Disney Parks released a very short clip of what appears to be a working lightsaber on Tuesday, May 4, known as Star Wars Day (May 4 with you. Get it?).
The 13-second clip showed a Disney performer disguised as a “Star Wars” hero Rey lighting a lightsaber, with a sturdy, retractable blade of light extending from the hilt, just like in the movies. It’s not a visual effect or a camera trick – it’s as real as a lightsaber can penetrate this galaxy.
Of course, Disney hasn’t really created a laser sword that can cut off your son’s hand because he refuses to join you in ruling the galaxy.
Rather, the company’s Imagineers – designers of Disney parks, rides, gadgets and hotels – created the device to function like a real lightsaber in that the “blade” of light extends from the base of the sword.
“Watching that lightsaber activate right in front of your eyes will be just one of the myriad ways that, from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, you’ll be immersed in a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions – or even the laid-back conversations you might have – figure out how your personal journey unfolds, ”Disney Parks wrote in a blog post Tuesday.
Disney Parks President Josh D’Amaro first introduced the saber last month in a closed-door presentation to a small number of reporters.
The functional lightsaber and “Galactic Starcruiser” experience represent how Disney is taking its parks beyond rides and hotels.
In 2019, Disney opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, a 14-acre expansion that allows guests to ride the Millennium Falcon and dine with galactic specialties such as Blue Milk. It is the largest park extension ever created by Disney.
Meanwhile, the Marvel-themed “Avengers Campus” will open at Disney’s California Adventure on June 4th.
Disney’s parks division is trying to bounce back from one of its most difficult years due to closures and layoffs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Disneyland, the company’s flagship resort in California, just reopened last week after a year-long shutdown.
D’Amaro told CNN Business last month that the future of Disney resorts would be “fresh” and “tech-packed.”
“It’s going to be incredibly relevant to customers around the world,” he said. “Every day these parks change. “