Since the 1977 release of “Star Wars,” both children and adults have wanted to get their hands on a lightsaber. One of the most popular props in movie history and pop culture is the “elegant tool for a more civilized era,” and now Disney has reportedly made a “true” one.
Disney Parks released a very short clip of what appears to be a working lightsaber on Tuesday, May 4, which is known as Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be With You. Get it?).
A Disney performer dressed as “Star Wars” hero Rey turned on a lightsaber, which had a powerful, retractable blade of light extending from the hilt, much as in the movies. It isn’t a gimmick or a camera trick; it is as genuine as a lightsaber can get in this galaxy.
Disney, of course, did not invent a laser sword capable of chopping off your son’s hand because he refuses to join you in ruling the galaxy.
Rather, the system was designed by Disney’s Imagineers — the people behind the parks, attractions, devices, and hotels — to function like a true lightsaber, with a “blade” of light that extends from the sword’s base.
The saber, at least for the time being, is not for sale. Fans will be able to see it in action soon at Disney’s upcoming “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser,” an interactive Disney hotel that will open in 2022 and enable guests to live out adventures from the famous franchise.
“Watching that lightsaber activate right before your eyes will be just one of the countless ways that, from the moment you arrive to the moment you depart, you’ll be plunged into a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions — or even the casual conversations you may have — determine how your personal journey unfolds,” Disney Parks wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
Last month, Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro showed the saber to a select group of reporters in a private presentation.
The working lightsaber and the “Galactic Starcruiser” experience show how Disney is expanding its parks’ offerings beyond rides and hotels.
In 2019, Disney debuted Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a 14-acre extension that allows visitors to ride the Millennium Falcon and eat galactic fare like Blue Milk. It’s Disney’s biggest park expansion to date.
Meanwhile, on June 4, Disney’s California Adventure will open the Marvel-themed “Avengers Campus.”
D’Amaro told reporters last month that the future of Disney’s resorts will be “fresh” and “technology-ridden.”
“It’s going to be incredibly relevant to guests all around the world,” he said. “Every single day, these parks are changing.”