Lightsaber Battles in Handa Hall
Mos Eisley is a sanctuary for the Star Wars fanatics of Perth. It’s named after the famed spaceport of the same name on the Star Wars planet of Tattooine.
David Winchester, who has been running the club since 2019, describes it as a place where attendees can express their love for Star Wars and get an awesome workout in the process by exploring the elaborate art of sword play with fantastical lightsabers, complete with fluorescent lights and sound effects.
The club has been using Perron Place’s Handa Hall for its regular meetings since 2020.
We sat in on one of the club’s sessions and were inspired to learn more about the beautiful craft that is lightsaber combat.
David and his team use Handa Hall as their dojo or their arena in some instances. The multi-use space, that can hold up to 144 people, is a generous space that provides the Mos Eisley Club with the room to perform their duels and detailed battle sequences.
The Mos Eisley Sword Fighting Club started in public parks, something David had seen happening in places like Hawaii. When the Pandemic hit the group was forced to seek other arrangements, and that’s when David found Perron Place.
“We were looking for a venue that had better facilities and a nicer group of people, and that’s what we found here at Perron Place,” says David.
By hiring a space at Perron Place, David is supporting services for people with vision impairment and disability including VisAbility, Guide Dogs WA and Kites Children’s Therapy.
“That’s a big part of why we left our previous venue, partly for the longevity and partly for doing our bit to help the community,” he says.
The Mos Eisley Sword Fighting Club provides a safe space for “Star Wars obsessed people” to explore the social sport of lightsaber combat, which has only been around for 4-5 years according to David.
David first saw Star Wars when he was 7 or 8 years old; “…so far back that the film was on a projector, and there were breaks when the projectionist had to load the next reel!”
It’s safe to say that David’s mind was blown and his love of Star Wars has never wavered.
In High School, David took up fencing and loved it so much he continued with the sport for the next 25 years. In 2018 David discovered lightsaber combat, a new age sport developed by The French Fencing Federation. “The whole thing came full circle!” David says.
The future of the Mos Eisley Sword Fighting Club is a bright one and being the only lightsaber combat club teaching that style of combat, in Western Australia the potential is infinite. David has dreams of making the sport more inclusive for vision impaired people as well as designing classes for children.
Development for a competitive choreographed duelling platform is also in the works for David, where competitors will be awarded points based on skill, commitment and athleticism; catered to people who want to do something slightly more elegant than fencing style duels.
David also has big plans for the development of the sport in terms of protective equipment and the sabers themselves in hopes to take the sport into a more immersive and captivating experience, paying homage to the Star Wars Universe.
“We want to continue growing the club and community to give anyone who has ever dreamt of crossing sabers with Vader, Luke or Obi Wan a place to come and play safely with like-minded folks,” David exclaims.
May the force be with you.