Watch a Disney Exec Tease a Room of Nerds With a ‘Real’ Lightsaber That They Can’t Play With

Watch a Disney Exec Tease a Room of Nerds With a ‘Real’ Lightsaber That They Can’t Play With

What’s cooler than an automatically extending and retracting ‘real’ lightsaber? Watching someone else use one, I guess.

At SXSW Austin 2023, Disney’s parks and experiences chairman Josh D’Amaro took to the stage to show off the realistic weapon prop that’s used by performers at Disney World. The presentation focused on props that are being developed for Disney’s attractions, but the lightsaber was certainly a highlight.

The lightsaber, designed with a glowing blue stick and the popular Anakin Skywalker hilt style (as seen in Episodes II through IX except for VI), was described by D’Amaro as “a real lightsaber” and “a true wow moment for our guests”.

“I love firing this thing up as much as possible”, D’Amaro added. “I still cannot believe that this thing exists, but it does.”

Here’s the same demonstration but from a different angle at a different point.

The blade makes an ignition blast when it is activated, and an extinguishing noise when the blade is retracted. When the blade is waved around, as shown, it makes ambient noises similar to those in the movies. All of this makes it seem like a ‘real’ lightsaber, but this thing is unlikely to cut through several inches of metal.

But I will applaud the designers for nailing the size. When I was a kid, I collected lightsaber toys, and they always seemed to be just a little too big compared to their movie inspirations. This toy, however, seems to be right on the money.

“By the time we get to that final saber, every part in there is custom-made. There’s so much we had to get right: the colour temperature, the brightness, the sound, and we had a lot that we had to cram into what’s actually a relatively small hilt. We even had to build our own spectral oven at [research and development] so that we could build that blade material,” Walt Disney Design’s research and development principal Leslie Evans said during the presentation, according to Slashfilm.

Whether or not guests will one day be able to use the retractable lightsaber remains to be announced, as it hasn’t been the case in the past. Guests can, however, play with a slimmed-down version with an attachable glowing blade, instead of the one that automatically moves up and down

We’ve reached out to Disney World to ask if the toy will ever be available for guest use or purchase, which is mostly for my own sake as a lifelong Star Wars nerd. Regardless, it’s pretty darn cool, and I wanted to share it with you.