Home Entertainment Disney has revealed a “real” lightsaber – here’s how it works

Disney has revealed a “real” lightsaber – here’s how it works

6 min read

It’s Revenge of the Fifth! Yes, we’ve hit the day after Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you!) and I have to admit to being a little disappointed at yesterday’s offerings. With the Star Wars Celebration convention only happening next year, I thought Disney and Lucasfilm would have used the geek holiday to maybe do some big Star Wars movie/TV series announcements online. Instead, all we got on that front was the premiere of Star Wars: The Bad Batch as well as a surprise Star Wars/The Simpsons crossover starring Maggie Simpson titled The Force Awakens From Its Nap. Seeing as both of those are on Disney+ and we don’t have Disney+ (not too mention I stopped caring about The Simpsons decades ago), that left me with a whole lot of meh.

But then, like the Chosen One restoring balance to the Force, Disney dropped a press release about its new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser launching in 2022 at Walt Disney Resort in Florida, which promises to “take you to a galaxy far, far away for an all-immersive, two-night vacation experience that goes beyond anything Disney has ever created before”.

Now immersive Star Wars resorts are nothing new. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland in Anaheim California already does this as the entire park is built to mimic the actual Star Wars universe with staff all in-character and guests able to interact with and go on little adventures with their favourite heroes and villains. What Galaxy’s Edge doesn’t have though are real lightsabers!

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, because by “real” we don’t mean laser swords that can slice through nearly everything. No, up until now replica lightsabers were always just static glass/plastic tubes that lit up. However, for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, cast members will be boasting lightsabers that actually extend from the hilt and light up just like an actual lightsaber.

If you’re anything like me, you geeked out hard when seeing that vid and shouted “HOW THE FORCE DID THEY DO THAT?!”. And the answer, like the reveal to all the best mysteries, is every bit as simple as it is clever.

In a Twitter thread, fan Ben Ridout broke down exactly how this lightsaber can do what it does, and it all starts with two tape measures. Using information patent info and some more details given by Disney Parks chairman Josh D’amaro during a press conference in which he debuted what he called a “real” lightsaber, Ridout created a series of animations and descriptions that explain how this all works. It’s a lengthy thread, but totally worth it see how this magic trick was pulled off. Now I just need to pull off some magic of my own to get me one of these lightsabers. Or at least magic up the small mountain of money it will probably cost to stay at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, where the press release promises that you will “have the opportunity to train in the ancient ways of the lightsaber”.

Last Updated: May 5, 2021

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