So basically, it’s two motorized tape measures that wrap around each other, with a LED strip in the middle. To get that fully enclosed saber feel, Disney has widened the tape measure-esque “blades” to create a cylinder. Ridout also says in the thread that the hilt holds three spools—two for the tape measure blades and one for the LED strip—along with a small motor, battery, and other electronic components. And while Ridout’s animation is rather slow to better illustrate the mechanism, the patent says the lightsaber should be able to extend to 24 inches in less than a second, at a diameter between 0.5-2 inches.

Commence screaming. Every Star Wars fan has dreamed about the day when lightsabers toys/props might more closely resemble their movie counterparts. There is no shortage of those plastic retractable ones you find at kid’s birthday parties or fancy movie prop replicas. Right now, you can build a custom lightsaber at the Galaxy’s Edge theme park, but DIY nerds have been able to buy kits, parts, and components from vendors like UltraSabers, Saber Parts, and SaberForge for ages. There are even several communities of hobbyists who actually spend good money and time building several custom and replica lightsabers. (Yours truly may have lived for a time with one such enthusiast who regularly stored lightsaber components in the fridge and built their own custom lightsaber out of Home Depot parts “just to see if they could.” They could.)

We’ve no idea when these might be available to buy but the whole dramatic reveal does heavily imply you might be able to get them in the future at a Galaxy’s Edge Park. We also don’t know how well these retractable babies will hold up for very serious lightsaber duels that many of us will absolutely “not” be doing in our backyards while no one is looking. (If they don’t make noises on impact, is it really a ‘real’ lightsaber?)


That said, we all know this isn’t a “real” lightsaber. This thing won’t actually be able to chop off the hands of enemies (or perhaps a wayward future son). It will be a toy that fills the coffers of a corporation that feeds off childhood nostalgia, a powerful entrant to the merchandising machine. Personally, I don’t really care, Disney can shut up and take my money.