Perhaps the wildest patent filing we've ever seen belongs to Disney's real-life lightsaber, first released last month. Well, Star Wars fans will be delighted to know that the animation giant has just unveiled a sneak peek of the fictional weapon – indicating that it's about to become a reality.
Back in 2017, the studio filed a patent for a "sword device with retractable, internally illuminated blade" – and you can finally see it for yourself, right here. Want more Star Wars action? You'll find every film on Disney Plus – here's how to get 15 per cent off.
Disney's lightsaber has been created as part of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser immersive hotel project – an upcoming two-night immersive attraction, in the style of Westworld. You can read more about it on this Disney Parks blog – the source of the above video.
According to Disney, the 'sabers are currently being created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development, and they'll be ready for the opening of the attraction in 2022. These images and details will be welcome news for the fans who have been waiting since the buzz first began last month.
In case you missed it, the excitement started when reports began to flood in from those who attended a press conference, titled 'A Special Look Inside Disney Parks', where Chairman of Disney Parks Josh D'Amaro revealed the lightsaber on stage, to a crowd that was instructed not to take any photos or videos. Needless to say, people were extremely excited.
I just attended a virtual press conference and Josh D'Amaro had a lightsaber and it worked like a LIGHTSABER not a "im carrying around this long stick" lightsaber like a FUCKING LIGHTSABER LIGHTSABERApril 8, 2021
There are still very few details about how the device actually works (including whether or not it can easily slice through limbs – we hope not), but we can turn to Disney's patent filing for some more information. Like a motorised tape measure, the 'blade' emerges from the hilt, unrolling and retracting at the press of a button.
In reality, we're probably looking at a fancy toy rather than a, y'know, real lightsaber. But if it does truly resemble the CGI efforts seen on screen, it could be one very (very) popular toy indeed.
Indeed, CGI has come a long way since the lightsaber was first introduced onscreen in 1977 – just look at the difference in graphics between Toy Story and Toy Story 4. But no amount of CGI is going to help Disney create a lightsaber you can actually hold in your hand. The invention might just be a glorified tape measure – but if it looks the business in real life too, we're here for it.