Disney is working on a real lightsaber that can extend and retract in classic Star Wars fashion. The company filed a patent a while back that revealed its design while showing off how the inner light might shine and how the “blade” extends.
According to the patent, the lightsaber will make use of two spools of translucent material that will lie flat when wound up. Sort of like a tape measure spool that rolls up and extends as you pull it out. Each of these spool ribbons can then be shot out at the end and curve into a circle at their peak.
At the same time, a string of flexible LEDs are also pushed out of the handle by a third motorized spool and move all the way up the shaft of the blade. Once turned on, they will cause the lightsaber to glow as the LED light travels across the translucent material.
According to inside sources, Disney actually has working prototypes of the lightsaber which they showed off during a conference call last week. While there’s no video proof of this, Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro reportedly showed the press a realistic, working, retractable lightsaber during a virtual tour of the park. Press claim that the lightsaber activated from the hilt the same way it does in the Star Wars films.
On paper, this sounds fantastic and makes sense. The idea of the retractable material means that instead of having a lightsaber that is always extended and brought to life with a series of LEDs, this new model will be a hilt on your belt and once you turn it on, it will actually extend and light up like Luke Skywalker’s weapon.
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
— Ben Ridout (@benridout) April 12, 2021
Will you be able to hit people with it? Probably not as the material might be a bit flimsy given the need to extend and retract. However, it will go a long way to recreate the iconic pop culture weapon that we have all dreamed of owning one day. Sure, you won’t be able to chop down trees and burn the face of enemies but you will be able to take it on a date, whip it out and turn it on! Marriage material right there.
Source: Google Patent / Twitter