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Force to Awaken in Massive Lightsaber Battle on the Embarcadero Friday Night

A lightsaber choreographer explains how to prepare for intergalactic war.


With the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII swiftly approaching, there’s no better way to awaken the force than by sharpening your laser sword skills in an epic battle between Jedi and Sith. On December 18, a cross-nation lightsaber battle is coming to the Embarcadero, which will transform into an intergalactic battlefield of warring lightsabers. And if your own lightsaber was last seen in your parents’ attic circa 1990, don’t worry—the event company putting on the battle, Newmindspace, will reserve you one for $15 a pop. (The Force being capitalistic in its many commercial expressions, they recommend getting two!) 

However, if the last time you wielded your weapon was a long time ago (or in a galaxy far, far away), fear not. Lightsaber choreographer and Golden Gate Knights cofounder Alan Bloch has advice for even the most novice of Jedis.

Choose Your Colors

Officially, the battle will be held between Jedi and Sith, but it's up to you to decide who you represent on the field. And for those with treasonous instincts: With the flick of a button, you can switch the color of your saber—and your allegiance—all night long. 

If you want to fight with the Jedi, turn your saber color to blue. Some of the Jedi’s greatest fighters used sabers with this color. 

Feeling a touch of the dark side? Pick red. After all, it’s Vader’s go-to hue.

If you’re on the side of peace, or uncertain of where you stand, Bloch says to go for green. “It represents the in-betweeners, the outcasts,” he says. “Think of Qui-Gon Jinn or Yoda.” However, Bloch has no doubts about who he’ll be representing on the field: “I’m a Jedi all the way.”

Abide by One Rule

“Don’t get hurt is our only rule,” says Bloch, although injuries aren’t likely. Bloch has cohosted similar battles across the country, and there’s never been a problem. The lightsabers are made of soft telescopic material, ensuring that every blow is harmless—even those delivered by the most ruthless of Siths.

Watch Out for Darth Vader

Bloch warns that Vader will most likely make an appearance. “There might be even more than one Darth Vader on the field,” he says. “In the words of Yoda, ‘At least two there are, no more, no less.’” If you do happen to run into the Dark Lord on the battlefield, Bloch says the best strategy is to run away. “But if you get close enough,” he advises, “try to break down his respirator unit.” 

The Bucketheads Are Harmless

Bloch doesn’t expect any Stormtroopers to lay siege to the crowd, who could number up to 3,000. But in the unlikely event that Stormtroopers attack, stay calm. “They’re lousy shots,” he says. 

May the Force Be with You

Of course, the best advice comes directly from the movies. Here’s some words of wisdom to take into battle with you: “Let go of your conscious self and move on instinct,” says Bloch, quoting Obi-Wan. And what would Yoda say? “Control, control, control. You must control.”

The battle begins at 9 p.m. Dress warmly and bring along your dancing shoes for the preparty at 435 Broadway—which promises galactic go-go dancing and something called "alien burlesque"—and the afterparty at Mighty


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