Disney has created a real-life lightsaber and soon members of the public will see, and possibly learn to fight with, the awe-inspiring weapon.
For nearly 44 years, since Luke Skywalker first wielded the lightsaber, "Star Wars" fans have hoped that the day would come when they too could hold one. While there have been many impressive replicas produced and sold over the years, none compare to Disney's new, retractable lightsaber.
The device will not be sold to the public right now, but guests who embark upon the immersive, two-night vacation experience aboard the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, which is a "Star Wars" themed hotel coming to Walt Disney World in 2022, will be the first to see the new lightsaber in action, Disney Parks announced on its website.
"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," a post recently shared on the site read.
According to Disney Parks, part of the experience includes training "in the ancient ways of the lightsaber."
Those who watched "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" may remember the moment when Skywalker's hand is cut off during a lightsaber fight with Darth Vader, but fans need not worry — the new "real" lightsaber will not have these capabilities.
While Disney has promised that "this new lightsaber creates dramatic in-person moments previously only seen in films or shows," it has remained silent on how exactly it will work. However, developer Ben Ridout created an animation theorizing about the technology and how the effect is likely achieved with LED lights.
"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," Ridout wrote in a tweet.
There appears to be a rush to develop a real-life lightsaber.
Several years ago, U.S. scientists, including members from Harvard and MIT, discovered a way to bind photons together in a new form that would make a device behave like a lightsaber.
"What we have done is create a special type of medium in which photons interact with each other so strongly that they act as though they have mass, and bind together to form molecules," Harvard University physics professor Mikhail Lukin said, according to ZDNet.
"It's not an in-apt analogy to compare this to lightsabers. When these photons interact with each other, they're pushing against and deflect each other. The physics of what's happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies."
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