Friday, November 30 2007 @ 07:09 AM MST
Contributed by: arcana
A time not all that long ago on a campus not all that far, far away a new group has developed. A piece of Star Wars has come to MSU.
The members of the MSU Order duel one another bathed in darkness - the only light is emitted from the LEDs of their lightsabers. The lights are extinguished one by one as members are eliminated during the round until only one remains.
The MSU Order was formed by a group of students who wished to emulate the epic film, “Star Wars.”
Freshman Drake Caudill describes the group as being “dedicated to the act of lightsaber dueling.”
“We’re just Star Wars fans,” Caudill said. “Lightsabers are just part of the fun. Our goals is to ultimately stand together as a group of Star Wars fans to practice the art of lightsaber dueling.”
A lightsaber is the weapon of a Jedi or Sith in George Lucas’ Star Wars saga, Caudill said. In the movies they are beams of focus energy that can sear through anything. The group uses LED replicas.
Caudill said the group originated after he and fellow freshman Aaron Anderson saw lightsabers on sale in a mall.
“We just started messing around with them,” Caudill said. “Now, here we are.”
What began as a battle between buddies evolved into an official MSU organization this semester with 10 student members, Caudill said.
“Four of us used to do this as a hobby,” Caudill said. “More and more people came to us wanting to join and it started getting too cold to practice outside so we thought, ‘Why not become an official group?’ ”
The organization has not done much recruiting, Caudill said.
“Members have either seen us on campus and have come up wanting to join or were friends of other members,” Caudill said.
light saber 022.jpgThe group practices seven days a week for two or three hours a day, Caudill said.
Sophomore Eric Sturgill said “trials” take place outside of practice.
“They [trials] put what we learn to the test,” Sturgill said.
Caudill said trials are part of the ranking system and consist of dueling someone of a desired rank in order to move up.
Sturgill said lightsaber dueling is comparable to a dance.
“It goes back and forth like a dance, until somebody messes up,” he said. “Then you take the opportunity to strike.”
Crystal Gallagher said she has been a member for one-and-a-half months but does not currently practice because of a torn ligament received outside of practice.
“I show up anyway,” she said. “It’s pretty fun.”
Sturgill said he started out not knowing what was going on.
“I always watched the movies but I met these guys and I learned a lot,” Sturgill said.
Freshman Andy Baker joined the group for an opportunity to learn.
“I’m a theater major,” he said. “I joined for stage combat purposes.”
The lightsabers used by members of the group are not cheap: some lightsabers range from approximately $80-$130.
Sturgill said his lightsaber “cost around $105.”
Anderson said different lightsaber colors mark member’s rank.
“Blue represents a Jedi Guardian and green represents a Jedi Counsular,” Anderson said. “White is the rarest of Jedi colors. Red represents Sith Lords and Apprentices.”
Baker said, “We’re a very corrective group. We like to help one another when we see someone doing something wrong.”
Sturgill said respect is very important among group members.
“We look at each other with respect,” he said. “Respect opponents don’t try to mindlessly attack them.”
Caudill said next semester a similar group from a university in Virginia will be coming down to duel with the MSU Order.
“We hope we can continue to grow as an organization,” Caudill said. “Hopefully it will remain here long after our founding members have left.”