“An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi is justified in this description of a lightsaber within the fictional world of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” but in the real world, a lightsaber would be a horrifying way to die, according to Nerdist’s Kyle Hill.
In his series “Because Science,” Hill calculates that a lightsaber’s plasma beam would put out about 30 megawatts, which he says is like having a nuclear submarine engine in your hand. With that much energy, just turning a lightsaber on would immediately cause everyone in the room to burst into flames.
But if we ignore the fact that turning a lightsaber on is instant death, being hit by a lightsaber would be even more gruesome.
When the lightsaber comes within 10 centimeter of a person, says Hill, that person’s clothes would flash into cinders, and the first 10 millimeter of their skin would vaporize.
As the blade pierces the person’s body, it vaporizes a kilogram of water per second, causing steam to exit the person’s wound at Mach 1.
Slicing someone with a lightsaber would not result in a lost limb or that person being cut in half — it would result in that person exploding.
Watch the video above for a more detailed, dream-killing explanation.