It’s amazing what can happen with the right combination of modern technology and good old human imagination. Earlier this month, for example, a YouTube user named Patrick Nan came across a piece of fan art that depicted our favorite martial arts legend, Bruce Lee, as a Jedi. It inspired him to make some art of his own.
“So I saw an image of Bruce Lee with lightsabers and decided to create a scene re-creation of Fist of Fury with lightsabers,” Nan explains at the beginning of his new video, Bruce Lee Lightsabers Scene Recreation. The following action is every bit as cool as it sounds.
The video has gone viral since Nan posted it on January 12, racking up almost 1.5 million views and attraction attention from the likes of The Nerdist (who also produce The Bruce Lee Podcast, which is co-hosted by daughter Sharon Lee), The Hollywood Reporter, and Maxim. And for good reason. It’s well done! It involves Star Wars! And it’s always great to see some new take on the genius of Bruce Lee.
In addition to the quick thrill that the 1 minute and 44 second video provides for the casual viral viewer, though, it can have a deeper appeal for martial arts enthusiasts. For one, if you’ve ever, in a moment of curious geeking out, wondered what lightsaber nunchucks would look like, we know have a pretty cool answer to that question. It also highlights the close relationship between Star Wars fight choreography and classic martial arts films. And it’s a surprisingly illuminating demonstration of the efficacy of nunchucks as a training tool as well as a weapon. We briefly touched on their ability to help martial artists who are looking to improve their posture and develop faster hands movements in a recent blog post on martial arts weapons, and Lee’s excellent lightsaber-wielding form is a fun reminder of that fact.
Speaking of digital reimaginings of Bruce Lee, EA Sports has recently confirmed that Bruce Lee will be returning to the virtual Octagon for UFC 3, which will be available for PS4 and Xbox One on February 2. Lee also appeared in the previous two additions of the simulated MMA game, which were released in 2014 and 2016, and anyone who has played those versions will have immediate access to Lee. Newcomers to the franchise can unlock the ability to fight as Lee by completing the game’s career mode and having their fighter inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
And in other Bruce Lee-related film news, it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer to see Little Dragon than we’d original anticipated. According to a recent interview with director Shekhar Kapur, the authorized biopic, which was originally scheduled to start shooting this past summer, has been delayed in order to work on some issues with the script.
“We have done all the prep. We took a hiatus to reconsider the script a little bit. It is a very important project. As it turns out it is important not only for the rest of the world, but increasingly important for China since they are now saying that Bruce Lee is a Chinese hero,” Kapur told Variety in December. “I wasn’t expecting the project to get that amount of attention. It’s about his early life, from birth till he left Hong Kong. Bruce Lee is one of the most significant philosophers of our time. For me what is fascinating is how did the most-known martial artist of the world become a really accepted philosopher. How he brought this whole idea of not fighting in fighting. Him saying ‘when you fight, you are like two lovers, it is the most intimate thing you can do’.”
Kapur went on to say that Little Dragon would explore the ways in which Lee’s time in a “tumultuous” Hong Kong influenced both his martial arts and his philosophy. “If Bruce Lee wasn’t in Hong Kong during those aggressive days, he may not have become Bruce Lee. What formed Bruce Lee is what my fascination is,” he said.
The script isn’t the only concern holding back production of Little Dragon at the moment, though. The other reason that there is no current release date for the film is one that has faced every production about Lee since the legend’s untimely death: it’s not easy to find someone who can do him justice on screen.
“There are a lot of young men in contention from around the world, but we haven’t quite found Bruce Lee,” Kapur admitted.
Finally, if you’re still hungry for more Lee-related information, Eater has a new video that might be of interest. The popular food and culture website recently visited Seattle’s oldest Chinese restaurant, which Lee used to frequent while living in the city, for their Cooking in America series. The segment on Tai Tung features a glimpse of Lee’s regular seat at the restaurant, and some tips on how to cook his favorite dish there, beef in oyster sauce. Check out Eater to for more information.
What do you think of the lightsaber video? Are you excited about Little Dragon? Let us know in the comments!
And don’t forget to check out our online store. We have a wide selection of non-lightsaber nunchucks (and some that look like a little like lightsabers while in use) and Bruce Lee materials.