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Disney's real-world lightsaber has Star Wars fans up in arms

real lightsaber
(Image credit: Disney)

Star Wars fans have been massively excited since Disney announced the imminent arrival of a real-world retractable lightsaber. Now, the filmmaker has given us our first close-up glimpse of what the device might actually look like. We're even more excited as a result, but not all fans are convinced.

A video showcase from Walt Disney Imagineering appears to show the device in the lab with the blade emerging from the hilt. Blink and you'll miss it, but this is the closest most of us have got yet to seeing the real-life device in action. You can see the full video below – the lightsaber appears at 0.44. For more Star Wars, you can find every film on Disney Plus – here's how to get 15 per cent off.

Working as a Disney imagineer looks like it could be the best job in the world. The lightsaber is by no means the only fantastically cool thing going on in this video, but it's what's got Stars Wars fans most excited. Anticipation has been building since Disney revealed a first glimpse of the lightsaber back in May after announcing that it was being produced for the upcoming Westworld-style Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser immersive hotel project.

Seen close up, it's clear that the device isn't really a blade of light, and we assume (and hope) it won't really be able to slice through limbs, but it looks a lot more convincing than other lightsaber replicas we've seen. Many fans still can't get over their excitement. "Oh my word. They really weren't kidding about that lightsaber," one fan commented on the new video on YouTube. "Lightsaber = Mind Blown 🤯," another wrote.

However, some are already getting picky and aren't convinced by the device's proportions as seen in the video. One fan commented: "Disney, please have a better lightsaber at launch. The concept is so cool and clearly you've almost got it to a finished product, but as it is now it's too bulky and flimsy to be released." 

One fan wrote: "[the] lightsaber looks horrible, the hilt is 3 times the size it should be and the blade is half as big as it should be," while another complained: "It's basically plastic inside the hilt retracting." We can maybe assume that this was a prototype in the lab rather than the finished thing, but Disney will know well by now that there's no way it can please all Star Wars fans. Meanwhile, people are still confused about the Disney logo.

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Joseph is a freelance journalist and translator, as well as a project manager at a design agency based in Buenos Aires. His interests include graphic design and social media. He spends his nights dancing tango and drinking malbec.