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Disney finally made a retractable lightsaber that looks legit

Even for the most casual Star War fans like myself, the dream of one day owning a lightsaber that actually, you know, looks like a lightsaber is extremely alluring.

Sure, existing lightsabers might look close to the real thing when all lit up, but the magic is really in the retractable blade. Meanwhile, existing retractable lightsabers tend to be cheap plastic things.

But it seems Disney has finally done it. Behold:


That looks legit. Sure, maybe it looks a little better on video than in person; we won’t know until we get our hands on one. But the essence of it is there: a light-up sword that can expand and retract at the push of a button.

The announcement comes as a teaser for Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser hotel, an interactive experience launching in 2022 where you’ll presumably be able to pick up one of these fancy laser swords. Unfortunately, that means you might have to wait a while longer to get one; Disney says the technology is still being refined.

Nonetheless, you can also expect these to be a lot more pricey than existing lightsabers.

As for how it all works, there had already been rumors pointing to a 2018 patent about how such a lightsaber might work. Essentially it appears to be a very glorified motorized tape measure. VR developer Ben Ridout had created a few animations based on the patent illustrating how such a mechanism might work.

It’s an ingenious solution — hopefully, one that won’t completely break the bank. It doesn’t look like it’d be durable enough to enable lightsaber duels, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

Of course, there’s still one missing piece of the puzzle: actually cutting through stuff. For this, I will have to point you to Hacksmith Industries’ Proto-Lightsaber:

Unfortunately, I don’t think Disney will be selling one of those anytime soon.

Via The Verge

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