Boris Johnson threatens Russia with lightsabers, or something
Foreign Secretary says Star Wars weapons, which aren't real, make Britain best
Boris Johnson may pride himself on being erudite and witty but he fell short in a keynote speech with a weird reference to lightsabers, the fictional weapon of Jedi knights in Star Wars films.
Speaking at the Lord Mayor's banquet in London he claimed lightsabers had been invented in his Uxbridge constituency, rather than in the mind of Star Wars creator George Lucas.
And in an odd, and possibly distasteful analogy, he compared lightsabers to Novichok, the deadly nerve agent used to attack Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.
He said of Vladimir Putin's Russian regime: "They make Novichok, we make lightsabers. One a hideous weapon that is specifically intended for assassination, the other an implausible theatrical prop with a mysterious buzz.
"But which of these two weapons is really more effective in the world of today? Which has done more for our respective economies? Which has delighted the imaginations of three generations of children and earned billions? Which one is loved and which one is loathed?
"I tell you that the arsenals of this country and of our friends are not stocked with poison, but with something vastly more powerful. The power of imagination and creativity and innovation that comes with living in a free society."
He went on to say that the mass expulsion of Russian diplomats from over 20 nations in response to the Salisbury poisoning showed that the world had decided 'enough is enough' in dealing with Putin and his administration.
Lightsabers are described in Star Wars as "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age". Their distinctive buzzing sound effect is not that mysterious, it was achieved by combining the sound of an old film projector with that of television interference.