Disney Creates A ‘Real’ Lightsaber—& You Already Have Something Like It At Home
By Mikelle Leow, 05 May 2021
Images via Disney Parks (left) and Disney Parks Blog (right)
There’s a simple reason why lightsabers, and actual lightsabers, aren’t available to the masses. As inventive Star Wars fans have proven in the real world, they’re highly dangerous.
With that being said, Disney appears to now have a solution to make lightsabers true to the films and safe for all ages. Cue the “real” lightsaber, which was previewed by Disney Parks at a recent press event. The sword has got what the existing, cheap-looking lightsaber replicas are missing: a retractable blade.
The blade in Disney Parks’ experimental lightsaber can be extended and retracted by pushing a button, and as artistically demonstrated in a new video teasing the upcoming Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, it looks magnificent. The lightsaber reaches upwards ever so cleanly, and there’s no visible plastic when the light is switched off.
According to Nerdist, when showing off the light-up sword, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Experiences and Products at Disney Parks, described, “It’s real.” Unfortunately, as reporters couldn’t record anything from the event, no actual images have surfaced yet.
A patent filed by Disney in 2018 might explain how this next-level lightsaber works—and it turns out that the sword functions pretty much like a tape measure. One AR/VR developer by the name of Ben Ridout has even walked through this design process with an animation of tape measures fitted into a cylinder.
That’s right. When you wish upon a star, pumpkins can turn into carriages, and even household objects can become laser swords.
The lightsaber isn’t ready to be released in theme parks, however. Disney says it is still working out its technology.
Did #Disney invent a real working #lightsaber?— Ben Ridout (@benridout) April 12, 2021
Yes they did.
It won't melt through metal blast doors, or cut off your hand, but it does feature an illuminated blade that will extend and retract at the push of a button.
This animation shows the concept behind the tech. pic.twitter.com/e7fwP06CxF
Disney's lightsaber design extends (get it?) the basic tape measure design. Imagine connecting two tape measures together so each tape faces in on each other when they are extended. Connect the ends of the tapes with a circular cap.— Ben Ridout (@benridout) April 12, 2021
With the two blades wrapped around each other, each forming slightly more than a semi-circle, you've got a cylindrical "blade". In Disney's design, the tape/blade material is a semi-transparent flexible plastic.— Ben Ridout (@benridout) April 12, 2021
[via Nerdist and TNW, images via various sources]
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