/Disney’s Sleek New Lightsaber Looks Real

Disney’s Sleek New Lightsaber Looks Real

A man in a black jacket holds a glowing blue lightsaber.

Photo: eric petersen (fake images)

Disney Imagineers have been busy since at least 2018 working on a realistic-looking retractable. lightsaber. And now, it looks like it’s finally here and I’m very angry that they won’t be selling this amazing looking device.

After many years of waiting and wondering, I have made peace with the sad fact that I will never be able to hold a real lightsaber as seen in the Star Wars movies and TV shows. The technology involved and the amount of energy required exceeds anything close to what is actually possible to achieve in 2023. And probably, if we ever make lightsabers that can cut through droids and block energy blasts, it won’t be for a long, long time. But until then, Disney has created the next best thing: a new hand accessory that looks like a real lightsaber, complete with a glowing retractable blade.

Last week at SXSW, Disney Parks and Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro gave a presentation on the advanced science and technology used to create the company’s renowned parks, including Disney World. And while he did show off some cool stuff, what matters to me is the moment he pulled out the hilt of a lightsaber and ignited it. A moment later, a large neon blue blade emerged from the silver hilt, complete with the iconic noise we all know from the movies. The crowd gasped audibly at that moment, as did I the first time I saw it.

“I have the coolest job in the world,” D’Amaro said onstage. “I’m holding a real lightsaber.”

To be clear: this is not the first time Disney has shown off this new retractable lightsaber that will (and it is already being limited) used by certain actors in their parks and attractions. But compared to previous projectionsThis time, Disney’s D’Amaro seemed more relaxed and able to rock it on and off a few times. So it seems that the technology—which is inspired by tape measures—has reached a point where everyone involved seems certain that it won’t all come crashing down if someone sneezes.

Unfortunately, even if the technology seems more robust than ever, Disney seems to have no plans to sell these advanced lightsabers to dumb nerds like me who’d be willing to pay an amount of money for them that I’m embarrassed to list publicly and probably isn’t enough. Instead, I will take solace in the fact that the next Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, seems to have very good lightsaber technology.