Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to own a real, functional lightsaber. OK, maybe don’t raise your hand because we can’t actually see you (and you’d probably look ridiculous), we’ll just assume you do want a lightsaber because who wouldn’t? Star Trek fans, that’s who. And you don’t want to be one of them.
Lucasfilm teamed up with IBM for a new web series called “Science and Star Wars” in which they use real-world science and technology to see how close they can match up to the advances in the Star Wars universe.
In the first episode, they tackle everyone's favorite lasersword: the lightsaber. Host Anthony Carboni teamed up with Star Wars Rebels voice actor Taylor Gray to make a version of the lightsaber that could work in real life… and cut through solid steel.
Gray, who plays Ezra Bridger on the animated series, helped Carboni and YouTube star Allen Pan create a “plasma blade,” which would be reality’s closest replica of a lightsaber at this point in our age of technology.
It all comes down to creating a source of heat hot enough to create plasma. That means you won’t be getting any allegiance-based colored blades, everyone gets the ‘blinding white’ flavor.
Pan, Carboni, and Gray assemble what a thermic lance made of carbon steel tubing, steel wool, and a tank of oxygen. Once the device is put together, they use their homemade lightsaber to recreate one of the opening scenes from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in which Qui-Gon Jinn cuts through a steel door with his weapon.
Given that lightsabers are physically impossible at this point in time, you might want to take notes if you’re serious about making one of your own. Just make sure you do so safely and don’t go all high ground on your appendages.
Check out the Star Wars Facebook page for more episodes of “Science and Star Wars.”
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