During his talk at the SXSW festival, Josh D’Amaro, the head of Disney Parks and Experiences, amazed the audience with a remarkable unveiling. Titled “The Art & Science of Disney Parks Storytelling,” the talk featured demonstrations of a highly dynamic character robot and “Smart Hulk” in his time travel suit.
However, the real highlight was when D’Amaro revealed a genuine-looking lightsaber hilt that produced a realistic-looking blue lightsaber blade when a button was pressed. This was the lightsaber used in Disney’s ultra-expensive “Galactic Starcruiser experience,” and unlike the ones seen in video footage, it appeared to grow out of the hilt itself, with no tube sticking out of the hilt that is not retractable.
The audience was left in awe, and D’Amaro explained that the project was challenging and aimed to “build film moments in the real world.” To shed more light on the project, Leslie Evans, the head of Research and Development for Disney Imagineering, was introduced.
According to the patent, the lightsaber has been designed to create an energy blade that can be extended, and retracted, and appears to come from the handle. The lighting effect used creates bright, hilt-based lighting that enhances the authenticity of the experience.
The patent also reveals that the special effects device consists of two long plastic cylinders that have been cut down the middle and rolled in opposite directions. These compact cylinders are provided on a pair of spools or reels and are stored within the hilt assembly of the lightsaber prop.
To extend the blade, a motor located within the hilt body unrolls the rolled/spooled plastic blade body members from their reels/spools. As the blade body members leave the hilt body, they pass through a blade-forming guideway or passageway that “zips” the two semi-cylindrical body members together, forming the energy blade.
In conclusion, this patent reveals that the lightsaber prop is a highly sophisticated device that has been designed to create a truly authentic experience for Star Wars fans. The fact that the energy blade can be extended, and retracted, and appears to come from the handle is truly impressive, and the lighting effect adds an extra layer of coolness to the gadget. It’s easy to see why this prop has captured the imagination of so many people and has become such an iconic part of the Star Wars franchise.