Has Disney built an actual working lightsaber?
A "real" non-CGI lightsaber was reportedly teased during a virtual news conference on Thursday (April 8) about the latest updates from Disney’s theme parks.
The presentation, hosted by Disney Parks chairman Josh D’Amaro, covered the reopening of Disneyland Resort in California, upcoming Disney World attractions, and how new technology will shape guest experiences in the future.
In the presentation, D’Amaro, along with Marvel Studio chief Kevin Feige revealed that the Avengers Campus, the Marvel-themed land coming to Disney California Adventure, would be officially opening on June 4, 2021.
But the presentation also made a jaw-dropping announcement of interest to Star Wars fans everywhere.
As reported by the Disney Information Station, as D'Amaro gave his closing remarks, he pulled up a device from a hllt-like box, turned on a light blade, and said “it’s real” before the video ended.
“You never know what we’re going to come up with next,” D’Amaro said.
According to media guests, "the way the light activated from the hilt was similar to how lightsabers activate in the Star Wars films." The lightsaber shown also featured the well known blue blade and silver handle seen in various movies.
However, the clip was shown very quickly at an exclusive event where all attendants were asked not to share any pictures or screenshots.
Walt Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge confirmed via Twitter that the lightsaber showcased by Josh D’Amaro was in fact real, not CGI, but was still not ready to be shown to the public. No video clips or official images have been released yet.
A lot of questions today about whether the lightsaber that Josh D'Amaro revealed today was real or CGI, and, whether I'd share photos or video.— Scott Trowbridge (@strowbridge) April 9, 2021
Yes it was/is really real, and..... not yet. #Bringingagalaxyfarfarawaytolifehttps://t.co/lMc964tn8Y
In a Disney blog post published after the event, D’Amaro mentioned that the Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development team is hard at work developing new technologies, which could possibly refer to the lightsaber.
“I recently had a chance to catch up with our team at Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, and while the projects they shared are in an early exploration stage, they’re the type of projects that will shape the future of the guest experience for decades to come,“ wrote D’Amaro.
“I can’t wait to share more with you in the near future—this team is really pushing the boundaries of creativity, technology, and storytelling,” he added.
It’s worth noting that Disney has filed patents in the past for lightsaber-related technology in the past. They currently hold a patent for a "sword device with a retractable, internally illuminated blade."
Visitors to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge can also build their own custom lightsabers at Savi’s Workshop, a section of the theme park.
Those lightsabers feature a heavier hilt made out of metal, which really beats the old school flashlights kids used to wield around and pretend to be the real thing.
(Images via Star Wars/Disney)