Since the day after Star Wars shook the world and changed cinema forever, enthusiasts and scientists alike have pondered what it would be like to own a real lightsaber. Sure, the plastic, telescopic light up version you can find in the toy section are one thing, but they fall short in many ways. Apart from those, you’ve got the expensive metal replicas that, while pretty cool, are often beyond the casual fan’s financial means. Even scientists forayed into the topic of creating a real lightsaber. Considering how popular Star Wars is and how iconic lightsabers are, it’s always been disappointing that they were purely fantasy.
Or are they? Disney has recently released some interesting news, claiming that they are working on a “real” lightsaber. What does that mean?
At a Disney Parks press event on April 8th, the massive organization revealed that a lightsaber prototype is in the works. Josh D’Amaro, the Disney’s Parks, Experiences, and Products chairman, didn’t reveal much in the way of concrete info, but he did end his remarks by simply saying “it’s real.” Pictures were not allowed at the event and so far, Disney hasn’t released any other details about the device.
Even so, fans can stay hopeful, because Disney’s Imagineering portfolio creative executive has confirmed that it is being worked on and visual evidence will be released soon. Disney is apparently determined to remain tight-lipped, which hasn’t left too many people very happy. Pressure and questions from fans have been bombarding Disney for some time all over the internet, and all Disney has had to say is that it is being developed and that it isn’t finished yet.
Before fans get too excited, we feel that we should remind people that no one should be anticipating an actual blade of energy that can cut things. Sure, no pictures have been released yet, but not only is it currently impossible to have a power source portable enough to power a lightsaber, but this is Disney we’re talking about: they aren’t going to produce an actual weapon.
The more likely option is a new type of collectible lightsaber that will hopefully have a retractable blade. While no one knows how it will work, there was a patent that Disney registered for in 2017 and the description is available to the public.
The patent describes a mechanism as follows: “A special effects device for providing an energy sword effect. The device includes two long plastic semi-cylinders, and these two blade body members are rolled perpendicular to their length, which creates compact cylinders of material of small volume that can be provided on a pair of spools in a hilt. To extend the blade, a motor provided in the hilt unrolls the blade body members from the spools. Each blade body member passes through a blade forming guideway that nests the semi-cylindrical blade body members together as they leave the hilt. To retract the blade, the process is reversed. The lighting of the blade is achieved with a flexible strip of light sources. The light source strip is attached to a blade end cap and positioned in the center of the two-blade body members such that it is pulled up along with the blade body members during their extension.”
Needless to say, that all sounds an awful lot like a lightsaber, if you ask us. Technically it’s not an absolute guarantee, but it’s hard to imagine that this patent isn’t talking about whatever lightsaber project Disney is working on right now.