Death by sword is painful any way you slice it. But meeting your end at the edge of a lightsaber would suck even more, as Nerdist’s Kyle Hill explains in the video below.

Lightsabers are technically plasma, and are thus designed to vaporize. They can cut through thick metal doors like they’re slices of bread, but the space-age weapons would give any gladiator's sword a run for its money if one were to witness a lightsaber death up close.

“A sword or another cutting edge cuts by applying a large force over a small surface area and applying that to some material that can't withstand the pressure, and therefore the material moves itself out of the way," Hill says. "A lightsaber cuts differently. The hyper-heated blade isn’t pushing any material out of the way. Instead it’s heating up the material in front of it and around it so hot that material bubbles and boils and moves out of the way of the lightsaber. Technically, then, all the material that lightsaber is cutting through is either vaporizing or sublimating, or both."

Learn more lightsaber science by watching the video below.

[h/t Nerdist]