PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 13: Cascade Demo Team members perform a Lightsaber fight at the Star Wars Saga release party at Virgin Megastore Champs-Elysees on September 13, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Samuel Dietz/WireImage)

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Lightsaber Dueling Has Officially Become a Force in France

The country’s fencing body had recognized lightsaber dueling as a sport.

France’s governing fencing body has given official word that the country’s lightsaber duelists should be en garde.

In a move that proves the French Force is strong, France’s fencing federation has officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport.

Thanks to that decision by the French Fencing Federation, the lightsaber now has the same status traditional Olympic fencing weapons such as the foil, epee, and sabre enjoy.

Impressed by the physicality of lightsaber combat, the FFF will now equip fencing clubs in France with lightsabers and will also begin training lightsaber instructors.

The FFF is hopeful the prospect of dueling with lightsabers will start attracting a younger demographic to fencing.

“With young people today, it’s a real public health issue. They don’t do any sport and only exercise with their thumbs,” said FFF secretary general Serge Aubailly. “It’s becoming difficult to [persuade them to] do a sport that has no connection with getting out of the sofa and playing with one’s thumbs. That is why we are trying to create a bond between our discipline and modern technologies, so participating in a sport feels natural. Cape and sword movies have always had a big impact on our federation and its growth. Lightsaber films have the same impact. Young people want to give it a try.”

And, if you thought lightsaber dueling was just something Luke did with his father, here’s a brief primer on France’s newest recognized sport.

Read the full story at The Associated Press