For years geeks and nerds across the word have fantasized about wielding a lightsaber. However outside of a toy or overpriced replica, the experience of having a lightsaber had played out better in our minds than in reality. That is until now…
It’s been rumored for years, and it was apparently previewed without any pictures allowed at a recent press event, but for the very first time (for May the 4th Be With You, obviously) Disney is showing a real, working Star Wars lightsaber. “Real” being relative here, obviously; you can’t cut anyone in half with it (thankfully). But unlike every other toy or pretend lightsaber where the “blade” is a long clear tube that lights up at a press of a button (and just sits there, unilluminated, when it’s off) the blade here retracts into the hilt and then extends out as it turns on.
The effect is pretty convincing, at least in this video. It was created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development and it will be in use for the first time at Walt Disney World’s upcoming Star WarsHotel, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, which is scheduled to open, per Disney Parks Blog, “starting in 2022. The hotel is inspired by a cruise ship in space, and the blog post claims “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 also showed off more concept art from the hotel: