The Swords of Our Times
When you think of Japanese culture, there is a good chance that you will think about samurai swords. That is reasonable; samurais figured prominently in Japanese history and the swords where used through the Second World War. Other cultures have notable swords as well.
When you picture the Muslim forces during the crusades, you might picture the scimitar. At the same time, the Christians used their broadswords. Jump forward a bit and you have the rapiers of the Renaissance. Buccaneers of the 1600s we usually depict with the naval cutlass. Cavalry men charged forward with flashing sabers.
I have to say I'm just a little bit ashamed of the sword from our culture. As fascinating as they are, they really are useless in a real fight. The people who use them aren't our greatest warriors. You aren't going to have any statues of historical figures holding one. Still, it is inevitable. Two hundred years from now, people will look back on our time and see that our sword was the Light Saber™.