It’s always fun waking up to presents, and on this most Star Wars of holidays, Disney has gifted fans with the first official video of its real-life lightsaber replicas featuring glowing blades that actually extend and retract. But sad news for many of us: it sounds like you won’t be able to buy one for your collection any time soon.
First revealed last month during a private press event, only a handful of screenshots of the new lightsaber replicas, developed by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development, managed to leak out for fans to salivate over. Shortly after the reveal, a patent dating back to 2018 was discovered that provided more details on how Disney’s new ‘real’ lightsabers might work: two widened strips of plastic that function like tape measures are extended by a motor and wrap around each other to create a cylinder with a strip of LEDs running down the middle to create the glow.
Today, as part of an announcement on the Disney Parks blog about the opening of Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort being delayed until 2022 (it was previously expected to open sometime this year), the company also released a video of the lightsaber in action and promised that “Guests who experience Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be the first to see it in action…” to help take the sting out of today’s bad news.
As exciting as it will be to see the new lightsaber technology in person, given it’s being limited to only guests of Disney’s new Star Wars resort at first, it sounds like it’s going to be quite a while before some form of these lightsabers are available for guests to actually purchase in gift shops — if ever. Based on today’s announcement, the “real” lightsabers will be first rolled out as upgrades to the costumes of cast members portraying characters like Rey and Kylo Ren to add another level of authenticity, which makes sense because if the props are coming straight out of Disney’s R&D labs, they’re going to be expensive prototypes. Hopefully, the company finds a way to eventually make them accessible and affordable, because a lightsaber with a glowing retractable blade is the holy grail of Star Wars collectibles.