Disney has finally showed off a first look at its “real” retractable lightsaber, which the company started teasing in April, with a new video showing the saber in action — and it looks very, very cool.
As rumored, the new toy lightsaber doesn’t require any awkward plastic prop blades, instead featuring a retractable light-up blade that extends out from the (otherwise fairly normal-looking) hilt — just like the crackling energy blades in the films and shows.
The announcement doesn’t go into too many details on how the retractable sabers actually work, but some clever minds on the internet have managed to piece together a rough idea from Disney’s patent filings. The broad strokes are that the new blade works almost like a modified, motorized tape measure, retracting and extending a sheet of plastic and LED lights to mimic the ignition effect.
The new sabers, as expected, will be part of Disney’s upcoming Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser immersive hotel, which promises to take the initial premise of its Galaxy’s Edge park and expand it to a Westworld-style interactive two-night Star Wars adventure.
Disney says that the new sabers are still in the works by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development, but they presumably will be ready for guests to buy when the Galactic Starcruiser hotel experience launches in 2022. There’s no word yet on price, of course, but given that Disney’s “regular” lightsabers already cost $200 apiece at Galaxy’s Edge, expect the upgraded models to cost somewhere in that ballpark (if not more).