Disney’s New Lightsaber Technology and How It Works


Disney Parks VP Josh D’Amaro made a bit of news this past week with a lightsaber reveal. No, not the real kind of lightsaber that would be very dangerous (and yes, they do exist now), but rather the kind of special effects prop that can be used for the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, stunt shows, and potentially as toys.

This reveal came about on April 8th, exactly two days after we reported on what we had heard about the Galactic Starcruiser Lightsaber experience. If you go and read our original article and then look at the information released by Disney days later, you’ll see that it lines up exactly with what we reported. Coincidence? I think not. In fact, in the concept art for the “dojo”, you can even see someone holding the Blaster Shield that we revealed for the first time ever here on Pirates and Princesses (and thank you to our source for providing us with that info).

Lightsaber Experience at Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser: An Exclusive Reveal

Well, now thanks to user SWGalaxys_Edge, we’ve been reminded of a patent Disney filed back in 2017 that almost certainly shows how the new lightsabers function. Essentially, we believe that the hilt or handle of the “sword” holds a rolled strip of multi-color LED nodes which is extended and retracted using a calibrated movement which effectively mimics the look of lightsabers being turned on and off in Star Wars. This flexible strip of LEDs is obscured by the opacity of the tube in which they are housed, which also diffuses the light in such a way as to appear like a glowing lightsaber.

Original Source on WDW Magic Forums

In reality, these lightsabers are not all that technically impressive other than how tightly they are packed in the handle. That said, this also gives us insight into why the sabers may be shorter than people are accustomed to; in order to have a longer sword, the handle would need to hold a larger spool of LED light stripping, which could create an unworkably large grip if the sword is realistically long. Of course a shorter sword is also more convenient for kids being able to use it, as well as battery life.

Speaking of battery life, don’t forget that we think these sabers are charged via an extending and retracting arm attached to a charging station hidden behind a wall. That’s specific to the Galactic Starcruiser experience. Whether or not these can be used in other settings using more common charging options has yet to be seen.

If, however, you’re still wanting that absolutely realistic lightsaber that you’ve always dreamed of, you’re going to need to look outside of Disney options. With a backpack and a ton of foolishness, you could actually get your hands on an actual lightsaber… albeit one that might melt your face, literally, and could easily get you arrested for burning down your entire neighborhood. But hey, that’s the cost of trying to be a space wizard, right?

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