Disney revealed a first look at what many Star Wars collectors hope would be the holy grail of lightsabers on the occasion of “May the 4th.”
An actress playing Rey triggers a prop lightsaber that is both a blinding beam of blue-white light and completely retractable in what is technically a preview for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
You’ll be able to see a practical lightsaber stretch out of a hilt and shimmer before your eyes in a not-too-distant future, in an amusement park not too far away.
After teasing it to a small group of reporters in a streamed video presentation last month, Disney has designed working lightsabers that replicate the look and sound of the laser sword from the Star Wars movies, announcing Tuesday that the prop will be part of its new Star Wars-themed hotel at Walt Disney World.
Star Wars fans have had to pick between two tradeoffs when it comes to commercially available lightsabers. A saber that looks like a plastic tube on top of a flashlight but can be completely retracted or unsheathed with a cool-ass flick of the wrist — or a rigid fiberglass tube with adjustable LED lights.
The LED look is great for recreating that dreamy dark room/bright saber photoshoot, but it must be manually detached and stored when you want to hang the hilt from your belt like a Jedi.
Like the crackling energy blades in the movies and shows, the new toy lightsaber does not need any awkward plastic prop blades, instead featuring a retractable light-up blade that stretches out from the (otherwise pretty normal-looking) hilt.
If this patent is followed, the new saber’s blade will be made of two transparent plastic strips that are flexible enough to be coiled on their vertical axis like a tape measure but rigid enough to keep in an unbending line when uncoiled and shaped into a curve on their horizontal axis like a tape measure.
The two plastic coils, a form that forms them into a curve as they unroll, and motors that drive their extension and retraction are all housed in the saber’s hilt. To complete the silhouette of a lightsaber blade, the shape curves the strips into overlapping semicircles, forming a funnel as they stretch, with a rounded cap on the end.
The end of a flexible strip of LED lights, which coils and uncoils within the exterior of the blade as it is extended and retracted, is connected to the inside of the hat.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel is set to open in 2022 and will include a two-day, two-night “storyliving” experience aboard the Halcyon starcruiser.
Guests will be engaged in lightsaber preparation, learn about the spaceship’s navigation and security systems, enjoy fine dining, and be escorted on a field trip to Disney World’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The hotel’s windows will display constantly changing views of the galaxy, and characters will include Resistance heroes. Guests will be able to form alliances and meet the ship’s captain and mechanic as part of the storyline.
Character encounters will involve heroes from the Resistance, and the hotel’s windows will display constantly shifting views of the galaxy. Guests will be able to choose their allegiances throughout the plot and meet the captain and mechanic of the ship.
Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro was the first to reveal the lightsaber. He picked up a hilt-like box from which a light blade shot out in one second as he said, “It’s real,” at the end of a video presentation in April.
There was no prior video documentation of it being posted online, and reporters were asked not to film the presentation. Everything we have were accounts from those who had witnessed the event.