Now in my last post, I talked about a pair of weapons from the movie Firefly: Serenity. In the comments that followed, I was reminded that the movie also had another very blog worthy sword. Namely, the sword of the Operative. (Nice catch Jonathan!)

Now, I actually agree wholeheartedly with his opinion of the sword, and for some reason, I thought I had already posted about it, but much to my dismay, I realized I hadn’t. So this post should serve to correct that travesty, especially since this was one of the two most noteworthy weapons in the movie. I present to you, the sword of the Operative:

Sword of the Operative

Sword of the Operative

Much like the Reaver weapons did for River Tam in the climactic fight scene I described in my last post, this sword played an important role in defining one of the key characters in the movie, namely the Alliance Operative. The Operative was an intriguing and deadly character. Perhaps more dangerous than most because he believed his cause to be just. He was a man who sought “A world without sin” and was willing to do anything to make that happen.

He was intelligent, determined and tenacious, but most notable about him was his ruthlessness in the pursuit of his goals. He engaged in many acts of murderous brutality in order to achieve them, and I think he was also the most tragic character of the movie, because at the end of the day, he realized that all of the heinous acts he had committed were for naught, and he had simply made himself a part of the problem.

But let’s get back to the sword. Much like light sabers were for Jedi Knights, the Operative considered the sword a more elegant and civilized killing weapon than a firearm, and used it almost exclusively. Interestingly, the swords design possesses the features of a modernized urban battle sword, having many of the elements of a weapon intended for speed, stealth and efficiency in close quarters combat, much like a ninjas sword.

In fact, I’m betting the designer of this blade must have had some experience with Japanese swords, as the Operatives sword is very reminiscent of traditional Japanese ninjaken. The basic design elements are very similar. A straight, single edged, mid-sized sword, designed to maximize flexibility, ease of carry and speed of deployment.

Also of note on the Operatives weapon is the modernized tanto point. This is a very durable general purpose point, a design that allows for great piercing strength but still allows good slashing and shallow stabbing moves at range. The overall design of the sword is simple and rugged, while the addition of blood grooves, or slots towards the hilt of the sword was also a nice touch. Very cool.

All in all, a cool, no nonsense, highly utilitarian but aesthetically pleasing sword, very befitting the character who used it. The kinda guy you should still be worried about, even if he shows up to a gunfight with a sword…

The Operative’s Sword – [Reliks]