Does A Lightsaber Make Every Game Cooler?

One of the obvious draws of Star Wars: The Old Republic was the lightsabers. The energy swords were showcased liberally in the game’s trailers, and entire promotional campaigns revolved around them.

This has led us to scientifically tackle a question of critical importance in our culture: does a lightsaber make a game cooler?

Before we dive into the results of our experiments, let’s first establish a scale on which to measure coolness. While many will say that being cool is some intangible quality, some mystical force that certain individuals are able to channel more than others, recent studies have discovered a biological link between coolness and the presence of a certain species of symbiotic microorganism in the blood. Named midicoolians, higher quantities of the organism are found in socially popular individuals. It’s science!

The Midicoolian Scale quantifies coolness by assigning a number from 0 to 10. As a frame of reference, here are three key points on the scale:

10. Samuel L. Jackson. The maximum possible amount of coolness. Samuel L. Jackson isn’t cooler with a lightsaber; lightsabers are cooler with Samuel L. Jackson. In fact, Jackson is so cool that George Lucas rewrote the laws of the Star Wars universe to allow his character to have a purple lightsaber.

5. You. Well, not you, really. Rather, your perceived mental image of yourself, which is likely “moderately cool.” Sorry to disappoint, but you’re not as cool as you think you are.

0. Steve Urkel. The bottom of the scale, this is as low as it gets — not an ounce of cool at all. And don’t give me any of that “He’s so uncool that he’s cool” bullsh*t.

Now that we have a way to measure coolness, let’s move on to our results, shall we?

Beyond Good & Evil

Without lightsaber: 2 midicoolians
With lightsaber: 7 midicoolians

The game is hinged on a character that, for all her other qualities, isn’t particularly cool. Just look at her weapons: a Jō staff, which is as exciting as a wooden club, and a camera, of all things. But give her a couple of lightsabers, and Jade becomes Mara Jade, Jedi Master.


Without lightsaber: 4 midicoolians
With lightsaber: 9 midicoolians

Post-apocalyptic denizens are about as cool as people caked in dirt can get. But give them double-bladed lightsabers and you’re no longer dealing with filthy lunatics with rusty knives — you’re facing fearsome Sith sorcerers in ceremonial garb. There’s a fine line between crazy, body-modding cultists and crazy, body-modding cultists with Force powers.

Duke Nukem Forever

Without lightsaber: 8 midicoolians
With lightsaber: 7 midicoolians

Hail to the Sith, baby. Duke has lost a beat since his glory days, but he is still a symbol of ultimate, badass manliness. Curiously, giving him a lightsaber takes away from that masculine image, which lessens his overall appeal. I just can’t imagine someone twirling the elegant weapon while saying, “I’m gonna rip off your head and sh*t down your neck.”

Brütal Legend

Without lightsaber: 7 midicoolians
With lightsaber: 7 midicoolians

Ultimately, Eddie Riggs represents an idealized version of Jack Black — and consequently, the player — which makes him somewhat cooler than our own self-image. As in any personal fantasy, it doesn’t really matter whether we’re holding a lightsaber, a giant axe, a chainsaw, or a giant lightaxe-chainsaber.

Jurassic Park: The Game

Without lightsaber: 4 midicoolians
With lightsaber: Off the ****ing charts

Let’s face it — dinosaurs hit their coolness prime when the original Jurassic Park movie released and have experienced a steady decline since. But give a T-Rex a lightsaber and you reach a coolness factor far beyond sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. Now, you may ask, “But how does a dinosaur even hold a lightsaber?” In the immortal words of Jeff Goldblum, “Life, uh… uh… uh… finds a way.”


After this rigorous study, it can be concluded that lightsabers dramatically increase the coolness of things that aren’t very cool to begin with, but have little to no positive effect on things that are already cool. It’s probably wrong to conclude this, but it can be concluded.

Next, to make a graph comparing the number of lightsabers versus midicoolian count and discover at what point additional lightsabers begin diminishing coolness…

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6 Comments on Does A Lightsaber Make Every Game Cooler?


On July 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

In my expert biochemist opinion, the coolest only start diminishing a little over 9000.


On July 25, 2012 at 9:32 pm

What about Chuck Norris? Would he fall in the “Samuel L Jackson” category?
And the dinosaurs with lightsabers – you could start a whole game franchise off that concept lol


On July 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm

The midicoolian level of this article is too high for me to handle. I just don’t know what else to say.


On July 26, 2012 at 2:00 am

I intensely approve of this article, over 9000 medicoolians :D

Steve Dalton

On July 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

THIS is fantastic. The only thing that would have made it better is if you wrote it while holding a lightsaber.


On July 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Or write it WITH a lightsaber. No wait…