Movie swords guide: Find out the properties of each of the seven swords in the Chinese martial arts film "7 Swords"
Seven Swords is a Hong Kong blockbuster hit of 2005 starring Chinese martial arts legends Donnie Yen Chi-Tan, Liu Chia-Lang (Lau Kar-leung), and director Tsui Hark.
The basic plotline of the film is based on the novel, Seven Swords of Mount Heaven, by well-known writer Lian Yusheng. A two-hour film, Seven Swords is a motion picture of impressive cinematography and balletic fighting choreography.
Seven Swords Story
China in 1600s was a land of trouble and drastic regime change. As the new dynasty is taking roots, it issued an edict banning all forms of swordplay and martial arts. Corrupt military officials saw this as a chance to attack and loot villages that were once fighting against them.
The corrupt General Fire-Wind, the main villain, masterminded the attacks to enrich himself. As he was nearing a northern settlement called Martial Village, a loyal official of the previous dynasty Fu Qingzhu gathered seven soldiers to be trained to stand against the approaching army.
The motley crew went to the mystical Mount Heaven, where the famous sword smith Master Mui dwelt. There, Master Mui entrusted his Seven Swords of unsurpassed quality and power to the soldiers, with the hope that they will stand victorious in the ensuing bloody encounters against General Fire-Wind and his ilk.
The 7 Swords of Master Mui
The 7 swords of the heroes were forged by Master Mui as an expression of his metalworking accomplishments and to represent distinctly powerful traits of a sword warrior. They were crafted to symbolize the seven states or periods which Master Maui experienced as a hermit, martial art master, and smith.
Hence the seven Chinese swords all have different characteristics and strengths, as well as their names: Celestial Beam, Deity, Dragon, Heaven’s Fall, Star Chaser, Transience, and Unlearnt. The discussion below reveals the meaning of the seven swords.
Celestial Beam: brightest double sword
The Celestian Beam is the brightest among seven swords—each strike, each parry, increases its luster. It is also unique, since it is the only weapon coming in two swords: one broadsword, the other long dagger.
The character Mu lang, played by Hong Kong-born actor Duncan Chow, can increase its power and range by shifting the center of its gravity.
He can also engage the two swords into one so he has a stronger weapon at hand.
Dragon: The sharpest sword
The Dragon is the sharpest and the strongest among the seven swords. Made from gold and copper, it has a resonating ability to create shock waves through the air and make other swords nearby tremble.
The character Chu Zhaonan, played by Chinese martial artist and actor Donnie Yen, used this in a scene in the movie to send a warning signal against the enemy.
Perhaps its most awesome traits, the Dragon’s sharp edges are pliable and its hilt can be transferred at either ends of the sword for flexibility.
Deity: The first of the Seven Sword
The Deity is the first sword ever made by Master Miu. His intent fashioning it was to be his personal tool to break boulders in Mount Heaven and carve a livable community.
Master Miu’s hardship in his first few days channeled to the Deity: it is huge, crude, ragged, and blunt. It is however full of rage, resentment, and energy; it represents new beginning, life, austerity, and endurance.
The character Han Zhi Bang, played by Lu Yi, had difficulty in mastering its use. It was only after he experienced thwarted romance in a love triangle was he able to draw the Deity’s ultimate strength.
Heaven’s Fall: the sword of creative chaos
After Master Miu had crafted the Deity he forged a thousand swords besides, but none of them was as powerful as the Deity. Frustration was brewing in him when he chanced to glimpse at the heavens.
He saw the great canvas of the sky, and a realization hit him: the whole firmament was free-flowing, like the creative chaos of rushing waterfalls.
Heaven’s Fall was born out of this inspiration. Master Miu melted at once all one thousand swords to create it. The character Wu Yuan Ying (or Wu Yuanying), played by Chinese actress and singer Charlie Yeung, has to free her mind before she can use Heavens Fall to fearless and peerless power.
Star-Chaser: a sword with meteor beads
The Star Chaser, unlike other 7 Swords, has the delicate detail of a meteor-like iron beads at the end of steel fringe.
The fringe can be used for attack and parrying, just like a sword, and the beads are helpful in containing frenetic energy of the swordsman.
The character Xin Longzi, played by Tai Li-Wu, is an irascible man of unguided passion. The beads of the StarChaser can control him to his senses, so that he can fight with unimpaired perception, agility, and strength.
Transience: the bluntest of Seven Swords
The Transience is an equal to the Dragon in terms of sharpness, probably from the fact that it is the last sword Master Miu made. Created out of the remnant rock of a meteorite, it uses light reflection to the fullest advantage.
When the character Yang Yung Cong (or Yong Yuncong), played by Chinese film and television actor Leon Lai, is about to strike, the Transience is bathed in brilliant splendor and light.
The opponents are struck blinded and unable to fend off the attack. It is the bluntest of all 7 Swords, making it highly efficient for defense.
Unlearnt: the black sword
The name Unlearnt comes from the story of its making. The film’s protagonist Fu Qingzhu, played by famous Hong Kong martial arts auteur and actor Liu Chia-Liang (Lau Kar-leun in Cantonese), fell lifeless in the dessert after a vicious battle.
Master Miu treated him to recovery, and his sword that was tinged in bloodshed and malice was re-forged anew. Fu Qingzhu, fully recovered, was given back his sword with Master Miu’s admonition—to unlearn his past, to live on a fresh start, to be a new man.
The sword was named Unlearnt. It is dark and long, with blade flexes that can impinge air streams. Its deadly uses are when it is raining and during sandstorm. The Unlearnt can utilize water and dust to attack the enemy.
Collectible sword replicas from Seven Swords movie
The Seven Swords production company has started selling off DVD sets. The consumers are delighted to receive miniature sword replicas, which are great displays on tabletop and shelves. Other merchandises, such as display box, photos and dvds, may also be included. Fantasy sword manufacturers are also available if you are looking for life-sized replicas.
One of the most highly traded collectible fantasy sword replica from the movie is the Heaven’s Fall, which is interpreted with a neat movable leather-wrapped hilt.