Forged lightsaber-katana fit for a 'Star Wars' samurai

Once again, feudal Japan crosses over into the realm of "Star Wars" with a "Man at Arms: Reforged" creation that combines a lightsaber with a samurai sword.

Lightsaber katana
Darth Vader takes the lightsaber-katana for a test drive. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Few swords have reached the iconic status of the classic samurai katana or the sizzling, glowing lightsaber from "Star Wars." It seems the two were destined to meet, bridging the gap between time and genres to become one in a new episode of "Man at Arms: Reforged." The resulting lightsaber-katana is a work of art.

Brothers Matt Stagmer and Kerry Stagmer and a team from Baltimore Knife & Sword tackled the project with Jedi-like focus. The first step involved forging the actual blade using high-carbon steel. A Japanese-style forging hammer and a power hammer were used to work the blade into shape. The blade gets heat-treated at a blazing 1550 degrees Fahrenheit and is then tempered in a hot oil bath at 450 degrees.

Creating the handle for the sword was just as involved as making the katana itself. Perhaps the biggest decision was whether to go with a Jedi or Sith handle. The Dark Side won out on this point.

The Galactic Empire symbol became the basis for the tsuba -- the guard mounted at the top of the handle. Once the handle was put together, it was wrapped in traditional Japanese style using black silk.

As usual with "Man at Arms" productions, the finalized weapon gets taken outside to do some damage to some unsuspecting fruit. It destroys an enemy watermelon in one swift slice. Then, costumed "Star Wars" fans get to try it out, though a Stormtrooper has trouble getting it to work.

If you are ever lucky enough to own a lightsaber-katana, then you'll want to be sure to pair it with one of these "Star Wars" samurai costumes. Then maybe we can finally get the Kurosawa-Lucas crossover film we all deserve.

 

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