made from a metal casting, however I got one of these before they came out with the black blade version, and two things struck me immediately.

The first, was that the grip was too ridiculously uncomfortable to be used in any meaningful way, and that, for all their impressive abilities, it would appear that Jedi knights were extremely poor designers when it came to ergonomics. 😛 I mean seriously. did you ever really take a good look at Lukes light saber grip? Absolutely horrible ergonomics!

What is even sadder is that the Sith had a much better grasp of ergonomics than the Jedi. Look at Darth Mauls dual saber, compared to what the Jedi were using (except for Mace Windu, who had perhaps the most awesome light saber in the entire Jedi Council) that was actually a great light saber design. And then there was Count Dookus elegantly curved saber grip… Sheer genius… I could go on, but I think you get the point… And, as usual, I digress… Massively…

Anyway, here, in the galaxy we call home, the second, more important thing I noticed about this sword, was how incredibly well balanced the sword was. I’d almost say it was perfect. Even better than some of the high quality battle ready Katanas I’ve hefted, which was a pleasant, but bittersweet surprise, as I don’t trust it enough (or am not brave enough) to subject it to any cutting tests… A real shame…

But for those of you who would like to see what it’s like to grip the hilt of a Jedi weapon, and actually able to cut something (if you dare), this sword would be a good ticket for that particular flavor of torture… Except without a zero weight energy blade, of course…

Check back in a few decades… I might be able to blog about them then…

Samurai 3000 Katana – [Realm Collections]

5 Responses to “Jedi… Or Samurai… Why not Both?”

  1. 1 ladyofspiders
    March 12, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    That is a cool looking sword, a shame they made the hilt so unweildy really.

  2. March 12, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Yeah, I suppose it was intended to look cool, and not necessarily to be usable, so maybe I’m expecting too much…

  3. March 13, 2008 at 1:16 am

    I always did like the look of the handles. I think I remember seeing a set of 3 different sizes…dagger and such. Ilke it but it’s cheap. Take a look at Jose DeBraga’s work!!! Looks like this but just awesome!!!!

  4. 4 darthsida
    March 13, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Pretty. Btw, have you seen that ‘No More Heroes’ dude with a beam katana?

  5. March 14, 2008 at 12:37 am

    Yeah, they had this, the Ninjato, and the Tanto. I have all three. I liked the look, overall, just thought the grips were too… busy. And yeah, they were kinda cheap. There was even flashing left on parts of some of the grip castings. *sigh* oh well… And Good Lord man, Jose De Braga has some sweet knives!! I think one of the elven swords i posted about a long while back might have been his design. And it’s cool how he actually does the futuristic look without making the grip unusable… The man is a genius… 🙂

    Yeah, that is an interesting sword design. But it is actually a more practical implementation of the “light saber” idea than we see in StarWars. It’s much easier to create a plasma arc between two points than out in thin air…

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March 2008

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